Her family calls her the Mitt Stabilizer. Ann Romney, who is someone who is known to be able to calm her husband down when needed, is taking center stage in trying to paint a more personal picture of her husband of 43 years.
The Patriot Act, immigration and securing the borders, and whether the United States should provide aid to Pakistan were some of the biggest points of contention in Tuesday's CNN National Security Debate.
Call me old-fashioned, but when the president and congressional leaders get into a tussle over who should be "leading" the country in matters of real national consequence, I feel like sending them to their rooms.
So Sarah Palin walks into a Pennsylvania coffee shop, virtually unannounced. She sits down with a bunch of guys, gets her picture taken and is asked whether she would declare her candidacy right there.
On January 2, 1960, John F. Kennedy announced his presidential candidacy. In a short statement, he declared that "the presidency is the most powerful office in the Free World" and outlined the issues of the day.
Since President Obama's dramatic announcement that America had successfully found and dispatched Osama bin Laden, we have been awash in questions and second-guessing about the mission. Were the SEALs wrong to shoot him? Why didn't the White House get the story right in its first telling? Why can't we see the photos? Were Americans wrong to celebrate?
At this stage in a presidential campaign, there's always someone -- and sometimes it's more than one -- who flirts with running and thinks a few things, as in: Why not me? (I'm smarter than the rest of those clowns!) What's the worst that could happen? (I'll be in demand on the lecture circuit!)
To recap: The United States and its allies are scrambling to defeat Moammar Gadhafi's forces in Libya. There's a no-fly zone, a freezing of assets, threats about prosecution in international courts and an arms embargo. We're trying to get Gadhafi to surrender -- and, hopefully, leave.
President Obama, one might argue, is someone we've gotten to know over the past two years. At first, he was Zelig incarnate, seemingly everywhere, all the time. That's calmed down a bit, but by now his nature is clear: a deep temperamental caution, served with a side order of prudence.
So Republicans are now in charge in the House, and they're having some growing pains. It seems that their new flock is filled with independent sorts who may listen to their leaders, but still go their own way.
It is probably some form of poetic justice that, in reacting to the attempted murder of a congresswoman and the murder of a judge, some of the political discourse has devolved into an unhelpful and unenlightening argument that goes something like this: It's your fault; no, it's your fault.
It's hard, when you've run something, to come back and realize you're not going to be in charge anymore. Democrats have been demoted to minority status in the House, and it's probably not much fun. No chairmanships to dole out, no rules to write, no votes to pass much of anything.
It took just eight days after the election for the two deficit commission chairmen to pounce. And the title page of their draft version of budget cuts doesn't mince words: "The problem is real -- the solution is painful -- There's no easy way out -- Everything must be on the table -- and Washington must lead."
The thing that is hard to miss in Ted Olson's Washington office are the quills. They're in a mug, all 56 of them, each commemorating an appearance before the Supreme Court. In many of those cases, he was the standard bearer for conservatives. And a successful one; he won 44 times.
The news about Al and Tipper Gore deciding to separate after 40 years of marriage shocked Washington -- and those who know them -- into a kind of frenzy: How could this be? They have always been the genuine political couple. The ones who were affectionate and caring; the ones who had fun. The couple who dared to smooch onstage at a national political convention.
When Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell decided last week to portray the Democratic version of financial regulation as a Wall Street "bailout," it seemed like a brilliant, albeit cynical, political move.
It was no surprise over at the White House that Justice John Paul Stevens has decided to retire from the court after nearly 35 years. And they're clearly ready with a list of names -- some fully vetted and even interviewed by the president -- after the Sonia Sotomayor choice last spring.
There wasn't a big-screen hero with a gun to his head or a Hollywood beauty in harm's way, but Washington was caught-up in a cliffhanger this week -- and President Barack Obama was at the center of it.
After months of writing a huge health care bill largely behind closed doors in the Senate, now comes the decision to work out the final kinks in the massive bill in a conference committee -- behind closed doors.
The moment has to happen sometime in a new administration, and the Afghanistan speech was it: the end of the Obama campaign of limitless aspiration and the acknowledgement of a presidency burdened by harsh realities and difficult choices.
The fashionable critique of President Obama is that we don't really know who he is yet: That somehow, the eloquent and often-inspiring candidate of the campaign has yet to morph into anything resembling a memorable -- much less transformational -- president.
Sometimes, even in Washington, there's no way around a central truth: that in governing, there are moments when real, tough decisions must be made. No waffling. None of the usual "on the one hand, on the other hand." No hiding behind the votes cast by others.
No-drama Obama morphed into an emotional, tough, determined leader in his joint address to Congress Wednesday night, making it clear that "the moment" is demanding health reform. Not just as a matter of care, but as a matter of national character.
No matter which way you look at it, the question is painfully difficult: What -- if anything -- do we do about the post 9/11 behavior of some CIA agents who worked feverishly to interrogate prisoners they believed had information that could save American lives?
In the past decade, it's become a given that Supreme Court nominees are expected to tell you -- not to mention the senators actually voting on confirmation -- absolutely nothing about how they will rule on the Supreme Court.
In politics, particularly after you've arrived at the White House, the rule of thumb is this: retreat from controversy. When it happens, as it inevitably will, try to back off. Change the subject if you can. And remember, calm is good. Pot-stirring, not so good.
Barack Obama and John McCain had planned on spending Thursday sequestered from the campaign trail preparing for the first presidential debate Friday night, but uncertainty surrounding the economic bailout plan has cut short both men's study sessions.