Ninety-seven GOP House members have written to President Obama opposing his possible choice of U. N. Ambassador Susan Rice to be the next Secretary of State because of Benghazi and her now-infamous talking points. Only the Senate gets to vote on the nomination, and so far only John McCain and Lindsey “Butters” Graham have said they would filibuster a Rice nomination.
Having chosen Sarah Palin as his Veep, I think Johnny Mac is forever barred from calling anyone “unqualified.” He obviously didn’t recognize “unqualified” when it showed up at his ranch winking at him and flashing a little cleavage.
Politico is reporting* that Chris Christie was Mitt’s first choice for Veep, but that Mitt delayed announcing his choice and changed his mind either during or immediately after his disastrous trip to Europe and Israel.
The story is based on unnamed “campaign insiders.” The fact that Mitt’s people are talking about this now, rather than, oh, maybe on Wednesday, tells me that they know they’ve lost. The wheels came off the McCain campaign at the end too.
* “Exclusive: Christie was Mitt’s first choice for VP,” Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei
From “Why I’m Not Buying the Romney Rally,” Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight, NYT:
“What if we did include a vice-presidential bounce adjustment?
“If so, it would probably be calculated as follows: since the average vice-presidential announcement has produced a four-point bounce in the polls, subtract four points from any poll conducted in between the naming of the running mate and the party convention. In other words, we’d subtract four points from Mr. Romney’s numbers since he named Mr. Ryan on Saturday.
“If I do that and run the model again, it has a rather pessimistic forecast for Mr. Romney — giving him just a 24 percent chance of winning the Electoral College, rather than 31.3 percent as in the official version.
“The intuition behind this is simply that, under this theory, it’s a bad sign for Mr. Romney that Mr. Ryan has produced a below-average bounce so far. Among the polls that allow for a direct comparison, Mr. Romney has gained an average of about one percentage point since his selection of Mr. Ryan.” Emphasis added.
Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen has been chosen to play Paul Ryan in Joe Biden’s debate prep. Van Hollen is the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee (Ryan is the Chairman), and he knows how Ryan thinks and what he will say. He knows the important numbers to plant in Biden’s head. He knows what buttons to push and which to avoid.
Ed Klein is claiming that Obama aide Valerie Jarrett offered Hillary the veep spot to replace Biden and that Hillary turned it down. Klein is the author of a pretty thin Obama-bashing book, TheAmateur.
“Paul Ryan, in his ongoing evolution from active supporter to newfound critic of the Affordable Care Act’s $716 billion in Medicare savings, now claims he actually opposed the cuts before he embraced them (and then turned against them again later).
“The confusing new wrinkle is the latest example of Ryan’s awkward contortions as he tries to reconcile the Romney campaign’s new promise to restore the $716 billion in cuts with Ryan’s previous decision to include the same exact cuts in two Republican budgets he wrote.
“On Thursday, Ryan tried to square the circle with reporters, explaining that he tried to reverse the cuts by voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but restored them in his own budgets anyway.
“So the score now stands at: Ryan says he wouldn’t have cut Medicare. Then Obama made those cuts. Then Ryan voted to reverse them. Then he decided to bring them back in the Republican budget. Now he opposes them and thinks they hurt seniors.”
When you’re explaining, you’re losing, and Romney/Ryan are sure spending a lot of time ‘splaining.
From “Choice of Ryan Shifts the Focus From Economy,” Jeff Zeleny, NYT:
“The Romney campaign is taking pains to track down and quash any criticism in Republican circles about any potential downsides of Mr. Ryan on the ticket, including that the campaign debate over Medicare is fraught with risk for other candidates in the party.
“Interviews wit nearly a dozen Republicans on Congressional and Senate campaigns said in near unison that they worried that the economic focus of the race had been overshadowed.”
Um, Mitt, even if you “track down and quash” negative GOP stuff, there’s this other party called the Democrats that’s not too fond of you and your little Ryan too, and they’re not going to shut up until your concession speech.