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little African-American boy touching Obama's hair
Pete Souza/The White House (via Wikimedia Commons)

The above WH picture is making the rounds today via the NY Times:

Yet the photo is tangible evidence of what polls also show: Mr. Obama remains a potent symbol for blacks, with a deep reservoir of support. As skittish as White House aides often are in discussing race, they also clearly revel in the power of their boss’s example.
Jonathan Capehart:
Jackie Calmes of the New York Times tells the story today of my all-time favorite presidential photo. The first time I saw it was while walking through the West Wing to a meeting three years ago. A little black boy touching the head of President Obama. The image was so powerful I stopped in my tracks and inquired about the story behind the photo. As Calmes reports, Jacob Philadelphia had a question for the president of the United States.
Ben Smith:
The caption from the White House Flickr feed: "The youngster wanted to see if the President's haircut felt like his own."
The Atlantic Wire:
It's a great shot by the White House photographer Pete Souza.
See also Mets102 recommended diary for more.

NY Times:

Debates over how much to blame — and regulate — Wall Street have stoked tensions between Democrats and the financial industry ever since Mr. Obama took office amid a financial crisis. But now Mr. Obama is leveraging his bully pulpit and advertising dollars to argue that Mr. Romney’s career as a successful financial executive exhibited values that are not those of a good president.

In doing so, he has not only drawn criticism from allies like Steven L. Rattner, the investor and former adviser on the auto industry, and Cory A. Booker, the mayor of Newark and a favorite of New York’s hedge fund world. Mr. Obama may also be testing a bond first formed by Bill Clinton, who persuaded much of his party’s elite that Democrats could be both populist and friendly to Wall Street.

The Citizen's United decision has changed the equation, and not for the good. "Accomodating" donors is vital. Always was, but now, more than ever.

TPM:

Senate Democrats are advancing legislation to beef up equal pay protections for women, the latest salvo in the election-year battle for women voters.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is set to file cloture Thursday on the Paycheck Protection Act, which would strengthen protections for women who sue for pay discrimination. The move puts Republicans in an uncomfortable position as they work to repair their weak brand image with women voters ahead of the November election.

EJ Dionne:
For too long, the Catholic Church’s stance on public issues has been defined by the outspokenness of its most conservative bishops and the reticence of moderate and progressive prelates. Signs that this might finally be changing are encouraging for the church, and for American politics.
Charles Blow:
Poll time!

I love this moment in the political season because the polls pour in and invariably something tucked in among the questions catches my eye but doesn’t grab the headlines...

When people are asked to identify themselves by political ideology, Americans may appear to be center-right, but independents look more like Democrats than Republicans on moral issues.

This does not bode well for Republicans as the composition and conscience of the country continues to change. We are slowly becoming less religious, more diverse and increasingly open-minded.

That is completely at odds with today’s Republican Party.

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