POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 5/27

 

McClellan Blasts Bush White House

Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of DeceptionAccording to Politico, former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan “writes in a surprisingly scathing memoir to be published next week that President Bush ‘veered terribly off course,’ was not ‘open and forthright on Iraq,’ and took a ‘permanent campaign approach’ to governing at the expense of candor and competence.”

Among the other revelations:

  • McClellan charges that Bush relied on “propaganda” to sell the war.
  • He says the White House press corps was too easy on the administration during the run-up to the war.
  • He admits that some of his own assertions from the briefing room podium turned out to be “badly misguided.”
  • The longtime Bush loyalist also suggests that two top aides held a secret West Wing meeting to get their story straight about the CIA leak case at a time when federal prosecutors were after them.

Goodnight Bush

A ParodyGoodnight Bush, an “unauthorized parody” of the classic children’s book, should be a favorite gift for Democrats across the country this year.

From the book cover: “In this pitch-perfect parody of Goodnight Moon, we see a child-like George W. Bush tucked safely away in the confines of his own room with all the toys he’s willfully destroyed, abused, or defaced. Complete with ‘a quiet Dick Cheney whispering hush,’ this bedtime story lets us laugh at — and finally say goodnight to–the disaster of the last eight years.”

Obama’s Call to Service

Political Insider: Sen. Barack Obama delivered a very inspiring speech at Wesleyan University over the weekend.

Obama Delaying Superdelegate Announcements

Marc Ambinder confirms reports that the Obama campaign has “begun to bank delegates.”

“Sources close to the campaign estimate that as many as three dozen Democratic superdelegates have privately pledged to announce their support for Obama on June 4 or 5. The campaign is determined that Obama not end the first week in June without securing the support of delegates numbering 2026 — or 2210, as the case may be.”

Race Should End Next Week

Sen. Barack Obama’s aides told the New York Daily News the freshman senator is “now just 49 delegates away” from clinching the Democratic presidential nomination.

On Good Morning America, George Stephanopoulos said the race is “almost certain to end” after the final primaries next week. He also predicted — as Jimmy Carter did over the weekend — that “several dozen” superdelegates will move to back Sen. Barack Obama after next Tuesday.

Warner Says He’s On Short List

Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner (D), “a strong favorite to be elected to the Senate this year, has told associates that he is being considered as Sen. Barack Obama’s vice presidential running mate. He did not indicate whether he would be receptive to such an offer,” Robert Novak reports.

However, removing Warner “from the campaign for the seat now held by retiring Republican Sen. John Warner (no relation) would turn a sure Democratic takeover to a question mark.”

 

Rasmussen: McConnell Has Strong Challenger in Kentucky

A new Rasmussen Reports survey in Kentucky finds Bruce Lunsford (D) leading Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in their U.S. Senate race, 49% to 44%.

“Recognizing the overall political dynamic, McConnell issued a statement last week indicating that he is looking forward to running against the ‘Lunsford-Obama plan for America.’ Given the state’s overwhelming preference for a GOP Presidential candidate, it makes sense for McConnell to link his opponent closely with the top of the Democratic ticket. It is not unusual for the number of ticket-splitters to decline dramatically as Election Day approaches.”

Don’t Say It

Politico “has created a list of dirty words and phrases that are better left unsaid on the general election campaign trail.”

No Clear Path for Clinton’s Political Future

The Washington Post looks at Sen. Hillary Clinton’s future and notes many Democrats “are now pointing to the Sen. Edward M. Kennedy model as a path for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to reshape her own political career, assuming she is unable to wrest the nomination from Sen. Barack Obama.”

“When Kennedy returned to Capitol Hill before the 1980 election, the Massachusetts Democrat was in a similar fix. Like Clinton, he was the heir to a powerful political legacy. But the climate was volatile, and voters were in the mood for change. Kennedy was rejected by many of his Senate colleagues, despite Carter’s sagging popularity, and he won just 10 primary states. But like Clinton, he hung on until the bitter end.”

The New York Times also examines Clinton’s likely return to the Senate.  “At a minimum, Mrs. Clinton would face an adjustment in exiting the high-energy, applause-filled, rapid-fire atmosphere of a presidential race and re-entering the meandering Senate, where power, status and legislative accomplishments take years or even decades to attain.”

First Read argues that by staying in the presidential race so long, Clinton is hurting her political future. “Given the thud with which Clinton’s RFK flub was received, it’s starting to become clear that perhaps she erred in deciding to stay in the race this long. Imagine had she suspended her campaign and still won primaries. Wouldn’t that have put her in an even stronger position than now? Obama hasn’t run a campaign against her for the last few weeks and, in turn, it’s helped Clinton prop up her personal standing. But wouldn’t she be winning over the support of some in ObamaNation if she were sort of returning the favor by getting out and suspending the campaign? And that’s the rub: At some point for her political future, she has to win back the support of Obama’s supporters. And they don’t seem to be very forgiving of her right now.”

Quote of the Day

“Any sitting president, even one whose approval rating is in the low 30s, can raise money. McCain has to distance himself from Bush, but he also has to reassure the Republican base — and that means snuggling up.”

— GOP strategist Jim Pinkerton, explaining to Bloomberg why Sen. John McCain will attend a fundraiser tonight featuring President Bush.

However, the Wall Street Journal notes the pair “will be seen together before TV cameras only fleetingly, at the airport as Mr. Bush departs on Air Force One, and there are no plans for either to formally say anything.”

When Was the 1992 Presidential Race Over?

My Life

Despite Sen. Hillary Clinton’s insistence that her husband didn’t clinch the Democratic presidential nomination until June 1992, Bill Clinton had a very different recollection in his own memoir, My Life.

He writes: “On April 7, we also won in Kansas, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. On April 9, Paul Tsongas announced that he would not reenter the race. The fight for the nomination was effectively over.”

Hat tip: Nat the Dem.

Biden Positions Himself for Secretary of State

Sen. Joe Biden “was going to be John Kerry’s secretary of State,” according toNewsweek.  At least that’s what his aides were led to believe before Kerry lost the election. 

“Now Biden, who has been to foreign policy in the Senate what Ted Kennedy has been to domestic policy (almost anyway!), is emerging as a major consigliere to Barack Obama — perhaps with his eye on State once again.” 

“Among the top items on Biden’s agenda: making sure that Obama has better luck in November than Kerry did. That means, first, relentlessly attacking and counterattacking the Republicans on the campaign trail, especially on national-security issues. And, second, relentlessly defining John McCain as ‘joined at the hip’ to Bush, as Biden put it in a speech in Washington on Tuesday.”

True to the script, Biden appeared on various talk shows over the weekend anddeclared, “This administration is the worst administration in American foreign policy in modern history, maybe ever.”

Mason-Dixon: Obama Way Ahead in Montana

A new Mason-Dixon poll in Montana finds Sen. Barack Obama with a big lead over Sen. Hillary Clinton, 52% to 35%, with 13% still unsure.

The poll has a margin of error of +/- 5 points.

Historical Quote of the Day

“Well, in 2004, I expect to be campaigning for the reelection of President George W. Bush, and by 2008, I think I might be ready to go down to the old soldiers home and await the cavalry charge there.” 

— Sen. John McCain, in an interview with Jim Lehrer in 2000. Hat tip: David Brody.

Barr Gets Libertarian Nod

The Libertarian Party picked former Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA) to be its presidential candidate after six rounds of balloting, the AP reports.

Said Barr: “I’m a competitor and I’m in this to win. I do not view the role of the Libertarian Party to be a spoiler and I certainly have no intention of being a spoiler.”

Democratic Fundraising Strains FEC Computers

“The campaign finance reports filed by Obama and Clinton have grown so massive that they’ve strained the capacity of the Federal Election Commission, good government groups, the media and even software applications to process and make sense of the data,” according to The Politico.

“A milestone of sorts was reached earlier this year, when Obama, the Illinois senator whose revolutionary online fundraising has overwhelmed Clinton, filed an electronic fundraising report so large it could not be processed by popular basic spreadsheet applications.”

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Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics, Virginia

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