POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 3/9

The Senate’s Tax Cop

Politico identifies the “mostly anonymous career bureaucrat” that tripped up the nominations of several of President Obama’s appointees on tax problems.

“Sources familiar with the vetting process of the Senate Finance Committee say that Mary Baker, an Internal Revenue Service employee on loan to the committee as a ‘tax professional,’ has been a — and maybe the — driving force behind its examination of tax problems involving three Obama nominees.”

All the Presidents’ Girls

British artist Annie Kevan painted a portrait of every presidential girlfriend on record.

Dean Joins Lobbying Firm

Former DNC Chairman Howard Dean “is the latest star to join the government affairs practice of law and lobbying mega-firm McKenna Long & Aldridge,” the Washington Post reports.

The Huffington Post notes there were mixed reports that Dean was being considered by the Obama administration for the post of Surgeon General.

Abercrombie to Run for Governor

Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) announced he will run for governor in Hawaii, theHonolulu Advertiser reports.

CQ Politics: “It is not yet clear whether the nomination for governor will be Abercrombie’s for the asking, or if he might face primary competition from among Hawaii’s long roster of well-known Democratic figures.”

Abercrombie is the fourth House Democrat to announce he’s not running for re-election, joining Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL) in a gubernatorial bid. In addition, Reps. Kendrick Meek (D-FL) and Paul Hodes (D-NH) are stepping down to run for the U.S. Senate.

Bonus Quote of the Day

“We will lose on legislation. But we will win the message war every day, and every week, until November 2010. Our goal is to bring down approval numbers for Pelosi and for House Democrats. That will take repetition. This is a marathon, not a sprint.”

— Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), quoted by the National Journal, on the new Republican strategy.

A Second Stimulus Package?

Paul Krugman — who is arguably the most influential pundit today — makes the case that the economic stimulus package signed into law by President Obama last month was “too small and too cautious.” He notes the latest data “confirm those worries — and suggest that the Obama administration’s economic policies are already falling behind the curve.”

The buzz for another stimulus plan only increased when Warren Buffet told CNBCthis morning that the American economy has “fallen off a cliff.”

However, administration officials tell George Stephanopoulos that “it’s just too early to push for another stimulus, pointing out that only about $3-billion of the first one has gone out the door so far. (The pace is expected to pick up in the next couple of weeks).”

Dodd Faces Rebellion in Connecticut

The latest issue of Time magazine looks at Sen. Christopher Dodd’s (D-CT) political troubles in Connecticut.

“The silver-haired father of two young girls is facing his toughest re-election fight ever, and he doesn’t even have an opponent yet… Much of Dodd’s current woes stem from a pair of mortgages that he must wish he had never gotten.”

Coming tomorrow: A new Quinnipiac poll that will show Dodd’s current standing.

Peretz Buys Back TNR

Marty Peretz, former owner of the New Republic, is buying back the magazine with a group of investors, Politico reports.

“Peretz confirmed recent reports of his interest in the magazine this morning toPolitico and said that the deal is underway, with an official statement later.”

Twenty years ago I wanted to own TNR someday, now I’m glad I don’t.

Geithner Heads to Capitol Hill

Glenn Thrush reports Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will address the House Democratic Caucus meeting tonight to discuss the banking crisis. He’ll also likely face questions about the slow pace of senior hires at Treasury.

Obama Calls Back Reporters

The audio of President Obama’s phone call to New York Times reporters to explain why he dismissed a question about whether he was a socialist suggests the White House really doesn’t want the term to stick.

Said Obama: “It was hard for me to believe that you were entirely serious about that socialist question.”

Nonetheless, expect at least some Republicans to continue their strategy.

The Kennedy Legacy

The Kennedy Legacy: Jack, Bobby and Ted and a Family Dream FulfilledComing next month: The Kennedy Legacy: Jack, Bobby and Ted and a Family Dream Fulfilled by Vincent Bzdek. 

From the book jacket: “John, Robert, and Ted Kennedy’s individual stories can be seen as essentially one, each successive brother striving to fulfill the interrupted promise of the brother before. The closing of Ted Kennedy’s chapter in America’s political and cultural life means that, for the first time perhaps, the real measure of the Kennedy legacy can finally be taken. This is a story of a brotherhood in three acts: Act I is John F. Kennedy’s presidency, as seen from Ted’s front-row seat. Act II is Robert Kennedy’s five brief years as the family standard bearer, including his tenure in the Senate with his brother Ted and the memorable 82-day presidential campaign that redefined the Kennedy legacy. Act III is Ted’s 40-plus years in the Senate as keeper of the flame.”

Quote of the Day

“He’s shown real leadership. Bottom line: I think Barack Obama, president of the United States, is off to a very good start.”

— Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), in an interview with the Associated Press, “gushing” about the man he campaigned against last year.

Republicans Have No Leader

A new Rasmussen Reports poll shows 68% of Republican voters say their party has no clear leader.

Just 5% view either Sen. John McCain, the GOP’s unsuccessful 2008 presidential candidate, or new party chairman Michael Steele as the party’s leader. And just 2% see Rush Limbaugh filling the role.

Is Geithner in Over His Head?

The New York Times notes that despite Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s “frenetic pace,” there are now “signs that events are getting ahead of him.”

“Analysts say it is far too early to know if Mr. Geithner and his team will be effective. But some worry that political and financial constraints have made them reluctant to grapple with the full magnitude of the crisis.”

Plus: It’s not a good sign when Saturday Night Live decides to mock you in theiropening skit.

Meanwhile, the AP notes that help is on the way as the Obama administration has finally named three top aides to Geithner.

The Wednesday Night Meeting

The New York Times profiles White House political adviser David Axelrod and discovers his Wednesday Night Meeting, “an invitation-only session for a handful of advisers, nearly all of whom played a key role in paving Mr. Obama’s path to the Oval Office.”

Said Axelrod: “It helps clarify my thinking to talk to people who I have faith in.”

“The two-hour sessions are just one way in which Mr. Axelrod is making the transition from Chicago political consultant to the White House. His title does little to capture his full importance to Mr. Obama. His voice, and political advice, carry more weight than most anyone else’s on the president’s payroll.”

Thirty Four House Seats to Watch

CQ Politics notes that some of the most competitive congressional races of 2010 will be in districts where voters split their ballots between Republicans for the House of Representatives and Democrat Barack Obama for the White House. 

An exclusive analysis shows there are 34 House districts that split that way — perhaps a testament to the durability of partisan voting habits in House races or maybe a further decline in the “coattails” effect.

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2 Comments on “POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 3/9”

  1. joebhed Says:

    Of course Geithner is in over his head.
    As would be ANYONE sitting in his place.

    The Federal Reserve bankers, especially including Geithner, have mismanaged the American economy to the point of financial Armageddon.
    The basic problem in the economy today is that people know and realize this is true.
    Leaving these same American people with zero confidence in the financial salvation of the Summers/Geithner A Team of the President.

    They are recommending multi-trillions of new public and private debts, most of them either directly or contingently liabilities of the American people.

    The people are going into debt.
    To save the banking system.
    And to keep us from that even deeper abyss.
    Not a lot of confidence-building there.

    My message to the Chicago group under David Axelrod is very loud and clear.

    THE CHICAGO PLAN !

    THE CHICAGO PLAN !!

    THE CHICAGO PLAN !!!

    The debt-money system is insolvent.
    Monetary reform is the only real way out of this mess.

    Greenbacks.

  2. tony sacco Says:

    Frank this ‘Socialist’ is getting traction, Obama will not take over the Banks for fear of that word. Tony


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