* Jonathan Cohn nails it. The central question about the dead steelworker’s wife should be this: What would have happened if she could have turned to the Affordable Care Act?
Be sure to read Cohn’s answer, which is anything but clear cut, and also his conclusion about the central policy dispute her case dramatizes.
* Cryin’ uncle on Bain? The First Read crew has Romney on record calling for “an agreement between both campaigns“ to stop any attacks “based upon business or family or taxes or things of that nature.”
In response, First Read helpfully reminds us that Romney has pointed to his business career “as one of his chief qualifications to be president.”
* HuffPo’s Sabrina Saddiqui sums it up nicely:
Mitt Romney appears to be seeking an agreement with the Obama campaign to remove his business record from the conversation, a sign that the repeated attacks on his tenure at private equity firm Bain Capital may be getting under the presumptive Republican presidential candidate’s skin.
The Dem strategy all along has been to leave Romney with nothing left about himself to talk about.
* If it’s Friday, it’s time for Steve Benen’s regular installment of Romney’s most glaring falsehoods and distortion of the week. Does it mean something that Volume 29 weighed in at 29 items?
* Speaking of which, Priorities USA Action keeps it up with another spot hitting Romney and Bain, though this one stops short of any incendiary insinuations.
* Paul Krugman on how everything about the Romney campaign is about “faking it,” and hoping the rubes don’t notice.
* Nice Matt Miller post debunking all the reflexive anti-stimulus talking points by pointing out that the stimulus didn’t create zero Hoover Dams — it created 12 of them.
* Primal scream of the day: Romney has lost the battle to define himself; he’s John Kerry redux; and the dastardly Dem strategy to raise questions about Romney’s background may amount to successful “voter supression!”
* National Review offers the alternative perspective: “Don’t panic.” This is an interesting nugget:
Romney’s principal argument is that the economy is weak, and therefore President Obama has failed. Blaming the weak economy on Obama has two political defects. First, it underestimates the public’s willingness to cut him slack because he inherited an economic crisis. Second, implying that all would be well if Obama’s policies were rolled back lends credence to the Obama campaign’s relentless attack on Romney as the second coming of George W. Bush. Better for Romney to acknowledge that we have had some long-building problems in addition to ones of more recent creation, and to pledge to fix them.
But this would require Romney to make the race about himself and his own policy alternatives, rather than hoping for nothing more than a referendum on Obama.
* Markos Moulitsas deflates the Romney camp’s promises of a convention bump, noting Romney’s historic unpopularity and the unusually early hardening of voter opinion. (fixed)
* And Alec MacGillis is good on, well, let’s go straight to the headline: “Romney passes welfare queen card to Scott Brown.”