Chen Gaucheng Calls Congress, Romney's Brand Problem, Virginia Poll Favors Obama , Hello, Julia (PM Note)

Chen Calls Congress - From an iPhone held up to a microphone, the dissident who may or may not have wanted to leave the protection of the U.S. told lawmakers he wants to meet face to face with Clinton - There is a very real diplomatic drama that'll play out overnight. Hillary Clinton is expected to have a press conference at 6:30 a.m. ET. Will there be news?

Mitt Says "Shame" on Obama Over Chen Guancheng* - If reports that he was  urged to leave embassy are true -

White House Defends Handling of Crisis - Carney: "At no point during his time in the embassy did Mr. Chen ever request political asylum in the U.S., and at every opportunity, he expressed his desire to stay in China, be unified with his family, continue his education and work for reform in his country. All of our diplomacy was directed at putting him in the best possible position to achieve his objectives." -

Why Romney Needs a Brand Change - Matthew Dowd - "Romney doesn't need more details on economic policy or get more down in the weeds - he needs a memorable economic brand umbrella. It doesn't need to be as simplistic as Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan, but something headed in that direction would be helpful. He should take four or five key existing economic policy points and tie them together in a manner that voters can get quickly and talk about over their back fence or on their front porch or at the water cooler. It needs to be quickly understood and easily conveyed. Maybe Romney could develop something like a "MASH Plan" (taken from the hit TV series): More innovation, Affordable and Simple Tax structure, Streamlined and Smaller Government, and Halt burdensome regulations. This isn't perfect or immensely creative, but just a suggestion to give an easy-to-remember brand to an economic plan." -

Obama Leads Romney in Virginia 51-44, per Wash Post Poll - Romney was there today with Bob McDonnell and Michele Bachmann. Obama is there tomorrow with VCU Head Basketball coach Shaka Smart -

McDonnell Coy About Whether GOP can Win Virginia -

Romney Staff Facebook - Who Should We Profile Next? -

George Stephanopoulos on Young Obama in Love - Running for President? How Embarrassing - Bottom Line: Reading these diary entries made me think that one of the hardest aspects about being president is the complete exposure that comes with it. Sure it's a great job, comes with perks and the kind of power to change the world. But you pay a pretty high price.

Eliot Scholars Give Young Obama High Marks (Romantics Give Him an F) - Chris Good: "Although nearly everyone at ABC News has nuanced and well-developed views on Yeats, and while none of us had to look up Thomas Müntzer on Wikipedia, we nonetheless decided it would be fun to ask Eliot scholars for their  opinions on Obama's analysis. (Plus, as a 20 year-old writing about Eliot to his girlfriend, we wondered whether any of this might be intellectual showboating  or mere puffery.) Two experts, however, were impressed with Obama's insight." -

Negative 2012 - Amy Walter writes: We made mention of this in The Note this morning, but wanted to highlight some good data from the Wesleyan Media Project about the messages - and messengers - that have dominated the 2012 race thus far -  7 out of 10 of the ads aired in this year's presidential contests have been negative-that is, they mentioned an opponent. This compares to fewer than 1 in 10 ads aired during the 2008 presidential race up to this point that were negative.

Counterpoint - Is this the most negative campaign ever?  John Berman: Absolutely MAYBE!  Or not. But you be the judge….and to assist in your analysis please view this Nightline spot from 2010, ingeniously produced by Katie Hinman.  (Note - Love seeing the old footage of Harry Reasoner calling it 1972 the dirtiest campaign ever.) -

Making Fun of "Forward" -

Free Julia - Julia Roberts, Stiles, Louis-Dreyfus, Child, Gulia - The Obama campaign created a character called Julia and she instantly became a vessel for policy arguments over the Paul Ryan Budget, the Health Law and Student Loans - More from Devin Dwyer -

Is Elizabeth Warren Blowing It? - It's unlikely that any further or continued explanation will dig Warren out of the situation. "She needs to change the conversation and I think she needs to do that soon," says Jeffrey Berry, professor of political science at Tufts University in Medford, Mass.

Warren's campaign is important for Democrats, who hold a 53-to-47 majority over Republicans in the Senate.  Of the 33 contested Senate seats this election, only 10 of them are held by Republicans. So the Democrats' plan for holding onto the majority ideally involves picking up at least one seat from Republicans. -

Mass. GOP Says View from the Ground Up is Good -

Voters Root for Home Team in Veepstakes -

Michelle Obama Shows Ann Romney Isn't the Only One With Expensive Tastes

Frequent Fundraiser Miles - Obama's Like Clooney's "Up in the Air" If You're Giving Points for Fundraisers - Dwyer - Obama has headlined 132 re-election fundraisers for his campaign and the Democratic Party since early last year, according to tracking by ABC News and U.S. Naval Academy political scientist Brendan Doherty. President George W. Bush attended 86 fundraisers for his re-election campaign, the Republican Party or both groups during his first term.  Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush appeared at a total of 70 and 24, respectively.

Hillary Kept OBL Raid Secret From Bill Clinton -

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