February 2012

Feb 29, 2012

Michigan and Arizona: Bruising GOP Primaries Brighten Obama’s Prospects

By Major Garrett, National Journal

When President Obama accused Republicans who opposed the auto industry bailout of peddling a “load of you know what,” he might have been describing the residue in Michigan and Arizona for Republicans now that the two primaries are over. Obama is in better shape in both states since the GOP circus came to town, with higher favorable ratings than before and with an elevated profile among key constituencies, like blue-collar voters and women who have new appreciation of his handling of the auto bailouts and the contraception issue. The bruising primary campaigns didn’t elevate Obama all by themselves.
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Obama Targets UAW on Michigan Primary Day

With Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg News

Bloomberg's Julianna Goldman reports on President Obama's appearance in front of auto workers on the day of the Michigan primary. She speaks on Bloomberg Television's "Inside Track."

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As Gas Prices Spike, Obama May Tap Oil Reserve

By Alexis Simendinger, RealClearPolitics

Expectations are high that President Obama will tap the nation's oil reserves by this summer to respond to rising gasoline prices as he seeks a second term, according to analysts who stand on all sides of the question.
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Mitt Romney Survives Michigan Primary, Looks to Super Tuesday

By Dan Balz, Washington Post

February was supposed to be Mitt Romney’s month, a time when he could put distance between himself and his rivals for the Republican nomination with a series of contests on generally friendly terrain. Instead it turned into a grinding endurance test far more difficult than anything he or his campaign had imagined.
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Mitt Romney delivering a victory speech in Novi, Mich (CNN)

He’s Alive!

By John Dickerson, Slate

In the state where Mitt Romney was born, his campaign did not die. Despite his many advantages in Michigan, the race was a nail-biter. In the end, Romney won 41 percent of the vote to 38 percent for Rick Santorum. “We didn’t win by a lot, but we won by enough but that’s all that counts,” said Romney at his victory party, looking relieved to have survived another near-death experience. In Arizona, he clobbered the former Pennsylvania senator 47 percent to 26 percent. By the end of the night, Romney captured more than 30 new delegates. On that score, he is now well ahead of his rivals.
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Feb 28, 2012

Where Does The Economic Recovery Stand?

With David Wessel, Wall Street Journal

Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep talks to David Wessel, of The Wall Street Journal, and Zanny Minton Beddoes, of The Economist, about how to read the latest economic signs, and whether there are any bright areas for growth.

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Tight Race in Michigan

By Jeff Zeleny, New York Times

Polls show Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in a close race for Michigan’s Tuesday primary. Jeff Zeleny reports.
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Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum (CNN)

Strife Spurs Rethinking of Afghan Mission

By Nancy A. Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers

As violence continued Monday in Afghanistan over the accidental burning of Qurans by U.S. troops last week, American military officials and analysts are beginning to question whether the United States needs to change its mission of training Afghan soldiers and police, a key plank of President Obama's withdrawal strategy.
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Oil Prices Could Hurt Global Recovery

With Eamon Javers, CNBC

Oil prices remain at multi-month highs, causing concern that lofty prices could hurt the global economic recovery.CNBC's Eamon Javers reports.

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I’m One of You! No, Really!

By John Dickerson, Slate

Mitt Romney reminds voters at every campaign stop in Michigan that he is a local boy. He points out school friends, the cemetery where his parents are buried—his father picked the plot because it was the cheapest—and talks about vacations they took in his family’s rambler. In Traverse City on Sunday, he delighted the packed house on how he stole his first kiss from his wife Ann on a beach down the road. It seems to be working.
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Feb 27, 2012

Rick Santorum presses culture wars attack

By Nia-Malika Henderson, The Washington Post

Rick Santorum has opened up a new and provocative front in the political culture wars as he boldly tries to cast the race for the White House as a battle between the secular and the religious. In back-to-back speeches over the weekend, the candidate described President Obama as “a snob” for focusing on the importance of a college education and disparaged the idea of a separation between church and state by attacking President John F. Kennedy, who made it a key point in his 1960 campaign.

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Obama’s Deficit Dilemma

By Jackie Calmes, The New York Times

President Obama was backstage at an auditorium at George Washington University last April preparing to give a major speech, when William M. Daley, then his chief of staff, spied an unexpected guest in the audience: Representative Paul D. Ryan, the Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee, whose budget plan Mr. Obama was about to shred.

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