1. John Sides points out that saying a president is like Jimmy Carter isn’t even a good insult, since the most recent poll had his approval rating at 53%. It’s 74% among Democrats, 56% among Independents and 28% among Republicans. Why is Carter in the news now? Mitt Romney recently said the decision to go after bin Laden in Pakistan was something “even” Jimmy Carter would do. By the way, in another post, I mentioned an excellent piece by James Fallows countering Romney’s implication that Carter was weak or risk-averse.
2. Part of my summer will be spend reading the latest volume by Robert Caro on the life of Lyndon Johnson, The Passage of Power. Caro’s is a remarkable achievement, having spent nearly 40 years writing what are now four volumes of this biography. One only hopes he lives long enough to complete this project. (By the way, Caro’s one volume book about Robert Moses, The Power Broker, is an incredible work about Moses and his ability to shape politics and policy in New York.)
How high-profile is this work? The reviewer for the new volume for the New York Times is a fellow who had the same job as Johnson, Bill Clinton. About Caro, be sure to read this piece in Equire by Chris Jones.
3. Like everywhere else, newspapers in Maine are undergoing change. The Bangor Daily News, which hosts this blog and my biweekly column, has done quite a lot in terms of developing its digital operations. What else is happening and what are the key challenges? A roundtable discussion will consider these and other issues on Monday, May 7 in Portland. It’s free, but organizers ask attendees to register beforehand.