* Wow! Congressional Dems eyeing the improving economy are suddenly open to being seen in public with their own party’s president and are even willing to be associated with his record!
* Scott Brown may be leading Elizabeth Warren in some polls right now, but his Mitt Romney problem will only intensify as the presidential race heats up.
* The defeat of the Keystone measure in the Senate today is another sign Dems won’t buckle to GOP Keystone/jobs rhetoric on the project, even though the politics seems dicey for them.
* Ed Kilgore has a smart take on the “deft touch” Obama will need in order to get the public to appreciate the enormous difficulties he inherited without distracting from his case about the future.
* Right-leaning writer Jeffrey Anderson makes a good case against the Romney campaign’s claim of delegate math inevitability.
* Ted Strickland makes a good point to Sam Stein: Things will get a lot worse in Ohio for Romney when he gets hammered over that Swiss bank account and other things that passed unmentioned in the close primary.
* History lesson of the day: E.J. Dionne notes that Nixon’s 1968 formulation about the right’s skepticism of him perfectly captures Mitt Romney’s current slog: “They don’t like me, but they tolerate me.”
Nixon, of course, won.
* Democratic message testing finds that the birth control battle has the potential to move votes in battleground states — against Republicans.
* Obama ally Bill Burton takes a crack at debunking the right’s “crazy” equivalence between Rush Limbaugh and Bill Maher.
* From the not-observing-bipartisan-protocol department: Nancy Pelosi mocks the House GOP jobs bill, which passed today with broad support, as “meager and a “little king.”
* With the recall fight raging, the Scott Walker administration is touting the addition of jobs in January as proof his policies worked. Labor pushes back hard by pointing to the broader job-loss picture.
* A new Bloomberg poll finds that 64 percent of respondents, including a plurality of Republicans, support public employee bargaining rights.
Also: Seventy two percent view public employees favorably, another reminder that when it comes to national public opinion, the right’s effort to scapegoat them has utterly failed.
* Ilyse Hogue gives voice to female disappointment with Chellie Pingree’s decision not to run for Senate in a year in which women’s issues are front and center.
* This day in American politics: A candidate managed to win the Dem nomination in an Ohio Congressional race without campaigning, without spending any money, and without even once speaking in public.
* And your sorely needed Thursday comic relief: Joe the Plumber scoldes a reporter for asking him about his own previous claim that he wouldn’t let gays near his children. No end to the fake grievance...