POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 12/10

Granholm Eyed for Energy Secretary

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) “will huddle today in Washington, D.C., with President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team on energy issues, stoking speculation that she may be appointed U.S. Energy secretary,” the Detroit Newsreports.

The Wall Street Journal reports Granholm “is a leading candidate for energy secretary, though no decision has been made.”

Jindal Not Running in 2012

At a press conference, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) said that he isn’t running for president in 2012, Politico reports.

“Jindal said he’s planning to run for reelection in 2011, something that would make pivoting to a national campaign logistically and politically tricky.”

Quote of the Day

“I have a hard time pronouncing his name. I just call him the idiot.”

— David Gergen, interviewed on CNN, about Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Burr Vulnerable in North Carolina

A new Public Policy Polling survey in North Carolina finds Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) would lose his re-election bid if Attorney General Roy Cooper (D) decided to challenge him in 2010.

Cooper leads Burr, 39% to 34%.

“To put into perspective just how good this early standing is for Cooper, keep in mind that when PPP first tested Senator-elect Kay Hagan against Elizabeth Dole during the summer of 2007, Dole led Hagan by 16 points. Of course that number can also serve as a warning to any Democrat who runs against Burr — things can change fast in politics.”

Browner to be Obama’s Energy Czar

President-elect Obama is expected to announce — perhaps later this week — that former EPA chief Carol Browner “will take a new White House position as head of environmental, energy, climate and related matters,” the Washington Post reports.

Jackson is Senate Candidate 5

Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) is the anonymous Senate Candidate 5 “whose emissaries Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich reportedly claimed offered up to a million dollars to name him to the U.S. Senate,” federal law enforcement sources tellABC News.

Jackson Jr. said this morning he was contacted yesterday by federal prosecutors in Chicago who he said “asked me to come in and share with them my insights and thoughts about the selection process.” 

However, Jackson claims he is not a target of the investigation.

The Most Corrupt Office in America

James Pindell: “Along with the position of Newark, New Jersey mayor, the seat of Illinois Governor may be the most corrupt office in America… If Blagojevich is convicted he will become the fourth Illinois Governor in 40 years to go to jail.”

Worst Prediction of the Year

Foreign Policy picks the ten worst predictions of the last year. Here’s the winner:

“If [Hillary Clinton] gets a race against John Edwards and Barack Obama, she’s going to be the nominee. Gore is the only threat to her, then… Barack Obama is not going to beat Hillary Clinton in a single Democratic primary. I’ll predict that right now.”

— William Kristol, Fox News Sunday, Dec. 17, 2006 

How Corrupt is Chicago?

Slate: “The most straightforward way to measure corruption is to check the number of convicted local officials. Between 1995 and 2004, 469 politicians from the federal district of Northern Illinois were found guilty of corruption. The only districts with higher tallies were central California (which includes L.A.), and southern Florida (which includes Miami). Eastern Louisiana (and New Orleans) rank somewhat further down the list.”

Obama Will Use Full Name

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, President-elect Obama said that “when he takes the oath of office Jan. 20, he plans to be sworn in like other presidents, using his full name: Barack Hussein Obama.”

While most presidents use their full names, there have been recent exceptions: In 1977, James Earl Carter was sworn in as president as Jimmy Carter. And in 1981, Ronald Wilson Reagan simply went by Ronald Reagan.

Voinovich Vulnerable

A new Quinnipiac poll finds Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) faces a tough 2010 fight for a third term, with 36% wanting to give him another term and 35% backing an unnamed Democratic candidate.

Craig Loses Appeal to Have Conviction Thrown Out

Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) “has lost his latest attempt to withdraw his guilty plea in the Minneapolis airport men’s room sex sting that effectively ended his Senate career,” the Idaho Statesman reports.

A three-judge panel in Minnesota rejected Craig’s bid to throw out his disorderly conduct conviction.

“Craig was arrested June 11, 2007, by an undercover police officer who was conducting a sting operation against men cruising for gay sex at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.”

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