Bob's Blog: The White House's bad week
There's no question about it: this was not a good week for the White House. They've had hiccups with former President Bill Clinton going off message, saying that the Bush tax cuts should be extended and then later having to walk that back. Last week he said that Mitt Romney had a "sterling" business career. I don't think those kinds of blips are really a big deal in the long run, but it certainly gives the Romney team some good sound bites.
But take a look at the front page of the Washington Post today to see one of the Obama people's biggest headaches - the Romney folks significantly outraised the Obama campaign on the fundraising front. They raised $76.8 million and the Obama people raised only $60 million.
Granted, both of these figures are just obscene. We've let this campaign get totally out of hand on raising and spending money -- should we be proud it takes a billion dollars to run for president? I don't know. In the end, I don't think it's these fundraising numbers that will really matter. I think come November it's the economic numbers that people will vote on. They'll look at October unemployment, see how the economy is doing, and vote on that.
So the campaign will turn on the economy, and I think the presidential debates will have a lot to do with people's decisions, too. We haven't really seen Mitt Romney in a real debate. The Republican primary had a whole lot of debates, but they all had a whole lot of people. We haven't seen Romney one-on-one against anybody. And if past experience is any guide, Barack Obama is pretty good going one-on-one in debates.
All of this will probably come up on Sunday, but we're also looking a taking a look at a big political story this week that could be a big deal for the fall election---Wisconsin is a state that hasn't gone Republican since Ronald Reagan won in 1984, but now maybe it could become a battleground state. We've got Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Scott Walker on -- he just survived a recall election Tuesday, and I want to talk to him about what that means for his initiatives and Wisconsin -- and Mitt Romney.
A lot of people are wondering if Tuesday's vote is a harbinger of things to come for the general election. I'll see what Gov. Walker has to say about that and I'll ask Gov. Martin O'Malley, D-Md., for the other side's perspective.
I'll also talk about Wisconsin with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. The unions poured a ton of money into Wisconsin trying to beat Walker, and obviously it didn't work. Trumka's said his union won't change its fundraising strategy, but what will it change in light of Wisconsin? Walker was recalled because he ended collective bargaining rights for public workers in the state, will this mean other Governors will take his lead?
Senators and Congressmen from both sides of the aisle held a press conference Thursday to express their concerns over recent intelligence leaks. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said leaks seem "to be a pattern that is growing worse and more frequent, and severity of the leaks are serious." Sen. Feinstein, D-Calif., added their interest in leaks "is not finger pointing at anybody what we are trying to do is say we have a problem." They'll both join me on Sunday. What do they know?
Then we've got something I'm very excited about: a conversation with Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. This week marks 40 years after the Watergate break-ins, and Sunday the pair shares their first byline in decades in The Washington Post. They've told me they have some good new details to talk about, and whenever one of them says that, I trust it will be very interesting.
Finally, our CBS News dynamic duo of John Dickerson and Norah O'Donnell will take a look at all of this with me and give us an idea of what's in store this coming week.
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