Mitt Romney, accusing President Barack Obama today of playing “hide and seek,” claimed in a speech today before the American Society of Newspaper Editors that Obama is planning a series of policy surprises if he wins a second term. This is an attempt to stir up FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) about a very well-known product.
** NEW COLUMN COMING UP … IS ROMNEY “INEVITABLE” (AGAIN) OR MERELY IN COMMAND OF THE REPUBLICAN RACE?
** QUICK HITS. Governor Jerry Brown tweeted today that he is in the finals of an online poll conducted by the San Francisco Chronicle for the top bald man in the Bay Area. He may need some help, because he is in tough against another guy named Jerry. That would be football legend Jerry Rice. I had to think about my vote on that one. … In arguably more consequential news, Brown decided today to halt signature gathering on his original November revenue initiative, reasoning that signatures are coming in fast enough on the new initiative, a compromise with a left-labor coalition, to make sure that it will make it on the November ballot.
** NEW POLL: OBAMA STRENGTHENING AMONG INDEPENDENT VOTERS. A new Gallup Poll survey shows President Barack Obama strengthening his lead over Mitt Romney among independents even as Romney strengthens his lead in the Republican presidential race.
Obama has a big 48-39 edge over Romney among swing state independents, a big shift since last fall. His lead over Rick Santorum is even bigger, 53-32.
The key to Obama’s big edge? Independent women.
Barack Obama has a 48% to 39% advantage over Mitt Romney among independent voters in 12 key swing states. He first moved ahead of Romney among this group in February after being tied in January and trailing last year.
The results are based on the most recent USA Today/Gallup Swing States poll, conducted March 20-26, among voters in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. …
The movement toward Obama is essentially due to independents’ changing preferences, because Democrats’ and Republicans’ preferences have been highly stable. Since October, Obama has averaged an 87% to 10% lead over Romney among swing-state Democrats, while Romney has averaged a 90% to 6% lead over Obama among swing-state Republicans.
Obama’s standing against Romney has improved substantially in the swing states among women. Among independents, he has gained among both men and women, but more so among women. In combined data from October and December 2011, Obama trailed Romney by 11 percentage points among independent men and five points among independent women. In combined data from February and March, Obama has a one-point advantage among independent men and a 14-point advantage among independent women. …
Mitt Romney strengthened his frontrunner’s perch in the Republican presidential race last night, winning in Wisconsin, Maryland, and the District of Columbia over Rick Santorum and the other candidates. The ex-Massachusetts governor, out to establish himself as “inevitable” once again, called it “a great victory.”
** NEW COLUMN COMING UP … IS ROMNEY “INEVITABLE” (AGAIN) OR MERELY IN COMMAND OF THE REPUBLICAN RACE?
** OBAMA TODAY. President Barack Obama is in Washington.
Obama hosted his annual Easter Prayer Breakfast, at which Vice President Joe Biden also delivered remarks in the East Room.
Obama and Biden then received the daily intelligence and economic briefings in the Oval Office.
Following that, Obama met with senior advisors in the Oval Office.
He then signed the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, which makes clear that Members of Congress are subject to the same insider trading laws that apply to everyone else, in the South Court Auditorium.
As is often the case, Obama’s public schedule doesn’t reflect the behind-the-scenes crisis management that takes up so much of his time in this tumultuous period in history.
Does he have a Republican opponent yet?
That’s the question after last night’s primaries in Wisconsin, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, which were swept by Mitt Romney.
Romney beat Santorum in Wisconsin, 44-37, and in Maryland, 49-29. Santorum was not on the D.C. ballot, where Romney got 70% of the vote to Ron Paul’s (remember him? 12%, and Newt Gingrich’s 11%.
Gingrich was third in Maryland with 11% while Paul pulled off the distant third in Wisconsin with 11%. Gingrich got 6% there. Had he not been on the ballot, Santorum would have had another close but no cigar primary finish there.
Obama is monitoring several geopolitical crises involving the Arab Awakening, Iran and Israel, Iraq, AfPak, and North Korea.
President Barack Obama, viewed by many of his opponents as a secret Muslim, says the Easter story of Christ’s agony and resurrection has helped him get through the tough moments of an embattled presidency. The president got ‘Amens’ from religious leaders at a White House prayer breakfast.
Military Crisis Zone Times: The Arabian Gulf is eleven hours ahead of Pacific time, and Afghanistan is twelve and a half hours ahead of Pacific time.
** FROM THE JERRY FILES. Governor Jerry Brown is in Northern California and Southern California.
At 4:30 PM, he holds a press conference with California sheriffs to discuss realignment and funding for law enforcement at the Town and Country Resort in San Diego.
I expect he will also get some questions about the reworked high-speed rail plan.
He then delivers remarks at the California State Sheriffs’ Association Annual Conference, which is at the same venue.
** MAD MEN: WHOSE SIDE IS TIME ON, ANYWAY? The roar of generational change got ever louder in this week’s Mad Men, so much so that Roger Sterling plaintively wondered when things will go back to normal. That would be “Never,” Roger. At least for you. As always, there be spoilers ahead.
Meanwhile … She’s baaack. It’s around the 4th of July, 1966, and the character so many love to hate, and whom many thought had slipped away from the storyline, Betty Draper Francis, has returned to the show in a big way. Literally. Well, not that big. But the svelte Grace Kelly lookalike has put on a lot of weight. (This is how creator Matthew Weiner deals with star January Jones’s real-life pregnancy, which arrived not long after she wrapped her co-starring role as wintry telepath Emma Frost in X-Men: First Class.) …
Now she’s married to a doting older man, Henry Francis, a top advisor to the liberal New York Republicans who once played so large a role in American politics. (And if that doesn’t date this show, nothing will.) But though she’s had a chance to be part of the glittering circle around New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller — which we sadly never see — and Henry is now a chief advisor to glamorous new New York Mayor John Lindsay, she’s depressed. (In six years time in the Mad Men universe, Lindsay will be an anti-war Democrat running for president.) So much so that she’s taken to constant snacking, which makes her heavier, which makes her more depressed. Funny how that works. … From my April 3rd essay.
** CALIFORNIA REPUBLICANS IN CRISIS: ANOTHER BIG SHOE DROPS. Another big shoe dropped Wednesday in the ongoing crisis of the California Republican Party. One of its young rising stars, state Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, a decorated Marine veteran of the Iraq War, dropped his party registration to become an independent. Which might be a path forward for Republicans who don’t reject modernity and governance.
Ranking Republicans privately bemoaned the fact that their party has a very thin bench when it comes to people who might win a future statewide election. Fletcher was part of a very short list.
Meanwhile, Governor Jerry Brown continued to get good news moving forward toward his November revenue initiative, a measure that would have been unnecessary had Republicans last year not rejected him and his more moderate course at that time on taxation. …
Fletcher’s move sets up a very intriguing test case for Republicans who haven’t turned their backs on modernity and governance. … From my March 29th essay.
** MAD MEN (FINALLY) RETURNS: WORTH THE WAIT? … From my March 27th essay.
** THE REAL GAME CHANGE: PALINISM’S RISE AND MODERATE REPUBLICANISM’S ECLIPSE. … From my March 23rd essay.
** CALIFORNIA REPUBLICANS HAVE ONLY THEMSELVES TO BLAME. … From my March 22nd essay.
** JERRY BROWN DEALS AWAY TROUBLE ON THE LEFT. … From my March 16th column.
** MAKING SENSE OF KALEIDOSCOPIC PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS. … From my March 7th essay.
** IMPOSSIBLE MISSIONS AND 50 YEARS OF BOND. … From my March 6th essay.
** JERRY BROWN MAKES SOME SPLASHY MOVES. … From my March 1st essay.
** FROM GOVERNATOR TO MOONBEAM. … From my January 3rd, 2011 feature.
** OBAMA: RIDING WITH HISTORY. (NOTE: As Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States, this column was the featured column on the top of the front page of the Huffington Post.) … From my January 19th, 2009 Huffington Post column.
** 24/7 LIVE TV NEWS FEED FROM AL JAZEERA. With the US entangled in major military operations in the region, and the Arab awakening underway, it’s valuable to keep up with news and perspectives from the leading Middle Eastern-based TV news network. Click here for a live TV news feed on your computer. The NWN live link to AJ does not constitute an endorsement of the channel’s views. It’s presented as an otherwise unavailable new media window.
** 24/7 LIVE TV NEWS FEED FROM RUSSIA TODAY. Russia has re-emerged as one of the world’s great powers. Click here for a live TV news feed on your computer from the Russia Today channel. The NWN live link to RT does not constitute an endorsement of the state-run channel’s views. It’s presented as an otherwise unavailable new media window.
** TRACK GLOBAL AND NATIONAL ENERGY PRICES IN NEAR REAL TIME VIA BLOOMBERG ENERGY MARKET WATCH. Having crashed over $147 for yet another record on July 11th, 2008, crude oil is trading around $102 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
This is up about $68 from the low of $34 per barrel prior to enactment of the Obama economic recovery program, reflecting a low point in global economic activity, and down about $12 from the price at the time of the Osama bin Laden raid.
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