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Monday's campaign round-up

02/27/12 12:00PM

Today's installment of campaign-related news items that won't necessarily generate a post of their own, but may be of interest to political observers:* Michigan's Republican presidential primary is tomorrow, and Public Policy Polling shows Mitt Romney leading Rick Santorum, 39% to 37%.* Arizona's primary is also tomorrow, and PPP shows it's likely to be a less competitive affair: Romney leads Santorum in the poll by 17 points.* A new Politico/George Washington University Battleground Poll shows President Obama leading each of the Republican candidates by double digits nationwide. read more

In his official portrait, Romney sits alongside his health care law, which he doesn't want to talk about.

The success story Romney doesn't want to talk about

02/27/12 11:13AM

It seems hard to believe now, but as recently as four or five years ago, Mitt Romney's successful health care reform initiative in Massachusetts was supposed to be his springboard to national office. It wasn't just his signature accomplishment as governor, it was a historic victory for Romney, giving him the kind of bragging rights few policymakers in either party could claim at the time.And why not? Romney's breakthrough achievement demonstrated his ability to tackle major policy challenges and work with members of both parties to pass a sensible, mainstream legislative milestone. read more

'There's nothing he's not willing to do'

02/27/12 10:46AM

The political world rarely offers examples of projection as perfect as this one.disgraced himself in the Abramoff scandal, complaining about anyone being ruthless is almost amusing.Reed did, after all, once describe his own campaign tactics this way: "I paint my face and travel at night. You don't know it's over until you're in a body bag."Is this guy really in a position to accuse others of being "mean and cynical"? read more

Santorum's recent speech at an "indoctrination mill."

Santorum warns of higher ed 'indoctrination'

02/27/12 10:11AM

When Rick Santorum argued recently against public education, he was largely referring to K-through-12 public schools. As it turns out, though, the Republican presidential hopeful doesn't like higher ed, either, insisting the other day that President Obama only wants to help young people go to college so they can undergo "indoctrination."On the president's efforts to boost college attendance, Santorum said, "I understand why Barack Obama wants to send every kid to college, because of their indoctrination mills, absolutely ... read more

Scott Brown, Elizabeth Warren, and contraception

Scott Brown, Elizabeth Warren, and contraception

02/27/12 09:32AM

It seems hard to believe that in 2012, access to contraception would be the issue driving a U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts, but here we are.Late last week, incumbent Sen. Scott Brown (R) and his main challenger, Elizabeth Warren (D), had competing op-eds on the policy dispute in the Boston Globe. Brown, who has struggled badly to understand the basics of the controversy, continues to be deeply confused.Most notably, Brown believes he has a trump card to play: his approach is the same as Ted Kennedy's. read more

What makes Santorum nauseous

What makes Santorum nauseous

02/27/12 08:41AM

In 1960, then-candidate John F. Kennedy spoke to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, and delivered one of the important speeches in American history on the role of religion in government. Kennedy, seeking to become the nation's first Roman Catholic president, eloquently explained the value of First Amendment principles.It seems foolish a half-century later, but there were widespread fears at the time that JFK would somehow be subservient to the pope. read more

Who among us has not befriended NASCAR team owners?

Who among us has not befriended NASCAR team owners?

02/27/12 08:00AM

Eight years ago, John Kerry was mocked relentlessly for this ham-fisted quote: "Who among us does not love NASCAR?" In reality, Kerry never said this -- Maureen Dowd made it up, and the media ran with it, losing sight of the joke -- but the wealthy Massachusetts politician was pilloried anyway. It was, his detractors said, illustrative of Kerry's detached elitism.Kerry's quote was bogus. read more

Morning Maddow: February 27

02/27/12 07:30AM

What makes Rick Santorum throw up? Separation of church and state.Mitt Romney, man of the NASCAR people owners.Michigan's delegate count is complicated.Romney's "trees are the right height": a literary reference?More Fort Hood soldiers with kids are going on relief.The Army identifies the remains of the last soldier listed as missing in Iraq.Impoverished West Virginia community makes DIY solar panels (hint: they're not made of coal). (h/t: Balloon Juice)This year's nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize.The best tweet re: the Oscars. read more

Rachel Maddow at the Steinbeck Center

02/25/12 09:17PM

Rachel flew out to California this afternoon, to San Jose where the Steinbeck Center is honoring her with a Steinbeck Award. Even though this is a sold-out ticketed event, the Steinbeck folks were nice enough to share a live stream with us.The event is scheduled to get started at 7:30 p.m. California time, so 10:30 p.m. ET, and run an hour and a half. I'm not sure what the format is. I get the impression it's an interview with Rachel. If you miss the live webcast, we're going to try to take the recording of this event and upload it to the video server. read more

Faux-cus: For the love of Cindy Sherman

Faux-cus: For the love of Cindy Sherman

02/25/12 11:11AM

For decades the great Cindy Sherman has photographed herself in a dizzying variety of costumes, moods and sensibilities.Snooty society matron? Check. Naïve ingénue? Check. Nightmare-inducing circus clown? Check again and again and again.Sherman's amazing new retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York runs from this Sunday until June 11.In all her photos the question that bleeds through is, who am I? What makes Sherman's work so essential is that it also demands the more troubling question, who are we? read more

Details on Fayetteville's parade to honor Iraq war vets

Details on Fayetteville's parade to honor Iraq war vets

02/24/12 10:07PM

'Ride to Freedom' to honor Iraq War veterans"Ride to Freedom" convoy on FacebookG.O.T.D.A.D. (organizing non-profit group) events page"The convoy, symbolic of the last convoys out of Iraq, will cover eight miles - from the John D. Fuller Recreation Center on Old Bunce Road to the Airborne & Special Operations Museum on Bragg Boulevard."****NOTE: That purple line is just Google directions from the two end points. Check with the event contacts for route details. read more

Pic: 'Show is exact'

Pic: 'Show is exact'

02/24/12 08:41PM

Director Rob just sent this from the control room -- it means we have the right amount of show, not too long, not too short, perfect to the second, on the dot. This never happens, ever. "Like the tree height in Michigan!" someone wrote on our Facebook page. read more