POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 8/2

House Passes Debt Ceiling Measure

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to raise the nation’s debt ceiling and cut more than $2 trillion in spending over the next 10 years. The vote was 269 to 161.

Republicans voted in favor 174 to 66, while Democrats split 95 to 95.

Of special note, Rep. Gabrielle Gifford (D-AZ) returned to Washington, D.C. to vote in favor of the bill. She received a lengthy standing ovation when she entered the House chamber.

Extra Bonus Quote of the Day

“They have acted like terrorists.”

– Vice President Joe Biden, quoted by Politico, lashing out at Tea Party Republicans in a meeting with House Democrats.

Gingrich’s Fake Followers

To demonstrate grassroots support for his presidential campaign, Newt Gingrich recently bragged to the Marietta Daily Journal that he has “six times as many Twitter followers as all the other candidates combined.”

However, a former Gingrich staffer tells Gawker that his campaign hired a firm to boost his Twitter follower count, in part by creating fake accounts: “About 80% of those accounts are inactive or are dummy accounts created by various ‘follow agencies,’ another 10% are real people who are part of a network of folks who follow others back and are paying for followers themselves… and the remaining 10% may, in fact, be real, sentient people who happen to like Newt Gingrich.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“She makes for good copy — and good photography.”

– Jon Hunstman, quoted by New York magazine, on why Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) gets so much media attention.

Most Describe Debt Negotiations Negatively

A new Pew Research survey finds 72% of Americans use such terms as “ridiculous, disgusting, stupid, and frustrating” to describe the recent debt ceiling negotiations while very few offer a positive (2%), or even neutral (11%), assessment.

Other frequently used terms include “terrible, disappointing, childish, and joke.”

Furthermore, the debate “has tarnished the image of both President Obama and Speaker Boehner — about a third say they have come to have a less favorable view of each leader in recent weeks, while relatively few say their impressions have improved.”

Perry “Poised to Enter” Presidential Race

In an e-mail invitation obtained by The Fix, former Rick Perry campaign finance chairman Jim Lee invites an exclusive group to dine with the governor in Austin.

Notes the invitation: “Texas Gov. Perry is poised to enter the presidential race in the coming weeks and, if he does, will completely transform the Republican primary… Ours will be a condensed and unconventional strategy yet we have a clear path to the nomination.”

Cartoon of the Day

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Why Obama Didn’t Use the Constitutional Option

Joe Klein: “If he had cited the 14th Amendment and simply ordered Treasury to pay the bills, he would have been impeached by the radical Republicans. This would have guaranteed that the next 16 months would have been overwhelmed by an even worse version of the silliness visited upon our nation by the poisonous Limbaugh-Tea Party nihilists.”

“We can argue about whether we’re due for 16 months of nihilist sabotage anyway. We probably are. But you really can’t fault Obama for trying to keep the wilder excesses of this disgraceful crew off the table.”

Not as Bad for Democrats as You Think

Nate Silver: “If Democrats read the fine print on the debt deal struck by President Obama and Congressional leaders, they’ll find that it’s a little better than it appears at first glance. That’s not to say that the deal is a good one for them. It concedes a lot to Republicans, and Democrats may be wondering why any of this was necessary in the first place. But the good news, relatively speaking, has to do with the timing and structure of the spending cuts contained in the deal.”

Meanwhile, Jay Newton-Small has the five reasons liberals should like the deal.

And President Obama sells the plan to his supporters in a new video message.

 

Why Perry Can’t Take Credit for the Texas Economy

Houston Chronicle: “Ten reasons why the Texas economy is growing that have nothing to do with Rick Perry.”

Super PAC Runs Ad for Perry in Iowa

A “super PAC” has purchased a statewide ad buy for $40,000 that seeks to bolster Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) image in the early caucus state before the Ames straw poll on August 13, reports Politico. The super PAC is “rumored to have the backing of wealthy Texas Republicans who have long supported Perry” and is linked to similar groups in important primary states like South Carolina and Florida.

Why the small ad buy? “The goal of the Iowa ad is to ‘help introduce Iowa voters to Rick Perry’ and ‘generate buzz’ ahead of the straw poll, said the source familiar with Jobs for Iowa… the source said that, depending on what Perry does, the Jobs groups ‘plan to release additional TV spots with significant ad buys…after Labor Day.'”

Romney Opposes Debt Ceiling Deal

After being silent for weeks, Mitt Romney issues a statement opposing the debt ceiling agreement reached last night:

“As president, my plan would have produced a budget that was cut, capped and balanced – not one that opens the door to higher taxes and puts defense cuts on the table. President Obama’s leadership failure has pushed the economy to the brink at the eleventh hour and 59th minute. While I appreciate the extraordinarily difficult situation President Obama’s lack of leadership has placed Republican Members of Congress in, I personally cannot support this deal.”

Obama’s Last Day

Have Republicans already conceded the 2012 presidential election? Check out this screenshot from GOP.com.

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Unable to Declare Victory

First Read: “While Democrats lost in the particulars on the deal, Republicans lost in looking like a responsible governing party that deserves control of both the legislative and executive branches. But they still got what they wanted: a sizable bite out of government. But strikingly, just like how the left didn’t celebrate Obama’s landmark health-care achievement (even though it was the biggest expansion of the social safety net since the 1960s), the right isn’t really cheering this deal (even though it represents a historic cut in government spending).”

Quote of the Day

“In the short term, everyone suffers politically. In the long term, I think the Republicans have done terrible damage to their brand. Because now they’re thoroughly defined by their most strident voices.”

– White House adviser David Axelrod, quoted by the Washington Post, spinning the deal reached last night to raise the debt ceiling.

What Happened that Night in Abbottabad

Must-read: The New Yorker on how 23 Navy SEALs found and killed Osama bin Laden.

“It was a moonless evening, and the helicopters’ pilots, wearing night-vision goggles, flew without lights over mountains that straddle the border with Pakistan. Radio communications were kept to a minimum, and an eerie calm settled inside the aircraft. Fifteen minutes later, the helicopters ducked into an alpine valley and slipped, undetected, into Pakistani airspace.”

Lugar Leads But Still Below 50%

Just days after a poll found Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) in a tight Senate primary race with Richard Mourdock (R), the incumbent released an American Viewpoint poll showing him with a 14 point lead, 45% to 31%.

 

Palin Documentary Sputters Out

The Sarah Palin documentary, The Undefeated, had another big drop in ticket sales over the weekend, earning just over $5,000.

Christian Heinze: “Last weekend, the distributor pared things down and ran the film in only four theatres, which should have raised its per theatre average, even while reducing ticket sales. Well, overall ticket sales did, indeed, fall, but so did sales/theatre, which were just $1,300 last weekend — its worst performance since opening.”

Flashback Quote of the Day

“When you say it would seem they’ll have a significant amount of leverage over the White House, what do you mean?”

– President Obama, at a news conference last December, not seeming to grasp a reporter’s question about the Republican Party’s ability to use the debt ceiling vote as leverage.

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