WASHINGTON, Feb. 13
Former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) officially declared his presidential candidacy at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI at 9:00 am ET.
Later, Romney travels to Iowa where he delivers remarks at 2:00 pm ET at the state fairgrounds in Des Moines.
The AP's Liz Sidoti raises the curtain on Romney's announcement by offering a Romney 101 course for those just tuning in. LINK
The Michigan papers are oddly absent of tee-up coverage, and the Boston Globe's piece is short and almost indifferent, although the paper gets in this hostile (if factual) graph:
"Recent polls show Romney has significant ground to gain. A Detroit Free Press-Local 4 (WDIV-TV) poll earlier this month put Romney a distant fourth behind McCain, former New York City mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, and former House speaker Newt Gingrich, who hasn't committed to running. Romney's campaign downplayed the results, saying it was early in the nomination fight. But political observers were surprised he didn't fare better." LINK
Mitt Romney's biggest asset in this race: he has the eye of the tiger.
And his CEO and gubernatorial experience give him the executive mindset that voters have chosen in seven of the last eight presidential elections.
Along with John Edwards, he most closely embodies the totality of the sign in the Little Rock War Room: 1. Change versus more of the same. 2. It's the economy, stupid. 3. Don't forget about health care.
So Romney has a lot to offer. Here's what some of the other candidates would like from him:
John McCain wants Romney's: vigga (as they say in Massachusetts)
Rudy Giuliani wants Romney's: hair
Hillary Clinton wants Romney's: success on health care
Barack Obama wants Romney's: ability to eschew cigarettes
John Edwards wants Romney's: placement in his party's horserace
But Romney is not flawless. Here's what Romney would like from some of the other candidates:
Romney wants McCain's: war record
Romney wants Giuliani's: ability (so far) to avoid real scrutiny on heretical positions
Romney wants Clinton's: fundraising capacity
Romney wants Obama's: Oprah connection
Romney wants Edwards': killer instincts
Shortly after Romney outlines his vision for the nation before in his native Michigan, the team of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) shows its own killer instincts when he receives the support and endorsement of Michigan elected officials at a press conference organized by his presidential exploratory committee at the Radisson Hotel at 11:30 am ET in Lansing. Sen. McCain will not be in attendance.
The House of Representatives was scheduled to begin floor debate on the Iraq War Resolution at 9:00 am ET. Speaker Pelosi is expected to take the floor around noon ET.
"At the end of the debate, we will vote on a straightforward proposition: whether we support the President's plan or oppose it. That vote will signal whether the House has heard the message the American people have sent about this war; the current policies have not worked, will not work, and must be changed," Pelosi is expected to say, according to excerpts of her planned remarks released by her office.
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) delivered 8:30 am ET remarks at the AARP's annual policy meeting at the Reagan Trade Building in Washington, DC.