President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign manager Jim Messina sent out a video to Obama supporters last month urging: “We ought not to act like an incumbent. We ought to act like an insurgent campaign.” That’s a nice sentiment for the rank-and-file to believe in, but as today’s front-page of the The Washington Post shows, that is not the way Obama’s senior staff view it. According to The Post, Obama and his top aides are leveraging every White House resource possible for political purposes, right down to the White House chef. The Post story comes just weeks after an Obama campaign memo directed White House staff to give top donors access and special treatment. It will be tough for Obama to sell himself as an insurgent this time around; especially if Republicans keep reminding voters that Obama “owns this economy.”
Around the Bigs
The Washington Post, President Waging a Charm Offensive: President Obama and his top aides are using the White House as a tool to win over bundlers for the president’s 2012 reelection campaign. The Obama administration is offering up access to top West Wing officials and even food tastings with the White House chef. The use of the White House is not limited to wooing big-dollar donors either. National Review‘s Jim Geraghty notes that Obama taped a video from the White House asking supporters to sign up for a chance to win a dinner with the President.
The Washington Examiner, Obama joins talks over budget, debt: President Obama began his personal involvement in the debt hike talks yesterday, meeting separately with both Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. The White House claims that Obama has dropped efforts at undoing the Bush tax rates and is instead asking for increased revenues from other places in the tax code including higher rates for oil companies, corporate jet purchases, and hedge fund managers
Bloomberg, Consumer Spending in U.S. Unexpectedly Stagnated in May as Prices Climbed: According to the Commerce Department, consumer spending fell 0.1 percent in May, the weakest growth since June 2010. The contraction in spending managed to underperform even the weak 0.1 percent gain forecast by economists Bloomberg surveyed.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Two probes opened into Bradley claim: Two separate agencies are now investigating Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley’s claim that she was assaulted by fellow Justice David Prosser.The incident allegedly took place in Bradley’s chambers earlier this month during heated deliberation’s over Gov. Scott Walker’s government union busting bill. The Dane County Sheriff’s Office launched its investigation Monday. The Judicial Commission, which oversees the state’s judicial ethics code, started investigating Friday but did not acknowledge the case until Monday.
The New York Times, A Congressman’s Pet Project; a Railroad’s Boon: Despite a $1.2 billion price tag, Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., is doing everything he can to secure federal funds for a rail line that will serve only 2,150 commuters a day. The Times reports that Mica’s real goal may be to score $432 million in taxpayer money for freight rail giant and Mica contributor CSX. “His dedication to SunRail is not for mass transit — it is for helping CSX to get government funds for its private freight lines,” Republican State Senator Paula Dockery told the Times.
Bachmann: Rep. Michele Bachmann’s, R-Minn., official campaign announcement in Waterloo, Iowa ended up being dominated by a serial killer yesterday. In a taped interview, Bachmann told Fox News: “Well what I want them to know is just like, John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa. That’s the kind of spirit that I have, too.”
But a Washington Times reader then pointed out that John Wayne was not born in Waterloo, but John Wayne Gacy began his criminal career there. The movie star Wayne was actually born 150 miles west in Winterset, Iowa.
The Bachmann campaign then produced evidence that John Wayne’s parents did meet in Waterloo, but the damage was already done. Fox News was running with the headline: Bachmann Misspeaks While Noting Her Hawkeye Roots
Cain: Former-Godfather Pizza CEO Herman Cain lost two top staffers yesterday including his New Hampshire state director, Matt Murphy. Murphy reported left because of the campaign’s lack of investment in the state.
Pawlenty: Former-Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will give a speech this morning to the Council of Foreign Relation in New York City. From teh prepared remarks: “History repeatedly warns us that in the long run, weakness in foreign policy costs us and our children much more than we’ll save in a budget line item. America already has one political party devoted to decline, retrenchment, and withdrawal; it does not need a second one.”
Bill Bennett went after Fox News’ Chris Wallace for his “Are you a flake?” question to Michele Bachmann yesterday. The Corner‘s Kathryn Jean Lopez quotes: “It’s time for Chris Wallace to go. There’s just too much. He couldn’t defend himself against Jon Stewart. He couldn’t do anything when Bill Clinton was poking his finger on him. . . . He can’t defend Fox. I can defend Fox better than Chris Wallace does.”
Red State‘s Erick Erickson reiterates his support for Sen. Jim DeMint’s, R-S.C., Cut Cap and Balance Pledge: “The real problem Republican Leaders have is that they just got burned with flaking out on their own pledge. They promised $100 billion in cuts, folded like a cheap suit under the slightest pressure, and now, instead of growing a spine and keeping their promises, have just decided to stop making any promises. … Conservatives need to take note of this and up the ante dramatically. I think the Cut, Cap, Balance Pledge is great and strong, but I want conservatives who support it to pledge additionally to beat the hell out of any Republican who does not cut, cap, and balance before raising the debt ceiling.”
Mother Jones reports that the Obama administration has found a way to enact the DREAM Act without passing the law itself. In a June 17th memo, Immigration and Customs Enforcement director John Morton issued a memo advising ICE officials to use “prosecutorial discretion” and not deport immigrants who “have strong community ties to the country.”
Firedoglake‘s David Dayen argues that if Dems agree to any Medicare benefits cuts as part of a debt limit deal, it will “amount to a get out of jail free card for Republicans.”