Tales from the Trail

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.

“By almost every measure Governor Romney’s jobs record in Massachusetts was undistinguished and yet he positions himself as a job creator,” said Obama campaign senior adviser David Axelrod in a conference call with reporters to discuss the ad.

Axelrod said the Romney campaign exhibits “breathtaking hypocrisy” when it criticizes Obama for net job losses since he took office and then seeks to exclude from scrutiny early portions of Romney’s gubernatorial record because he inherited a tough economic situation. “We are going to hold him to the same standard they’ve held us,” Axelrod said.

Obama to middle class: Who loves you?

The middle class is back.

Amid the din of Republican cries of class warfare, the Occupy Wall Street movement and a fresh economic report that America’s rich are getting much, much richer, one phrase punctuated weekend remarks from President Barack Obama and his campaign strategists: the middle class.

As the Democratic president struggles to reconnect with his base — liberals, black Americans and younger voters — he is taking up the middle class mantra to target the crucial voting bloc.

This weekend there was no escaping who the Obama team’s message was aimed at.

Washington Extra – Imagine

To look ahead, sometimes it’s necessary to look back.

OBAMA/In January, President Barack Obama said in an interview with ABC News: “I’d rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president.” At that time, his signature domestic issue, healthcare reform, had been dealt a setback with the election of Republican Scott Brown to the Senate seat long held by the late Edward Kennedy, and some senators were balking at approving Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke for a second term.

Bernanke got confirmed in late January and healthcare reform passed in March.

An outsider looking at the current hand-wringing on Capitol Hill over extending tax cuts could be forgiven for thinking the issue is on a razor’s edge, when in fact it is highly likely that Obama’s compromise with the Republicans will pass in some form. Vice President Joe Biden, the president’s arm-twister on this issue, has been up on the Hill talking to reluctant Democrats and in the end will likely have the votes.

“I expect everybody to examine it carefully. When they do, I think they’re going to feel confident that, in fact, this is the right course — while understanding that for the next two years we’re going to have a big debate about taxes and we’re going to have a big debate about the budget and we’re going to have a big debate about deficits,” Obama said.

Does Obama’s healthcare victory point to future legislative strategy?

OBAMA/

When President Barack Obama signed healthcare reform into law today, was he also endorsing the preferred White House strategy for legislation to come?

After months of political wrangling and face-reddening rhetoric all around, Obama’s sweeping overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system became reality without a single Republican voting for it.

Democrats say that’s because the Republicans want to render Obama’s presidency a failure. They point to a recently published account of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s strategic game plan to deny Democrats any support on big legislation.

What will be in Obama’s Christmas stocking?

The last thing Republicans want to see this Christmas is the U.S. Senate giving President Barack Obama a nicely wrapped package of health care reform legislation.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele made that plain today. He hopes the Senate will be a lousy Santa who leaves nothing in Obama’s Christmas stocking.BRITAIN

“I hope so. I really do,” he told NBC’s Today show.

Steele says that’s because the American public doesn’t want the kind of healthcare legislation that Senate Democratic leaders have been talking about lately.

The First Draft: White House vs. Fox News

In case you’ve not been paying attention, the White House is feuding with Fox News.

In the latest salvo, President Obama’s senior political adviser David Axelrod told ABC’s “This Week” that Fox’s programming “is not really news” but “pushing a point of view.”

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel echoed those remarks on CNN’s “State of the Union” program Sunday, saying Fox “is not a news organization so much as it has a perspective.”

Battle of the mustaches in the Obama administration

In every U.S. president’s administration, there is always some kind of in-fighting that spills out into the public domain and now a battle royale is shaping up between President Barack Obama’s senior adviser David Axelrod and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.USA/

The two are set to duke it out over who has done the most to contribute to the Mustached American way of life — and no, it’s not the contest of who has the best mustache (Ax might just win that between the two of them if that were the case).

“Axelrod and I both went to Stuyvesant high school in New York and I got an alumni magazine or print out or something that showed us mustache-less in high school,USA/” Holder said.

Obama meets on No. 2 pick: Kaine? Biden? Bayh?

WASHINGTON – With the clock ticking on his hunt for a running mate, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama spent nearly three hours on Monday meeting with his vice presidential search team and campaign advisers.obama-mon.jpg

Obama visited the downtown office of Eric Holder, a former deputy attorney general who is leading the process of researching and analyzing potential vice presidential picks, and emerged with little to say.

Asked by reporters who he met with, Obama replied: “Some guys.” As he got into his car, he asked reporters how they were doing then told them: “Get back on the bus.”

Did Rush help Hillary in Indiana?

DALLAS – Has Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton improbably emerged as the favorite of the “Guns and God” crowd?

The U.S. media and blogosphere has been ablaze with speculation that conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh may have contributed to Clinton’s narrow victory in Tuesday’s Indiana primary over Barack Obama by urging Republicans to vote for the former Guns and God favorite?first lady.

The speculation is that the “Rush for Hillary” is seen as a way to extend the Democratic nomination battle and further damage the eventual winner.