VIRGINIA IS FOR ATTACK ADS
Bad news for Mitt Romney and Barack Obama: They can run TV ads, but they can no longer hide them. In elections past, presidential contenders could pull off the seemingly paradoxical feat of keeping million-dollar attack campaigns relatively low profile. They could run a slashing ad in a swing state like Ohio or Florida without announcing it to the national media, and it wouldn't create a splash.
But keeping biting criticism on the down low is suddenly much harder. Why? Two reasons. One, social media. It's so easy these days for people to instantly tell the world that they've seen an attack ad. Two, Virginia. The Old Dominion is arguably this election's quintessential swing state and is in line for tens of millions of dollars in over-the-air spending. The problem for campaigns is that some of those ads air in the Washington media market, home of the national press corps. According to ad-buying statistics compiled by The Hotline, Romney and Obama have already dropped more than $16 million on TV ads in Virginia. Obama launched a Virginia-specific ad just this week attacking Romney on outsourcing.
DEMS TO THE WHITE HOUSE: LEAVE THE DECISIONS TO US
Senate Democratic leaders aren't leaping to take advice from the White House on legislative maneuvering. In meetings last week, White House senior adviser David Plouffe, Chief of Staff Jacob Lew, and legislative liaison Rob Nabors suggested that the Senate counter a July vote planned by the House GOP to extend all of the Bush-era tax cuts with a proposal to extend the breaks for one year just for people with annual incomes under $250,000 and to tie it to a delay of the defense and domestic spending sequester for six months, according to Hill staffers.