Hillary Clinton is Popular, Herman Cain the Auteur, Good Economic News: Since the AM Note

ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf ( @zbyronwolf) reports:

Hillary Clinton: What Might Have Been vs. Mitt Romney: What May Yet Be

Just as Republicans seem to be coming to terms with Mitt Romney as the fragile frontrunner in the race for their nomination, there’s cause to wonder today what would the bizarro world of President Hillary Clinton look like.

A new Time poll finds that if Hillary Clinton ran for president, she would have much bigger leads over both Mitt Romney and Rick Perry than President Obama, according to ABC’s Joel Siegel.

In hypothetical match ups:

Clinton beats Romney by 17 points, 55-38% (Obama leads Romney by 3 points in the same poll).

Clinton beats Perry by 26 points, 58-32% (Obama leads Perry by 12 points).

Its fun for Fantasy Politics, but it’s a specious comparison. Clinton, as Secretary of State, hasn’t exactly been front and center on the economy or health reform or wall street reform or any other hot button issues likely to decide the election in December.

How many people, besides us, took note of her testimony before Congress today, where she talked about Pakistan and the Haqqani militant network.

Good Economic News - A Double Dip Recession less likely with GDP growing at 2.5 percent in the last quarter.

Herman Cain Watch –

News – Cain told an education forum this evening he thinks the states, not the federal government, should be in charge of aid for college students. That comes one day after President Obama used executive authority to make it easier for some students to refinance their loans.

Sights  - The Mark Block smoker ad has people going back through the Herman Cain Youtube channel. There are some other very clickable videos, including a mock Spaghetti Western “ He Carried Yellow Flowers” and an original ode to Herman Cain called “The Herman Cain Train.”

With this tag line: “There was a time in America when a man was a man, a horse was a horse, and a man on a horse was just a man on a horse… unless he carried Yellow Flowers,” we predict the “yellow flowers” movie will be in the Criterion Collection soon.

Sounds – He does indeed have a speak only when spoken to policy for staffers, as first reported by the NY Times and confirmed by Jon Karl.

Cain will be in that non-early primary state of Alabama tomorrow. We’ll take a look at his travels in the morning.

With his ‘We Can’t Wait’ agenda of executive orders the president has been trying to show that he can in some cases go around Congress. House Speaker John Boehner today raised concerns. Here’s how Jay Carney reacted to Jake Tapper:

“The president is operating well within the bounds of his authority and in a way that is consistent with the kinds of executive actions that presidents have taken in previous administrations, presidents of both parties.”

In praise of Flip Floppers – Hillary Clinton also factored into our story on why flip floppers might make better presidents.

It’s a different view than what you get from James Carville, who today accused Mitt Romney of being a “ serial windsock.”

Group Flop – The Individual Mandate Pretzel – Barack Obama ran for president opposing a requirement for Americans to buy health insurance. But that didn’t stop him from signing one into law. Mitt Romney also signed an individual mandate into law, but as governor of Massachusetts. He now supports repealing the national mandate President Obama signed into law nationally.

On Top Line tomorrow, an exclusive with Michele Bachmann.

When paying more in taxes is not a tax hike: Rep. James Lankford drew an important distinction today between raising taxes to raise revenue and ending loopholes (deductions). Not raising rates, he said, on Top Line, is the important thing. It will be interesting to see if this is a palatable argument for the anti-tax-hike set. If you’re paying more in taxes, it seems like you’d be paying more in taxes, regardless of whether it comes from a rate hike or a deduction deletion.

Adwatch: Historical Edition – We also took a look at Daisy, the ad that changed American politics, with author Robert Mann.

Boehner on tax reform – Relax! – House Speaker John Boehner was coy with reporters today over whether he’d ok any sort of revenue measures. “It’s going to be very hard, but I do think it’s time for everybody to get serious about this,” Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters. “I expect that it’s going to be very difficult to get to an outcome, but I am committed to getting to an outcome.”

Chelsea Not Running - In other Clinton news – that brief and scurrilous rumor that Chelsea Clinton would run for Congress was shot down in about 12 seconds.

Women and WalMart Re-do: That case thrown out by the Supreme Court over the size of the class is back, revised with a smaller class, and ready again for action, reports Ariane de Vogue.

Hair Huntsman – Cain’s video oeuvre is probably something like what the Huntsman campaign was going for with the solo motorcross video. We learned a little something about Huntsman’s hair care today, by the way. It involves Aveda and squirt bottles.

Randall Terry Jones –  Randall Terry and Terry Jones both announced fringe candidacies today.

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