After a couple weeks of talking about nothing but Bain Capital, the presidential campaign has hit a reset. Mitt Romney is getting ready for a trip abroad, while President Obama is in post-tragedy mode, visiting with the families of the victims of the Aurora shooting. The candidates have paused their harshest attacks on each other, but their campaigns haven't. Maybe that doesn't matter, because they're about to be drowned out by the Olympics. Here's what the candidates will be up to while we normals are savoring the glory of sports:
The president spent Sunday night consoling the families of victims of the Aurora shooting, saying, "I come to them not so much as president as I do as a father and as a husband" in remarks at University of Colorado Medical Center, where 23 of the victims were treated. Obama's campaign is making sure he doesn't look too partisan for the time being. Ads are off Colorado airwaves, and the campaign cancelled a grassroots event in Portland, Oregon Tuesday, because those kind of events tend to be more partisan. "While there's not a playbook for this, that given the tone of grassroots events, it was the right step to take," Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters Sunday.
On Monday afternoon, Obama will speak to the national convention of Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, Nevada. His speech will talk about his foreign policy successes and the never-controversial issue of how to "better serve our troops and military families and honor our veterans."
But while Obama continues looking above it all, his campaign is not. Adviser David Axelrod tweeted a sarcastic joke about Romney's secrecy Monday morning, and then the Obama campaign held a conference call with reporters to attack Romney's planned foreign trip as "one long photo op and fundraising tour."
The Republican candidate is holding a small business roundtable Monday in Costa Mesa, California. Then he'll speak to the VFW convention, too. On Wednesday, he'll be in London, and the next day he'll meet with British Prime Minister David Cameron and other officials. Romney was invited to attend the London Olympics by the International Olympic Committee, and against some aides' advice, decided to attend the games, Bloomberg's Lisa Lerer reports. He asked aides to figure out another European stop, and they settled on Gdansk, Poland, where he'll arrive in a week. There he'll meet with anti-communist hero Lech Walesa, who is not popular among Polish conservatives, BuzzFeed notes. After that, Romney's going to Israel. The New York Times' Michael D. Shear writes that while the foreign trip will give voters a chance to see Romney as a statesman, it also turns the focus to foreign policy, instead of the economy, which is Romney's top issue.
Again, while Romney will look dignified and statesmanlike, his campaign is engaged in the same campaign stuff that Obama's is. ABC News' Arlette Saenz tweets the backdrop for a Romney event today, which is a shot at a comment Obama made earlier this month, "If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that." The "that" Obama was referring to was infrastructure that businesses depend on, but Romney and Republicans have attacked it as an almost Freudian slip showing Obama's anti-business views.