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2012: Playing it safe

“In the risky business of running for president, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are largely playing it safe,” the AP’s Benac notes. “For all the small daily dramas of the 2012 campaign, there's a risk-averse dynamic playing out: Neither candidate has been making bold new policy proposals or displaying a free-wheeling personal style. So far, at least.”

AP’s Electoral College analysis: “President Barack Obama faces new warning signs in a once-promising Southern state and typically Democratic-voting Midwestern states roughly five months before the election even as he benefits nationally from encouraging economic news. Obama's new worries about North Carolina and Wisconsin offer opportunities for Republican Mitt Romney, who must peel off states Obama won in 2008 if he's to cobble together the 270 electoral votes needed to oust the incumbent in November.”

“The financial firepower that fueled the rise of a network of conservative advocacy groups now pummeling Democrats with television ads can be traced, in part, to Box 72465 in the Boulder Hills post office, on a desert road on the northern outskirts of Phoenix,” the L.A. Times reports. “That's the address for the Center to Protect Patient Rights, an organization with ties to Charles and David H. Koch, the billionaire brothers who bankroll a number of conservative organizations. During the 2010 midterm election, the center sent more than $55 million to 26 GOP-allied groups, tax filings show, funding opaque outfits such as American Future Fund, 60 Plus and Americans for Job Security that were behind a coordinated campaign against Democratic congressional candidates.” Here’s a helpful interactive.

“Bill Clinton is going to bat for President Obama, bashing Mitt Romney as ‘extreme,’ in e-mails touting a blockbuster June fund-raiser in Manhattan with the current and former presidents,” the New York Post writes.

Paging Chicago Cubs fans… Political Wire: “Billionaire investor Joe Ricketts, who dropped plans for a $10 million advertising blitz linking President Obama with the fiery race-based rhetoric of the Rev. Jeremia Wright, ‘is involved in another effort slated for this summer, a documentary film based on a widely criticized book, The Roots of Obama's Rage by Dinesh D'Souza, which asserts that Mr. Obama is carrying out the 'anticolonial' agenda of his Kenyan father,’ the New York Times reports.”