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The New York Times runs a must-read story about Priorities USA Action, the pro-Obama super-PAC.
A key takeaway is that while most voters have well-defined opinions about President Obama, undecided voters have almost no opinion about Mitt Romney: "While conducting a different focus group -- this one with non-college-educated Milwaukee voters on the eve of Wisconsin's April 3 primary -- Burton and Sweeney were surprised to learn that even after Romney had spent months campaigning, many in the group could not recognize his face, much less characterize his positions."
Jonathan Chait notes the Priorities research "shows that the crucial first step is to introduce and define Romney. The basic theme of Romney as a super-rich guy who sees the world through the lens of his own class seems like a powerful and roughly accurate one. The attacks on Romney's business career fit with the theme... Once they've established that frame for voters to understand Romney, then they have set the stage for a closing attack that focuses on the policy contrast."
Soon after he ordered an ice cream cone, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) got into a heated verbal altercation with a passerby and it was all caught on video.
No amount of prodding, it seems, will get the White House to concede that the individual mandate tied to the health-care overhaul is, at bottom, a "tax."
Joshua Green notes that Mitt Romney's risk avoidance -- as seen through his inability to take a clear stand on any issue -- is more than a campaign strategy, it's how he made a fortune as head of Bain Capital.
"A few years ago, a former partner at Bain Capital with Romney explained to me that this impulse to be 'paranoidly downside risk-averse' had been key to Bain's early success. In the mid-1980s, he said, once this success was evident, the firm conducted a study to better understand what had brought it about. Two things jumped out: The failure rate of their deals was 'almost zero.' And, he said, 'there was no deal we did in the first years that did not have incredible downside protection -- you'd have assets that, in the worst case, you could sell for 90 percent of what you paid for it.'"
Kevin Madden, a communications expert with long ties to Mitt Romney, will become a more frequent and visible spokesman for the presidential campaign.
The U.S. Olympics Committee has no gripe with the Romney family 'Olympics.'
The fight for control of congress is shaping up to be just as tight, and just as split, as the presidential race, writes Politics Counts columnist Dante Chinni.
William Kristol plays off Ann Romney's comment that her husband is seriously looking at a woman as his running mate.
"Who's the woman? It could be Kelly Ayotte or New Mexico governor Susana Martinez. But as much as I like both of them, I suspect Mitt Romney will see them as risky picks, lacking sufficient high-level government experience to unequivocally answer the question of whether they'd be qualified to take over. No, the woman Ann Romney likely has in mind is Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state."
"Rice wowed the crowd -- and seemed to impress Mitt Romney, who was standing beside her -- when she spoke in a featured role at a Romney campaign event two weeks ago in Park City, Utah. Rice is qualified, would be a poised (if novice) candidate, and would complement Romney in terms of area of expertise, gender (obviously!), and life experience. Rice offers an unusual combination of being at once a reassuring pick (she served at the highest levels of the federal government for eight years) and an exciting one."
On the heels of another anemic employment report, President Obama, on the campaign trail, found himself acknowledging again that the economy was not generating enough jobs, that the recovery was not taking hold fast enough, and that too many Americans lacked basic financial security.
After the Washington Post suggested that changes were coming to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, NBC News confirms that Kevin Madden, Mitt Romney's 2008 spokesman, will assume a more prominent role in the campaign.
"Madden served as an informal adviser through the GOP primaries before officially joining the campaign in a more behind-the-scenes advisory role."
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