THE UNGRATEFUL PRESIDENT
BY MAUREEN DOWD
NEW YORK TIMES
Obama smashed through all the barriers and dysfunction in his life to become a self-made, self-narrating president. His brash 2008 campaign invented a new blueprint to upend the Democratic establishment. So it’s understandable if Obama, with his Shaker aesthetic, is not inclined to play by the rococo rules of politics. Yet, as the president struggles to stay ahead of Moneybags Romney, his selective insensitivities may be hurting him. Stories abound of big donors who stopped giving as much or working as hard because Obama never reached out, either with a Clinton-esque warm bath of attention or Romney-esque weekend love fests… Care and feeding has been outsourced to Joe Biden, who loves it, but it doesn’t build the same kind of loyalty as when the president does it.
CHRISTIE, RUBIO AND RYAN
BY ROSS DOUTHAT
NEW YORK TIMES
Christie is a very different kind of figure than either Ryan or Rubio. He’s an executive who’s made his name by moving a Democratic state rightward, rather than a legislator famous for eloquent and/or wonkish defenses of conservative principles and policy goals on the national stage. His style is more combative (or bullying, if you prefer) then theirs, but his substance is more moderate… By inviting Rubio or Ryan to join his ticket, Romney would be picking a relatively ideological figure, and betting that they could woo swing voters with their smarts and charisma. By choosing Christie, he’d be taking more of a stylistic risk — what plays in Jersey might not play in Peoria… But he’d be choosing the running mate with perhaps the best claim of any finalist…to real crossover appeal.
BY DANA MILBANK
Romney and Bain followed the rules of the game, and the business grew, so all’s fair. That may have been true, at least in the short run, but it gets at Romney’s larger problem with Bain and his personal income taxes: The question is not whether he did well, or whether he did it legally, but whether he did it with any sense of ethics. Romney almost certainly didn’t break the law by putting his money in Switzerland or the Bahamas, or by paying an income tax rate of 15 percent. He didn’t necessarily break any laws by creating a $100 million 401(k). The question is whether such things are fair, or whether Romney has exploited a system that allows rich people like him to get richer at the expense of less wealthy taxpayers… Of more concern is that, as president, Romney would further expand the advantages of fellow rich people.
REID AND ROMNEY’S SAD SQUABBLE
If [Senator Reid] has any proof, he owes it to Mr. Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, to put it on the record, now. Otherwise, Mr. Reid ought to pause and reflect on the record of another senator who once claimed to have a list of Communists and spies at the State Department — and could not substantiate it. Mr. Reid’s smear tactics are not unlike those of Joseph McCarthy and deserve equal condemnation. Even in the attenuated and superficial climate of today’s politics, Mr. Reid’s drive-by tactics repel. If he feels so strongly about disclosure, why hasn’t Mr. Reid made public his own tax returns? No need, he says, the Senate financial disclosure is sufficient.