Mitt Romney’s appearance at the NAACP convention in Houston was the occasion for much media tittering—after all, the candidate’s prior attempts to ingratiate himself with African-Americans had produced some awkward moments. The speech did not disappoint in the awkwardness department — Romney opened with a cringe-worthy line of praise for the convention’s organ music, and the same organ later tried to prematurely usher him off the stage, like a verbose Oscar recipient.
It’s been noted by many that Mitt Romney’s task in Michigan is but a repeat of the one he faced in Florida and Iowa with Newt Gingrich: Confronted with a surging rival (in this case Rick Santorum), he must turn the guns of his “unaffiliated” SuperPAC (which raised more money, from only a handful of people, than his actual campaign last month) on the challenger hard enough to leave him smoldering in the dust by the time voters go to the polls.
The most obvious tragedy of the Washington police shootings is the deaths of the four police officers. The fact that the suspected gunman is a convicted felon from Arkansas whose 95-year prison sentence was commuted by then-Governor Mike Huckabee in 2000 is a tragedy for anyone currently in prison in Arkansas who might hope to one day receive executive clemency. Just consider what happened in Massachusetts after Willie Horton.
Picking Bob Menendez was a gamble—that much is clear. When Jon Corzine left the Senate to take over as governor of New Jersey last year, he named Menendez, a longtime Democratic congressman from Hudson County in the northeastern part of the state, to serve out the remainder of his term. It didn’t take long for that decision to look like a significant miscalculation. Running at a time when the national political landscape favored Democrats, Menendez, improbably, seemed headed for defeat.