Maybe even if it weren't a general-election year, President Obama would still be proposing that Congress give him the power to merge federal agencies to make the government smaller and more efficient. But it is an election year and the president's proposal gives him a way to counter GOP charges that he's a big-government Democrat.
As Newt Gingrich campaigned in South Carolina Thursday, there were signs he was beginning to soften his critique of the private equity career of rival Mitt Romney. Gingrich had come under fire this week from fellow Republicans for his attack on Romney for his time at Bain Capital.
More than 150 evangelical leaders will gather at a Texas ranch Friday and Saturday to try to coalesce behind a single Republican presidential candidate. But with the primaries and caucuses under way and Mitt Romney in command, their decision may be too little, too late.
The public relations problem for private equity capitalists at firms such as Bain, KKR and Blackstone is that they are the agents of the creative-destruction part of capitalism. They aim to take over underperforming firms and operate them more efficiently. In that process, people do lose their jobs.
With South Carolina's GOP presidential primary a week from Saturday, TV viewers in the state are getting an eyeful of political ads. It seems almost everyone who is running has bought time. And so have the superPACs, which are forbidden to coordinate with the campaigns.
As the deadline for a decision on a controversial oil pipeline approaches, lobbying is intensifying. The Keystone XL pipeline would transport oil from Canada's tar sands to the Gulf Coast. President Obama is caught in the middle of a jobs-vs.-environment debate.
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