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Moneyball Godfather Tackles Politics (June 15, 2012, 08:20 AM)
Sam Stein: "A political candidate being dramatically outspent by his opponent has few options. He can pin his hopes on a strong debate performance, dig up dirt on the opposition, or cut a particularly buzz-worthy television ad. Or he can do what other industries, led by Major League Baseball, have done before: worship at the altar of Bill James."
White House Forgot to Pay for Lunch (June 15, 2012, 08:03 AM)
ABC News: "Amid the bustle of President Obama's surprise stop for barbecue Wednesday the White House apparently overlooked one key detail: the bill."
"Celebrating Father's Day early, the president had lunch with two service members and two local barbers at Kenny's BBQ on Capitol Hill... The bill for the president and his four guests was $55.58, but was left unpaid at the point of sale, according to pool reports. The White House corrected the oversight and settled up the tab by the end of the business day."
What a Race (June 15, 2012, 07:37 AM)
Charles Krauthammer: "Mitt Romney vs. Barack Obama is not exactly Jefferson-Adams or Lincoln-Douglas. No Harry Truman or Bill Clinton here, let alone FDR or Reagan. Indeed, it's arguable that neither party is fielding its strongest candidate... Indeed, one measure of the weakness of the two finalists is this: The more each disappears from view, the better he fares. Obama prospered when he was below radar during the Republican primaries. Now that they're over and he's back out front, his fortunes have receded..."
"Nonetheless, there is nothing inexorable about the current Obama slide. The race remains 50-50. Republican demoralization after a primary campaign that blew the political equivalent of a seven-run lead has now given way to Democratic demoralization at the squandering of their subsequent post-primary advantage."
"What remains is a solid, stolid, gaffe-prone challenger for whom conservatism is a second language versus an incumbent with a record he cannot run on and signature policies -- Obamacare, the stimulus, cap-and-trade -- he hardly dare mention."
Obama Gets the Caro Treatment (June 14, 2012, 09:35 PM)
James Fallows reviews Barack Obama: The Story by David Maraniss and notes the author "applied a version of the Robert Caro treatment to a politician who, unlike Caro's Lyndon Johnson, is still in his functioning prime."
"The book begins with people Barack Obama never met and certainly knows less about than Maraniss does, his great-grandparents on both sides. Nearly 600 pages later it ends with the current president, at age 27, driving a used yellow Datsun away from Chicago, where he had been a community organizer, to Harvard Law School and what Maraniss presents as the end of his search for identity and the beginning of a purposeful political career."
"Every few pages Maraniss offers a factual nugget that changes or enlarges the prevailing lore... We never fully know public figures, least of all one whose identity so much involves cool, deliberate reserve. But after this book we know one public figure much better."
Republican Latino Site Features Photo of Asian Kids (June 14, 2012, 07:19 PM)
The RNC launched a new Spanish-language website designed to "have open communication about the goals and vision of the Republican Party" with Latino voters but Mashable notes a stock photo in the top banner "featured a group of children that weren't Latino -- but Asian."
Florida Governor Mistaken for Dead in 2006 (June 14, 2012, 06:42 PM)
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), "who is leading a disputed purge of voter registration rolls, had to cast a provisional ballot in 2006 because officials mistakenly thought he was dead," Reuters reports.
Mr. Romney (June 14, 2012, 05:49 PM)
Dan Amira: "If you sat through President Obama's 50-something-minute economic address this afternoon, you didn't hear much in the way of new themes or proposals. But you did hear Obama refer to his Republican opponent as 'Mr. Romney' on eight separate occasions, and that is somewhat new."
"A search on both the White House website and Nexis shows that, prior to today, Obama had spoken of 'Mr. Romney' a total of just eight times since the start of 2011, and seven of them came over the past month... It's a small and fairly inconsequential change, but surely a deliberate one."
Reactions to Obama's Speech (June 14, 2012, 05:37 PM)
President Obama gave a speech today that framed his re-election bid as a clear choice between government helping to lift the middle class and a return to Republican economic policies that led to a deep recession.
A few reactions:
Andrew Sullivan: "My bottom line? A home run. Simply constructed, carefully reframed, aggressive while positive: the Obamaites have been listening to critics and are responding. If this is his message, and if he is able to keep articulating it this clearly, he will win. And in my view, the experience of the last thorty years is that he should win. If I have to choose between a governing philosophy espoused by Bill Clinton or one espoused by George W. Bush, it's a no-brainer. And I can't stand Bill Clinton."
Greg Sargent: "The central idea in the speech -- that Washington is in a "stalemate" about how to move forward that only the American people can break -- was the answer to a clear strategic dilemma. Obama needs to figure out how to highlight GOP obstructionism of his policies in a way that will matter to the American people."
Ezra Klein: "One speech doesn't change an election, and this one won't, either. But the Obama campaign's line of attack does point to a difficulty for the Romney campaign in the coming months: Where can they show a sharp break with the policies of the Bush administration?"
Geithner Suggested Clinton Replace Him (June 14, 2012, 05:30 PM)
In the spring of 2011, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wanted to leave his job and he suggested Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as his replacement, the Washington Post reports.
"Before he could depart, Geithner had to convince the White House. He needed to find someone who could glide through Senate confirmation, comprehend the growing debt crises, here and abroad, and communicate administration goals in the upcoming debt-ceiling debate to Congress, to Wall Street, and to the world. The talks gained traction inside the White House before being scuttled shortly before the debt-ceiling talks on Capitol Hill intensified."
Lawmaker Barred After Vagina Comment (June 14, 2012, 04:22 PM)
Michigan House Republicans prohibited state Rep. Lisa Brown (D) from speaking on the floor after she ended a speech against a bill restricting abortions by referencing her female anatomy, the Detroit News reports.
Her comment, which is on video: "Finally, Mr. Speaker, I'm flattered that you're all so interested in my vagina, but 'no' means 'no.'"
Republicans said Brown was "offensive" and wouldn't allow her to voice her opinion on an unrelated school employee retirement bill.
Responded Brown: "If I can't say the word vagina, why are we legislating vaginas? What language should I use?"
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