Monday Evening Reads: Bill Clinton’s Advice, Romney and Rubio, George Zimmerman, and Stupid Republicans

Good Evening! It hasn’t been a particularly busy news day, but I have a few updates for you tonight.

According to Politico, the Obama campaign is changing it’s attacks on Mitt Romney based on some suggestions from Bill Clinton. The original approach was to paint Romney as a man without a moral or ideological “core.” Clinton, according to Politico argued that it would be better to focus on

Romney’s description of himself as a “severe conservative,” to deny him any chance to tack back to the center, according to three Democrats close to the situation.

“[Clinton] said he thought Romney’s positions on the issues would ultimately be the best way to attack him,” said a Democrat briefed on the details of an amiable Nov. 9 meeting in Clinton’s Harlem office that included Axelrod, Democratic National Committee Executive Director Patrick Gaspard and Obama campaign manager Jim Messina.

“That’s what we are doing, but it doesn’t mean we can’t and shouldn’t do the etch-a-sketch, flip-flop moments when they occur and we will,” added the operative — who says Obama’s campaign likely would have emphasized Romney’s conservative tilt once the primary was over, anyway.

But Clinton’s advice, buttressed by Benenson’s polling, has clearly gained traction internally since the end of Romney’s four-month primary ordeal.

Well, I can’t imagine a more expert political consultant than Bill Clinton, can you?

A new report from the Pew Hispanic Center shows that the number of illegal immigrants coming from Mexico has been falling because of the lack of jobs in the U.S. NY Daily News:

Roughly 6.1 million unauthorized Mexican immigrants were living in the U.S. last year, down from a peak of nearly 7 million in 2007, according to the Pew Hispanic Center study released Monday. It was the biggest sustained drop in modern history, believed to be surpassed in scale only by losses in the Mexican-born U.S. population during the Great Depression.

Much of the drop in illegal immigrants is due to the persistently weak U.S. economy, which has shrunk construction and service-sector jobs attractive to Mexican workers following the housing bust. But increased deportations, heightened U.S. patrols and violence along the border also have played a role, as well as demographic changes, such as Mexico’s declining birth rate.

In all, the Mexican-born population in the U.S. last year — legal and illegal — fell to 12 million, marking an end to an immigration boom dating back to the 1970s, when foreign-born residents from Mexico stood at 760,000. The 2007 peak was 12.6 million.

The New York and Pennsylvania primaries will be held tomorrow, but there isn’t much excitement about them anymore. Other states voting tomorrow are Connecticut, Delaware, and Rhode Island.

In Pennsylvania, Romney was campaigning with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Without overshadowing Romney, Rubio on Monday hammered home the former Massachusetts governor’s position on Iran and helped Romney attack President Barack Obama’s energy policy.

In a brief question-and-answer session with reporters, Romney said he’d consider Rubio’s immigration proposal to find a way to allow young people who came to the country illegally as children to stay here if they’re in school or the military.

It sounds like the Obama campaign should get busy pinning Romney down on the cruel immigration policy he has been pushing throughout the primaries.

Romney also tried to appeal to younger voters by joining Obama in backing a bill to prevent doubling of student loan interest rates.

ASTON, Pa. — As the White House ramps up its push to woo young voters by urging Congress to head off a scheduled increase in student loan interest rates, GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney struck back Monday, throwing his support behind an extension of the current rates at a campaign event outside Philadelphia.

The former Massachusetts governor made the announcement at a press availability with U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, the first joint appearance of Romney and the Florida Republican whose name is often floated as a top choice for his running mate.

“There’s one thing that I wanted to mention, that I forgot to mention at the very beginning, and that was that particularly with the number of college graduates that can’t find work or that can only find work well beneath their skill level, I fully support the effort to extend the low interest rate on student loans,” Romney said at the end of a seven-minute joint news conference with Rubio.

I have a few updates on the Trayvon Martin case. At one minute after midnight, George Zimmerman was let out of jail after posting bail. He will be going to a undisclosed location, reportedly outside of Florida.

Wherever George Zimmerman went after he was released on bond from a Florida jail, a sensitive GPS device will pinpoint his location for authorities and alert them if he drifts even a few feet away from where he is allowed.

Zimmerman, who is charged with second-degree murder in the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, went into hiding Monday as he awaits trial. He must pay an $8-a-day fee to use the device, which is generally used to track people charged in domestic violence cases.

George Zimmerman leaves Seminole County Jail with unidentified man

According to the WaPo,

Local LA Bail Bonds companies whose clients have worn the same device used to pinpoint Zimmerman said it is highly sensitive and can send messages to authorities in real-time….

Seminole County Sheriff’s officials are offering few details on how Zimmerman will be specifically monitored, other than to say the device he is wearing has the same 24/7 capabilities it uses to track accused domestic violence offenders. Zimmerman may be residing outside of Florida for safety reasons.

The monitoring program has been in use since 2003 in Seminole and provides “real-time monitoring of an offender’s movements and is capable of monitoring anywhere in the U.S.,” according to a sheriff’s office news release.

Later this morning, Sanford, FL police chief Bill Lee, who has been on leave with pay, submitted his final resignation; but the move was rejected by the Sanford city commissioners at a hastily-called meeting.

Earlier Monday, the city announced in a statement that a separation agreement had been reached with Lee to resign. If it was approved by the City Commission, it would have taken effect at midnight.

But by a 3-2 vote, the commission opted not to accept the proposed deal, which would have permanently dismissed Lee from the job and given him a severance package. Two commissioners had questioned the fairness of Lee losing his job, while Mayor Jeff Triplett said he preferred to wait possibly several months for the results of an investigation into Lee and his department….

Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for Martin’s family, criticized the commission for not letting Lee step down.

“Sanford residents deserve quality leadership in law enforcement who will handle investigations fairly for all people,” he said. “If Chief Bill Lee recognized that his resignation would help start the healing process in Sanford, city leadership should have accepted it in an effort to move the city forward.”

Sanford City Manager Norton N. Bonaparte had supported the resignation.

Benjamin Crump also criticized George Zimmerman and his defense attorneys over a photo of Zimmerman’s head with two small cuts with blood coming out of them.

An attorney for Trayvon Martin’s family believes their son’s shooter is lying about injuries he sustained the night he killed the unarmed 17-year-old.

“If this is any indication of what’s to come, then the lying has already begun,” attorney Ben Crump told reporters on Sunday, while promoting a documentary at the Florida Film Festival on another case….

“When you look at those pictures and you see those two little cuts on his head, that is not consistent with your head being pounded into the pavement,” said Crump. “Objective evidence, evidence we can see and touch, is more important than whatever George Zimmerman says because we have to remember Trayvon Martin isn’t here to tell us his version of what happened.”

Crump pointed to the 911 call where someone is heard screaming before the fatal gunshot.

Democrats in Congress have been pushing for reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, but Texas Sen. John Cornyn says that Democrats are just trying to ‘score cheap political points.’ with their efforts to renew the bill.

Republicans oppose the current reauthorization bill because it would allow battered undocumented immigrants to claim temporary visas, and expand protections to same sex couples and Native American tribes.

All eight Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted against renewing the law and Democrats were quick to denounce them, linking their opposition to the bill to the so-called “war on women.”

“The law was enacted to protect and serve the interests of crime victims, not to help a political party fire up its base,” Cornyn continue. “Moreover, to argue that a minor policy disagreement indicates a lack of sensitivity toward battered women is simply beyond the pale.”

In Missouri, a Republican woman who is running for the senate against current Sen. Claire McCaskill says she is “not sure” what the Violence Against Women Act is.

Former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman, a Republican now hoping to unseat Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), said recently that she was unfamiliar with the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the landmark anti-domestic violence legislation whose re-authorization is now stalled in the Senate….

A video released today by the Missouri Democratic Party shows a man asking Steelman about VAWA at a campaign event. Steelman replies, “I’m not sure what that is because I’m not serving right now.” He asks again, “you haven’t really heard about it?” And she confirms, “no, not really.”

The John Edwards trial has been getting a lot of attention today too. Chris Cillizza calls it a “final public flogging.”

What stories have you been following today?

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15 Comments on “Monday Evening Reads: Bill Clinton’s Advice, Romney and Rubio, George Zimmerman, and Stupid Republicans”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    John Boehner estimates there’s a “one-in-three chance” of Republicans losing the House in 2012.

  2. ecocatwoman says:

    While, I must confess, I have some problems with Mr. Clinton (I voted for him the first time & Nader the second time), I have to admit that I’ve not seen a better politician during my lifetime. I remember how the media emphasized the charisma of JFK – but Bill Clinton cornered the market on charisma. I agree the Obama campaign machine should definitely take advice from the former prez.

    Maybe I’ve watched too many crime dramas, but I’m concerned that due diligence was not used in examining the crime scene immediately. I am afraid it’s going to weaken the prosecution’s case and may result in Zimmerman walking. I hope that doesn’t happen.

    I would expect a large percentage of the public not to be familiar with VAWA, but someone running for federal office? At least I’d expect her to have done a bit of homework about the current issues, bills and laws Congress has on the table now. And the fact that she is a woman, certainly bills affecting mostly women should be on her radar.

    A friend sent me a link to story in Foreign Policy written by an Egyptian woman about the misogyny in the Islamic world. Any degree of misogyny is unacceptable, in my book, but this story will make you cringe and probably raise your blood pressure: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/04/23/why_do_they_hate_us?page=0,0

    And this from Talk of the Nation about the Vatican’s chastisement of those wayward nuns was interesting and frustrating: http://www.npr.org/2012/04/23/151222359/vatican-reprimand-of-u-s-nuns-divides-faithful

    I just wish women would stop enabling the misogynistic, male dominated bastions that the boyz like to call religion.

    Thanks, bb, for another great roundup of current important stories.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    In another sign that George Zimmerman is getting preferential treatment, his arraignment has been moved from the end of May all the way up to May 8!

    And in some good news, the judge has unsealed all documents in the case, which means we’ll be getting any info released in discovery.

  4. I think you are right BB about hitting Romney with the immigration stuff, the timing is right.

    I don’t know if anyone posted this link today:

    More Than One-Third Of All U.S. Executions Took Place In Texas | ThinkProgress

    We knew Texas tops the execution list…what was it Perry said about 200 +/- death warrants signed? This graphic below does make a big point:

  5. peggysue22 says:

    I love the phrase “campaign whisperer” applied to Bill Clinton’s advice to Obama and his crew. I agree with Connie–there’s no better skilled politician out there than Bill Clinton. He has an innate talent. I think that’s why the Repugs have hated him for so long: they cannot and could not beat him in the arena. And God knows they tried with every dirtbag trick in the book. But Bill Clinton prevailed and continues to flourish. It should also put to rest the idea that the Obamacrats would bury the Clintons. There ain’t a hole deep enough. Hillary is riding out with an astonishing approval rate in her role as SOS and Bill Clinton is the beloved elder statesman.

    So be it for the wonder of the Obama Star!

    Found Jon Huntsman’s comments interesting–comparing the GOP’s right-wing extremism to the communists. That won’t make him popular in Republican quarters. Arlen Spector has been making some very unflattering comments about the Republicans and the Tea Party contingent while hawking his new book. Even Orrin Hatch has come out and said he despises the Tea Party nut jobs and their strangle clutch on anything resembling governance.

    The Legacy Parties are in total disarray but the GOP is winning the race for self-annihilation.

    As for the border situation, my oldest son started a thru-hike on the Pacific Crest Trail about a week ago at the US/Mexican border. He was stopped 6 times by the border patrol before reaching the start point. So, yes. The patrols are out there in force.

    Great read, BB!

  6. RalphB says:

    Good thoughts to end the day.

  7. Fredster says:

    Roughly 6.1 million unauthorized Mexican immigrants were living in the U.S. last year, down from a peak of nearly 7 million in 2007

    Perhaps they are self-deporting ?