Political Strategy Notes
Being chosen to deliver the opposition party's rebuttal to the President's State of the Union Address is a mixed blessing under the best of circumstances. It's a tip of the hat to the status of the designee, but it's not always so easy to look good when your assignment is to go as relentlessly negative as possible. Despite some of the pundit gush, Gov. Mitch Daniel's speech was one of the most dreary, joyless SOTU rebuttals ever. This is the face of the GOP's future? See Rachel Maddow's hilarious take-down here.
For more credible fact-checking, Daniels gets a well-deserved spanking from FactCheck.org's Lori Robertson.
Terry Greene Sterling has an excellent report, "Obama and the Dems' Strategy to Win in Arizona: Heavy Courtship of Latinos " at The Daily Beast. Sterling notes "the wildly popular Arizona "citizenship clinics" sponsored by the social-justice nonprofit, Mi Familia Vota, and the Spanish-language television network, Univision" and adds "Latinos make up about 30 percent of Arizona's population though historically have low voter turnout. But the "sleeping giant," galvanized by what it sees as racist legislation and state policy, recently flexed its muscle.Hispanics were a key force behind two recent political coups--the recall-election defeat of immigration law sponsor and Tea Party Republican state Sen. Russell Pearce, and a Latino firefighter's trouncing of an established Anglo politico for a Phoenix City Council seat."
Harold Meyerson nails the economic nitty-gritty of Obama's SOTU address.
A new Wall St. Journal/NBC News poll has very good news for President Obama and Democrats: "Some 30% believed the country was headed in the right direction, up eight percentage points from a month ago. Some 60% said the country was on the wrong track, down from 69% in December..." As Sara Murray and Janet Hook report at the WSJ, the poll "raised caution signs for Mr. Romney's strategy of putting the economy at the center of his campaign...Partial results from the poll, released Wednesday, found voters feeling more positively about the economy and of Mr. Obama's handling of it."
The long-range implications of the Citizens United decision are even worse than you thought.
Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley discuss "The Republicans' Electoral College Newt-Mare" at Sabato's Crystal Ball. Their article provides color-coded maps demonstrating the disastrous potential of Newt's nomination. Say the authors: "Under this map, all of those states -- Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin -- would be tough territory for Gingrich. If his candidacy were a disaster, those new Republican gerrymanders could unravel. The close battle for the Senate could also be affected -- Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio and Virginia all have competitive Senate races this year, and all of those states get bluer on our map under a hypothetical Gingrich candidacy."
Ron Brownstein sorts it all out at National Journal in "Romney's Florida Formula: Return to Divide and Conquer," discusses Mitt's resurgence and argues, "...To overcome Romney in Florida, Gingrich must consolidate the party's populist wing more effectively than he's doing so far. And, especially since Gingrich is being outspent so badly in the state, his best, and perhaps last, opportunity to do that will come when he steps on the stage in Jacksonville Thursday night." Expect mayhem.