* Obama team places its bet on 2012: The first thing you should watch this morning is this harsh new Web video from the Obama-allied Priorities USA Action. It paints a very lurid picture of “Mitt Romney’s America,” and it provides the clearest clues yet as to what kind of campaign Obama and outside groups will run against him if he’s the nominee.
Romney’s corporate background, as well as that infamous Bain picture, get top billing, and are tied to the allegation that Romney’s policies would be a boon to corporations while decimating the middle class. Obama advisers and allies intend to paint an extremely vivid and even frightening picture of what Romney’s desire to roll back Obama’s post-Bush reforms would mean for the economy, the country, and the future. Beyond his pro-corporate policies, the feeling on the Obama team is that Romney’s corporate past is an unexplored and potentially serious liability, particularly amid the intense anti-Wall Street sentiment that seems to be on the rise.
This video helps clarify the nature of the bet that Obama and his allies are placing on the mood of the country. They are wagering that resurgent populism and anger at Wall Street will still figure heavily in shaping the political atmosphere a year from now. Contrary to the conventional wisdom that Romney’s turnaround whiz kid routine will hold appeal amid the bad economy, they are betting that the charged atmosphere will ensure that this is exactly the wrong political moment for someone with Romney’s profile.
* Romney as corporate raider: Relatedly, Ruth Marcus has more on the Obama team’s game plan, which includes
the planned depiction of Romney as the fat cat from Bain Capital, the heartless management consultant who bought companies, stripped their assets and sent their jobs to China.
Also: The fact that Romney pays lower tax rates than middle class taxpayers because of income from investments will ultimately be key to this argument, since tax fairness will be central to the 2012 campaign.
* Herman Cain’s mess gets worse: The New York Times scoops that one of Cain’s accusers received a $35,000 settlement from the National Restaurant Association after complaining about an encounter with Cain.
One key nugget to keep an eye on: With the other accuser’s lawyer now demanding that the Association release her client from a bond of confidentiality so she can tell her side of the story, Cain is refusing to say whether he’ll ask the Association to comply with that request.
* Accuser’s lawyer says Cain is lying: Relatedly, a key quote from that second accuser’s attorney: “to the extent he’s made statements that he never sexually harassed anyone, and there was no validity to these complaints, that’s certainly not true with respect to my client’s complaints.”
* Nope, no Republicans will vote for infrastructure spending: It looks like the Senate vote on the big infrastructure/jobs bill is set for Thursday, and that no Republicans will vote for it. A handful of Dems may defect, too.
This, even though Senate Republicans have repeatedly supported the idea of infrastructure spending in the past as necessary for the economy and the country’s future.
Will it annoy anyone if I again point to that study showing that the millionaire surtax to pay for this bill would impact 1/500th of Americans, and that they would pay on average an additional 1/217th of their incomes?
* A Dem who’s standing up for the majority of his constituents: As noted here yesterday, Senator Jon Tester will vote Yes on cloture on the infrastructure bill.
Joan McCarter: “Thanks, Senator Tester for standing up for the majority of your constituents this time around. One down, two or three to go.”
* White House pushes comparison of Obama and GOP jobs plans: The White House is out with a new chart detailing the argument that according to experts, the Obama jobs plan would create jobs, and the GOP jobs plan, you know, wouldn’t. (Link fixed.)
Totally irrelevant footnote: You’re not supposed to say this sort of thing, but that claim — that some leading economists believe only one of the two jobs plans would actually create jobs in the short term — happens to be true.
Obama is set to appear today before a bridge in Georgetown to renew his push for the new infrastructure/jobs bill.
* Public deeply frustrated with our institutions: The new Post/ABC poll finds the Democratic Party’s favorable rating at 48 percent — below 50 percent for the first time in over 20 years. But the GOP is faring worse, with a rating of 40-53. And majorities across the board support the idea of a third party challenge.
I continue to think that rising anger with our public and private sector institutions for failing us has left public opinion far more volatile and in flux than we can appreciate right now, with unforeseeable consequences.
* Obama’s approval edges up: Quinnipiac finds Obama’s approval at 47-49, a net 12 point swing from a month ago, when it stood at 41-55. Key nugget: This is driven by a boost in support among two groups he’s struggled badly among — whites, and men:
The question is whether this is the beginning of a sustained recovery or just a blip. Also: Combine these findings with the above numbers on the political parties, and you see why Team Obama is running against Congress so aggressively for its failure to act on the economic crisis.
* Mitt Romney’s team expects a long, hard primary: Real Clear Politics’s Scott Conroy takes a look at the GOP primary battle for New Hampshire, a state that’s central to Romney’s strategy, and sees signs that Romney’s conserving resources in the expectation that the primary may well last far beyond the early states and deep into unknown territory.
* And the fun fact of the day: I was hoping someone would attempt this, and Zaid Jilani went ahead and crunched the numbers:
The Median Net Worth Of A Member Of Congress Is Five Times Higher Than The Median American Household
What else is happening?