This week, Mitt Romney joined the pantheon of presidential candidates who have vowed to show up Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 100-day marathon legislation-passing session. But those first 100 days look pretty different depending on which swing state you're in. In ads in North Carolina, Iowa, and Virginia, Romney announces that his first priority is repealing Obamacare—no surprise given that 46 percent of North Carolina residents think Congress was wrong to pass it. No mention of Obamacare in Ohio, though. In this ad, Romney’s first priority is getting the Rust Belt rocking and rolling again. The Virginia ad makes a passing reference to offshore drilling and the Iowa ad mentions the deficit. Taken together, Romney’s different promises fill up the first few weeks of his hypothetical presidency pretty quickly. And given past presidents’ poor track record of following up on their 100 days campaign promises, the likelihood that Romney would cross off even a fraction of his to-do list is pretty slim.
These ads are already being interpreted by some news outlets as a sign that “a very one-size-fits-all [campaign] is beginning to tailor its message.” But don’t be fooled. This is classic Mitt Romney, telling his disparate audiences whatever they want to hear all the while staving off the realization that his real plans—which no one is truly certain about—might not be the most swing-state friendly. Just because Romney’s ideas haven’t reached the ambitious heights of Newt Gingrich’s waylaid Day One doesn’t make them any more achievable—or a sign that his campaign has turned a new leaf.
So They Say
"Your speaker from yesterday has a different view. In a speech he said that when he makes a promise, he’ll keep it. Well, he has promised to veto the DREAM Act. And we should take him at his word … I’m just sayin’."
—Barack Obama, speaking about his opponent to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials ... without ever mentioning him by name
Daily Meme: The Bain Mutiny
- The Washington Post had a news cycle-driving scoop today on firms that Bain invested in while Romney was in charge—and sent jobs overseas.
- For example, Bain "was the largest shareholder in a company called Modus Media, which 'specialized in helping companies outsource their manufacturing.'"
- David Axelrod quickly asserted that this was a "significant moment in this campaign."
- The Romney camp's response? "This is a fundamentally flawed story that does not differentiate between domestic outsourcing versus offshoring nor versus work done overseas to support U.S. exports."
- Josh Marshall: "I think if you’re making this argument you’re not having a good day."
- Alex Seitz-Wald: "Why the Obama team is so eager to push this message is obvious: Outsourcing sells."
- Jamelle Bouie: "I’m not sure that this will win Obama any votes, but if used well, it could keep disaffected whites from coming to Romney’s side."
What We're Writing
- Jamelle Bouie describes how President Obama has the support of a substantial majority of Latino voters in several swing states.
- Paul Waldman writes that we shouldn't use Romney's business record to predict what he'd do as president.
What We're Reading
- Alec MacGillis looks at why rich liberals aren't donating to super PACs.
- One election-specific amendment in the Farm Bill? Say good-bye to public funds for party conventions.
- John Cook's guide to all the conservative talking points on Fast and Furious.
- Reince Priebus says super PACs aren't hurting the Republican National Committee's fundraising efforts.
- Dan Amira made some graphs about the presidential race—including forecast model's of Tim Pawlenty's veepstakes buzz.
- Jake Tapper is unimpressed by Aaron Sorkin's new show, The Newsroom.
- Dahlia Lithwick reminds us of the questions that the Supreme Court is addressing about the Affordable Care Act while we wait for the decision.
Poll of the Day
A new poll from Associated Press-GfK finds that while public opinion hasn't shifted significantly on the issue of gay marriage, more liberals support President Obama's handling of the issue since he publicly endorsed gay marriage last month. Forty-eight percent of those identifying as liberal "strongly" approve of the president's stance, up from only 28 percent a year ago. Republicans display the opposite trend, with 53 percent of Republican respondents saying they strongly disapprove of the president's handling of gay marriage, up from 45 percent.