Today a pair of leading Republicans—and potential presidential contenders for 2016—offered some indications that the party might actually have a conversation about its future that goes beyond nominating Marco Rubio and grudgingly submitting to immigration reform. In interviews with Politico, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky had some bracing things to say about the GOP’s failures and future—though only one of them (guess which?) suggested anything more than an image makeover.
Apparently we don’t need to wait five days to find out who’ll be president for the next four years. All we need to do is check out, say, The Boston Herald, for a headline confidently proclaiming: “Romney set to win, maybe by a mile.” Or National Review Online, where we learn that “the size of Romney’s victory could be the biggest surprise of all.” Or The Wall Street Journal, where that most disinterested of political observers, Karl Rove, proclaims: “It comes down to numbers. And in the final days of this presidential race, from polling data to early voting, they favor Mitt Romney.” Then there’s The Hill, where Dick Morris prophecies, “Here comes the landslide.” And if we still have any lingering doubts—or fanciful hopes for President Obama—they will be shattered by UnSkewedPolls.com, which has “The Updated Definitive Projection of the race: Romney wins 54 percent and 359 EVs.”
Last Thursday evening, President Obama raised a tidy $1.4 million for his re-election campaign at a private Washington fundraiser hosted by a lesbian couple from Chicago. The event inspired an unusually tart headline at ABC News: “Obama, No Same-Sex Marriage Supporter, Solicits Cash at Home of Lesbian Couple.” But the apparent contradiction came as little surprise to the LGBT community, which has seen the president tap the “gay-TM” freely and frequently while he continues to oppose marriage equality. The fundraising efforts have been stepped up in 2012, with Obama touting the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and his administration’s refusal to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court as reason enough for LGBT donors to keep giving.
If it weren’t bad enough that he’s become the face of leveraged buyouts, Mitt Romney is facing another fresh challenge in the next three primary and caucus states. As Arthur Delaney points out at Huffington Post, the first two states to vote for a GOP nominee have weathered the recession relatively well—a boon for the laissez-faire front-runner. It’s a different story in the next three: South Carolina and Florida, with 9.9 percent and 10 percent unemployment respectively, and Nevada, which tops the country in both unemployment (13 percent) and foreclosures (one of every 16 homes in 2011).
Nothing gets Mitt Romney more animated on the campaign trail than inveighing against President Obama’s penchant for wealth-redistribution. The president wants to “substitute envy for ambition and poison the American spirit by pitting one American against another and engaging in class warfare,” as Romney put it earlier this week in Des Moines. But as the non-partisan Tax Policy Center reported yesterday, the former Massachusetts governor is waging his own brand of class warfare. Romney’s plan would save a middle-income American about $1,400 a year—and lighten a 1 percenter's tax load by $171,000.