POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 2/3

Shaheen Gets a Perk

After just 30 days in office, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) will soon become the senior Senator from New Hampshire, given today’s nomination of Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) to head the Commerce department. 

NBC News notes that with her new title comes the privilege of sitting at the covetedDaniel Webster Senate desk.

Carnahan Enters Missouri Senate Race

Robin Carnahan (D), a member of Missouri’s most prominent Democratic family,announced that she is entering the 2010 Senate race to succeed retiring Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO), CQ Politics reports. 

“Even though party primary elections are still 18 months away, Democratic officials are coalescing behind Carnahan as their consensus candidate.” 

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), head of the DSCC, described Carnahan as “the best candidate for the United States Senate” and someone “who will make a superb United States senator.”

A poll last month suggested she would be the early favorite to win the seat.

Daschle Pulls Out

Former Sen. Tom Daschle withdrew his nomination to be Health and Human Services Secretary.

His statement: “I have just informed the president that I am withdrawing my name from consideration… If 30 years of exposure to the challenges inherent in our system has taught me anything, it has taught me that this work will require a leader who can operate with the full faith of Congress and the American people, and without distraction. Right now, I am not that leader and I will not be a distraction.”

Update: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell spoke to Daschle who said it was this morning’s New York Times editorial that convinced him he had to withdraw.

Edwards Will Address Husband’s Affair in New Book

Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life's AdversitiesComing this spring: Resilience by Elizabeth Edwards.

From the publisher: “She’s one of the most beloved political figures in the country, and on the surface, seems to have led a charmed life. In many ways, she has. Beautiful family. Thriving career. Supportive friendship. Loving marriage. But she’s no stranger to adversity. Many know of the strength she had shown after her son, Wade, was killed in a freak car accident when he was only sixteen years old. She would exhibit this remarkable grace and courage again when the very private matter of her husband’s infidelity became public fodder.”

Fox News spoke to her publicist who confirmed she will be addressing John’s “affair and how she experienced it.”

Jason Zengerle: “On the one hand, I can see why Edwards would want to tell her side of this story. On the other hand, I’m not sure how her desire to do that — in book-form no less — squares with her impassioned plea for privacy.”

Lynch Will Pick Newman to Replace Gregg

As we noted over the weekend, New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch (D) will appoint Bonnie Newman (R) to fill Sen. Judd Gregg’s (R-NH) Senate seat. She is not expected to run for election in 2010.

Meanwhile, the New Hampshire Union Leader reports Rep. Paul Hodes (D-NH) will announce his candidacy for the U.S. Senate “within the week.”

McAuliffe, Moran Locked in Close Virginia Race

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Virginia shows the Democratic gubernatorial race very close with Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran each getting 18% support and Creigh Deeds slightly behind at 11%.

Of course, it’s very early and there are still large numbers of undecided voters.

Key takeaway: “The poll brings good news and bad news for Terry McAuliffe. The good news is that there are already hints at how his deep war chest could eventually allow him to run away with the nomination… At the same time, he has by far the largest number of likely primary voters who hold a negative view of him.”

Quote of the Day

“When you really analyze it, if you want to stimulate economic growth, you have to have people investing, creating capital and creating jobs. Basically, a big part of that (stimulus package) went for extending unemployment. It’s a nice thing to do, but when you extend unemployment, you take the incentive away from people to go out and get a job. So it almost has a counter negative effect.”

— Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL), in an interview with the Daily Herald.  (Hat tip: Andrew Sullivan)

Obama Nominee Withdraws Over Tax Issues

NBC News has learned that the president’s choice for “chief performance officer” — technically a deputy OMB director post — has withdrawn over a number of issues, including tax problems.

Update: Nancy Killefer’s letter notes she “reluctantly” withdraws her nomination.

Gregg Voted to Abolish Commerce Department

CQ Politics: Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) — apparently President Obama’s choice to be Commerce secretary — voted in favor of abolishing the agency as a member of the Budget Committee and on the Senate floor in 1995.

Said one Republican Senate aide: “I guess if you can’t destroy it, go be in charge of it.”

Who Needs 60 Seats?

Though some Democrats are upset that President Obama isn’t insisting that Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) be replaced by a Democrat once he’s named Commerce secretary, it may not be necessary for him to prevent Senate filibusters.

Nate Silver finds that in the 32 roll call votes to date in the U.S. Senate, Obama has some very reliable allies on the other side of the aisle. They are: Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).

Former Detroit Mayor Leaves Jail

Flanked by bodyguards, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick left jail at 12:35 a.m. a free man after serving 99 days for obstruction of justice, the Detroit News reports.

“It was a departure worthy of the hottest Hollywood megastar. Two helicopters hovered overhead, waiting to witness Kilpatrick leaving the jail. No less than 12 television trucks were present, and a crowd of about 20 reporters, photographers and camera crews jockeyed for position outside the glass doors of the jail.”

Wave of Obama DVDs Hits Stores

New York Times: “Just as millions of Americans saved copies of newspapers on the day after President Obama’s election, television executives are hoping that consumers will want digital memories of Inauguration Day. ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC are all selling DVDs of the day’s festivities through online stores.”

Dingell to Become Longest Serving House Member

Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) will become the longest-serving member in the history of the House next week, according to The Hill.

Dingell is set to earn the honor on February 11, when he eclipses Rep. Jamie Whitten’s (D-MS) 19,419 days in office.

Crist Considers Run for Senate

Multiple Republican sources tell Roll Call that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) is giving “serious consideration” to running for the U.S. Senate — and that Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) “is contemplating resigning from his seat before his term is up next year.”

Martinez previously announced he would step down at the end of his term and not run for re-election. However, the Miami Herald says Martinez “is refuting reports that he’s planning an early exit from the Senate.”

Meanwhile, a top Crist ally confirms to CNN that the governor “is not ruling out a run for the Senate in 2010, but for now is focusing all of his attention on the legislative session.”

Obama Plans Media Blitz

President Obama will give sit-down interviews with all the major networks today, according to Hollywood Reporter.

“Obama will talk separately with the anchors of ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox News Channel at the Oval Office on Tuesday. The networks will air their interviews over the course of the afternoon and the early evening.”

Obama is expected to make the case for his economic stimulus package.

Smith Weighs Another Bid for Senate

Former Sen. Bob Smith (R-NH) is considering another run for the U.S. Senate — but not from New Hampshire, the state he represented for 18 years.

Instead, The Hill reports that Smith is now looking at running for the open seat left by retiring Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL). Smith moved to Florida after losing a primary to former Sen. John Sununu (R-NH).

How Quickly Will the Stimulus Package be Spent?

The Congressional Budget Office released its official scoring of President Obama’s economic stimulus package and finds that a little more than 78% of the funding will pay out over the first two fiscal years.

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2 Comments on “POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 2/3”

  1. tony sacco Says:

    Frank;
    can’t wait for Mr’s Edwards book, and why John threw his whole life away for a moment of pleasure, and I still like the guy, Tony

  2. fvmoore Says:

    Tony,
    It should be a good read — but maybe not as good as T Mac’s.


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