Morning Examiner: Silly season is here

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

There may be some major surprises between now and November that will end up affecting how Americans vote. But the question of whom Obama slept with 30-years ago, whom Mitt Romney’s foreign policy spokesman is sleeping with today,and what Ann Romney is wearing, are not the questions that will be on Americans’ minds. Still, those three stories are eating up most of the free-media bandwidth this week.

Politico reports that David Maraniss’ new book, Barack Obama: The Story, is causing major “fretting” in the White House since the details it reveals “threaten” the “narrative” Obama created about himself in Dreams of My Father. Some of those details splashed on Drudge yesterday, including the fact that Obama’s “New York girlfriend” was actually a composite of two women, now named in the book.
Obama disclosed up front that many of the characters in his “non-fiction” account of his life were composites, but having each one actually identified, and their stories told, will eat away at the Obama myth bite by bite.

Not that Romney got off easy yesterday. Cable news and The New York Times are still eating away at the pre-start date resignation of Romney foreign policy spokesman Richard Grenell. Whether Grenell was forced out because of unprofessional tweets or from pressure from social conservatives is somewhat irrelevant. The first explanation makes his team look incompetent and the second makes them look weak, bigoted, or both.

And then there is the mainstream media’s continued assault on Ann Romney. This time it was ABC News running with a story that the shirt Ann wore on CBS This Morning this week cost $1,000. Good to know how the network news teams or deploying their journalistic resources this fall.

The real big story yesterday, and tomorrow, is the apparent continued softening of the job market. ADP estimated that the U.S. economy added just 119,000 jobs in April — the lowest total in seven months. Tomorrow, the Labor Department will release their job growth estimate and a new unemployment number. That data is a way bigger threat to Obama than anything in Maraniss’ book.

Campaign 2012
Romney: The Huffington Post reports that Mitt Romney met with “several dozen” conservative journalists for two hours yesterday in Washington, DC. The purpose of the off the record meeting was “sort of an olive branch to conservative media,” an attendee told HuffPo.

Gingrich: Newt Gingrich officially ended his campaign and endorsed Mitt Romney yesterday. He ends his run more than $4 million in debt.

Florida: A new Quinnipiac poll shows Romney leading Obama by one point in Florida, 44 to 43 percent.

Ohio: A new Quinnipiac poll shows Obama leading Romney by two points in Ohio, 44 to 42 percent.

Pennsylvania: A new Quinnipiac poll shows Obama leading Romney by eight points in Pennsylvania, 47 to 39 percent.

Wisconsin Recall: A Marquette Law School poll shows Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett leading Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk 38 percent to 21 percent in the Democratic primary to challenge Gov. Scott Walker.

Indiana Senate: A pro-labor group that endorsed Sen. Richard Lugar yesterday also released a poll showing the moderate Republican up two points on Treasurer Richard Mourdock, 44 to 42 percent.

Around the Bigs
Bloomberg, Payroll Survey Signals U.S. Jobs Slowing: Private employment increased by 119,000, the smallest gain in seven months, after rising by 201,000 in March, ADP Employer Services said yesterday.

The New York Times, CNN Ratings Decline Stirs Worries: New Nielsen ratings numbers show that April was CNN’s lowest-rated month in 10 years.

The Los Angeles Times, Cal State faculty authorizes strike: Crushed by government deficits, California is locked in a dispute with its unionized Cal State University system faculty over salary and class sizes. If negotiations falter this summer, the union has voted to authorize a strike this fall.

The Washington Post, Spain’s unemployment prompts a look elsewhere: Crushed by government debt, Spain’s 25 percent unemployment rate has many citizen’s fleeing the country entirely.

Righty Playbook
In Politico, Karl Rove says Obama has been “more job-killer than job-creator.

Jim Treacher notes that Obama claims he inherited everything from George Bush (except the intelligence network that tracked down Bin Laden).

The Weekly Standard‘s Jeffrey Anderson reports that under Obama, party affiliation has swung 10 points toward the GOP.

Lefty Playbook
George Washington University professor Amitai Etzioni explains why Occupy Wall Street’s May Day protests failed.

The New York Times Nate Silver finds polling evidence that Obama is more popular than he should be.

The Washington Post‘s Ezra Klein makes the case that the Romney and Bush policy agendas are identical.

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