Poll of Polls
As well as being mocked in the British media, Romney is currently also being mocked in the US media over his visit to the London Olympics. He has booked six “photo opportunities” but is giving no speeches or holding no press conferences. This feeds the claim that he is an aloof, out of touch, and secretive candidate who tries to control press access to an unusual degree.
A NASTY BATCH OF CLIPS IN BOSTON THIS MORNING-
UNHELPFUL HEADLINES BACK HOME: The Associated Press suggests papers run with "Romney goes to Europe, causes international stir" (http://apne.ws/LU6gQc). Reuters: "Romney high-profile trip abroad off to rocky start" (http://reut.rs/N1dG54). New York Times: "Romney Fund-Raisers in London Draw Banking Crowd" (http://nyti.ms/OQEvIW). Los Angeles Times: "Romney mum on foreign policy after meeting with Britain's Cameron" ( http://lat.ms/PPThnM). National Journal: "Romney Won't Publicly Discuss Foreign Policy in London" (http://bit.ly/SWZzSF). Washington Post's Suzi Parker: "Romney: Showing gold medal tone deafness in London" (http://wapo.st/N7tgv6). ABC: "Romney Practices Personal Diplomacy Over Olympics Security Comment" (http://abcn.ws/MOBjB6). NBC : "Romney compliments Olympic preparation after tizzy in British press" (http://nbcnews.to/NxY0eA). CNN: "Romney's Olympics false start" (http://bit.ly/O44Y78). Yahoo: "Romney ad with Olympic footage goes dark on YouTube" (http://yhoo.it/O0WfoT). Even the banner headline on the Drudge report is STILL "Romney questions if Brits are ready."
IT'S EVEN WORSE ABROAD. The Guardian: "Romney's Olympics blunder stuns No 10 and hands gift to Obama" (http://bit.ly/N7sA8Y). Daily Mail: "Romney forced to backtrack after questioning Britain's ability to host Olympics on his first foreign visit" (http://bit.ly/QNaU99). The Times of London: "Romney casts doubt on London 2012 preparations." Daily Telegraph: "David Cameron rejects Mitt Romney's suggestion Britain is not ready" ( http://bit.ly/OQHX6g; http://bit.ly/LRutLI) and "Romney's Olympics gaffe overshadows visit to London" (http://bit.ly/MOAIzv).
HE DISCLOSED SECRET MI6 MEETING: The Guardian says he faux-pauxed by telling reporters outside 10 Downing St. that he met with the head of the country's intelligence service. "For our American readership, this isn't like bragging you just met David Petraeus. The British take on the national secret intelligence service comes with an extra-heavy dollop of the whole secret thing." Guardian: http://bit.ly/PCqItl. Wall Street Journal: "Romney's Not-So-Secret Meeting With MI6" (http://on.wsj.com/N7txhH ). CBS: "Did Romney break cone of silence?" (http://cbsn.ws/MaQJBP).
HE PLEDGES RETURN OF CHURCHILL BUST TO OVAL OFFICE: Obama caused a stir when he sent it back to the UK in 2009. "You live here, you see the sites day in and day out, but for me as I drive past the sculpture of Winston Churchill and see that great sculpture next to Westminster Abbey and Parliament and with him larger than life, enormous heft of that sculpture suggesting the scale of the grandeur and the greatness of the man, it tugs at the heart strings to remember the kind of example that was led by Winston Churchill,' Romney told donors gathered at the Mandarin Oriental hotel. http://nbcnews.to/P5peng
Analysis: Romney Abroad: Candidate Obama Did It Better in 2008
Mitt Romney's clumsy start to his overseas trip is shaping up as a stark contrast to candidate Barack Obama's tour of the Middle East and Europe in July 2008, when he managed to strike perfect pitch at press conferences and in visits with foreign leaders, as National Journal's Caren Bohan writes.
Cook Report: Romney’s Anchor
Why isn't Mitt Romney ahead? Low personal approval seems to be preventing him from fully capitalizing on the sluggish economy as National Journal's Charlie Cook writes.
YESTERDAY'S MOST UNDERREPORTED STORY-DEBATE FORMATS ANNOUNCED: The Commission on Presidential Debates announced the formats for the three Romney-Obama meetings this fall. Of the three 90-minute sessions: October 3 (in Denver) will focus on DOMESTIC issues. October 16 (in Hampstead, N.Y.) will be a TOWN HALL format with questions from undecided voters. October 22 (in Boca Raton) will be about FOREIGN issues. The one vice presidential debate, on October 11 in Kentucky, will focus on both domestic and foreign issues.
WHY THIS MATTERS: In a shockingly static race, with few truly undecided voters, there are just not that many moments for either side to move the needle. If Romney goes boring in choosing a VP, as expected, it won't shift the dynamic of the race. The convention offers an opportunity for a bounce, but those are increasingly a relic. Thus the unscripted debates could matter even more than usual this year.
WHAT THIS MEANS: Romney would seem to have a natural edge when the focus is on domestic issues, based on polling and knowing his comfort zone during interviews. By virtue of being commander-in-chief, and looking at the polls, you'd expect Obama would have an edge on discussions of foreign matters. He killed Osama, after all. On the other hand, incumbents must defend the status quo. Think Gerald Ford saying there's no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe or George Bush defending the war in Iraq. He has kept Gitmo open, and he must defend an increasingly unpopular presence in Afghanistan. Obama might have a natural advantage when it comes to fielding questions from regular people. Based on the location, you can expect a gun question or two at the first debate. But you'll definitely get a bunch about taxes (including at least one on why Romney hasn't released more tax returns, assuming he won't). In the third debate, Romney's challenge will be to connect what's happening overseas to the weak economy - but we've seen him do it. It's hard to imagine the first debate not generating a broader discussion about the role of government, which both candidates would seem eager to want.
ROMNEY HAS PRACTICE: Both sides agree the president is a gifted orator, but he has not debated in a political setting like this since October 15, 2008. Romney debated his Republican primary opponents 19 times this cycle. Though that frustrated Boston at the time, it was valuable prep.
MODERATORS WON'T BE SELECTED UNTIL NEXT MONTH: They get to pick the questions for the first and third debates, which is one of the reasons they matter so much. Gwen Ifill has moderated the last two vice presidential debates, but Carole Simpson was the last woman to moderate a presidential debate (in 1992!). So there's understandably some pressure on the Commission from that angle. The 2008 moderators were Jim Lehrer, Tom Brokaw and Bob Schieffer. Here's the commission press release: http://politi.co/OlcSeF.
POTUS PUSHES GUN CONTROL IN NEW ORLEANS: "With the last public event of a four-day trip that started with a visit to the Aurora, Colo., hospital where almost two dozen victims were brought after the shootings, Obama said he supports measures to conduct background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, fugitives and the mentally ill," Darren Samuelsohn reports. "These steps shouldn't be controversial, they should be common sense," he told the National Urban League conference. Obama's remarks in the Big Easy about guns were the most extensive of his term, going farther than what he said after the 2011 shooting in Tucson...White House aides have acknowledged new gun laws are still politically impossible in the current election-year climate, but Obama's comments suggest he's at least willing to talk about the issue. "I - like most Americans - believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual the right to bear arms," Obama said. "I think we recognize the traditions of gun ownership passed on from generation to generation, that hunting and shooting are part of a cherished national heritage. "But I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers and not in the hands of crooks. They belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities," he added. http://politi.co/QJJ7Xj
MITT REITERATES OPPOSITION TO GUN CONTROL: "Well, this person shouldn't have had any kind of weapons and bombs and other devices and it was illegal for him to have many of those things already. But he had them,' Romney told NBC's Brian Williams. 'And so we can sometimes hope that just changing the law will make all bad things go away. It won't. Changing the heart of the American people may well be what's essential, to improve the lots of the American people.' http://nbcnews.to/SVG1hs
AP CONCLUDES ROMNEY-BAIN CONTACTS OUTLASTED EXIT: " Romney has said he had no active role in Bain Capital, the private equity firm he founded, after he exited in February 1999 to take over Salt Lake City's Winter Olympics bid. But according to Bain associates and others familiar with Romney's actions at the time, he stayed in regular contact with his partners over the following months, tending to his partnership interests and negotiating his separation from the company," Stephen Braun and Jack Gillum report. "Those familiar with Romney's discussions with his Bain partners said the contacts included several meetings in Boston, the company's home base, but were limited to matters that did not affect the firm's investments or other management decisions. Yet Romney continued to oversee his partnership stakes even as he disengaged from the firm, personally signing or approving a series of corporate and legal documents through the spring of 2001, according to financial reports reviewed by The Associated Press." http://bit.ly/ML2Zad
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politi...=nl_pmpoliticsThe limousine ride from the White House last week took five minutes, delivering President Obama to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel near L’Enfant Plaza at 5:49 p.m. Waiting for him were about two-dozen donors, who had paid a minimum of $60,000 each for a private “roundtable” that included presidential comments followed by a Q&A.
By 6:48 p.m., Obama was back at the White House, headed toward the Oval Office. The estimated haul: at least $1.5 million, to be divided among his reelection campaign, the Democratic National Committee and several state parties.
For rate of return on candidate time, that’s pretty sweet.
Money moves through Washington like blood through arteries, and never more so than during election season. For Obama, that means leveraging his advantage as the candidate whose day job is in the heart of downtown.
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...0500-1,00.htmlFareed Zakaria in Time on Mitt Romney's foreign policy pitch Zakaria systematically takes down Mitt Romney's central arguments against President Obama's foreign policy. "Romney's principal charge against Obama is that he has angered America's allies and emboldened its enemies," Zakaria says. Surveys show that Obama remains quite popular in Great Britain, Czech Republic, and even Poland, where conservatives say he's greatly disappointed the people. Meanwhile, his approval is lower in China and the Arab world, which pretty much flips the idea that he's "emboldened" rivals and "angered" allies. "Mitt Romney is a smart man who has had much professional success. But even Republican insiders have admitted to me that he has been strangely amateurish on foreign policy," Zakaria says.
LIGHTER CLICKS -
THE PRESIDENT wants and will get a mobile device allowing him access to his daily intelligence briefing, which lets him click on a link to get more background material: http://aol.it/QkUAh7.
FRED ARMISEN, of SNL fame, did an Obama impression in an audio interview with Willamette Week: http://bit.ly/MYWFIH.
JON STEWART attacked the GOP and Fox News for taking "You didn't build that" out of context: http://bit.ly/NL1l7p.
RICH WILLIAMSON, a Romney foreign policy advisor, referred to Russia as the Soviet Union during a Brookings panel yesterday. Video from the Obama campaign: http://bit.ly/NKRJJJ.
LAURA BUSH tells Jon Karl her husband makes an easy target as she explains why they're skipping the RNC. The fun part of this ABC interview is about President and Mrs. Bush's recent trip to Africa. Jon's package includes great video of 43 painting a women's health clinic-he is covered with paint and Laura is perfectly neat: http://yhoo.it/QkXGBB.
JON AND MARY KAYE HUNTSMAN will get an award from Equality Utah for their public support of civil unions: http://bit.ly/PLXkSb.
CODA - QUOTE OF THE DAY: "You told me you were not available." - Mitt Romney response when Brian Williams asked him about reports he was looking for an "incredibly boring white guy" to be his vice president http://lat.ms/P2Skne