Tales from the Trail

Washington Extra – Dimon jubilee

Jamie Dimon managed to turn a multibillion-dollar trading loss into a winning moment.

The CEO of JPMorgan came sailing into the Senate office building this morning with a smile, and gave a pitch-perfect performance in explaining how a small group of traders in its London office screwed up a hedging strategy so badly that they lost at least $2 billion.

Dimon was apologetic, but not groveling. He stood his ground, but was not combative. He gave the impression he was an open book, but managed to give precious few details about how much the trading loss has grown.

He came off as so in-control that senators asked HIM for advice about how Washington should police Wall Street.

Investors gave Dimon rave reviews, sending the shares up 1.5 percent while the overall bank stock index closed down for the day.

Pro-Obama super PAC, labor group launch $4 million Spanish ad campaign

A super PAC supporting Barack Obama’s re-election campaign and the nation’s largest health care and property services labor union on Monday launched a Spanish language television advertisement campaign highlighting “working Latinos’ reactions” to certain statements presumptive nominee Mitt Romney has made on the campaign trail.

The $4 million campaign, “Mitt Romney: En Sus Propias Palabras” (Mitt Romney: In His Own Words), is billed by Priorities USA Action and the Service Employees International Union as one of “the largest ever independent Spanish-language campaigns” and will run on TV and radio in Colorado, Nevada, and Florida.

The Nevada ad features Romney describing himself as “unemployed” as he seeks to oust the incumbent Democrat Obama from the White House in the general election in November.

Romney getting more confident in race against Obama

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is sounding increasingly more confident about his chances against President Barack Obama after a week of big fund-raising numbers and what his campaign feels are mistakes made by the Democratic side.

“There’s some shot that I might get elected president. There’s more than a good shot,” Romney told a Main Street Cafe roundtable of farm business leaders on Friday in western Iowa.

His reasons for optimism include outdueling the Obama fund-raising juggernaut in May, bringing in nearly $77 million to the Democrats’ $60 million, and a two-day Texas swing this week that brought in $15 million, money that will be vital in paying for televisions ads.

Will Election 2012 be another Florida 2000?

 

The 2008 U.S. presidential election was the first in 12 years in which large numbers of Americans did not believe the result was unfairly influenced by the machinations of politically biased state election officials. But it was also the first in a dozen years that was not close, as Democrat Barack Obama cruised to a blowout victory over Republican John McCain.

With 2012 shaping up to be another tight contest, experts say controversy is likely this year, especially given that 33 of the 50 state election authorities are led by partisan politicians, who are free to work for candidates’ campaigns. 

“People don’t pay attention to problems of partisanship until it’s too late,” said Richard Hasen, an elections law specialist at the University of California-Irvine.

President Obama speaks about the U.S. and European economies

President Obama will speak about the U.S. economy and the situation in Europe at 10:15am ET on Friday.

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Census info at your fingertips

 

Just in time for summer election stories – the Census Bureau released an interactive Web page showing graphs and percentages of adults who voted and registered in every congressional and presidential election between 1996 and 2010.

In addition to graphs showing voting and registration trends over the period, users can get specific data on voting by age, sex, education and race.

Statistics come from the Current Population Survey.

Graphic credit: Reuters/Stephen Culp

Obama campaign TV spot hits Romney as governor

As President Barack Obama and presumptive nominee Mitt Romney hit up big-money donors on both coasts on Monday, their respective allies waged a public relations blitz to deride each other’s message.

The Obama campaign announced a television advertisement, which can be viewed here, that slammed Romney’s record as Governor of Massachusetts, saying he cut taxes for millionaires, outsourced call center jobs to India, and left the state saddled with debt.

The ad, called “Heard it Before,” cost the campaign approximately $10 million, and is on the air in nine battleground states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, the campaign said.

Obama campaign targets Romney’s record as governor

President Obama’s reelection campaign on Friday released another video bashing Mitt Romney for his record in job creation as governor of Massachusetts.

The video mash-up pulls together footage of his former rivals for the Republican nomination — Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Rick Perry, as well as John McCain in 2008 — each of whom is shown criticizing Romney for Massachussetts’ rate of job creation and tax increases during his term as governor.

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It follows a longer video, released on Thursday, that mines archival footage for video of Romney, during his 2002 run for governor, promising to use his experience in the private sector to improve the economy in Massachusetts, then contrasts it with a series of former and current state officials who say he didn’t follow through on his promises.

Romney offers donors chance to “Dine with the Donald”

Barack Obama’s re-election campaign has raised millions of dollars by auctioning off dinners with the president, first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, former President Bill Clinton and Hollywood stars – and Democratic supporters – George Clooney and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Now his rival Mitt Romney is getting into the act with some Republican celebrity love – offering the chance to “Dine with the Donald,” that is, Donald Trump — and Mitt — to anyone who donates $3 or more.

“Jets owner Woody Johnson recently previewed a rival event to the George Clooney one that President Obama’s campaign did, and this appears to be it – a raffle for a dinner with Mitt Romney and Donald Trump,” Politico reported on Thursday.

Obama campaign launches voter drive around gay marriage

President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, looking to tap support for the president’s embrace of same-sex marriage, launched a voter drive in key electoral states on Wednesday, saying a Mitt Romney presidency would be the “ultimate deal breaker” for proponents of “marriage equality.”

The campaign’s effort to mobilize lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender voters and those who back their rights to wed is called “Obama Pride: LGBT Americans For Obama” and will combine on-the-ground operations in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Nevada, and Florida with an enhanced digital footprint.

“The President fights for our equality because he believes we are equal. Mitt Romney would fight against our equality because he believes we do not deserve it,” said Joe Solmonese, an Obama campaign co-chair and president of the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group. “We can not afford to go back.”