So what happened? In the run up to 2008, Jon Huntsman Jr. wanted to be a player in national politics, and Mitt Romney all but patted him on the head and urged him to sit on the bench. Three years later, the specter of the next presidential election would fan smoldering resentment into flaming disgust in full view of the political world. Huntsman, then ambassador to China under President Barack Obama, left his dream job for his own White House run against Romney, whom he considered an exceptionally weak front-runner. Romney, for his part, saw Huntsman as a political opportunist he would relish crushing. Members of both families deny a feud exists and instead offer polite, politically correct compliments about their counterparts. Behind the facade, though, lie two political tribes that have grown to dislike and distrust one another.
we choose to have an election thread and and do the other things, not because they are easy but because they are hard
Finally, it's almost over. Obama and Romney tie in Dixville Notch, Obama landslide in Hart's Location. Interactive Infographic: 512 Paths to the White House. More election 2012 infographics. And still more. How to tell who is winning Ohio. Ohio recount plan could take election into overtime. Gandalf speaks: Late Poll Gains for Obama Leave Romney With Longer Odds. Final estimates from Votamatic and Sam Wang at the Princeton Election Consortium. Google's voting education page. [more inside]
Undecided on election day? Sat through all the debates and still not sure who's right and who's wrong? What you're really looking for is an endorsment by people you can trust completely, you can look up to, true heroes? Well, J. Caleb Mozzocco has taken the trouble to interview a representative cross section of superheroes and is starting to see a pattern. [more inside]
Charlie Pierce is a longtime sportswriter and author who has, among other things, reported for Grantland, Slate, and the Boston Globe, paneled on more than a few games of Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, and fished diapers out of trees as a state forest ranger. He's also made a name for himself as one of the sharpest and most incisive political columnists since Molly Ivins. The lead writer for Esquire's Politics Blog ever since a caustic article on former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell cost him his Globe job, Pierce has churned out an uninterrupted stream of clever, colorful, and challenging commentary on the 2012 election season and its implications for the nation's future, dispatches often seething with eviscerative anger but shot through with deep love of (or perhaps grief for) country. Look inside for a selection of Pierce's most vital works for some edifying Election Eve reading. [more inside]
Democracy Distilled: A History of America's Voting Rights. Remember to vote this November. Women in America, let's rise up. [more inside]
Ever since the first televised general election presidential debate was held on September 26, 1960, between U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy, the Democratic nominee, and Vice President Richard Nixon, the Republican nominee the vast majority of moderators have been men. "Why haven’t women moderated a presidential debate in the past 20 years, especially when women vote more than men?"* [more inside]
"The Mexican drug cartels are at war... with Mormons. VICE founder Shane Smith went down to Ciudad Juárez, near the US border, to investigate this story ... filled with guns, drugs, murder, and Romneys." [more inside]
What happens when you put Mitt Romney's words in Lucille Bluth's mouth?
As internal leaks from the Romney camp suggest a campaign in serious disarray, and poll-of-polls meta-analyses show him with little time to recover his position before November, Mother Jones has acquired video from a private Romney fundraiser at which the candidate said of Obama supporters: There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. Ezra Klein puts aside the political ramifications and crunches the numbers about who does and doesn't pay income tax in America. The Romney camp responds to the leak.
Paul Ryan. Seven-term congressman for Wisconsin's 1st District. Chairman of the powerful House Budget Committee. Architect of the controversial Ryan Budget -- a "Path to Prosperity" [PDF - video - CBO] that would slash trillions from the federal budget, sharply curtail taxes on the wealthy, and transform Medicare into a private voucher system. Proponent (vid) -- and renouncer -- of Ayn Rand 's Objectivism. Social Security beneficiary. Hunter. Weinermobile driver. And as of this morning, the 2012 Republican candidate for Vice President of the United States of America. [more inside]
Want to see how much more you'd pay if Mitt Romney becomes President? The Tax Policy Center has published a report (pdf) saying that Romney's proposed tax plan would result in lighter taxes for the rich -- and a heavier tax burden for middle class taxpayers. The Obama campaign has been quick to provide the on-line app which is the first link above, for voters to calculate the difference for themselves. They've also released an ad, vetted as quite accurate, on the issue.
Mitt Romney's cousin explains the history of the GOP and Mormonism through twitter (and other interesting things)
Miles Kimball tells the history behind the Mormon church's close ties to the GOP through his twitter account. [more inside]
An analysis of nearly 1,700 public and private nonprofit colleges being unveiled this week by Bain & Company finds that one-third of the institutions have been on an “unsustainable financial path” in recent years, and an additional 28 percent are “at risk of slipping into an unsustainable condition.” Presenting thesustainableuniversity.com.
With the U.S. Presidential election about 3 months away, and voter ID laws headed to court this Wednesday in Pennsylvania and in other states like Texas and Minnesota, Propublica tells you Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Voter ID Laws. A solution to a nonproblem. [Previously] [more inside]
Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney just took his case to the NAACP. This satirical look at Mitt's prep session.
Earlier today, the Romney campaign released an app for showing support with pictures: "A Better Amercia. I'm with Mitt." (Note the typo.) There's now a Tumblr for people to show what Amercia means to them. Get the app and make your own!
"The national debate over private equity so far has hinged on the question of whether experience in the field qualifies Mitt Romney, the former Bain Capital executive, for the presidency. But a more vexing, and largely unanswered, question lies just beneath the surface: How is it, exactly, that an investment company can make millions even as the company it's ostensibly trying to turn around goes bust? For that answer, we turned to what may seem like a less-than-reliable source: Tony Soprano [NSFW: language]."
Inside the Actors Studio's James Lipton offers advice to Mitt Romney.
A Quantum Theory of Mitt Romney Does what it says on the package. With diagrams. (SLNYT)
The GOP’s woman problem is that it has a serious problem with women. Frank Rich on George Stephanopoulos's unanswered question, how the Republicans have shifted to being the party of misogyny since the 70s, and why Mitt Romney would be just as bad as Rick Santorum.
Rick Santorum released an anti-Romney ad in January that borrows ahem liberally from Apple's famous 1984 ad. Weirdly, it also copies Apple's second Super Bowl advertisement, Lemmings, which was viewed as insulting to its audience and became a legendary failure. (Via Ken Segall, a former creative director at Apple who writes, "Note to Rick: if you’re going to copy Apple’s marketing success, try not to copy its failure as well.")
Depressed/frightened/disheartened about the GOP primary race? Here's Bad Lip Reading doing Rick Santorum and the rest of the GOP roster: Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Perry. [more inside]
Inside Romney's Tax Returns: A Reading Guide. From ProPublica.
Last week, three founders of private equity fund The Carlyle Group shared a year's pay of $413M. They didn't do the private equity industry any favours as there has already been additional interest from the government for greater taxation of this elite subcategory of the 1%. [more inside]
google.com/elections [via] "Maybe the most interesting aspect of the site is the real-time dashboard, which displays recent search trends, Google News mentions and YouTube video views for all the candidates."
An awkward moment in politics. (YouTube) While campaigning in a New Hampshire diner, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney spotted local Bob Garon, a regular to the diner, eating his breakfast while wearing a Vietnam veteran's cap. “Vietnam veteran!” Romney greeted Bob, as he slid down onto the diner seat for a little chat. Unfortunately for Mitt, Bob was dining there that morning with his husband, and had to explain to Bob that his husband didn't deserve any of the benefits he fought for, and that the makers of the Constitution held marriage to be between a man and a woman. (Which doesn't really explain Mitt's great-grandfather Miles and his wives Hanna, Caroline, Catherine, Alice, and Emily, but stilll...)
Texas Governor and GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry is booked on all the major morning shows tomorrow, and with good reason. After two months of gaffes, impolitic stands, and bizarre speeches that quickly waned his once-strong odds of winning the Republican nomination, Perry went into Wednesday's CNBC debate sorely needing a win... only to deliver a tortuous, cringingly forgetful attempt [video] to recall just which three cabinet departments he'd vowed to abolish, a stunning failure political scientist Larry Sabato deemed "the most devastating moment of any modern primary debate" in his memory. While Perry's slow-motion flameout has boosted the fortunes of dark horse candidate Herman Cain, the unlikely challenger is facing troubles of his own in a volley of sexual harassment claims -- an oddly ineffective scandal Cain is doing his best to (somewhat dubiously) disavow. If Cain collapses, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich may reap the benefits, but his moribund campaign has issues of its own. Pawlenty, Bachmann, Perry, Christie, Cain, Gingrich... the base is loathe to rally round him, but after so many failed, flawed, or forfeited challenges, can anyone topple Mitt Romney?
This weekend, at a pizza restaurant in the liberal suburb of Arlington, Virginia, more than 50 people attended the first event held by the National Council for a New America - which is intended to "be a dynamic, forward-looking organization that will amplify the common-sense and wisdom of our fellow citizens through a grassroots dialogue with Republican leaders." The speakers included former presidential candidate Mitt Romney and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, who said, "This is not about messaging, this is not about branding. This is about trying to foster some discussion, because what's going on in Washington right now is not reflective of the mainstream of this country." [more inside]
An Oregon School for Troubled Teens Is Under Scrutiny (TIME) - Allegations at of abuse at the facility have been made for decades, and now it is being investigated by the state for the second time. Of course, abuse at private residential facilities for troubled teenagers is nothing new, but some female students at this school claim there was an additional, cruel twist: [more inside]
Michigan Democrats for Romney is an effort by mischievous Michigan Democrats to take advantage of the uncompetitive January 15th "beauty contest" primary on the Democratic side by encouraging Democratic voters to vote for Mitt Romney in the Republican primary so that Romney won't drop out of the primary race after making his last stand in Michigan. Similar hijinks by Michigan Republicans in 1972 led to George Wallace's victory in the Democratic presidential primary that year.
Laugh tracks making things funny: Friday the 13th | The L Word | Mitt Romney | Star Trek | The Wire | FOX News
Taking a cue from Doritos (Frito Lay) which sponsored a contest for a user-submitted video ad to be aired during Super Bowl XKL, Mitt Romney’s campaign decided to follow suit, challenging “…you to make his campaign’s new official TV advertisement...using images and materials supplied on the campaign website.” “An online vote will help determine the winner.” Folks create ads. Folks vote for their favorite ad. “Way! He'll Set America Straight” [video] (produced by Bruce Reed) garners more votes than the other top nine finalists combined. “[T]he campaign promised 10 finalists, but today it posted only nine...” Guess which one is missing? [more inside]
Get to know the real Mitt Romney. "Every man has a natural, and, in our country, a constitutional right to be a false prophet, as well as a true prophet," said Joseph Smith, and Romney is hedging his bets. Today, the Massachusetts Democratic Party launched a site to help you get better perspective on Mitt.
Off the air, when no one is listening, Mitt succinctly deals with the Mormon question. (Shameless YouTube FPP)