Bright College Years, Sans Salinger
February 24, 2012

Before the week’s out, and while the cheers of the barely 1,000 people arrayed within the Detroit football stadium for Mitt Romney’s big speech today are still ringing in our ears, I wanted to be sure to recommend that everyone read Jason Horowitz’s in-depth Washington Post piece last weekend about Romney’s college years at BYU. This is one of the least-examined chapters in Romney’s life, the years after he returned from his mission in France. Even The Real Romney, the comprehensive new biography by Michael Kranish and Scott Helman, skips relatively quickly through the BYU years.

Is Romney Taming the Tea Party?
February 23, 2012

MILFORD TOWNSHIP, Michigan -- Mitt Romney on Thursday night visited Tea Party country, or what passes for it in these parts. He was the guest of honor for about 500 tea party activists at a banquet hall in northwest Oakland County, on the very outer edge of the Detroit suburbs. Ideologically, Milford occupies a sort of a no-man’s land between more moderate, urban communities to the east and more conservative, rural communities to the west. It’s close enough to Bloomfield Hills, Romney’s childhood home, to give Romney an advantage but far enough away to keep that advantage small.

Romney’s Home Field Advantage—Is It Real?
February 15, 2012

Mitt Romney is on the air in Michigan, with an advertisement that plays up his ties to the state. “I grew up in Michigan,” Romney says. “I remember going to the Detroit auto show with my dad, that was a big deal.” Then, after cataloguing the state’s problems and the damage President Obama has supposedly done, Romney returns to the favorite son theme. “Michigan’s been my home. And this is personal.” The ad follows Tuesday’s op-ed in the Detroit News, which opened with the line “I am a son of Detroit.” It’s true: Romney grew up in Michigan.

Romney’s Latest Attempt to Spin the GM Bailout
February 14, 2012

Mitt Romney is talking about the auto industry rescue again. But his latest argument is even more convoluted, and misleading, than his previous ones.  Romney makes the argument in an op-ed that appears in Tuesday’s edition of the Detroit News. (You may have seen it; Greg Sargent flagged it this morning). Romney starts by reminding readers of his connection to the state (he was born and grew up here) and to the auto industry (his father, George Romney, ran the American Motors Company before becoming governor). “Cars got in my bones early,” Romney writes.

A Son Of Detroit?
February 14, 2012

Mitt Romney, not surprisingly, just put out a new campaign ad touting his Michigan roots.  It shows photos from his childhood in the state and footage of his present-day self driving around Detroit as he laments the decline of the city in recent years. “How in the world did an industry and its leaders and its unions get in such a fix that they lost  jobs, lost their future?” he says. “President Obama did all these things the liberals wanted to do for years and the fact that you’ve got millions of Americans out of work, home values collapsing, people here in Detroit in distress ...

Karl Rove Wants His Message Back
February 07, 2012

As a friend of mine* once said, quotes from Karl Rove aren’t important for what they say. They are important for what they reveal. Rove’s statements about Sunday’s Super Bowl ad from Chrysler are a case in point. By now, you’ve probably seen or heard about the ad, which Chrysler calls “Halftime in America.” It stars Clint Eastwood, narrating the story of Detroit's comeback and turning it into a metaphor for America.

Should Obama Brag About GM? Absolutely.
January 26, 2012

President Obama visits the Detroit area on Friday, and his timing couldn't be better: Today's Detroit Free Press brings more good news from the auto industry: General Motors, Ford and Chrysler all plan to add jobs in Michigan, which stands to benefit more than any other state. Nissan, BMW, Honda, Toyota, Kia and Mercedes-Benz also are hiring. Suppliers are looking to add engineers and technical people, but at a more gradual pace. About 15,000 auto-related Michigan jobs could be created this year, said Sean McAlinden, economist at Ann Arbor's Center for Automotive Research.

Obama: Make the Economy Work...for Everybody
January 24, 2012

We’ve come to expect grand things from the State of the Union: Major revelations about the president’s agenda, bold policy initiatives, memorable turns of phrase. And sometimes that’s what we get, for better and for worse. In 2009, for example, Obama used his budget speech (the de facto State of the Union) to lay out his ambitious first-year agenda.

State of the Union - As Prepared
January 24, 2012

THE WHITE HOUSE Remarks of President Barack Obama – As Prepared for Delivery State of the Union Address: “An America Built to Last” Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 As Prepared for Delivery – Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans: Last month, I went to Andrews Air Force Base and welcomed home some of our last troops to serve in Iraq.

Today's Real News: Jobs Returning to Detroit
January 19, 2012

Forget Mitt Romney's tax returns and Newt Gingrich's marriage. Here's the most important news of the day, via John Gallagher of the Detroit Free Press: Michigan's unemployment rate in December declined another half-percentage point to 9.3%, the state's lowest rate since the 8.9% rate recorded in September 2008, said the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget. And data released Wednesday confirmed that 2011 marked the first year since 2000 that Michigan posted a net increase in jobs. Other economic reports this week of strong U.S.