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Should the United States fund the service program AmeriCorps? President Obama would increase its budget. Rep. Paul Ryan would eliminate federal funding for the program.

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Posted at 03:19 PM ET, 07/11/2012

Don’t wait, announce the VP

One last thought on the Romney VP selection. I am convinced that an early announcement of the nominee is preferable to waiting.  I’m undeterred by Carter’s post, even though I don’t really disagree with anything he said. But the way that Carter describes the unfolding acts of a successful campaign as resembling a play is often only apparent in hindsight, representing a storyline that is imposed after we know the outcome of the campaign. 

Mitt Romney isn't going to achieve a crisp narrative for his campaign. He will just be the acceptable alternative in the event people decide they just don't want to vote for more of the same.

Romney needs a more robust campaign effort — the short-term lift and the effective surrogate work that a VP nominee can offer.  Between the usual summer doldrums and the Olympics, the campaigns are going to face a period of obscurity that can lead to mistakes and gaffes filling the news void, rather than affirmative, orchestrated messages. 

The next best chance to launch the Romney campaign will be at the Republican convention.  The team should be intact well before then so that the ticket can sprint out of Tampa.  It’s unrealistic to think Romney is going to give himself much clear definition during the remaining mid-to-late-summer weeks, especially while the defining story for his campaign today is that of his wealth, bank accounts, etc.  As I said on Monday, that problem is going to be managed, not solved; and it doesn’t appear that management has started. 

By  |  03:19 PM ET, 07/11/2012

 
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