The Washington Post

Morning Bits

President Obama’s bin Laden bounce doesn’t change the public’s view on his economic stewardship. “In the days after Barack Obama ordered the successful mission to kill Osama bin Laden, the president’s approval rating on foreign policy issues reached an all-time high, even as public opinion regarding his handling of the economy sunk to the lowest point of his administration, according to a new NBC News poll. The survey shows a mixed picture for Obama, whose overall job-approval rating was bumped higher by a modest three points after the al-Qaida leader’s death was announced late Sunday.”

Democrats who hope for an easy reelection are misguided, says Peter Wehner. “Unemployment is at 9.0 percent. We’re about 7 million jobs short of where things stood when Obama took office. Economic growth in the first quarter was 1.8 percent. Housing prices have fallen for 57 consecutive months. Only one in three Americans approve of the way Obama is handling the economy, the lowest point since he took office, and nearly eight in 10 American are less optimistic about the economy than they were a few months ago. . . . [I]f a year from now the economy is more or less in the same condition as it was two years ago, last year, and what it is now Obama will be the easiest incumbent to beat since 1980. It’s not impossible for Republicans to lose such an election, but it would be mighty hard.” On the other hand, if any party can lose to Obama it’s the GOP.

What a change an election makes. “House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) offered cautious support Tuesday for the idea of adopting further means-testing of Medicare and Social Security to help shore up the finances of both programs. But the devil, he said, will be in the details.”

Democrats better hope the voters don’t really care about the debt after all. “House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Democrat Sen. Charles E. Schumer’s ‘hometown of New York City’ does not think that Congress needs to increase the nation’s borrowing capability by July 15, the front end of the window in which the nation will reach its borrowing limit. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) struck a similar tone in telling a group of Wall Street players in New York Monday that there is no firm deadline for raising the debt limit. . . . The GOP has been building its debt ceiling message this week. On Monday, House Republicans laid down the marker that the debt ceiling needs to be offset by spending cuts of a greater magnitude — a plan they held back until financial markets closed Monday.”

We’ll see if Mitt Romney can change the “RomneyCare = ObamaCare” narrative in a speech at the University of Michigan’s Cardiovascular Center, “where he’ll outline a plan to ‘repeal and replace ObamaCare’ — and try to fundamentally change a conversation that forces him to explain, over and over again, how the law he enacted as governor of Massachusetts is different from the national one President Barack Obama pushed through Congress. The speech, a Romney campaign adviser said, will be aimed at changing that — and shifting to ‘a conversation about what he’s going to do going forward rather than what he’s done in the past.’ ” Haven’t we seen this plea for historical amnesia from this candidate before?

Obama must be hoping Hispanic voters haven’t noticed that he’s not introduced an immigration plan of his own. “His speech [in El Paso yesterday] within sight of the Mexican border was heavy with political overtones for 2012 and beyond, as Mr. Obama sought to reassure increasingly frustrated Latino voters of his commitment to liberalizing immigration laws as a moral and economic imperative, and to blame ‘border security first’ Republicans for his inability to deliver on that promise. . . . But Mr. Obama’s first visit to the Mexican border as president underscored a tension over his immigration record that colors his re-election prospects: His boasts of strengthening border security wins him no credit among Republicans and only alienates many Latino voters so long as he cannot deliver on his campaign promise to them — a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million of immigrants already here illegally.”

So when will the Obama administration change its position and stop funding the unity government? “A new Palestinian government will be created in 10 days, senior Fatah member Nabil Shaath said Tuesday,” according to the [Palestinian news agency] Ma’an.”

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.


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