Newslinks for Friday April 20: Only 24% (RECORD LOW) think USA is on right trackPosted on 04/20/2012
Today's must-read from Peggy Noonan: Something seems to be going terribly wrong in American culture
"This week Gallup had a poll showing only 24% of Americans feel we're on the right track as a nation. That's a historic low. Political professionals tend, understandably, to think it's all about the economy—unemployment, foreclosures, we're going in the wrong direction. I've long thought that public dissatisfaction is about more than the economy, that it's also about our culture, or rather the flat, brute, highly sexualized thing we call our culture. Now I'd go a step beyond that. I think more and more people are worried about the American character—who we are and what kind of adults we are raising." - Peggy Noonan for the Wall Street Journal
Republican-controlled House voted Thursday to extend new tax cuts to businesses with fewer than 500 employees, a vote designed to contrast with a Democratic push this week to impose higher taxes on those making more than $1 million a year - Washington Post
Congressional approval up slightly from very low base - Gallup
Redistricting will make it much harder for Democrats to retake House - New York Times
Divisions in Democrat ranks
- 69 Democrats now support House GOP on Keystone pipeline - New York Times
- An increasing number of Democrats are taking potshots at President Obama’s healthcare law ahead of a Supreme Court decision that could overturn it - The Hill
Romney visits empty factory to mock Obama - Wall Street Journal
- Click here.
Obama 2.7% ahead in poll of presidential polls - RCP
- "President Barack Obama's efforts to project himself as a protector of the middle class have strengthened him for the general election, while Mitt Romney has gained traction with his argument that he can improve the economy, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds."
- "Drill down into the numbers of the latest CBS poll and there are ominous signs for Obama. Only 33 percent of Americans believe the economy is moving in the right direction. A mere 16 percent feel they are getting ahead financially. Some 38 percent think their situation will get worse if Obama is re-elected, 26 percent think it will get better." - Toby Harnden
- "President Obama enjoys a narrow lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney in two important battleground states, Florida and Ohio, according to a new Fox News poll, although Romney has the advantage with highly motivated voters." - National Journal
- Republicans are rallying... slowly
- It's the economy, stupid
- Romney has a women problem
- Obama has an enthusiasm problem
- Voters are less persuadable
More at the Chicago Tribune.
Why can't Romney persuade Republicans that he can win?
"Poll after poll indicates the presidential campaign is a dead heat, but you wouldn’t know it from talking to many Republican professionals. If you gave them truth serum, they would tell you they think Mitt Romney will lose." - Politico
- "Republican women including Sen. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) have become more prominent for the GOP and the campaign of presumptive nominee Mitt Romney in recent weeks, as they are deployed on conference calls, on cable networks, at press events in the Capitol and on Twitter amid the “mommy wars.”" - Roll Call
- Ann Romney takes center stage in Tug-Of-War for female voters - NPR
Romney's National Security spokesman, Richard Grenell, is openly gay - Daily Beast
Scott Walker urges Mitt Romney to choose Paul Ryan as running mate - Weekly Standard
Commentary agrees: "Ryan is the top ideas person in his party and a perfect foil to Romney in the sense that he can’t be accused of flip-flopping on his principles. Far from hiding him in a congressional corner, Republicans would be well advised to put him center stage where he can wage the battle for conservative principles in the limelight. Ryan may be controversial, but he’s anything but vanilla, and that may be exactly what Romney needs."
The Economist backs Rob Portman of Ohio: "If Mr Romney thinks his best chance of beating Barack Obama is to run as a solid man of business who can turn the economy round, Mr Portman would amplify the reassurance. Mr Portman seems unembarrassed about coming over as a sobersides with a head for numbers. What he lacks in charisma, he makes up for in gravitas."
Michael Barone for the Washington Examiner: "The Clinton-Gore ticket regained Southern ground for Democrats. A double-vanilla ticket might enable Republicans to regain ground in affluent suburbs this year."
Rubio dismisses importance of VP pick, “Presidential campaigns are won by the presidential nominee" - WSJ
"After Rubio’s comments Wednesday, one top Republican operative told ABC News’ Jon Karl, “Nobody believes that saying no really means no.”" - ABC
A Fox poll seems to suggest Rubio may be right. Obama's lead goes from 2% to 1% if he's added to the ticket.
- "With Republicans increasingly concerned about losing Hispanic voters this November, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida on Thursday pressed his party to embrace a compromise measure allowing young illegal immigrants a pathway to legal status." - New York Times
Overwhelmed with advice
"Here’s some advice for Mitt Romney as he begins his general-election campaign against Barack Obama. Move quickly to the political center. No, fire up the conservative base! Talk more about your agenda. Or consider talking more about yourself. Loosen up. Maybe stick to the teleprompter. Court the right-wing media. Actually, schmooze with the mainstream media. Own your Mormonism. On second thought, conceal your Mormonism. Shake that Etch A Sketch on immigration. Then again, you need to be consistent, not a flip flopper. You cannot win without Marco Rubio. Unless maybe you can’t pick Rubio. And try dressing more casually. But, come on, don’t calculate your wardrobe, dude!" - Michael Crowley for TIME
Gingrich vowed that whether he or Mitt Romney become the nominee, they will work together to defeat President Obama in the fall - MSNBC
American Crossroads, Karl Rove's Super-PAC, has raised $100 million - Politico
- "Powerful interest groups such as the Club for Growth and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have hit the airwaves in Republican congressional primaries, highlighting the sharp divide between the GOP's establishment wing and more conservative groups eager to challenge veteran lawmakers." - USA Today
The GOP’s Mainstream middle is far from dead - Tom Davis for the Washington Post
Republicans have to acknowledge the nastiness of Obama - Michelle Malkin for NRO
"President Obama has lost Afghanistan. The war is turning into a catastrophic defeat - one that will be worse than Vietnam. It is time to bring the troops home, and end this national nightmare." - Jeffrey T Kuhner in the Washington Times
In winsome form, Chris Christie insists he didn't nap at Springsteen concert - Politico
And finally...Ron Paul video game about to launch - USA Today
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