POLITICS

HUFFPOST HILL - Mitt Romney Cannot Hate Children's Programming Enough

10/08/2012 05:45 pm ET | Updated Dec 08, 2012

First Mitt Romney insulted Big Bird, now he's snubbing Nickelodeon -- we give it a week until he provokes Barney into starting a super PAC. President Obama, uhhhhh, might want to, uhhhh, check out the most recent polling and, uhhhhh, reconsider his debate, uhhhhh, strategy. And Romney attacked President Obama's foreign policy in a major speech today. We were unable to reach Osama bin Laden for comment. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, October 8th, 2012:

ROMNEYBOT SYNCING WITH HUMAN BEINGS - Sam Stein: "After weeks of confined and controlled campaign stops, Mitt Romney has suddenly become a candidate eager to mix it up with voters in impromptu settings. The transformation has been fueled by two factors, Republican sources say. The first is the momentum that the Romney campaign feels coming off a strong debate performance on Wednesday night, resulting in the type of adoring crowds needed to provide a soft landing for a candidate who is often stiff and awkward in such settings. The second is a plan to get Romney better prepared for the next presidential debate, which will put him and President Barack Obama in a town hall format." [HuffPost]

PLEASE, SIR, MAY I HAVE SOME REGULATIONS? - Dave Jamieson: "President Obama visited Keene, Calif., on Monday to pay tribute to famed civil rights and labor leader Cesar Chavez, while trying to shore up support among the ever-important Latino voting bloc...While farm workers no doubt appreciated Obama's visit to honor an iconic labor organizer, advocates for farm laborers haven't forgotten the administration's back-tracking earlier this year on reforms that would have restricted the use of child labor in agriculture. The Labor Department originally proposed further limiting what kinds of duties children can perform in the fields -- for instance, not allowing minors to operate heavy farm machinery or handle tobacco crops -- but the agency scrapped the proposal in April after intense political pressure from the agriculture lobby and an outcry from farmers, particularly in the Midwest and West." [HuffPost]

Adorbs: "Mark Kelly (astronaut, Gabby Giffords' husband) is going on "The Colbert Report" tonight to pitch his latest endeavor: A book called Mousetronaut. About a mouse. In space." [Facebook, Via Jen Bendery]

DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - From our ongoing series PASTED: The Emails of the Jobless: "I can't seem to understand why I can't seem to get hired. I'm getting interviews but no job. You then tend to get discouraged and depressed. Then you tend to apply for anything & everything, then nothing. It's really a sad situation to be in. Your family stands by you, but you can't only wonder what they are thinking about you. Your own children watch you apply & interview then come up empty. It's just really sucks when you know you have skills & willing to learn." [Hang in there!]

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

ROMNEY CATCHING UP - Momentum. Votes. Good. Mark Blumenthal: "The surprisingly strong debate performance by Republican nominee Mitt Romney against President Barack Obama last week has resulted in a dramatic tightening in the presidential race, according to tracking surveys conducted since Wednesday. On Monday morning the Gallup organization reported that on three days of calling after the debate, their daily tracking survey finds Romney and Obama tied with 47 percent of the vote each among registered voters nationwide. Gallup showed Obama leading Romney by 5 percentage points (50 percent to 45 percent) in interviews conducted in the three days prior to the debate...Gallup is not alone in showing a shift to Romney. More than a dozen polls so far have measured voter preferences since the debate, both nationally and within key swing states. While they often differ on the levels of support for each candidate within individual states, they have shown a roughly similar shift toward Romney (4.5 percentage points on average) as the Gallup poll does nationwide." [HuffPost]

The only presidential campaign we care about ended in victory, with seis mas years for the revolution. iiiiiVIVA!!!!!

OBAMA CAMPAIGN SEEKING HOPE INJECTION, BROWSING GNC FOR CHANGE SUPPLEMENTS - With Mitt Romney catching up in the polls, Team Obama is frantically trying to reinvigorate its campaign. Our predictions: 2:1 - He owns the next debate, 10:1 - During the next debate, he takes the stage doing the "Gangnam Style" sideways waddle. 100:1 He appears on the "The Voice" and praises a 20-something's range and heartfelt vocals. The Times: "Perhaps most important as the president's team struggles to put his campaign back on track is a renewed effort to win the three remaining debates, starting with Thursday's face-off between Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Representative Paul D. Ryan. Mr. Biden began traveling to a Delaware hotel on Sunday for three days of debate camp. Under the tutelage of David Axelrod, the president's chief strategist who is personally overseeing the preparations, Mr. Biden will be counseled on how to avoid Mr. Obama's mistakes and even correct them with a more aggressive prosecution of the Republican ticket. Mr. Axelrod's involvement highlights the stakes the Obama campaign places on the debate, and Mr. Biden has been reading 'Young Guns,' the book co-written by Mr. Ryan, and practicing attack lines that Mr. Obama avoided." [NYT]

THINK TANK THROWDOWN - In the midst of all the Nationals/Orioles/Redskins hooplah, you might have missed an equally tense showdown between the Center for American Progress and the Heritage Foundation. The former challenged the latter to a 10K road race this weekend. We got an update from a very happy CAP official: "The battle of think-tankery today took our fierce competition to foot... In the pouring rain. The Center for American Progress staff challenged Heritage staff to a road race Race for the Parks (a 10 K). CAP's team -- the progressive ninjas (more than 25 strong) not only licked Heritage, but took first place overall." The top four finishers: Kellan Baker, Christine McDonough, John Griffith and Tom Perriello. Stay frosty, gang!

ROMNEY SHIFTS TO FOREIGN POLICY - The rest of the world, known to Mitt Romney as the place with the terrible Olympicses, was center stage today as the Republican presidential candidate delivered a pointed foreign policy speech at the Virginia Military Institute. Josh Hersh: "In the speech, Romney's third major address on foreign policy during the campaign, the Republican presidential nominee moved incrementally toward a more detailed outline of his potential policies as president and commander in chief, including calling for providing arms to elements of the Syrian opposition. Romney also increased his criticism of President Barack Obama's foreign policy, seeking to build on recent unsettling incidents across the Middle East -- including an attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya that left Ambassador Christopher Stevens dead -- to portray the president as either unable or unwilling to gain control in that volatile region. 'This president's policies have not been equal to our best examples of world leadership, and nowhere is this more evident than in the Middle East,' Romney said." [HuffPost]

The Obama campaign responded with a greatest worst hits collection: "A new ad, titled 'Policy,' references Romney's gaffe-laden trip to England, Israel and Poland in July and targets the former Massachusetts governor's widely criticized response to the recent attacks in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including U.S. ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens. 'Reckless, amateurish -- that's what news media and fellow Republicans called Mitt Romney's gaffe-filled July tour of England, Israel and Poland,' the narrator says in the ad. 'When our U.S. diplomats were attacked in Libya, The New York Times said Romney's knee-jerk response 'showed an extraordinary lack of presidential character.'" [HuffPost's Sabrina Siddiqui]

JOHN RAESE UNDER FIRE FROM FEDERAL REGULATORS - The West Virginia Senate candidate reportedly oversaw construction of a golf course that violated umteen million federal regulations and damaged great swaths of nature. This being West Virginia -- where defying the government and turning a blind eye to nature is like killing Osama bin Laden 100 times -- Raese is now all but assured the election. AP: '"Republican Senate candidate John Raese filled in wetlands and damaged more than 2 miles of streams when he rerouted them to create waterfalls on a private, 18-hole West Virginia golf course that federal regulators say he built without the required permits. The years-long construction of Pikewood National Golf Club near Morgantown is 'probably the biggest violation we've ever seen in this district,' Sheila Tunney, spokeswoman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Pittsburgh, told The Associated Press." [AP]

Actually, Joe Manchin is up by about forty -- yes 40 -- on Raese, according to Pollster.

Jon Huntsman, Sr. endorsed Democratic Congressman Jim Matheson over his Republican challenger Mia Love in Utah's 4th Congressional District. "The Matheson and Huntsman families have enjoyed three generations of respected association," Huntsman said in a statement released on Friday, using language absolutely befitting someone who can be called an "industrialist" with a straight face. "[Rep. Jim Matheson] is a conservative 'Blue Dog' congressional leader from Utah who represents our state very well." [HuffPost's Amanda Terkel]

TOMMY THOMPSON JOHN MCCAINS - Last week the erstwhile Wisconsin governor and Health and Human Services secretary and current Senate candidate was asked about the number of homes he owns. He promptly responded that he owns three homes. His campaign had to issue a correction. Whoops. Journal-Sentinel: "Thompson - who is running against Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin - had forgotten his condo off Lake Wisconsin in Sauk County. The property is currently assessed at more than $1.3 million. Four houses for the former four-term governor. Thompson, now worth at least $13 million, no longer has a crash pad in Washington, D.C. Beginning in 2001, he served as U.S. health and human services secretary and then worked for the D.C. powerhouse firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld until he quit earlier this year to run for U.S. Senate. Over the past decade, he bought and sold nine townhouses in and around Alexandria, Va. He auctioned off his last set of digs for $700,000 in June 2011, just nine months after he closed on it." [Journal-Sentinel]

Children should be seen, not heard... also murdered, maybe: "Charlie Fuqua, the Republican candidate for the Arkansas House of Representatives who called for expelling Muslims from the United States in his book, also wrote in support for instituting the death penalty for 'rebellious children.'" [HuffPost's John Celock]

MITT ROMNEY: CHILDREN ARE OUR FUTURE... AND ELECTORALLY UNIMPORTANT - Despite producing roughly 5,432,119 of his own children, it appears that the Republican presidential candidate is not that keen on making a lasting impression with the youngsters. TMZ (yep): "President Obama's peeps say Mitt Romney is gonna be sorry for blowing off a bunch of kids who participated in the Nickelodeon show, 'Kids Pick the President.'..Obama answered the kids' questions, but Romney said he didn't have the time." [TMZ]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Senior citizens reacting to "Gangnam Style"

VILE ANTI-RELIGIOUS ADVERTISING: MAKING THE METRO EVEN MORE MISERABLE - HuffPost DC: "The agency that operates the D.C. Metrorail system has until the end of Monday to post a set of controversial anti-Muslim advertisements that it fought in court to delay. A judge on Friday ordered the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to post the ads on First Amendment grounds saying that free speech trumped Metro's worry that the ads could promote violence." [HuffPost]

COMFORT FOOD

- Young child does shockingly good dolphin impression, leading us to question whether our evolutionary lineage includes our flippered sea friends. [http://bit.ly/R721XX]

- This song is produced by prime numbers. Don't ask us how but it is. It answers the question of what Philip Glass' work would sound like if he took a shot at easy listening. [http://bit.ly/SHD8SO]

- Another gorgeous time-lapse video of Earth from the International Space Station. You'd be forgiven for thinking all those lighting bursts were a nuclear holocaust. [http://bit.ly/Q6xOX5]

- During the Ohio State - Nebraska game this weekend, the Buckeyes' marching band performed an epic tribute to classic video games. [http://bit.ly/SY479c]

- A boy in northern Russia discovered an incredibly well-preserved wooly mammoth in the permafrost...hey, there are perks to living on permafrost. [http://bit.ly/SY2KHA]

- The taxonomy of the S-word. [http://tinyurl.com/9763csk]

- Maru, the internet's most famous feline, plays with a mini pink Cadillac. [http://tinyurl.com/8thj8x4]

TWITTERAMA

@aburnspolitico: Thank goodness for Twitter, because otherwise I would only have one copy of Romney's prepared text instead of six copies of each line

@daveweigel: Obama embraces new slogan: "Uhhhh, Annnnd." RT @TheStalwart: Wait, seriously. Gallup Obama +5? Joke, right?

@FireMeElmo: Career counselor says Elmo need a head hunter. Elmo so scared, does not like being hunted.

ON TAP

Tonight, 5:00 pm: Hey lefties, raise your hand if you've ever fantasized about having dinner with President Obama in San Francisco with the evening coordinated by none other than Alice Waters. If they arrived in Priuses it'd mean they were in on the joke. [San Francisco, CA]

Tonight, 5:30 pm: After Alice Water's farm-to-table gloriousness, President Obama will head to the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium for a concert with John Legend and Michael Franti. It does not suck to be the president. [San Francisco, CA]

Tonight, 6:00 pm: GOProud continues to GOPfailtogarnersupport with a small-dollar fundraiser featuring conservative pundit/former Reagan Treasury Secretary Bay Buchanan. [Hotel Monaco, 700 F Street NW]

Tomorrow, 11:30 am: [Monster truck announcer voice]This Tuesday, Tuesday, TUESDAY, join Gloria Steinem, Steinem, STEINEM for a lady power gathering that will EVAPORATE every testicle in a five mile radius, radius, RADIUS. That's right, ***IT'S THE DCCC'S ULTIMATE WOMEN'S POWER LUNCH!!!!!*** featuring the most bone-crushing women of Washington, Nancy Pelosi, Jackie Speier and Karen Bass. DON'T MISS IT!!![/Monster truck announcer voice]. Really, it's the "DCCC's Ultimate Women's Power Lunch." [San Francisco, CA]

Tomorrow - Wednesday: What does a Republican from Kansas named Pat Roberts do for leisure? Golf, naturally. Join the Kansas senator for a $2,000-and-up golf outing fundraiser. [Hutchinson, KS]

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