Steve Kornacki: Doubt there's much let-up on Bain. My sense is they see a natural link between that and the Ryan budget that they'll want to exploit. The idea is: these are exactly the kinds of governing priorities that a profits-crazed corporate raider who lives a pampered top-1 percent lifestyle free from the pain of the Great Recession would have. If anything, I'd say they think the Ryan stuff fleshes out the Romney narrative they're pushing.
Steve Kornacki: In Poland ... I dunno, he has a penchant for making awkward small talk and cracking weird jokes when he's forced into informal conversations. Maybe they're just telling him to avoid trying to make any good-natured Polish jokes.
The way Walker approached collective bargaining, the ideological and political motives were obvious. He wanted to sap unions of their electoral clout and delegitimize then. Cuomo's being tough with unions, but he also communicates with them and frames what he's doing as purely budget-driven. He's signaling a basic level of respect that Walker never did, and obviously he gets some benefit of the doubt just from his party label.(2)
Doveman's Thomas Bartlett inaugurates a new season of the Burgundy Sessions, perhaps the mellowest musical salon in town
Doveman is essentially Thomas Bartlett, 30, and a rotating group of collaborators from across the spectrum of New York performers. Typically a background player, he's played alongside The National, David Byrne, and Antony, but on his own through these salons, surrounded by talented colleagues, he's developed a tidy following. He organized the series in an attempt to re-create similar salons he'd held Chelsea. Since these semi-monthly shows at LPR began last year, they’ve gotten attention from the media for their intimate and impromptu nature.
Steve Kornacki: The broader issue here is that Rush is a perfect stand-in for the entire Obama-era Republican Party base—a restive, purity-obsessed and fanatically anti-Obama group that Romney is a poor stylistic match for. And they're watching him like a hawk. That's the difference between how the G.O.P. base has responded to Obama and how it's responded to previous Democratic presidents.
Steve Kornacki: I don't think we're seeing a preview of the fall at all, in that in a Romney/Obama general there won't be a meaningful financial disparity, the attack ads will come in roughly equal numbers and intensity from each side, and the effect will be a wash—I doubt the ads will win or lose the election. Mainly, each candidate will be spending on them to prevent the other one from gaining an advantage. And I think that's true even if the pro-Romney super PAC ends up with, say, tens of millions more than Obama's. As long as each side reaches a basic threshold, my sense is there's not going to be a direct relationship between how many more dollars one raises and how many more votes that candidate gets.
Steve Kornacki: I'll go crazy if I hear anyone else point out that each contest was non-binding and that no actual delegates were awarded. The exact same thing was true in Iowa, where a non-binding presidential-preference vote was held in conjunction with precinct-delegate selection (the first step in a multi-step process that will ultimately create Iowa's convention delegation). That's exactly what Minnesota and Colorado were. So if you're going to dismiss what happened in those states on the grounds that no delegates were directly rewarded, you better not have made a big deal about the Iowa results.
Steve: I'm kind of torn on what to make of him as a general-election candidate. Part of me thinks that even with the reputation for flip-flopping/evasiveness and all of the top-one-percent moments, he'll still basically function as a generic Republican candidate—that is, his deficiencies won't be severe enough to scare away swing voters who want to throw out Obama and are looking for a vehicle. In other words, sure, there'll be plenty of instances where he's clearly and painfully ducking questions and coming off as completely insincere, but it just won't offend people enough to turn on him.
Steve Kornacki: Well, he'll never be at a loss for words the way Cain was the other day. Ask him a question about anything and he'll plow ahead with an authoritative-sounding answer. The content is different from Christie's, obviously—with Newt it's always grand, world-historical stuff—and he's liable to contradict himself over and over again. But I think there's a lot of superficial appeal to his style, and when he gets caught in an inconsistency, he'll never admit it and will instead crank the confidence up a few notches. He can talk his way into a lot of trouble, but he can probably talk his way out of it sometimes too.(1)
Steve Kornacki: Well, she's really embraced Occupy Wall Street, which is probably a good move, since the G.O.P. was going to try to link it to her anyway. At least this way she can try to do it on her terms. And it makes for a really interesting dynamic, because you have the G.O.P. trying to foment cultural resentment against O.W.S. (and, by extension, Warren). But if anyone in politics is capable of making the case behind the movement in a way that resonates with middle class swing voters, I think it's her. I've really been impressed (and surprised) by what a compelling communicator she is. I'm starting to think of her as the Democrats' Chris Christie.(1)
Perry (supposedly) was going to be the G.O.P's white knight: someone who could bond with the party base the way Bachmann can but who is savvy enough about it that he doesn't get caricatured as a crazy. But the sounds we're hearing now from the elites suggest that Perry, in their view, is close to becoming just another Bachmann, and not someone they can rally around.
This is what threatening violence against the Fed chairman will do.
It's got to be a rough moment for anyone who's spent the last few years making the case that the last thing the country should be doing now is cutting spending. So just seeing a deal that does that—with no revenue component, no new effort at stimulus, etc.—is, unsurpisingly, maddening for him.
But it can't really be a shock that it came to this. It's not like that kind of Keynesian agenda has been on the radar in D.C. since 11/10 (or earlier). We have a Tea Party Congress now, and this is what you get with a Tea party Congress.