Morning Examiner: The audacity of hypocrisy

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

Taken by itself, President Obama’s decision to ask donors to give money to his Super PAC, Priorities USA, could be interpreted as a pragmatic decision by a principled reformer. That is certainly how his campaign manager, Jim Messina, portrayed the decision at The Huffington Post: “With so much at stake, we can’t allow for two sets of rules in this election whereby the Republican nominee is the beneficiary of unlimited spending and Democrats unilaterally disarm.”

But Obama has now been in politics long enough that he has a track record of actions we can check his rhetoric against. And the two don’t match.

Just look at the very beginning of Obama’s political career, when Obama operatives challenged hundreds of nominating petition signatures for longtime progressive activist Alice Palmer, eventually disqualifying her from the ballot. So much for Obama’s commitment to ballot access.

Then, during his presidential campaign against John McCain, Obama promised: 1) to stay within the public financing system; 2) not to run negative ads; and 3) not take money from lobbyists. Obama broke his word on all three. When it gives him a political advantage, like abandoning the public financing system in 2008, Obama has no problem operating under “two sets of rules” in an election.

The only real mystery is where Obama summons the audacity to wonder why cynicism has only increased in this country under his leadership.

Campaign 2012
Santorum: Rick Santorum is winning Public Policy Polling surveys in both Minnesota and Missouri today, and has eclipsed Newt Gingrich in Colorado where he is now running second to Mitt Romney. But the Republican National Committee reminded everyone that no actual delegates are at stake today.

Obama: President Obama’s reelection campaign returned $200,000 in donations to the family of a casino magnate who was seeking a pardon from Obama for his fraud and drug trafficking charges.

Around the Bigs
The Wall Street Journal, Budget Plan Has Familiar Ring: The budget President Obama is expected to release next week will look much like the outline he produced in September, which called for at least $1.5 trillion in tax hikes.

The Washington Post, Unemployment drop still leaves low skill workers behind: If the unemployment rate counted the 2.8 million people who want jobs but have stopped looking, it would sit at 9.9 percent rather than its current 8.3 percent.

The Washington Post, Congressional earmarks sometimes used to fund projects near lawmakers’ properties: According to a Washington Post investigation, 33 members of Congress have directed more than $300 million in earmarks and other spending provisions to dozens of public projects that are next to or within about two miles of the lawmakers’ own property.

USA Today, ‘Halftime in America’ ad pleases White House: President Obama’s top reelection officials immediately endorsed Chrysler’s Super Bowl ad, which celebrated the auto companies bailout.

Los Angeles Times, Fisker lays off workers, wants to renegotiate federal loan: Fisker Automotive, the hybrid car manufacturer who received a $529 million loan guarantee from Obama’s stimulus, has laid of 66 workers and is trying to renegotiate its loan.

USA Today, U.S. House has fewer moderate Democrats: The moderate Blue Dog Democrat caucus shrunk from 50 to 26 after the 2010 election and, thanks to retirements, will shrink to at least 24 next year.

Righty Playbook
National Review‘s Rich Lowry notes that his readers prefer Rick Santorum to Newt Gingrich as an alternative to Mitt Romney by a margin of four-to-one.

The Weekly Standard‘s John McCormack notes that neither the the New York Times, the Washington Post, nor the network news reported how many abortions Planned Parenthood performs a year (it is about 300,000.

RedState‘s Moe Lane reviews Sean Trende’s The Lost Majority.

Lefty Playbook
The New Republic‘s Jonathan Cohn details how taxpayers already pay for birth control.

President Obama’s reelection campaign released a new chart on private sector job creation.

Talking Points Memo reports that former Rep. Pete Hoekstra is already losing Asian-American Republican endorsements, thanks to Super Bowl ad featuring a Chinese woman speaking broken English.

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