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Friday Roundup

Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio, photo by Gage Skidmore

Each week in the Friday Roundup, Riding the Tiger takes a look at the major news stories of the week involving the presidential election of 2012.

This week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Arizona’s 2010 immigration law, S.B. 1070. Media reports suggested the Court, based on their questions, appeared to be rediscovering federalism and might be inclined to uphold a controversial part of the law. In a post for Riding the Tiger earlier this week, Anna O. Law provided historical context to the debate over who should control immigration policy, and conversations from the Miller Center's Presidential Recordings Program examined the historical relationship between immigration and the economy.

The most recent Super PAC filings with the Federal Election Commission were also released last Friday. According to new analysis by the Center for Public Integrity:

Contrary to expectations, the much-criticized court decisions that gave us “super PACs” have not led to a tsunami of contributions flowing from the treasuries of Fortune 500 corporations — at least not yet anyway…Of the top 10 donors to super PACs so far in the 2012 election cycle, seven are individuals — not corporations — and four of those individuals are billionaires.

Ray La Raja, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Miller Center Fellow Emily Charnock each recently provided insightful analysis for Riding the Tiger, which puts the role of Super PACs in elections perspective.

In other election news, Mitt Romney swept the primaries this week, solidifying his claim on the Republican presidential nomination and raising speculation that even while he “limps to the finish line,” Newt Gingrich may soon quit the race.

Meanwhile Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida introduced an immigration reform alternative to the Democratic-backed DREAM Act and gave a foreign policy speech at the Brookings Institution, fueling the proverbial punditry fire that he is either a leading contender for VEEP selection or gearing up for a presidential bid in 2016. His foreign policy speech was termed middle-ground conservatism and drew a range of reactions from the blogosphere. Richard Haas at the Council on Foreign Relations called it “a thoughtful speech and right down the middle” on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, while Hot Air’s Allahpundit said, “The most interesting part to me was his Bushian embrace of democracy abroad,” and Human Events contributor David Harsanyi wrote that the speech was “not as hawkish as some neoconservatives might like.” W. James Antle, III wrote at The American Spectator:

“…The possible Mitt Romney running mate puts himself strongly on the side of first-term Bush, Joe Lieberman, and the broader activist tradition. He also criticizes those who hold contrary views in his own party.”

And Juan Cole wrote on Informed Comment:

“GOP Vice-Presidential hopeful Marco Rubio on Wednesday called for unilateral US military action against Syria and Iran and blamed President Barack Obama for declining to send troops to Syria in the absence of a UN Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force… So Rubio is campaigning for the vice president slot in the Republican Party by promising to embroil our country in two major Middle East wars, and moreover to do so without the backing of international law.”

MC Switchboard

Miller Center Director, Governor Gerald Baliles, and former Transportation Secretaries Norm Mineta and Sam Skinner released the report of the David R. Goode National Transportation Conference on Capitol Hill on Monday. Proposing practical, actionable ways to raise public awareness on the need to invest in the nation’s transportation infrastructure, the report seeks to garner support from Congress and the presidential candidates from across the political spectrum to address infrastructure needs. As Secretaries Mineta and Skinner wrote in Politico this week:

Transportation is crucial to keeping the U.S. economy humming. Strategic investments in smart transportation projects with defined outcomes can help ensure our future prosperity. There must be adequate support, both for the maintenance of existing systems and for the expansion and interconnection of new systems…The public must convince our leaders that transportation investment and reform is crucial…We must harness a confluence of forces this year, including the presidential election, to open the door to fundamental change in transportation policy and programs.

Tune in this Sunday for the second of six special episodes of ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” organized in partnership with the Miller Center. A stellar panel, featuring Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, former Governor Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, New York Times op-ed columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, former Comptroller General David Walker, and Pulitzer Prize-winning commentator George Will, will discuss and debate the question: “America’s economic recovery – is it built to last?” George Stephanopoulos will moderate. Read the Miller Center's White Paper on Economic Recovery, and check local listings for air times.

 

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