The health-care law which shall not be named is starting to get mentioned.HuffPost:
Twice today, Mitt Romney?s campaign has cited the health-care law he signed as Massachusetts governor ? seeking credit for something it took pains to explain away during the Republican primary race.
Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul, responding to a harsh new super PAC ad featuring a man who blames Bain Capital for his uninsured wife?s death, broke new ground for the campaign by praising Romney?s health insurance mandate.
So, it's come to this. Today, a spokeswoman for Mitt Romney responded to an attack ad disseminated by a super PAC supporting President Barack Obama. The ad was a controversial broadside, worthy of a response. The spokeswoman spoke against the ad with conviction. She offered a counter argument that was precise and logical and fair. The spokeswoman cleanly invoked her candidate's greatest legislative achievement, in an eminently reasonable way, in her candidate's defense.USA Today:
And that spokeswoman's response is being hailed as one of the 2012 campaign season's most collossal cock-ups.
Conservatives were up in arms on Wednesday after an attempt by Mitt Romney's spokeswoman to defend the candidate against a negative ad seemed to turn into a tacit endorsement of the Affordable Care Act.AFP:
Oops? Romney aide defends health care reformMark Blumenthal on the latest Colorado NYT/CBS/Q-poll:
The demographic composition of Quinnipiac's Colorado poll points either to the big challenges the Obama campaign faces mobilizing its base, a random skew in this particular poll's sampling, or perhaps a little of both. In 2008, a CNN network exit poll identified 13 percent of the state's voters as Latino, whereas the new Quinnipiac poll finds just 9 percent of likely voters to be Latino. Hispanic voters prefer Obama over Romney in the new poll by a 68 percent to 28 percent margin -- slightly better than in the 2008 exit poll -- but their lesser representation in the new poll may indicate less enthusiasm about voting than four years ago.Greg Sargent on the latest hard-hitting Bain ad:
Similarly, voters under the age of 44 made up nearly half (47 percent) of Colorado's 2008 electorate according to the exit poll, but those younger voters make up just 29 percent of likely voters in the new Quinnipiac poll. These differences may be indicative of lower enthusiasm or turnout among younger voters, or it may be a random skew among the likely voters in this particular poll.
The larger story here is this: Even if this ad makes unsupportable charges ? and even if you think there?s nothing objectionable about Bain?s conduct ? the ad dramatizes a larger story about what has happened to the middle class in this country. There is a straightfoward difference of opinion between the two candidates over how to respond to this ? over the degree to which the federal government should intervene to protect people like Ms. Soptic. Obama believes in aggressive federal action to cushion the blow of market outcomes like the one that hit the Soptic family with such force. Romney ? even though his campaign has now said universal health care is the right answer in cases like hers ? is promising to roll back government protections for families like theirs. Whatever you think of the ad, that's the more important larger argument to be having here ? and it has been clarified this week.Michael Kinsley:
The Romney camp's reaction to all this, beyond accusations that Obama is calling their man a murderer, beggars belief. A spokeswoman said, "If people had been in Massachusetts, under Gov. Romney's healthcare plan, they would have had healthcare." Until now, Romney himself has refused to endorse his own plan in retrospect, except to say that it is unique to Massachusetts and what works in one state may not work in another. Famously, his Massachusetts plan includes the requirement that everybody purchase insurance, with help for those who can't afford it. This is the essence of Obama's plan, to which Romney now deeply objects.Nate Silver on the Veepstakes:
And ? crowning absurdity ? in Israel last week, Romney praised the Israeli healthcare system, noting that it costs just 8% of Israel's GDP while ours costs 18% of a much larger GDP. He said we should try to learn from it. Excellent point.
How does Israel do it? Single-payer ? essentially a government-run program.
Then again, even the top-ranking candidates only changed the Electoral College outcome 2 percent of the time, other things being equal. Is that really worth it to Mr. Romney?Probably not if the candidate comes with other disadvantages, since vice-presidential nominees can fall flat when they venture beyond their home turf. Sarah Palin was extremely popular in Alaska when John McCain named her as his running mate in 2008, for instance, but something was lost in translation when she hit the national stage. Thus, the home-state effect is more a good tiebreaker between two otherwise-equal candidates than something that should govern Mr. Romney?s decision.Still, the election is close enough that these marginal effects could matter ? and an extra point for Mr. Romney in Ohio or Virginia would be awfully nice for him right now.Since Portman, Pawlenty and Ryan are the short list, anything else would be a surprise. But not necessarily in a good way. Put it this way: Portman? Yawn. Not Portman? Desperate.
Jason Dempsey on vet voting preferences:
Among the youngest service members and veterans in the survey, those ages 18 to 25, there is nearly an even split in party identification with 36 percent identifying themselves as Democrats and 41 percent as Republicans. The advantage is still obviously to the Republican Party, but the gap is significantly closer among the young than it is with older veterans, who average a 30 percent to 48 percent split between Democrats and Republicans, respectively. However, when IPSOS/Reuters asked respondents who they would vote for if the election were held today, the gap in vote preference for the youngest generation of service members and veterans closes even further, with 39 percent and 40 percent choosing Obama and Romney, respectively. Romney's greatest levels of support were found among older veterans, in keeping with Gallup's analysis.