POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 5/3

 

“Don’t Say Gay” Bill Prompts Lawmaker to Come Out

Missouri state Rep. Zach Wyatt (R) “announced publicly he is gay today at a news conference opposing a bill that has gained national attention for its proposed restrictions on in-school discussions of sexuality,” the Columbia Daily Tribune reports.

Wyatt said that he could “no longer keep his sexual orientation to himself in the face of what he considers an example of bigoted legislation.”

 

Bonus Quote of the Day

“What I would do? People ask me, `What would you to get the economy going’? and I say, `well look at what the president’s done, and do the opposite.’”

– Mitt Romney, quoted by the Associated Press.

(In other words, he doesn’t have a clue! fvm)

Dead Heat in Wisconsin Recall

A new Marquette University Law School poll in Wisconsin finds Gov. Scott Walker (R) and Tom Barrett (D) are locked in a dead-even race for governor.

Among registered voters, Barrett led Walker 47% to 46%. That 1-point lead was reversed when considering only likely voters, with Walker holding 48% and Barrett holding 47%.

The poll also showed Barrett leading his Democratic rivals in Tuesday’s primary. The winner of the primary will face Walker in the June 5 recall election.

 

Virginia Senate Race Remains Deadlocked

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Virginia’s U.S. Senate race finds Tim Kaine (D) barely leading George Allen (R), 46% to 45%.

Bottom line: “Different month same story — this is likely to be one of the closest, if not the closest, Senate races in the country this year.”

 

Goodnight Moon Colony

Comedy Central released a storybook farewell to Newt Gingrich’s campaign, “which we’ll always remember for its nuanced policy positions and bold vision of… ah, screw it. We’ll remember the moon colony thing.”

 

Obama Leads in Nevada

A new Rasmussen survey in Nevada finds President Obama leading Mitt Romney by eight points, 52% to 44%.

 

All About Lugar

The Indianapolis Star says next week’s Republican U.S. Senate primary is a referendum on Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN).

“On one side, it’s about voter fatigue as the former Indianapolis mayor seeks a seventh Senate term. It’s about conservatives who are upset with some of Lugar’s votes and some of his bipartisan friendships. It’s about frustration among many GOP county organizers over Lugar’s lack of involvement for many years in local politics…”

“On the other side… it’s about people who deeply appreciate Lugar’s willingness to consider more views than the one in his head. It’s about a hope that Capitol Hill won’t remain as gridlocked as it has been these past few years, and that more lawmakers with Lugar’s reasonableness will take office, or at least that fewer will be tossed out. It’s about a belief that this country needs lawmakers less inclined to explain the country’s problems in simplistic political sound bites, and more capable of grasping the global picture — yes, even if that means missing the Posey County GOP Lincoln Day dinner because it conflicts with a trip to the former Soviet Union.”

 

The Chase for Mayor Bloomberg

President Obama and Mitt Romney “are both determined to score the endorsement of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York, whose name is all but synonymous with Wall Street clout and nonpartisan politics,” reports the New York Times. And with the campaign in full force, “their pursuit of the billionaire mayor is headed into overdrive, with both campaigns making the kind of conspicuous ring-kissing gestures that are reserved for their most sought-after political allies, even though the candidates publicly disagree with the mayor on a range of issues.”

“Mr. Bloomberg, who has lent his reputation for common-sense government and his prowess for fund-raising to dozens of candidates from both parties over the past decade, feared that an endorsement in the 2008 race might have negative repercussions for the city he oversees. But as his mayoral term winds down, he has told advisers that he is willing to back a candidate this time around, touching off an intense competition for his support in the general election.”

Meanwhile, the New York Daily News reports that on Tuesday, Romney, “who was in the city to mark the anniversary of Osama Bin Laden’s death, had breakfast with Bloomberg at the mayor’s philanthropic foundation’s headquarters,” while over the weekend, Bloomberg played golf “with other members of the President’s administration, including Vice President Biden and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.”

 

Questions Remain About Rubio’s Credit Card Use

Though Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) tried to put to rest the issue of his using a Florida Republican party credit card for personal expenses, National Journal isn’t buying his claim that the matter was “totally resolved years ago.”

“Not so. Even putting aside the obvious — why would such a savvy politician continually use a state party credit card for non-party business, requiring him to reimburse the credit card company after the bill had been paid? — questions remain about the more than $100,00 in charges from Nov. 2006 to Nov. 2008.”

 

Young Barack Obama in Love

Vanity Fair excerpts Barack Obama: The Story by David Maraniss.

“He felt no attachment to Columbia or to the first jobs he landed after graduation. But it would be a misreading to say that he was tamping down his ambitions during that period. Just the opposite, in fact. If anything, his sense of destiny deepened. He was conducting an intense debate with himself over his past, pres­ent, and future, an internal struggle that he shared with only a few close friends, including his girlfriends, Alex McNear and Genevieve Cook, who kept a lasting rec­ord, one in letters, the other in her journal.”

 

Huntsman Pledges to Campaign for Romney

Jon Huntsman told the Deseret News that he’s “ready to hit the campaign trail for his one-time rival for the GOP presidential nomination, Mitt Romney.”

Said Huntsman: “I see him as the best of the options we have available.”

He also discounted talk of bad blood between him and Romney: “I think it’s the media that’s created more drama than there is. The fact of the matter is, I don’t know Gov. Romney well.”

 

Political Ad of the Day

Texas Railroad Commissioner candidate Roland Sledge (R) put out a new ad with a tagline few can disagree with:

“Isn’t it about time we elected political leaders that have sense enough not to pee on electric fences.”

 

The Most Grandiose Campaign Promise Ever?

Jon Karl looks back at Newt Gingrich’s “improbable, unpredictable” presidential bid but finds one moment more memorable than the rest.

“The context is important: Gingrich’s campaign had just come back from the dead for the second time and was threatening to knock Mitt Romney out of the race. Gingrich took the stage before a packed, standing-room only crowd at the largest indoor arena on the Space Coast, but instead of delivering a rah-rah stump speech, Gingrich calmly announced he was going to talk about space. And that’s when Gingrich, a man often attacked for his grandiosity, made perhaps the most grandiose promise ever made by a front-running presidential candidate.”

Said Gingrich: “By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon, and it will be American.”

 

Clinton on LBJ

Bill Clinton reviews Robert Caro’s Passage of Power:

“In sparkling detail, Caro shows the new president’s genius for getting to people — friends, foes and everyone in between — and how he used it to achieve his goals… He knew just how to get to you, and he was relentless in doing it…”

“Even when we parted company over the Vietnam War, I never hated L.B.J. the way many young people of my generation came to. I couldn’t. What he did to advance civil rights and equal opportunity was too important. I remain grateful to him. L.B.J. got to me, and after all these years, he still does. With this fascinating and meticulous account of how and why he did it, Robert Caro has once again done America a great service.”

 

Recess!

Dana Millbank: “If you were to stroll by the House chamber today — or tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after that — you would arrive at the ideal time to see what the lawmakers do best: absolutely nothing.”

“It’s another recess week for our lazy leaders… By the time the Republican-led House returns next week, members will have been working in Washington on just 41 of the first 127 days of 2012 — and that was the busy part of the year. They are planning to be on vacation — er, doing ‘constituent work’ — 17 of the year’s remaining 34 weeks, and even when they are in town the typical workweek is three days.”

 

Gingrich Endorses Romney

Newt Gingrich will formally suspend his presidential campaign today and “embrace” Mitt Romney today, USA Today reports.

“The two men will make a joint appearance in a few weeks, when Gingrich will make an official endorsement. The Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee have offered to be helpful as Gingrich works to retire his campaign debt.”

Meanwhile, the Obama re-election campaign puts out a video reminding everyone how much Gingrich dislikes the probable Republican nominee.

 

GOP Attacks on Obama’s Bin Laden Ad Only Help Him

Mark McKinnon: “Just as it would have been absurd for the Bush campaign not to mention 9/11 in our 2004 reelection launch. In fact, all we did in our ads was say we faced some unexpected challenges and showed some images of 9/11. And we were crucified by the Democrats… And now, how dare Obama exploit OBL for political purposes, say Republicans today.”

“When Democrats went crazy about our 9/11 ad in 2004, all they did was bring more attention to the message we were trying to communicate. Which is precisely the trap Republicans are falling into today.”

John Cassidy: “For David Axelrod and the rest of Team Obama, things could hardly have worked out better. For the Romney campaign, it is another damaging diversion, and the boys in Beantown have only themselves to blame. Their rivals in Chicago set a trap for them, and they walked right into it. Rather than ignoring the ad, or dismissing it quickly and moving onto other topics less favorable to Obama, the Romney campaign decided to stand and fight on ground it cannot hope to win.”

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