POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 3/24

Quote of the Day

“Tending a legacy is best done in a memoir. I would just encourage everybody who has left office to follow the tradition of the Founding Fathers — to write your memoirs, but to refrain from criticizing.”

— Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL), quoted by The Hill, urging former Vice President Dick Cheney to stop giving interviews.

Specter to Vote Against “Card Check”

Congress Daily reports that Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) will vote against a cloture motion to limit debate on the Employee Free Choice Act. “Specter’s opposition could doom the legislation because to pass the bill organized labor needs 60 votes to overcome a Republican filibuster.”

It also likely means Specter has chosen to make his re-election run as a Republican and not as an independent. He had already ruled out switching parties.

Coming tomorrow: A new Quinnipiac in Pennsylvania tests Specter’s chances.

Is Palin Already Polling for 2012?

According to The Mudflats, Iowa and New Hampshire voters are already getting phone calls asking for their impressions about Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R).

One interesting question is whether respondents in the two early presidential voting states thought it was important that Palin was re-elected as governor in 2010.

Update: The New Hampshire Union Leader reports that Palin’s PAC in Washington, D.C. is denying that it’s behind the polling.

Split Districts Key to Republican Hopes in 2010

Looking ahead to 2010, strategists of both parties are already trying to figure out how to bend history in their favor: Democrats want to chart a course toward a 2002-like exception, while Republicans want to make the most of their natural advantage in this electoral cycle, CQ Politics reports.

For Republicans, the road toward a return to power begins in the 49 congressional districts where the most people split their vote; they were the places that were carried by John McCain at the top of the ticket but that also elected a Democrat to the House. 

For Democrats, they must try to capture some of the 34 districts won by Republicans last fall but also carried by Obama.

Highly recommended: This CQ map that shows presidential results by congressional district is a treasure trove for political junkies.

Gore to Provide Blueprint to Solve Climate Crisis

Seeing a window to pass substantive climate change legislation, Al Gore will be writing a follow up to An Inconvenient Truth called Our Choice, designed to “inspire and rally those ready to fight for solutions that were deemed impossible only a short time ago.”

Said Gore in a statement: “Now that the need for urgent action is even clearer with the alarming new findings of the last three years, it is time for a comprehensive global plan that actually solves the climate crisis.”

Business as Usual for Burris

Heard in the CQ newsroom:

Despite pressure to resign, Sen. Roland Burris (D-IL) isn’t acting like a senator who is about to leave. In fact, he just added two more people to his staff today.

Meanwhile, Illinois authorities are still looking into whether Burris may have committed perjury about his contacts with Gov. Rod Blagojevich or his emissaries over his Senate appointment. The Senate Ethics panel also is conducting a preliminary inquiry to decide whether a full investigation of Burris is warranted.

Blago is Back

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich “has a new gig — as a radio talk show host,” theAP reports.

WLS-AM program director Bob Shomper says Blagojevich will be on the air on the Chicago station Wednesday morning, taking calls from listeners, telling stories and talking with guests.

A Donor Loved By Democrats and Republicans

Here’s an oddity from CQ MoneyLine:

Jon Hunstman, Sr., a businessman who is the namesake father of the Republican governor of Utah, last month gave the maximum $30,400 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. His wife Karen also gave the maximum amount to both Senate campaign committees, which are partisan rivals in the 36 Senate contests that are on 2010 ballots.

Over-Exposure?

Though many wonder if President Obama risks “over-exposure” after a week long barrage of high profile interviews, his high approval rates suggest instead the White House has found the correct strategy. 

First Read thinks Obama aides “probably believe that had the president NOT done this six-day media blitz, he would have been more singed on AIG than he was. But he was out there talking all week about it and wasn’t hunkered down at the White House. Look back at this last week and realize this will be a lesson the Obama White House learns.”

Despite AIG Bonus Fiasco, Obama Approval Stays High

For the first time since he became president, a new CBS News poll finds a significant number of Americans are expressing disapproval of President Obama’s actions in a specific area: His handling of the AIG bonus situation. Just 41% approve of the president’s actions while 42% disapprove.

Nonetheless, the president “continues to get high marks overall for his job performance and his handling of the economy.”

President Obama’s overall approval rating is 64% — the same as it was a week earlier. His approval ratings for handling the economy are actually up five points to 61%.

Gallup poll shows that of all the key players in the AIG bonus fiasco, only Obama “gets a more positive than negative evaluation.”

Bloomberg Still Very Strong for Re-Election

A new Quinnipiac poll shows New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s approval rating is 64% to 28% — still very high but his lowest score in his second term. 

In general election match ups, Bloomberg tops William Thompson (D), 49% to 35%, and beats Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), 46% to 36%.

In a Democratic primary, Weiner tops Thompson, 30% to 23%, with 38% undecided.

Obama Ready for Prime Time

President Obama will take questions from reporters during his second prime time press conference tonight at 8 pm ET.

What to watch: It’s the first time he has faced a group of journalists in a formal setting since the AIG bonus controversy erupted last week. He has done several high profile one-on-one interviews, ranging from 60 Minutes to Jay Leno to ESPN.

In a related story, Politico notes Obama and his team “are launched on a strategy to sail above the traditional White House press corps by reaching out to liberal commentators, local reporters and ethnic media.”

Senate Delays Bonus Bill

With several Republicans leery of the legislation and Obama expressing strong reservations, it is becoming increasingly likely consideration will be put off until the next Senate work period, CQ Politics reports.

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid notes the Senate would note move the bill without unanimous consent before the April 6 congressional recess.

Helping justify the delay: New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced late Monday that many of the top bonus recipients at AIG had returned the money, and that he hopes to recover about half of the $165 million paid out.

FEC Allows Coleman, Franken to Tap Donors

Al Franken and Norm Coleman “won a key decision that will make it easier for them to hit up well-heeled supporters to finance” their U.S. Senate court fight, theMinneapolis Star Tribune reports.

“The ruling, which backers for both candidates sought, will help them pay bills remaining from the seven-week trial as well as future expenses from a likely appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court.”

Planning Begins for 2012

President Obama “has been in the White House for only two months and three days, but his strategists at the Democratic National Committee are already looking ahead to 2012,” the New York Times reports.

DNC Chairman Tim Kaine “announced Monday evening the formation of a 37-member commission to study the party’s primary and caucus calendar for the next election. It may seem like a foregone conclusion that Mr. Obama will be the party’s nominee, but (to borrow a cliché) three years is a political eternity, so Democratic leaders are setting up a system to get ready for 2012.”

Interactive Map of 2008 Election Results

Here are the 2008 presidential election results by congressional district in a very funinteractive map. Be prepared to spend a lot of time clicking around.

Another Vetting Problem?

CQ Politics: “In another potential vetting embarassment for the Obama administration, White House urban policy czar Adolfo Carrión is being targeted in a probe of whether he received a cut-rate deal on the renovation of his home on City Island, N.Y.”

Candidate Announces via Twitter

Adriel Hampton (D) used Twitter to announce his campaign to succeed Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) in California’s 10th District, CQ Politics reports.

The Obama Generation

A new Democracy Corps poll shows the Republican Party is “growing more and more irrelevant to America’s young people. In marked contrast, young people’s support for the President has expanded beyond the 66 percent support they gave him last November.”

“Republicans struggle among young people for a very specific reason. At a time when young people are paying close attention to politics and when so many are struggling economically, even more so than older generations, the Republicans simply do not speak to the reality of their lives or to the issues important to them. This perception stands in marked contrast to their reaction to Barack Obama.”

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4 Comments on “POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 3/24”

  1. tony sacco Says:

    Frank;
    about Palin for 2012,,,,,F.Scot Fritzgerald the play write once said “in politics there is no second act”.

    How are you doing? Tony


  2. Surely she will self destruct!

  3. fvmoore Says:

    And she has more skeletons then can be held in all the closets in Alaska!


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