Thanks to some good reporting by Bloomberg News, we now know that Newt Gingrich's consulting gig at Freddie Mac earned him not $300,000, as John Harwood’s question at the recent CNBC debate suggested, but $1.6 million.
[with contributions from Matt O’Brien and Darius Tahir] Health care reform wasn’t the only issue Mitt Romney dodged last night. As Greg Sargent and Sam Stein point out today, Romney also refused to take a clear position on whether to extend a payroll tax break set to expire at year’s end. Here’s what Romney said when moderator John Harwood first posed the question: I don’t want to raise taxes on people in the middle of a recession. Of course not.
The headlines from Wednesday night’s Republican presidential debate will be about Rick Perry and his “oops” moment. In case you missed it, Perry was describing his economic agenda when he mentioned that he wanted to eliminate three federal agencies – and couldn’t remember the third. He got Commerce and Education, but flailed about for a painful few seconds, trying to think of the other. Ron Paul jumped in, suggesting maybe it should be five agencies. Another candidate said maybe Perry was thinking of the EPA.
Conventional wisdom has it that President Obama's cool, relatively detached style has made it harder for him to make the case that he's worked up about the economic struggles of average Americans. John Harwood, writing in the New York Times, doesn't buy it: Mr. Obama may have played like a rock star in the campaign arenas of 2008, according to this view, but he displays a Spock-like emotional aridity in more intimate settings.
Or would that be a lagging indicator? Whatever the case, John Harwood reports in his NYT "Caucus" column that: [S]igns that economic growth is resuming have eased the sense of crisis surrounding Mr. Geithner’s work. The economic 'message' meetings in Mr.