Most of our article today is going to deal with Obama and his speech, ending with the snappiest portions as this week's talking points. But before we get to that, let's take a quick look at what the Republicans have been up to, as well as some other minor political news of the week.
While President Obama's "middle class economics" speech last night certainly laid down a few markers for Democrats in 2016 and beyond, the real reason it now seems Democrats will be playing on familiar turf comes from Republicans.
I can't help but think it's too late for this Obama to show up now. 2015 isn't the second debate with Romney. Obama should have had the guts to stand up back during the midterms when it would have mattered to Democrats struggling to defend his record.
Ever since Mitt confided to his friends and mega-donors in a fancy New York apartment a little over a week ago that he is "seriously considering" a third bid for the presidency, Romney 3.0 is all anyone is talking about.
NATO was critical to the shaping of the "new Europe" two decades earlier after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Similar and new challenges have emerged where once again NATO may be a defining factor in the future of Europe as well as the Euro-Atlantic family.
If it's Romney and Bush for the Republicans two years from now, it's quite possible that even some atheist liberals will be thanking their flying spaghetti monster in the cosmos for such good fortune.
The main theme of a national election can turn on a dime, due to a major world event or even due to the public's fascination with one unforeseen minor topic. But, at least for the time being, the 2016 election seems to be shaping up as a race centered on economic populism.
The Republican establishment's leading presidential hopefuls know the current upbeat economy isn't trickling down to most Americans. But they've got a whopping credibility problem, starting with trickle-down economics.
Addressing a gathering of indigent CEOs, down-and-out plutocrats and destitute Republican dignitaries on Friday, Romney promised that, if elected this time, he would lift them out of poverty.
Suddenly, it's 2016. Try to contain your excitement... ...
Unlike those of the other possible candidates of the GOP establishment, Jeb Bush and Chris Christie, Romney's positions on gays have been more defined and extreme -- and more consistent and reiterated much more recently, especially since he veered far right in the primaries in 2012. Any change will be seen as a yet another major flip-flop.
A 2016 Romney candidacy seemed a bit farfetched in the immediate aftermath of 2012. Should Romney run for president again, he would be on the same trajectory as Democrat Hubert Humphrey. Will Romney suffer the same fate should he declare a third presidential candidacy?
In terms of the overall tax burden (state, local, federal), the top 1 percent don't even pay that much more as a percentage of their income than do the bottom 20 percent. Think about that for a minute. But you knew that, right, Mitt?
Think of Romney as Dale, played by actor John C. Reilly, more entitled than his new-found half-sibling. And think of Jeb Bush as Brennen, played by Will Ferrell, which is easy given the comedian's facility for impersonating another brother, George W. Bush. Are you following so far?