POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 9/2

Palin Once Member of Fringe Party

Officials of the Alaskan Independence Party say that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) “was once a member of their party, which since the 1970s has been pushing for a legal vote for Alaskans to decide whether or not residents of the 49th state can secede from the United States,” reports ABC News.

The AIP platform states that the purpose of the party is to “seek the complete repatriation of the public lands, held by the federal government, to the state and people of Alaska in conformance with Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17, of the federal constitution … To prohibit all bureaucratic regulations and judicial rulings purporting to have the effect of law, except that which shall be approved by the elected legislature … To support the privatization of government services …”

Here’s the big problem for Republicans: Marc Ambinder has a party official on video saying party members must “infiltrate” — his words — the other two parties and push for the cause of Alaskan independence.

McCain’s Holiday News Dump

Political Insider: What else will we learn about Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin?

USAT/Gallup: Obama Leads By Seven Points

A new USA Today/Gallup poll shows Sen. Barack Obama now leads Sen. John McCain by seven points, 50% to 43% among registered voters. The previous poll had Obama’s lead at four points.

Key finding: The Democratic National Convention “significantly boosted” Americans’ views of Obama as a strong leader who “shares your values.” In addition, McCain’s unfavorable rating is now at a high for the year.

Palin Hired Lawyer for State Probe

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin “hired a lawyer three weeks ago to act on her behalf as state legislators investigate whether she may have abused her power in firing the state police chief for refusing to fire her ex-brother-in-law, a state trooper,” CNN has confirmed.

Meanwhile, NBC News reports that “there are Republican lawyers right now up in Alaska doing a deeper vet on Sarah Palin despite their claim that everything about her background was fully known.”

Palin’s Teenage Daughter Pregnant

“The 17-year-old daughter of newly named Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is pregnant, and the McCain campaign said that John McCain knew of Bristol Palin’s pregnancy before her mother was named to the ticket last Friday,” CQ Politics reports.

statement from Sen. Barack Obama: “I’ve heard some of the news. I’ve said before I think families are off limits, children limits. It has no relevance. I would strongly urge people to back off these kinds of stories. My mom had me when she was 18. And how families deal with issues of children shouldn’t be part of our politics.”

Gallup: Obama Leads By Six Points

The first Gallup tracking poll based entirely on post-Democratic convention attitudes shows Sen. Barack Obama maintaining a six percentage point lead over Sen. John McCain, 49% to 43%.

“Comparing Obama’s current 49% support with the 45% he received immediately before the start of the Democratic National Convention in Denver last week suggests he received a 4-point bounce out of the convention, fairly typical of past convention bounces.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“A big, blowhard doofus.”

— Karl Rove, quoted by the Politicker, referring to Sen. Joe Biden.

(Hmmmm — a case of the pot calling the kettle black? Rove and Limbaugh — a pair of bookends.)

CBS Poll: Obama Leads By Eight Points

A new CBS News poll shows Sen. Barack Obama’s lead over Sen. John McCain has grown after the Democratic convention, which 71% of Americans say they watched. Obama and his running mate Joe Biden now lead McCain and Sarah Palin 48% to 40%.

This is the first time the poll included the vice presidential candidates in the horserace question.

Key findings: “Before the Democratic convention, McCain enjoyed a 12-point advantage with independent voters, but now Obama leads among this group 43% to 37%. Obama’s lead among women has also grown to 14 points (50% to 36%), and the Democrat maintained the lead he had before the convention among voters who supported Senator Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries.”

Complete results are available.

What McCain Must Do

Former Capitol Hill speechwriter Matthew Dallek gives advice to Sen. John McCain for his Thursday speech:  “McCain needs to walk a fine line: while championing many of Bush’s policies (from tax cuts to Iraq to energy) in his convention address, he also needs to find a way to reinforce his image as a political maverick. This will not be an easy thing for him to do. While the John McCain of 2000 had a true claim to the ‘maverick’ title, this year’s incarnation not only has run a relentlessly shrill anti-Obama campaign; he has also embraced Bush’s signature policies, and most tellingly, McCain has abandoned many of his positions that once had put him at odds with his own party and made him a maverick.”

Quote of the Day

“One doesn’t anticipate that one’s private conversation will be surreptitiously taped by some right-wing nutcase. But that’s the nature of what we’re dealing with.”

— Former DNC chief Don Fowler, quoted by ABC News, on having his unfortunate comments about the hurricane secretly taped.

Republicans Unifed at Convention

A new New York Times/CBS poll finds that nearly nine in 10 Republican delegates support Sen. John McCain. 

“The delegates’ unanimity comes in spite of their description of themselves as more conservative than Mr. McCain, whose maverick image has long made him controversial in his party. The delegates’ confidence — fewer than 2 in 10 fear Mr. McCain may lose — belies the election-year climate for the party and its other candidates.”

Another example of them viewing the world differently: While 90% of the Democratic delegates at their convention said the American economy was in a recession, a whopping 72% of the Republican delegates say it is not.

Many Republicans Happy Bush Canceled Speech

“While President Bush isn’t coming to the Republican convention at all because of Hurricane Gustav’s threat to the Gulf Coast, he was never going to have a high profile at the GOP get-together and given the sour mood of voters about the direction of the country and his administration’s performance,” CQ Politics reports.

“With Bush’s approval ratings scraping bottom in the waning months of his presidency, the desire of Republican candidates up and down the ticket to align themselves with the president or have him campaign for them also appears to be at a low… The arm’s length attitude of some candidates is not due only to Bush’s unpopularity, but the fact that the party as a whole is faring badly in public opinion.”

Wolfson Sold on Obama

Howard Wolfson admits that during the Democratic primary, he and other Clinton aides “scoffed” at Sen. Barack Obama’s large arena rallies “mostly because we were not capable of producing them.”

But at Invesco Field in Denver, Wolfson saw something new.

“No one in recent history had attempted this kind of a political conversation with 75,000 people. Barack Obama pulled it off. For 18 months, I listened to Obama on television, sometimes intently, often just barely — background noise to a running series of conference calls and meetings and e-mails. In person, my attention undivided, I saw something of what so many others had seen for so long.”

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