Romney: Health care is going to be one of, if not the, defining issue of the 2012 general election. It is just too intertwined with the economy not to be. The issue is not going to fade away. And as Politico notes today, if there is one thing everyone in Washington agrees on, from The Wall Street Journal editorial page to the Center for American Progress, it is that Romneycare and Obamacare are virtually identical.
This means that every time Mitt Romney opens his mouth to defend Romneycare he is providing the White House footage for another general election campaign ad defending Obamacare. His new health care plan may be great. But no one will care as long as he keeps defending his old one. The Wall Street Journal, again, sums up Romney’s problem: “Mr. Romney says that Massachusetts was “a state solution to a state problem” and that the other laboratories of democracy should also be allowed to run their own experiments free of Obamacare’s controls. But if Massachusetts is the triumph that Mr. Romney claimed yesterday, well, what’s the problem with Washington exporting the same successful model? If an individual mandate to purchase health insurance was indispensable in the Bay State, as Mr. Romney argued, why isn’t it necessary in every other state too?”
Daniels: No real news came out of last night’s Indiana state Republican Party dinner. Cheri Daniels gave a well-received speech, but offered no insight into which way she is leaning. If anything, Mitch threw cold water on the possibility of a run telling Jonathan Martin, “You ought not underestimate the fact that there’s not one woman involved – there’s five,” referring to Daniels four daughters.
The reason for his families hesitation has been amply demonstrated this week with the Indianapolis Star, New York Times, AP, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post, all doing profiles of the Daniels family, including his divorce and remarriage to Cheri. The Post reported that a rival campaign even offered up contact info for the other man’s ex-wife. Daniels potential rivals clearly want the Daniels family to know that the primary will be every bit as dirty as they think it could be.
Meanwhile, CBS News reports that if Daniels should run, he has an impressive list of endorsements lined up including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. CBS also reports that former First Lady Laura Bush has called Cheri personally with support.
NY 26: The RNC has now sunk $260,260 worth of broadcast advertising in the Rochester and Buffalo markets in support of Republican Jane Corwin. The DCCC also has bought $250,000 worth of television time. Corwin also has her own ad up linking her Democratic challenger with former House Speaker and current Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
Debt limit: A new Gallup poll shows American oppose raising the debt limit 47 percent to 19 percent. Among Republicans its 70 – 8. Among independents, 46 to 15. Only Democrats favor raising the limit and then by only a 33 to 26 margin.
Campaign Finance: The New York Times picks up on a story recently mentioned by Ben Smith about the IRS’s new enforcement of the gift tax on donations to 501c4s. The IRS swears the new enforcement is not politically motivated, but the timing, when considered with Obama’s draft DISCLOSE Act executive order, is suspect.