Huffpost Politics

HUFFPOST HILL - Colbert Gives Flacks A Taste Of Their Own Medicine

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Mitt Romney's economic policies aren't sitting well with women (we're pretty sure "We Can Do It!" wasn't a reference to right-to-work states). Rick Santorum's sweater vests somehow found a way to create more jobs than the man whose torso they warmed. And Allen West stated that there are dozens of card-carrying Communists in the House but annoyingly didn't specify the number of anarcosyndicalists in the Senate. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, April 11th, 2012:

TED KENNEDY STILL AN EFFECTIVE OBAMA SURROGATE - Jason Cherkis: "Mitt Romney has had three separate political campaigns to figure out how to attract women voters. A recent USA Today-Gallup Poll shows he needs more practice. The swing-states poll showed the GOP presidential frontrunner trailing President Barack Obama among women voters by 18 percentage points -- 54 to 36 percent...During his losing bid to unseat Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), Romney famously campaigned as a pro-choice Republican, and played up support for women breaking the glass ceiling in the corporate world. But he could be flat-footed when confronted with his actual record on women's issues. The gender issue proved critical in that 1994 race, explained Tad Devine, a senior advisor and ad man for the Kennedy campaign. 'I think this narrative as Romney as a manager who couldn't find a lot of slots for women .... I thought that was a very powerful story. I think it had a lot of impact,' Devine says. 'We were trying to talk to women in particular -- non-college educated women specifically. That narrative of Romney not being a good boss ... I think that was very helpful in terms of the story we were trying to tell.'" [HuffPost]

STEPHEN COLBERT SPAMS FLACKS - Hi [press secretary name here], we thought you might enjoy this HuffPost Hill blurb that probably doesn't help you do your job but we're quite frankly too busy and too eager to get hammered at Top of the Hill to think about it further. Mike McAuliff: "Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert may have failed to run a very good super PAC, and he may have failed to win over voters with his South Carolina presidential campaign, but he's not giving up on politics. He may be setting his sights a bit lower. The comedy conservative has begun spamming congressional press secretaries. The email flood stems from a Colbert Nation website gimmick that promises 'a new way to get involved.' Users click on a map of the United States to invite a member of Congress to participate in a TV segment called 'Better Know a District.' 'Help YOUR District get Better Known!' the web page says. 'Click on the cutting-edge cyberweb technology of the Represent-O-Map 6000 to be instantly e-connected to your U.S. representative or any other member. Or just use the Searchy Box-Thingy 4500 below. Send an email asking them to be a guest on Stephen's 'Better Know a District' segment. Let the accountability begin!'" [HuffPost]

NRSC TO DSCC: OH IT'S ON - Expect a lot of "Claire McCaskill says she's for [x] but did you know that she actually [y]'d [z] times?" ads this fall. Roll Call: "The Senate GOP's campaign arm reserved approximately $25 million in airtime today in six targeted Senate races -- an early and aggressive move for a party looking to regain the majority... Notably absent from the large buy are a couple of states with potentially competitive races, such as Ohio, North Dakota and Nebraska. But this is only the first of many advertisement purchases the committee's IE arm will make over the course of the year, the source cautioned. What's more, the presidential campaigns are not expected to compete in North Dakota and Nebraska, so there's less of an incentive for the NRSC to buy airtime early." [Roll Call]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - The Newt Gingrich campaign is leaving a trail of tears from coast to coast. In interviews with HuffPost, campaign vendors listed in Gingrich's Federal Election Commission debt disclosures said they're still waiting to be paid, weeks or months after finishing work. Several said they've been given the runaround by campaign officials as they've tried to collect. Gingrich has vowed to slog on with his debt-ridden campaign, despite having won a mere 136 delegates, leaving some vendors to wonder when they can expect their checks. Gingrich campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond told HuffPost that Newt 2012 is doing its best to pay people. "Vendors have been contacted and we are paying bills as swiftly as we are able," Hammond said. :( [HuffPost]

Don't be bashful: Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to huffposthill@huffingtonpost.com. Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill

MITT ROMNEY: CENTRIST - Mitt Romney announced that he would not overturn the Lilly Ledbetter Act if he were elected. Given his dismal support level among women, we give it a month until his campaign adopts Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman" as its official song. Sam Stein: "As president, Mitt Romney would not repeal the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which provides women with more legal channels through which to pursue equal pay for equal work, his campaign confirmed on Wednesday. 'Women account for more than 92 percent of jobs lost under Barack Obama,' said Amanda Henneberg, a spokeswoman for the former Massachusetts governor's campaign. 'Of course Mitt Romney supports pay equity for women. The real question is whether President Obama supports jobs for women.' Andrea Saul, another Romney spokeswoman, added that he 'supports pay equity and is not looking to change current law.'" [HuffPost]

Don't expect any "Feminists for Mitt" bumper stickers anytime soon. Amanda Terkel: "[T]wo of his surrogates did vote against the legislation in Congress. On Wednesday, the campaign sent out statements from Republican Reps. Mary Bono Mack of California and Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, blaming women's jobs losses on Obama's policies. But both women voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Act as well as the proposed Paycheck Fairness Act." [HuffPost]

BARACK OBAMA: CENTRIST - Roll Call: "President Barack Obama offered Wednesday to call the Buffett Rule the Reagan Rule, citing President Ronald Reagan's push to close tax loopholes for millionaires. 'If it'll help convince folks in Congress to make the right choice, we can call it the Reagan Rule instead of the Buffett Rule,' Obama said at a White House event flanked by millionaires -- and their secretaries -- supportive of a 30 percent minimum tax on income of more than $1 million...Obama and his campaign have been embracing Reagan as a contrast to the modern GOP, noting Reagan's willingness to cut deals with Democrats that raised taxes, and they've pointed to a clip of Reagan decrying why a millionaire should pay less in taxes than a bus driver." [Roll Call]

@JoeBiden: High five. pic.twitter.com/wQXMqXpU

NEWT GINGRICH: BROKE - Newt Gingrich would gladly pay you Tuesday for a massive ad buy today. Luke Johnson: "Newt Gingrich, speaking Wednesday after a campaign stop in Delaware, said the bouncing of a $500 check for the Utah elections was 'one of those goofy things.' 'That check was drawn in December,' he said, according to CNN. 'The account actually was closed by the time they processed it. It wasn't a question of money -- that particular bank account was closed.'" [HuffPost]

RICK SANTORUM'S SWEATER VEST STIMULUS - Bringing America back, one torso-sized patch of fabric at a time. Nate Hindman: "The presidential hopeful's campaign bought at least $138,800 worth of sweater vests from Bemidji Woolen Mills, according to campaign finance reports released in March. The orders, which began in January, have more than doubled sales for the 92-year-old, family-run business, its co-owner Bill Batchelder told the Huffington Post...To meet Santorum's request for the shipment of more than 3,000 custom-made sweater vests since mid-January, Batchelder rebuilt five sewing machines that hadn't been used for years, brought retired employees back and added a new employee to his now 27-person team." [HuffPost]

ALLEN WEST HAS NO SENSE OF DECENCY, AT LONG LAST, HE HAS LEFT NO SENSE OF DECENCY - Florida Congressman Allen West took a break from placing a level on his haircut and inventing an American version of Risk to speculate about the number of card-carrying communists in the U.S. Congress. There are apparently a lot. Jen Bendery: "As many as 80 House Democrats are communists, according to Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.). West warned constituents at a Tuesday town hall event that he's 'heard' that dozens of his Democratic colleagues in the House are members of the Communist Party, the Palm Beach Post reported. There are currently 190 House Democrats. West spokeswoman Angela Melvin later defended West's comments -- and clarified to whom West was referring. 'The Congressman was referring to the 76 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. The Communist Party has publicly referred to the Progressive Caucus as its allies. The Progressive Caucus speaks for itself. These individuals certainly aren't proponents of free markets or individual economic freedom,' Melvin said in a statement to The Huffington Post." [HuffPost]

Barney Frank was so upset by West's comments that he cold called Jen Bendery from Hawaii: Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) on Wednesday tore into Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) for saying that members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are communists... 'I very much object to being associated with Stalin or Khrushchev'... Frank contacted The Huffington Post while in Hawaii, where he said he was campaigning for Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and meeting with Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D), a former House colleague. Frank said his partner, James Ready, was also with him and getting in some surfing, an activity Frank said he preferred to 'just watch.'" [HuffPost]

HILLARY CLINTON CONTINUES HER NON POLITICAL ACTIVITY - Non-surrogate surrogate Hillary Clinton -- who isn't campaigning for the president (or for some future campaign) because of her job -- just happened to deliver a kind of braggy speech that also exalted her boss. ABC News: "Hillary Clinton spoke bluntly about Syria, North Korea and the death of Osama bin Laden at the U.S. Naval Academy Tuesday, where as the keynote speaker at the close of a foreign policy conference she revealed that none of those watching the operation that killed the al Qaeda leader last year 'could breathe for 30-35 minutes.' The Secretary of State prepared remarks on U.S. strategy in the Asia-Pacific region for the conference, but later took questions from the young future officers about any topic. Though most of the evening focused on current global challenges to American foreign policy, the secretary's most poignant words were about the man responsible for the largest loss of life on American soil in modern history -- Osama bin Laden." [ABC News]

MARYLAND LAW FORBIDS YOUR BOSS FROM SEEING ALL YOUR HIDDEN TAGGED FACEBOOK PHOTOS - Including the ones from college. You know the ones (theme parties: who DOESN'T regret them?). Dave Jamieson: "In a victory for privacy hawks and worker advocates, Maryland legislators passed a bill Wednesday that would ban employers from asking job candidates or current employees for their passwords to social-media sites like Facebook and Twitter. If the bill is signed by Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) and becomes law, Maryland will be the first state to ban such practices in the workplace. According to WTOP, the bill sailed through both the state Senate and House... The passage of the bill in Maryland comes on the heels of a request last month by Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) that the Justice Department and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigate whether or not asking a job candidate for a Facebook or Twitter password violates federal law. Many lawmakers became aware of the practice after an investigation by the Associated Press detailed how many public and private employers, including the Maryland corrections department, had been demanding social-media passwords in order to examine job candidates' online lives." [HuffPost]

AMERICA: LAND OF THE FREE, HOME OF THE SOMEWHAT INFORMED - Mark Blumenthal: "While some pollsters and journalists have recently argued that 'voters are stupid,' a new national survey shows that most Americans can, in fact, identify the relative positions of the Democratic and Republican parties on a series of important issues...The Pew report does note 'considerable variance' in the survey's measures of political knowledge. On the higher side, 71 percent chose the Republicans when asked which party 'is considered the more conservative party on most political issues' and 67 percent chose the Democrats as the party that supports 'increasing taxes on higher income people to reduce the federal budget deficit.' However, only 53 percent identified Republicans as the party generally more supportive of 'reducing the size and scope of the federal government.'" [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here is BuzzFeed Animals.

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON - HuffPost DC: "The mystery surrounding the 'bright green substance running through a tributary of Rock Creek' has been solved."

COMFORT FOOD
By @bradjshannon!

- Are memes art? Yes. Yes they are. And this guy is really good at making videos. [http://bit.ly/IHdTue]

- In which Reggie Watts loops a bunch of sounds to make cool music. [http://bit.ly/HxSelv]

- In which a bicycle is rigged to make what the kids call "phat beats." [http://bit.ly/HxSsZX]

- Every day, one random member is chosen to send an email to everyone on The Listserve. [http://bit.ly/IRIj9Q]

- Cat Scientists [dot tumblr dot com]

- Nadine Boughton's novel photo-collage portfolio. [http://bit.ly/HxSW2a]

- Touching video of music as therapy in nursing home. [http://bit.ly/IRIWjA]

- BONUS: Capybaras that look like Rafael Nadal. [http://bit.ly/IHlRUi]

TWITTERAMA

@tbogg: By firing the Fox Mole, Fox News has once again reverted back to not having any reporters on staff.

@FixAaron: If you ever want a bunch of political consultants to e-mail you, try making a list of the top 10 of something and exclude their clients.

@MikeElk: We've set up a google group RT @elisefoley: Lotsa men arguing lately about what's best for women, huh?

ON TAP
By @christinawilkie

TONIGHT

6:00pm: Red carpet premieres in DC are so painful. Sadly, this never seems to stop anyone. HBO's new comedy "Veep" continues the tradition with a premiere at the Institute of Peace. [2301 Constitution Ave NW]

TOMORROW

5:30pm - 7:30pm: The invitation to this hill reception says it's "your chance to meet beef cattle veterinarians knowledge in cattle medicine." Can you say awesome Thursday night?? [1300 Longworth]

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