Paul Ryan’s Facebook explosion, Soft Barack, a Special This Week on the U.S. and Bankruptcy (PM Note)

Aug 17, 2012 5:09pm

Amy Walter’s State of Play for Aug. 17th- Far from running away from a fight on Medicare, Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney say they “want this debate” and will “win this debate.” But, is this a fight really worth having?  Every minute that Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney are talking about Medicare they aren’t talking about jobs. And, even as they muddy the waters on the issue with attacks on Obamacare, it’s hard to believe that Republicans can win a debate on the issue. The best they can do is tie.

Even so, the underlying terrain for Obama remains tricky. The economy is not going to get better between now and November. And, even if Democrats are able to put a Medicare debate front and center, it’s still the economy that is driving this election.

Facebook.com/PaulRyanVP has surpassed one million “likes” in a week.
Houston, Texas is the most popular city among the page’s fans.
Most popular age demographic – 45-54 years old.

Joe Biden’s Facebook page has 359,341 likes.
Most popular city – New York, N.Y
Most popular age demographic – 25-34 years old.

Is the U.S. Headed Toward Bankruptcy?‘ – A Special This Week – Jake Tapper Moderates - In partnership with the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, tackles the critical question- with Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.; House Budget Committee ranking member Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.; former TARP Special Inspector General Neil Barofsky; former Obama economic adviser Austan Goolsbee; Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist; and Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel.

Stephanie Cutter and Kevin Madden also face off on politics. More at http://abcnews.com/thisweek
Soft Barack- Barack Obama called into a New Mexico Radio station today. He talked about eating mole, his favorite Chili in Pueblo, Colorado, and how nobody is going to leave Chicago weighing less (Chicagoan must wonder if he thinks they’re fat). Anyway, he’s also given interviews this week to People and entertainment outlets  - Republicans have a lot of material with which to poke a little fun – http://abcn.ws/P3ntsP

A Deal Romney Can Refuse – Obama Offers Tax Return Bargain – The Romney campaign rejected the Obama campaign’s offer for Mitt Romney: Release five years of tax returns and they’ll promise not to pester him about the matter anymore. http://abcn.ws/NsNBgC (Emily Friedman)

Unlucky 13th – New York District Plagued With Scandal-The son of a disgraced congressman is running against a congressman under investigation, who took over for a congressman who resigned in disgrace 35 years after another former congressman was indicted. This district, which has seen everything from fraud to infidelity, seems to be plagued with scandal. http://abcn.ws/Sx0Q0w (Jilian Fama)

Mitt’s McDonald’s Mystery Solved - But one thing’s for sure. McDonald’s did in fact grant George Romney, Mitt’s dad, a lifetime “Be Our Guest” card. In an email statement, McDonald’s Global Communications Vice President Heidi Barker Sa Shekhem wrote, “McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc was known for his generosity and for sometimes gifting Lifetime “Be Our Guest” cards through the years. Through a search in our Golden Archives, we learned that Mr. George Romney was one of these recipients. … Ray was known to informally gift these to folks from time to time when he was alive.” The corporation, however, said it didn’t track why these cards were given. http://abcn.ws/RnVoSK (Meghan Kiesel)

Paul Ryan’s Favorite Shirt - Paul Ryan proves it’s hip to be a square. Or at least have a bunch of them on your shirt. The new Republican running mate has a favorite pattern and he’s been shamelessly sporting it on the campaign trail ever since he was announced as Mitt Romney’s VP pick on Saturday. http://abcn.ws/N98zzE (Meghan Kiesel)

Paul Ryan’s Shirtless - Less than a week after Mitt Romney tapped Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate, the first shirtless photos of the Wisconsin congressman and P90X-devotee have emerged. http://abcn.ws/NuGcSe (Elizabeth Hartfield)

Christe: Springsteen; Ryan: Rage Against the Machine – Politics makes strange bedfellows, as the saying goes. The latest unlikely couple: GOP congressman and Mitt Romney VP pick Paul Ryan, who says the hardcore rock band Rage Against the Machine is one of his favorites. http://abcn.ws/QK2qLc

Paul Ryan Says It’s the ‘Most Partisan Atmosphere’ He’s ‘Ever Seen’ – At the end of his first week on the stump, Paul Ryan said the current political environment is the “most partisan atmosphere” he’s “ever seen” over the three administrations he’s worked for.  http://abcn.ws/MCCkgC (Shushannah Walshe)

RNC Launches Mobile Convention App – Can’t make it to the GOP convention in Tampa? Tech fans, fret not: There’s an app for that. http://abcn.ws/N9ajbY (Julie Percha)

Obama’s Answer to Romney Medicare Attack? AARP – A new Obama campaign TV ad airing today in eight swing states invokes the powerful AARP in response to Republican attacks on the president’s Medicare plan. http://abcn.ws/Pr7CGE (Devin Dwyer)

Sox Fan Obama Plugs Visit to Wrigley Field… for the Food-Don’t tell Michelle. Or his beloved baseball team, the Chicago White Sox.President Obama’s advice to visitors of the Windy City is a trip to Wrigley Field, home of the Cubs, and a tasting tour of some of the city’s famous – though not entirely healthy – eats.http://abcn.ws/N5rbGs (Devin Dwyer)

8 High-Profile Financial Scandals in 5 Months-Here’s an alarming statistic: In the past five months, the financial sector has had eight high-profile scandals.http://abcn.ws/NsFz7p (Michael Ono)

For ‘Dreamers’ the Wait Is Just Beginning – Lines of young undocumented immigrants began wrapping around Chicago’s Navy Pier long before the sun rose Wednesday morning. By noon, some 13,000 people were packed onto the pier, all seeking advice on how to apply for legal status and alleviate their lifelong fear of deportation. http://abcn.ws/NICgd2 (Amy Bingham)

9 Things More Popular Than Congress – Congress has once again reached its lowest approval rating in history. A mere 10 percent of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, according to the latest Gallup poll, tying February’s lowest-ever rating in Gallup’s 38-year history of polling on this measure. http://abcn.ws/OmvzOh (Amy Bingham)

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