ROLLING THE VICE DICE
BY JOHN HEILEMANN
NEW YORK MAGAZINE
Romney and his team of course could not be more different from McCain and his. The former candidate is methodical, data-driven, and risk-averse; the latter impetuous, instinctive, an inveterate gambler (politically and in Vegas). The former campaign is a hospital-corners operation; the latter the equivalent of a rebellious teenager's unmade bed. The smart guys in Boston know that in a post-Palin world, not only will their pick receive unprecedented scrutiny, but so will the process leading up to it. What Boston also knows, however, is that Romney is emerging from the nomination tussle with a ton of bruises-and the choice of his running mate is one their best chances to spiff up his battered public image.
OBAMA'S UNSETTLING ATTACK ON THE SUPREME COURT
BY RUTH MARCUS
[T]he president’s critique, and in particular the reference to “unelected” judges, buys into an unfortunate and largely unwarranted conservative critique of judicial power. We want our judges unelected. We want them to have the final constitutional say. The president should be arguing for a second term to prevent the court from tipping in an even more conservative direction, not channeling tired critiques from the right about activist judges legislating from the bench.
AND NOW, TO THE VEEPSTAKES
BY FRANK BRUNI
NEW YORK TIMES
One more piece of advice: don’t throw your own hat into the ring. If the last few election cycles are any guide, to be named a running mate is to befall an evil spell that ultimately strains your sanity, scrambles your future and does grievous injury to your reputation. You wind up at bitter odds with your party (Lieberman). You run afoul of the law (Edwards). Your ego swells as the acrimony around you swirls, to a point where you’re one of the nation’s utmost emblems of polarization. I have two words for you: Dick Cheney. I have two more: Sarah Palin.
WEAK VS. WEAK
BY MICHAEL GERSON
The incumbent is weak. But so, on key issues, is the challenger. Instead of a clash of titans, it is a contest of the wounded. Commentators tend to exaggerate current trends, so Obama is now generally viewed as invincible. ... Americans overwhelmingly believe the country is on the wrong track. Obama is essentially tied with a generic Republican opponent. But Romney, who speaks politics awkwardly, now faces his largest political task: He must be something more than a generic Republican.
MITT ROMNEY CAN'T SHAKE AWAY IMPRESSIONS HE'S MADE
BY EUGENE ROBINSON
It was Romney aide Eric Fehrnstrom who suggested that the general-election campaign would begin with a blank slate, like a shaken Etch a Sketch. But the truth is that, come the fall, Romney will still be Romney. Nothing can erase the fact that he authored a health-care reform in Massachusetts... that was used as the model for Obamacare. Nothing can erase the way he has pandered to the far right during the primaries... . And I’m afraid that nothing can erase the impression Romney has made... of having allowed his great wealth to isolate him from the cares and woes of the rest of humanity.
OBAMA VS. MARBURY VS. MADISON
WALL STREET JOURNAL
President Obama is a former president of the Harvard Law Review and famously taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago. But did he somehow not teach the historic case of Marbury v. Madison? That's a fair question after Mr. Obama's astonishing remarks on Monday at the White House when he ruminated for the first time in public on the Supreme Court's recent ObamaCare deliberations. ... Mr. Obama's remarks suggest he is joining others on the left in warning the Justices that they will pay a political price if they dare to overturn even part of the law. As he runs for re-election, Mr. Obama's inner community organizer seems to be winning out over the law professor.
THE WORST ECONOMIC RECOVERY IN HISTORY
BY EDWARD LAZEAR
WALL STREET JOURNAL
Policies have focused on short-run changes and gimmicks—recall cash for clunkers and first-time home buyer credits—rather than on creating conditions that are favorable to investment that raise productivity and wages. There are some positive developments. ... But unless we move to a set of economic policies that are aimed at growing the economy rather than at promoting social agendas, this may be the first "recovery" in history that fails to see us return to long-term average growth.
ROMNEY'S 'WOMEN PROBLEM'
BY WILLIAM MCGURN
WALL STREET JOURNAL
We forget today, but in the 2010 national elections women showed they cared plenty about issues such as ObamaCare and the stimulus when they went for Republicans 49% to 48%. With the economy now showing signs of getting better, that may be a harder sell in 2012, but it's a sale Mr. Romney has to make. The good news for Mr. Romney is that his failure to elicit enthusiasm among women likely has little to do with the way he or his party have handled contraception. The bad news for Mr. Romney is that his inability to generate much excitement among women appears related to a general inability to generate much excitement among anyone.
THE CULTURE WARRIOR
BY RAMESH PONNURU
It is a basic fact of contemporary political life that socially conservative views are poorly understood by many people and very easy to distort. The promotion of these views requires that fence-sitters receive regular reassurance from social conservatives: that, for one thing, we understand the limits on the proper role of government in a free society. It would be nice if other Republican politicians had a little more of Santorum’s commitment to justice for the unborn, and more of his alarm at the rising proportion of children not being raised in a household with both their biological parents. ... Social conservatives would not advance their aims by putting Santorum on the Republican ticket this fall.