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The press already has billed President Obama's first jaunt to Israel since entering office as yet another charm offensive, a "symbolic visit" or simply a photo op. The White House does not appear to be festooning the four-day trip with any fancy predictions either.
"I applied to speak and was ignored. I tried to get a room for an American Freedom Defense Initiative event, 'The War on Free Speech,' and was ignored. So, for the first time in five years, I won't be at CPAC," declares Pam Geller, the outspoken opponent of radical Islam, who has her own theories about the situation.
Occasionally, embattled Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus gets a star and two smiley faces for bustling into action, intent on steering weary Republicans towards political productivity.
He forged a reputation as a moderate, can-do businessman-politician, but Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, has taken a leap into the political unknown by embracing a right-to-work bill that has put him at the center of an ideological battle with the state's powerful union movement that shows no signs of dying down in the weeks ahead.
Dennis Van Roekel, president of the largest teachers union, the National Education Association, failed fifth-grade math last week. The question he failed is: If X (government spending) is growing faster than A (government tax revenue) plus B (new revenue from higher tax rates on "the rich"), when will A plus B equal X?
America is intrigued with the latest clash of political titans, suggesting that the vice presidential debate could draw as much interest as the presidential version. And why not? This is debate as reality TV, pitting a pair of unlikely combatants against each other, with excruciating stakes and a big audience.
The most worrisome time for Mitt Romney could be post-podium, when the presidential debate ends and the elite press descends, to gnaw on his words until voters are left with just a few bits of red meat — and lots of pre-digested conclusions.
Every American's paycheck will be smaller on Jan. 1 -- the only question is by how much. The payroll-tax break put in place two years ago will expire Dec. 31, and no one in Washington wants to extend it again. On top of this, all income tax rates will rise unless Congress and President Obama act.