April 23, 2012 at 6:30 AM
Monday Eye Openers: With Romney as the presumptive nominee, talk turns to VPs; Buffet Rule struck down
Each Monday we will feature several important stories in the political world — ones that either just occurred, are defining moments, or are key markers on the horizon. Our blog is UW Election Eye, and we call these Monday Eye Openers.
Who will be #2?
With Mitt Romney as the presumptive Republican nominee, the hunt is on for who he will choose as his trusty sidekick. According to the Public Policy Polling, the running mate who would help Romney the most is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, followed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and Romney’s previous foe, Rick Santorum.
Missing from this list is Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Many have speculated that the addition of this up-and-coming Latino would boost Romney in the polls. However, Public Policy Polling found that Rubio would not be an ace in the hole for Team Romney. With just Obama and Romney, Obama leads Romney 68-30 among Hispanics. Add Rubio on the ticket, and Obama still leads 67-32. Also missing is Ohio Sen. Rob Portman. A Buzzfeed survey of Republican National Committee members showed a clear preference for Portman. One member went so far as to say, “He was born to be the guy standing next to the guy.”
Not to be left behind, there is also talk about Barack Obama’s running mate. The Obama campaign has not so much as whispered about replacing current VP Joe Biden, but that hasn’t kept pundits and the media from continuously pondering whether Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will step on board and add a new energy to the ticket. Clinton has repeatedly said she is not jockeying for the position.
Buffet Rule was DOA on Senate floor
Last week the Senate voted 51-45 against the Buffet Rule, which would have imposed a tax surcharge on people with adjusted gross income of more than $1 million. The vote cleaved along party lines, with only one Republican, Sen. Susan Collins (ME), joining the Democrats in favor of the legislation. In response to the decision, President Barack Obama said, “We simply cannot afford to keep spending money on tax cuts that the wealthiest Americans don’t need and didn’t ask for.”
Recently, Obama has publically stated that a majority of millionaires support the Buffet Rule. This all sounds well and good, but is it actually true? Last time I checked, millionaires are quite fond of keeping their money.
Short answer: No. Long answer: Obama is basing this claim on a survey of people who have a net worth of $1 million or more, e.g., investments are included. But the Buffet Rule is for those that have an income of $1 million or more, so many of the survey takers who expressed support of the rule that only have a net worth of $1 million wouldn’t even be affected by the rule. The Washington Post has given this sidestep of the truth by Obama a two out of four Pinocchios, meaning Obama may have misled or exaggerated the truth.
France held their Round One (R1) of the presidential elections yesterday. This election narrowed the field of 10 down to the top two candidates, and those candidates will go head-to-head in Round Two (R2) on May 6. The two candidates left standing were François Hollande coming in first with 28.4%, and incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy with 27%. Roughly 80% of voters turned out for the election. In comparison, approximately 64% of voters in the US took to the polls in the 2008 presidential election, which was the highest turnout in decades.
The close vote does not help Sarkozy, who has been battling speculation that he could become the first one-term president in over 30 years. Barack Obama and Sarkozy are more than just oceans apart when it comes to their times in office, with Sarkozy’s time embroiled with multiple scandals, but I am sure Obama is hoping the curse of the one-term presidency stays abroad.
Follow Lindsey Meeks on Twitter: @L_Meeks