POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 3/5

Daley Likely to Run for Senate

Former Commerce Secretary William Daley (D) is leaning toward running for the U.S. Senate from Illinois, sources close to him tell The Hill

“They characterize the decision as all but finalized.”

“Daley would likely be an instant front-runner in the race to replace Sen. Roland Burris (D-IL). Though the White House may be loath to get involved in a primary, it would be hard to overlook the fact that Daley was a co-chairman of Obama’s presidential campaign and the transition team.”

Obama Approval Stays Sky High

The latest Hotline/Diageo poll shows President Obama’s favorability ratings remain high, with more than two-thirds of voters (68%) expressing a favorable opinion of him. In addition, 70% believe that he will be able to bring “real change” to the way things are done in Washington.  

Additionally, voters are encouraged by the group of economic advisers surrounding him, with 64% expressing confidence in the team Obama brought into the White House.

PACs Collected $30 Million from Employees

Special interests have deducted nearly $30 million from their employees’ salaries over the past two years for donations to political action committees, according to aCQ MoneyLine study.

Quote of the Day

“I’m the main course… Some Democrats would love to have me barbecued.”

— Karl Rove, in an interview on Fox News, on being called to testify before the House Judiciary Committee.

Many Georgia Lawmakers Didn’t Pay Taxes

Nearly 10% of Georgia’s state legislators are late filing or paying their state taxes, reports the Macon Telegraph.

When Will Voters Blame Obama?

The AP reports both political parties are denying they are to blame for the nation’s economic problems.

However, Nate Silver analyzes recent survey data and concludes that President Obama has about 18 months, until September 2010, before a majority of voters will hold him accountable for the performance of economy.

“Perhaps not coincidentally, 18 months is also about the point at which a majority of voters expect the recession to have ended. By comparison, of the several dozen economists polled in the Wall Street Journal‘s monthly forecasting survey, 65 percent expect the recession to have ended by the third quarter of 2009, and 100 percent anticipate its conclusion by the end of 2010.”

Palin’s Looks Hurt GOP Ticket

A new study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology — summarized nicely by Tom Jacobs — examines whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s sex appeal — “the subject of endless media chatter in the weeks after she joined the ticket — hindered her ability to make the case she was up for the job.”

The bottom line: Participants who were more positive in their assessment of Palin’s attractiveness also “rated her far lower in terms of competence, intelligence and capability, and were far less likely to indicate they planned to vote for the McCain-Palin ticket.”

The Los Angeles Times: “All of which would seem to suggest that for any hope of success in 2012 or beyond, the 45-year-old governor needs to whack off that hair, pork up a bit and get some cheap, baggy pantsuits over at the Wasilla Wal-mart. And instead of that come-on wink that many thought they liked, she’d do well to develop an uncontrollable facial twitch.”

Where’s Sebelius?

Political Wire has learned that Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, President Obama’s nominee for secretary of HHS, will not be at today’s White House health care summit.

The AP has more on today’s meeting which starts at 1 p.m. ET.

Update: The Washington Post notes that even Sen. Ted Kennedy, who is battling brain cancer, will make a surprise visit to the health care summit today.

First Read also reports Sebelius will not be at today’s meeting.

Republicans Looking for Bottom

“Four months after John McCain’s sweeping defeat, senior Republicans are coming to grips with the fact that the party is still — in stock market terms — looking for the bottom,” Politico reports.

“Republicans this week are processing two sobering new polls that found the party’s support reduced to a slim one-quarter of Americans. In the absence of a popular elected leader, its most visible figure is a polarizing radio host. Its strategic powerhouse is a still-divisive former House speaker forced from power 15 years ago.”

Obama Going Gray?

Just 44 days into the job and the New York Times notices President Obama has graying hair.

“For a guy who prides himself on projecting a stress-free demeanor, the changes above his temples are speckled evidence that perhaps the psychological and physical strains of the job — never mind the long process of winning it — are in fact taking something of a toll. (Experts say stress can contribute to whitening locks.)”

House Republicans Take on Obama

CQ Politics: “Until now, House Republicans have avoided direct criticism of President Obama because of his high popularity ratings. But now, they see an opening to attack his policies and not him.”

Brown Well Positioned to Become Governor Again

A new Lake Research Partners (D) poll shows California Attorney General Jerry Brown (D) leading the Democratic pack for governor with 27%, followed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) with 20% and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) with 14%.

Ben Smith notes the Democratic firm doesn’t have a candidate in the race.

In general election match ups, the poll shows Brown with double digit leads over either Meg Whitman (R) or Steve Poizner (R), the likely Republican candidates.

Meanwhile, a new SurveyUSA poll shows Brown has the highest favorability ratings of the Democratic candidates.

Brown was California governor from 1975 to 1983.

Obama Taps Republican for FEMA

President Obama named Florida emergency manager Craig Fugate to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency, “turning to a Republican appointee who has steered the Southern state through numerous hurricanes since 2001,” the APreports.

In what many will interpret as the Obama administration taking yet another shot at President Bush, Fugate will be introduced in New Orleans tomorrow, which is still struggling to recover from the damage of Hurricane Katrina.

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