Ah, I have to start this week with a complaint. The usually sensible Paul Waldman wrote a fine post about fictional politicians and their ability to achieve "improbable success by throwing aside the talking points and canned speeches, and being real and authentic." Which is all well and good and very much worth talking about, but one of his examples was "The Candidate," which is about the exact opposite. No, Robert Redford certainly does not "[achieve] success by—you guessed it—throwing away the canned speeches and getting real." The whole point of the movie is that he achieves success by sticking to the canned speech, thereby winning but losing touch with reality. Good point, but awful example.
By the way, apparently Tom Friedman botched a "Tin Cup" analogy, but I'll have to take Alex Massie's word for it, because I've avoided that movie. And, come to think of it, that column. I'll certainly trust Massie, though.
On to good stuff...
1. GOP WH 2012: Steve Kornacki on Mitt Romney's strategy and on Rick Perry as a general election candidate. Nate Silver looks at the question of whether replacing Obama would help the Democrats. Josh Putnam shatters the myth that Republicans are now using PR in delegate selection. And how Perry raised money in 2006, from Kevin Collins.
2. David Atkins reminds us that sub-presidential matters a lot, too. The (possible?) demise of the Tea Party primary challenge, from Dave Weigel.
3. Ross Douthat makes a very good point on electoral realignments.
4. The economy and budgets: Dylan Matthews on whether the stimulus worked (yes, it did); Brad Plumer explains why some states are overachieving; Michael Grabell looks at economic myths. Also, Paul Waldman on taxes.
5. How about a little health care? Amanda Marcotte on ACA and IUDs, Jonathan Cohn on the Joint Select Committee and Medicare, and a good ACA implementation post from Sarah Kliff.
6. Juan Cole with Libya myths -- hey, that's the third mythbusting link so far.
7. Brendan Nyhan toasts David Leonhardt.
8. David Frum defends presidential vacations, while Conor Friedersdorf doesn't like the presidential bubble.
9. And Robert Dalleck has new details about the Bay of Pigs -- sure to be interesting to those who have followed my Watergate posts and know of Nixon's plans to (selectively) declassify.