The Romney tax release issue took a surprising turn this week. Through the week the Obama team kept up the pressure on the issue, and a number of Republicans, including the National Review and Ron Paul, also called on Romney to release more than the 2010 returns (and the promise of the 2011 returns when finalized). But Romney said no. And Ann Romney said no. And Romney's surrogates said no. In fact, Romney has taken a stronger position on this particular issue than any other. Of all things! It's hard to believe he will stick with this stance, since it raises all sorts of questions, but as of now he is adamant. He is so adamant that if he reverses, the reversal itself will look bad. Stay tuned!
The when did he leave Bain Capital issue seems to be dying down a bit this week, but Bain Capital will remain front and center for the Obama attacks through the campaign, in one form or another. And I doubt they will let the timing issue go away, since the 1999-2002 time period is critical for the Bain outsourcing/layoffs storyline.
Romney attempted to "change the conversation" by accusing Obama of routing stimulus money to his supporters in a kind of "Crony-Gate" assault, but this did not seem to get much traction.
And Romney seems to have decided against announcing the true conversation changer: his Vice Presidential selection. Since he will soon depart on an international tour to shore up his foreign policy cred, it's now or mid-August for the Veep announcement….and probably mid-August. My bet is he is waiting to see whether he is still within the MOE (that is, the Margin of Error) in the polls, in which case he'll go with a safe pick (e.g., Portman, Pawlenty), or if he is slipping behind, in which case a more dramatic pick (say, Rubio) may be in order.
Some talk this week of potential speakers at the upcoming conventions. The Democrats have the nights covered with the Clintons and Obamas…no shortage of star power there, a repeat of 2008. But how about the Republicans? Neither Bush 41 or 43 will be there. You certainly can't put Dick Cheney up there. Sarah Palin has not been invited…yet. Same with Gingrich or Santorum. The big rumor has Chris Christie being the keynote speaker, sort of a consolation prize for his fading in the Veep-stakes.
We'll close with Michelle Bachmann's "Joe McCarthy moment," asking that Congress investigate the alleged infiltration of the Muslim Brotherhood into the "highest levels" of the Obama administration. Even John Boehner ran away from this one, and we got a glimpse of the old John McCain in his rousing denunciation of Bachmann. Well done, Maverick!
Back on Monday with the updated numbers!
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