Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA)
- Bob McDonnell has served as the governor of Virginia since 2010 and is currently chairman of the Republican Governors Association and chair of the Republican Party's platform committee. He previously served in the Virginia House of Delegates and as the state's Attorney General.
- McDonnell will be one of six headliners who will speak at the Republican National Convention next week in Tampa, Fla. He was also one of the names mentioned as a potentional running mate for Mitt Romney.
- McDonnell is now campaiging for the Romney-Ryan ticket. In a USA TODAY editorial this week, McDonnell wrote that President Obama has used television advertisements for the character assassination of Romney. "There is a world of difference between ads that are sheer character assassination and those that passionately engage differences on the issues."
Gov. Martin O'Malley (D-MD)
- Martin O'Malley has been in office as the governor of Maryland since 2007 and is in his second term as the chair of the Democratic Governors Association. O'Malley has been in the news recently in his state where he recently signed legislation expanding gambling in Maryland.
- O'Malley is been an active surrogate for President Obama this election season travelling the country campaigning for the president and questioning Mitt Romney's policies and record as he did when addressing Louisiana Democrats this month.
- There is speculation that O'Malley is planning to run for national office in 2016 stemming from his launch of a federal political action committee, the O Say Can You See PAC.
Roundtable: Todd, Reed, Cruz, Dionne, Noonan
- Chuck Todd is NBC's Political Director anad Chief White House Corresprondent. In Friday's First Read NBC's Political Unit wrote that the Ryan pick has has "given the Romney campaign a shot of energy," but the pick has also "marked the most negative turn in the campaign so far" with language from both campaigns and with President Obama's TV ad on Medicare. political fight dominated by one thing medicare
- Democratic Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has been in office since 2010 and serves as the Chairman of the Transportation and Communications Committee of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Reed was named as one of the top state and local government officials in 2011 by Governing Magazine.
- Ted Cruz is the Tea Party-backed Republican U.S. Senate candidate from Texas. Cruz, the son of a Cuban immigrant, recently won a runoff election for the GOP nomination and is a favorite to win the seat. Cruz's Senate run is his first political run for office; he was previously the Texas solicitor general.
- This week, Washington Post columnist EJ Dionne wrote about what the reality of having Paul Ryan on the ticket means for the GOP, from owning Ryan's Medicare proposal to fears that Democrats will "Ryanize" the entire party. The debate over the role of government is usually abstract, but with Ryan as Romney's running mate "this year’s debate will be anything but abstract."
- Peggy Noonan, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, focused her column this week on the circumstances of this election and why Republicans have to focus the campaign with that in mind. With people fearful of cuts Republicans have to convince voters "they're trying to save Medicare, not kill it, that they're the lifeguard, not the shark."
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