It doesn't have quite the ring of "End the Fed," but Ron Paul's next revolution is a little more tuned in to the 21st century: the battle for Internet freedom.
The Texas congressman and GOP presidential candidate made eliminating the Federal Reserve the cornerstone of his libertarian political program for more than three decades. Alongside his son, Sen. Rand Paul (R) of Kentucky, however, the Paul movement is going to shift gears to online liberty after Paul père's bill to audit the Fed gets its moment in the sun in the House later this month. (The bill will die there, however, as it has no prospects in a Senate controlled by Democrats.)
The announcement, built into a manifesto called "The Technology Revolution," released today, from the Paul-backing grassroots group Campaign for Liberty, raises three questions. What does the family Paul want out of Internet freedom? Will they be successful? And what does the change do for the libertarian movement more broadly?
The manifesto builds its case around two fundamental views: the Internet moves faster than government's ability to regulate it and the main obstacles to economy progress and individual freedom online come from government intervention.
"Around the world, the real threat to Internet freedom comes not from bad people or inefficient markets – we can and will always route around them – but from governments' foolish attempts to manage and control innovation," according to the manifesto.
But it's not just government that draws libertarian ire.
"The road to tyranny is being paved by a collectivist-Industrial complex – a dangerous brew of wealthy, international NGO's, progressive do-gooders, corporate cronies and sympathetic political elites" that want to shackle the Internet, according to the manifesto.
Success in this struggle is, like so much else in the Paul canon, about keeping meddling hands out of the way so that markets and individuals can make their own decisions.
"Technology revolutionaries succeed because of the decentralized nature of the Internet which defies government control," according to the manifesto.
So with all that said, will the Paul/libertarian movement beat back all government involvement in the Internet? Don't count on it. But as the Republican primary process proved, the Paul family policy prescription of deeply cutting government – You want big cuts? Ron Paul's been screaming it for years – has resonated in the Republican Party and, indeed, across America this election cycle.
“The success of this message is way beyond my expectations,” Ron Paul said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast in September. "Who would’ve ever dreamed that, after 100 years, we’d be talking about the Federal Reserve at debates? I mean, this is fantastic.”
Past performance, as all know, is no definite prescription for the future. But on something as quixotic as ending the Fed, Paul has moved the needle. Why couldn't Ron and Rand have the same impact on Internet policy?
But Ron doesn't have too many more years in the spotlight. What does that all mean for the libertarian movement? Rand, who won as an insurgent in Kentucky's GOP primary in 2010 and who has carried the libertarian agenda into the Senate, will pick up the Paul family banner when Ron retires from Congress at year's end. He will be joined by libertarian supporters in the House, most notably Rep.Justin Amash (R) of Michigan.
As Buzzfeed's Rosie Gray, who broke the news of the Internet manifesto, put it: "Internet freedom, Paul insiders say, is going to be Rand's end-the-Fed."
The Paul brand has been powered in no small part by young people. The Internet freedom push gives Team Paul a way to relate to a generation of acolytes in a closer-to-home way than the somewhat esoteric crusade against the Fed. It's not that the end of fiat money and a return to the gold standard is going to be leaving the Paul playbook – it's a central part of the philosophy and something Rand has hewed to consistently.
But leading with the Net, the Paul program could have an entry point to an even wider following.
The presumptive GOP nominee’s haul for his campaign and associated Republican committees was “north of $100 million,” tweeted RNC political director Rick Wiley on Wednesday. Mr. Wiley directed his comment at President Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, saying he assumed the total would drive Mr. Messina and friends to adult beverages to drown their sorrows.
Will it? Perhaps. One hundred million Washingtons is a lot of money for a presidential campaign to accumulate in four weeks’ time. If true (it hasn’t yet been confirmed officially by the Romney campaign), that total would represent a record for Republican fundraising.
Mr. Obama beat that last time around – he raised $150 million in September 2008. But Obama’s money-race totals trailed Mr. Romney’s in May. Now the incumbent risks falling behind his challenger in this important metric for two months in a row.
“We’re already giving Team Obama’s formidable fundraising capabilities a run for their money – and it feels so good. Bazinga!” wrote contributor Erika Johnsen on the conservative Hot Air website on Thursday.
Romney worked hard to raise this money. Remember that $50,000-per-person dinner with Donald Trump in Utah? Overall, the former Massachusetts governor has held at least one fundraiser on 18 of June’s 30 days, according to a report in Slate.
Will the fundraising total at least give pause to Romney’s conservative critics? That’s a crucial question, given that he’s been hammered in recent days by News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch, former GE CEO Jack Welch, The Wall Street Journal editorial board, and even the conservative news magazine, The Weekly Standard.
The Weekly Standard has never been a bastion of Romney support. Throughout the primaries, founder William Kristol begged everyone from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan to jump into the GOP race.
Kristol’s basic complaint about Romney mirrors The Wall Street Journal’s opinion: He needs to stop playing defense and be more aggressive to counter the Obama team’s attacks on his Bain Capital record, among other things.
“Is it too much to ask Mitt Romney to get off autopilot and actually think about the race he’s running?” writes Kristol.
Romney may use some of his June money to at least appear to respond to these concerns. According to a report in the Washington Post, he’s planning to add some veteran communications operatives to his team to help tighten its message, while keeping his core staff of aides intact.
But he’ll need the cash for good old-fashioned campaign expenses, as well. One hundred million dollars sounds like a lot of money, but it can be swallowed up by campaign ads and other expenses faster than you can say “repeal ObamaCare.”
As the Center for Responsive Politics notes Friday in its Open Secrets blog on political money, the Obama campaign has already committed $21.4 million to July ad airtime, focusing on swing states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania. Gee. Those are states Obama is now visiting on his first campaign bus tour. Coincidence? Ha.
Ad spending from both candidates for the 2012 general election campaign is already about $200 million, according to this report. And the big-dollar months won’t even start until Labor Day.
Under President Obama’s health-care reforms, Americans will have to pay the federal government a fee if they don’t have health insurance. Does it matter if that fee is called a “penalty” or a “tax”?
That question arises because Mitt Romney on Wednesday said that he agreed with the Supreme Court on this question, and that the fee in question is a “tax." This amounted to a change of position, because earlier in the week top Romney advisor Eric Fehrnstrom said the campaign viewed this payment as a penalty, fee, or fine, but not a tax.
“The majority of the court said it’s a tax and therefore it is a tax,” Mr. Romney told CBS News in an interview. “They have spoken. There’s no way around that.”
Why worry about this nomenclature? Because conservatives were furious that Romney was, in their view, throwing away a political gift handed to Republicans by high court justices.
Yes, a 5-to-4 majority found Obama’s health mandate constitutional. But they did so by framing the mandate as a tax, which is a charged word. Who likes taxes? Nobody. What’s the phrase Republicans have put in front of “Democrat” for years? “Tax-and-spend."
“Clearly, if it’s a tax, you can argue, No. 1, against Obama [that] he was disingenuous for a year and a half, pretending a tax wasn’t a tax. Second, you can say that having promised he wouldn’t raise taxes on middle-income people, this thing hits overwhelmingly people in the middle income bracket. Lastly, you can say this is a tax like many others in Obamacare,” said conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer on Bret Baier’s Fox News show Wednesday.
However, in quickly contradicting his aide’s description of the fee, Romney risks being called a flip-flopper by Democrats. Perhaps more dangerously, he leaves himself open to criticism that he himself raised taxes while governor of Massachusetts, because he instituted a similar mandate with its own penalty/fine/tax structure.
In his CBS interview Wednesday Romney argued this point, saying that the Supreme Court drew a distinction between the taxing power of the federal government and police powers of states. But that’s the aspect of this debate on which the Obama administration pounced Thursday.
Mr. Carney added that the mandate was modeled after Romney’s health plan in Massachusetts, according to a pool report.
Does this argument really matter? Will any swing voter switch sides because they hear something called a “tax”, as opposed to a “penalty”?
Ezra Klein, editor of the Washington Post’s Wonkblog, argues that it does not matter – that no one will embrace the idea of paying a penalty for going without health insurance yet recoil in horror from the prospect of paying a tax for the same thing.
Mr. Klein makes the point that the individual mandate is already unpopular, whatever words are used to describe it, according to polls. He notes that it is the least-liked aspect of Obama’s health-care reforms. Opinion on this, and on other aspects of what Republicans call Obamacare, is already polarized.
“The idea that, this late in the game, even one vote will be decided by whether Republicans call this already-disliked policy ‘a tax’ rather than ‘a penalty’ or ‘government coercion’ or ‘jackbooted thugs making you buy health care’ strains credulity,” writes Klein.
President Obama on July fourth presided over a naturalization ceremony for 25 US service members. Among those sworn in as US citizens were Byron Oswaldo Acevedo, a Marine Lance Corporal from Guatemala; Terence Njikang Ekabe, An Air Force medical technician born in Cameroon; and Faye Ubad Ngirchomlei, an Army military police specialist from Palau.
“Some of you came here as children, brought by parents who dreamed of giving you the opportunities that they never had,” said Obama in remarks to the assembled troops. “Others of you came as adults, finding your way through a new country and a new culture and a new language. All of you did something profound: You chose to serve.”
Obama used the occasion to touch briefly on his recent move to stop deporting children brought to the US who grow up in the country and serve in the military or attend college. He urged passage of legislation codifying his action, as well as comprehensive immigration reform.
“Because the lesson of these 235 years is clear – immigration makes America stronger,” he said.
Besides providing a forum for Obama to promote his immigration positions in general, the ceremony shed light on an aspect of the US military many in the country may not realize: you don’t have to be a citizen to join.
That’s not the case for all ranks – only citizens can be commissioned as military officers. Those considered citizens in this context include citizens of Puerto Rico, Guam, the US Virgin Islands, and a number of other US unincorporated territories.
But legal immigrants are eligible to enlist in the ranks, as long as they meet health, education, and other qualification requirements.
In addition, service in the US military entitles immigrants to an expedited citizenship process. According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, members of the armed services who have lawful permanent residence status, and have served honorably for at least one year, may qualify for naturalization.
However, anyone who obtains citizenship through the military who then leaves the armed forces under less-than-honorable circumstances prior to completing five years of honorable service may have their citizenship revoked, according to the USCIS.
From September, 2001, through fiscal year 2011, the US government naturalized as citizens 74,977 military personnel, according to government statistics. Last year alone over 10,000 were sworn in. From 1008 through 2011 1,236 military spouses were sworn in as citizens as well.
"You put on the uniform of a country that was not yet fully your own," said Obama on Wednesday. "In a time of war, some of you deployed into harm's way. You displayed the values that we celebrate every Fourth of July - duty, responsibility, and patriotism."
Today, July fourth, is Malia Obama’s birthday. Yes, we know – it’s hard to believe that she’s turning 14. It seems like only yesterday that she wasn’t much taller than Bo the First Dog when they went on Rose Garden walks.
Well, maybe she was always a bit taller than that given that now she’s almost the same height as her Dad. But the big question is party, as in, will she get a birthday celebration or not?
Probably. The White House isn’t saying, since they don’t comment on First Daughter activities. But Malia, sister Sasha, and mom and Dad spent a long weekend at Camp David, returning to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue only this morning. It’s quite possible the weekend featured personal festivities, including presents (iPad? Jewelry? Clothing as stylish as her mom’s?).
The Obamas do believe in birthday parties, after all. Earlier this year Sasha, whose birthday is in June, got an 11th birthday fete at a Red Robin restaurant in suburban Virginia. Ten friends – plus Malia and Michelle Obama – participated.
Last June, Sasha, friends, and a passel of pink balloons had a celebration at Georgetown Cupcake, a well-known DC sugar emporium. You could tell something was up due to the presence of casually dressed Secret Service agents loitering in front of the store.
Of course, older sister Malia’s problem is that her birthday falls on the birthday of the country. People born on other big holidays – December 25th comes to mind – know the feeling. On the one hand, people forget it’s your day, too. On the other, you can pretend that all the hoopla is personal.
So in that sense Malia is participating in a big party, bigger than any Sasha has yet received. Plus, it will be televised.
That’s because President Obama is hosting an annual USO concert and salute to the US military tonight on the White House grounds. The headliner is country star Brad Paisley. There will also be a barbecue, games, a set from the Marine Band, and a great view of the Washington fireworks.
The whole thing is being streamed live from the White House website.
So now that she’s 14, will Malia go on the stump and campaign for her father’s reelection? We doubt it, but she and her sister are beginning to appear in Obama reelection ads.
That’s because both they and their mother rate high in public esteem. Michelle Obama’s favorable scores surpass her husband’s. There aren’t many polls that touch on Sasha and Malia, but one 2009 survey from Public Policy Polling found that 54 percent of respondents had a favorable opinion of the girls. Only five percent had an unfavorable opinion.
For the Obama camp the point is not to highlight the girls per se, but to highlight the president’s role as a family man. Michelle Obama has begun to use social media, including her Facebook and Pinterest accounts, to post pictures and reminiscences of the family, which are then widely reposted by fans.
Does Mitt Romney need to shake up his campaign staff? One of America’s most famous former corporate chieftains appears to believe that he does. Ex-GE honcho Jack Welch tweeted on Monday night that he agrees with News Corp. head Rupert Murdoch that Mr. Romney needs more combative advisers.
Hmm. Are Welch and Mr. Murdoch hitting the panic button? Generally speaking, campaign shake-ups occur only when campaigns aren’t doing well. In 2007, for instance, Sen. John McCain fired campaign manager Terry Nelson and chief strategist John Weaver due to poor fundraising and muddled message production. In 2008, Hillary Rodman Clinton’s campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle, got the ax as the former first lady struggled to regain her frontrunner status.
But both of those upheavals occurred in the primary season, when there is still time to settle the team down and get rolling again. Romney is already into the general election phase of the campaign, when the pace becomes fast and furious. (Yes, that’s an Eric Holder reference.) Plus, there’s little evidence his team is floundering. As New York Times political reporter Michael Shear notes Tuesday in the paper’s Caucus blog, Romney is close to even with President Obama in the polls. He’s raising piles of money.
“The campaign is disciplined and precise,” writes Mr. Shear.
It’s possible that both Welch and Murdoch are just tweaking Romney. Neither has a close relationship with the presumptive GOP nominee, despite the fact that both also profess that they want Romney to win.
Plus, they might be falling prey to CEO syndrome. In business it’s easy to hire and fire top officials. It gives the appearance of action, particularly in the face of bad news, such as a decline in sales. And while Romney is doing pretty well, there are a few worrisome signs. The latest Gallup tracking poll has Mr. Obama over Romney by 48 percent to 43 percent – the incumbent’s biggest lead since April.
“The race has been close among registered voters so far this election cycle, but President Obama is now showing a slightly more sustained lead in recent days than he has previously,” writes Gallup editor Frank Newport.
It’s true that’s only one poll. But the RealClearPolitics rolling average of major polls also has Obama maintaining a clear, if slim, 2.7 percentage point lead.
Our final point is that Welch and Murdoch, two titans of capitalism, may feel stung by Obama’s attacks on Romney’s capitalist actions. The Obama team’s pounding on Bain Capital continues, with a new ad out Tuesday charging that Romney “believes” in outsourcing jobs to foreign countries.
This charge is based on the fact that Bain invested in several companies that specialized in moving back-office jobs to foreign nations. But the ad neglects to mention that much of the investment occurred after Romney left the firm. An analysis of similar Obama ads from FactCheck.org notes that “some of the claims in the ads are untrue, and others are thinly supported.”
Rupert Murdoch appears to believe that Mitt Romney needs more backbone. The News Corp. chairman tweeted over the weekend that the presumptive GOP nominee will have a tough time beating President Obama “unless he drops old friends from team and hires some real pros. Doubtful.”
In response to a Twitter follower inquiry, Mr. Murdoch later implied that Mr. Romney has good qualities but needs “more fight.”
“And Hispanics a surrender to O,” Murdoch tweeted. “Cn not afford, hurts senate too.”
What’s going on here? Why is Murdoch – a conservative himself – going after the candidate who presumably is most in tune with conservative economic principles? And is he right that Romney needs to add a bit of brawl to his campaign if he’s going to win the White House in November?
Well, the first thing to remember here is that Rupert Murdoch was not to the manor born. As a thorough piece by Ben Smith in BuzzFeed points out, Murdoch has prospered as a journalistic outsider, first in Britain and then in the United States, bringing tabloid swagger and a touch of populism to every news organ he owns. (Yes, that includes The Wall Street Journal.) In many ways that’s the opposite of Mitt Romney’s approach to his career, which has hinged on quiet, careful preparation, and building on his inherent insider advantages.
Plus, the animus toward the Mittster isn’t new. As early as February, Murdoch tweeted that “Romney has plenty of brains, but want to see heart and stomach.” So in that sense the latest twitter storm shouldn’t be surprising.
But is Murdoch right? That’s a tougher issue to answer. In some ways he’s simply giving voice to the common feeling of top GOP figures that Romney is too plain, too unexciting to the tea party base, to win. That was the knock on Romney during the primaries, after all – that Republicans needed more fire to go mano a mano with the verbally facile incumbent.
But perhaps that’s yesterday’s GOP worry. Polls show that Romney has already solidified the Republican base in the sense of earning the declared support of all party factions, including the most conservative. Since wrapping up the nomination, Romney has surprised some party insiders by refusing to apologize for the rantings of supporter Donald Trump, hitting Obama hard for his verbal slip that the private sector is “doing fine,” and so forth. In that sense, he’s not exactly been Mitt Milquetoast.
In any case, it’s quite possible that Romney’s demeanor won’t matter as much as many pundits assume. The election may well turn on larger economic trends and opinion about the country’s direction than on which candidate “won” the day’s exchange of campaign insult-fire.
As political blogger Jonathan Bernstein pointed out Monday on his Plain Blog About Politics, a new poll shows that 41 percent of Americans are not aware that the US Supreme Court has ruled Obama’s health-care reforms to be constitutional.
“One of the most difficult things to keep front and center for everyone who cares passionately about politics ... is just how distant many Americans are from the day-to-day discussion that we all focus on so intensely,” Mr. Bernstein writes.
Murdoch himself may have been making this point with a tweet that, read carefully, may contradict his criticisms of Romney.
“US election is referendum on Obama, all else pretty minor,” Murdoch wrote.
The leaders of the House Government Oversight Committee traded barbed comments on the House floor. Republicans passionately argued that their quest was about providing closure to the family of US border agent Brian Terry, whose murder was linked to weapons from a “gunwalking” operation in Arizona known as Fast and Furious. It was that operation that prompted Congress’s investigation into the Justice Department and Mr. Holder.
Democrats, lead by civil rights hero Rep. John Lewis (D) of Georgia arm-in-arm with House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D) of California, walked off the House floor during the contempt votes. They marched en masse to the lawn outside the Capitol to protest what they called a Republican “kangaroo court” aimed not at investigating why guns were allowed to pass into the hands of Mexican drug cartels but, instead, at claiming Holder’s political scalp.
But one dramatic turn that didn’t come to pass? The House sending the sergeant-at-arms to arrest the attorney general and imprison him in the Capitol until it gets its way. That’s a move well within congressional rights with a contempt resolution, albeit one that hasn’t been tried in about a century.
And it’s not as if Congress has been terribly effective at jailing those it has held in contempt, according to Senate Historian Donald Ritchie’s book, “Press Gallery,” and research by Mr. Chafetz, who is writing a book on congressional power.
In fact, it appears Holder might have had more fun being “jailed” in Congress than facing House Government Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R) of California.
The penultimate congressional jailing came in in 1848, when the Senate imprisoned New York Herald reporter John Nugent for publishing the then-secret Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican War. But the Herald kept publishing letters from Mr. Nugent during his weeks of incarceration, with the dateline “Custody of the Sergeant-at-Arms” and doubled Nugent’s salary while he was locked down in Congress.
Weary of leaving Nugent to berate them from the relative comfort of his new digs in a Capitol Hill committee room – and embarrassed by his paper’s publication of a long list of senators who had leaked secret documents to the media – the Senate released Nugent with the face-saving claim of looking out for his health.
In 1871, the Senate put two reporters from The New York Tribune into the congressional stockade, after they paid $500 to purchase the secret Treaty of Washington, settling America’s Civil War claims with Great Britain.
“We know the spirit that prevails through the profession to which these young gentlemen belong,” said Sen. Oliver Morton, according to Mr. Ritchie’s book. “Their honor, their reputation, their pride, their word, have all been pledged that they will not make this disclosure, and they will go up to this disconsolate, gloomy dungeon and stay there before they will do it.”
Unfortunately, there was no “gloomy dungeon,” as Mr. Ritchie points out – the reporters were housed in the Pacific Railroad Committee Room, were allowed to eat in the Senate dining room, and were frequently visited by their family, friends, and supporters. Both reporters were eventually released without offering a confession.
The House also moved against two members of the executive branch but didn’t jail either one. In 1879, the House arrested but did not imprison the US minister to China, George Seward, over claims that he had misappropriated funds while he was consul general to Shanghai. In 1915, the House arrested a district attorney in New York but likewise didn’t imprison him on Capitol Hill.
Last week, Democratic leader Pelosi told reporters that, as speaker of the House in 2007, she could have jailed White House adviser Karl Rove, but declined. "There’s a prison here in the Capitol," she said. "If we had spotted him in the Capitol, we could have arrested him.”
The Bush White House refused to let Mr. Rove testify before a House panel investigating the firing of several US attorneys, citing executive privilege.
Had then-majority House Democrats moved on a contempt vote, Rove would probably have commanded a well-appointed committee room, at least.
It’s an instant meme – the “Dewey defeats Truman” of 2012.
When CNN and Fox News initially misreported that the US Supreme Court had struck down the so-called individual mandate in President Obama’s Affordable Care Act – the central pillar of the law – a guy named Gary He went to work.
Mr. He, product director at Insider Images, per The New York Times, superimposed Mr. Obama’s face on the famous shot of President Truman holding up the Chicago Tribune from Nov. 3, 1948, and He posted the image on his Twitter feed. The Tribune had initially, and wrongly, reported that New York Gov. Thomas Dewey (R) had defeated Mr. Truman, based on a bad hunch by the paper’s political analyst.
The foul-up by CNN and Fox happened for a different reason. According to the Times, both news outlets had come to the point in Chief Justice John Roberts’s majority opinion declaring that the mandate was unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause, and then ran with it. In fact, the court had also ruled that the penalty for failing to buy insurance was a tax, and therefore the mandate survived.
Thus, Obama is the new Truman. And in the 2012 version, he is holding up a tablet showing the CNN home page declaring, “Mandate struck down.”
But if the Earth ever is attacked by hostile beings from another planet, a strong majority of voters believe Mr. Obama would be superior in dealing with the situation.
In what may be our favorite polling question of the campaign so far, a survey by the National Geographic Channel, first reported by USA Today, finds that 65 percent of Americans say Obama would be better suited than Mr. Romney to handle an alien invasion.
And lest you are tempted to dismiss this poll as pure silliness, the study also found that 36 percent of Americans think UFOs exist, while another 48 percent aren't sure. Which means that at least some of the respondents judging the presidential candidates' alien-fighting abilities may see it as a plausible scenario. (According to the poll, 79 percent also say the federal government has been hiding information about UFOs from the public – which may actually say more about the public’s overall distrust of government than its views on aliens.)
Even for those who don't really think aliens might attack Earth, we say it's an interesting poll question – essentially prodding which candidate voters would prefer at the helm in the case of a sudden, terrifying crisis that threatens the world's very existence.
Or, to put it another way, it's kind of like asking voters which candidate has more Will Smith in him? Who'd be more likely to bring down an enemy spacecraft, charge over to the wreckage, and punch the alien in the face?
For most Americans, the answer seems to be Obama.
Of course, part of Obama's edge here may come from incumbency. He's already the president, so voters are automatically more inclined to see him as a wartime leader. Obama's foreign policy ratings in general have been a source of strength for him. This is the guy who took down Osama bin Laden, after all –so why not aliens?
On the other hand, it’s worth pointing out that in the most recent Gallup poll, Obama and Romney were essentially tied on the measurement of who is a “strong and decisive leader,” with 53 percent of respondents saying Obama was, and 55 percent saying Romney was.
Still, it seems being a strong leader isn’t exactly the same thing as defending the nation against aliens.
Delving further into the alien-fighting scenario, the National Geographic survey also probed the key question of sidekicks. Who would Americans want at their side in an alien attack? According to the poll, 8 percent chose Spiderman, 12 percent said Batman, and a full 21 percent chose the Hulk.
Hmmm. Maybe Romney should pick New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as his running mate, after all.