Opening Act: Whiteboard

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 17 2012 8:38 AM

Opening Act: Whiteboard

Elspeeth Reeve writes the best tsk-tsking demolition of Mitt Romney's whiteboard presentation on Medicare.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

Just because a campaign's talking points were written on a thing used to show details doesn't mean actual details were shown. The Romney campaign has been careful to avoid getting too deep into the details of the candidate's economic proposals, because they want to make the election a referrendum on President Obama. But refusing to dip into the details is not the sign of a wonk, it's the opposite.
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Smart-assed Democrats create a whiteboard tumblr, just to drive the point home.

Matt Zeitlin pulls a few great scoops out of Michael Grunwald's excellent, unapologetic new stimulus history.

The way [Ron] Suskind told it, “before exchanging hellos or even shaking hands” Obama told Romer that monetary policy had “shot its wad.” Suskind portrayed the meeting as an early indication that Obama “didn’t have particularly strong women skills” and that he would go on to allow Romer to be outmaneuvered by her more politically experienced male counterparts. Grunwald, however, says that “Romer is positive that Obama never said those words to her … she used them to Suskind, paraphrasing the president-elect.” In fact, the quote from Romer is that the first thing Obama said to her was, in fact, “Dr. Romer, so nice to meet you.”

Didn't the punditocracy spend a few days reading that Suskind quote and jawing about Obama's women problem?

And I think the upshot of Aaron Blake's chin-stroking about Biden's "vulnerabilities" is that Biden is now the underdog who has the most to lose or gain from the veep debate. You can so easily imagine Paul Ryan running to the board and dunking one over Biden's head on some Medicare question, producing some numbers that the veep can't refute in real time.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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