POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 4/24

Huckabee on 2012

World Magazine interviewed Mike Huckabee and asked him if he’ll be a candidate for president in 2012.

Said Huckabee: “I think everybody assumes that I’m going to run again, but the honest answer is I don’t know. I’m not being coy, because I might. But at this very moment, it is not on my mind and it’s not something I sit around thinking about. I’m extraordinarily busy doing my show… I’m having a great time; I’m doing things I love to do. I’m raising money for pro-life groups… My PAC is busy helping candidates that are involved in races. My attitude is that I may never run again, and I’m OK with that. It may be that my role is to help other people through the PAC.”

Obama by the Numbers

As we reported yesterday, President Obama will hold his 11th news conference of his presidency on Wednesday and the third one televised in prime time. NBC Newsnotes the only modern presidents who have conducted more press conferences in their first 100 days than Obama are Harry Truman (14) and Bill Clinton (13).

By Wednesday, Obama will have given at least 10 major speeches, held eight town halls and made 14 different trips — most of them to battleground states.

Since taking office he has signed 13 bills into law and signed 19 executive orders.

Meanwhile, Politifact says Obama has kept 27 campaign promises, broken six, and compromised on seven others.

Politico has compiled a video of every public appearance made by Obama since taking office.

Daley Will Not Run for Senate

Though former Commerce Secretary Bill Daley (D) said he was considering a U.S. Senate bid in Illinois, the Chicago Sun Times now reports he’s “opting off a political fast track.”

Said Daley: “I was gung-ho, and hired pollsters and talked to fund-raisers and planned to make an announcement in mid-April. But I’m getting remarried in June and decided I want to take a new tack in my life. I just don’t want to live a commuter life back and forth from Washington.”

Politico: “Daley’s decision means state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias is the heavy favorite to emerge as the Democratic nominee in 2010.”

Minnesota Court Waits Until June for Coleman Appeal

Minnesotans won’t know who will be their second U.S. Senator until at least June, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

The schedule, set by the five justices who will hear Norm Coleman’s (R) appeal, appears to hew more closely to his proposed schedule than the quicker one proposed by Al Franken (D).

Toomey Leads Specter by 21 Points

A new Rasmussen Reports poll in Pennsylvania finds Pat Toomey (R) crushing Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) in a GOP primary match up, 51% to 30%.

Key finding: Specter is viewed favorably by 42% of Pennsylvania Republicans and unfavorably by 55%.

Confessions of Steve Schmidt

The Washington Post compiles some more interesting reflections from McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt.

On the Bush-Cheney drag: “The first night of our convention was President Bush and Vice President Cheney. I literally thought by the second night of our convention we could be down 25 points.”

On Katie Couric’s interview of Sarah Palin: “That is one of the two most consequential interviews that a candidate for national office has given, in a negative way, the other being Roger Mudd’s interview of Ted Kennedy . . . when he couldn’t answer the question of why he wanted to be president.”

On McCain’s acceptance of inevitable defeat: “I was waiting for his bus to crash into a CDC truck carrying bubonic plague to release over Cincinnati and Ohio. It was just one thing after another, you know, and never to our benefit.”

On the Republican Party: “It is near-extinct in many ways in the Northeast, it is extinct in many ways on the West Coast, and it is endangered in the Mountain West, increasingly endangered in the Southwest… and if you look at the state of the party, it is a shrinking entity.”

Gonzales Intervened on Harman Wiretap

The New York Times has more on the Jane Harman-wiretap story that CQ Politicsbroke this week:

“The director of the Central Intelligence Agency concluded in late 2005 that a conversation picked up on a government wiretap was serious enough to require notifying Congressional leaders that Representative Jane Harman, Democrat of California, could become enmeshed in an investigation into Israeli influence in Washington, former government officials said Thursday. But Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales told the director of the agency, Porter J. Goss, to hold off on briefing lawmakers about the conversation, between Ms. Harman and an Israeli intelligence operative, despite a longstanding government policy to inform Congressional leaders quickly whenever a member of Congress could be a target of a national security investigation.”

The reason: “To protect Ms. Harman because they saw her as a valuable administration ally in urging The New York Times not to publish an article about the National Security Agency’s program of wiretapping without warrants.”

Americans Think Country Back on Track

A new National Journal/AllState survey is the second national poll in two days to show a plurality of Americans believe the country is on the right track, 47% to 42%.

The poll also shows that 61% approve of Obama’s job performance.

The AP/GfK poll yesterday had similar results.

Bush on Bush

USA Today interviewed President H.W. Bush and runs some excerpts.

On his eldest son, former president George W. Bush: 

“It’s very nice to have George back in the family, out of the crossfire, and he’s doing very well. … George had a pretty good ride for a while — the economy was pretty good. And then it ended up nasty up there. Mean.”

On the prospects of family members running for office:

“Maybe Jeb someday. I want to see Jeb in there.” George P. Bush, Jeb’s son, “wants to do something. I think he might.”

Obama Meets or Exceeds Expectations

Gallup: “President Obama begins the second 100 days of his presidency with 56% of Americans believing he has done an excellent or good job thus far, and only 20% saying he has done a poor or terrible job; a majority also say Obama has done about as (62%) or better than (24%) they expected.”

Quote of the Day

“If you read history about Bobby Kennedy’s unfinished race in ’68, this was, in my view, the unfinished Bobby Kennedy campaign — the idealism, the passion, the inspiration he gave to people, it was organic and it was real and it wasn’t manufactured at a tactical level in the campaign. It was a function of the president’s unique skill set and presence, and it was really taken advantage of by a campaign that for the first time using the social networking technology…”

— McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt, quoted by Politico, speaking with “unabashed admiration” of the Obama campaign.

Tedisco May Concede Election Today

Sources tell Capital News 9 that Jim Tedisco (R) could concede the NY-20 special election to Scott Murphy (D) as soon as Friday afternoon.

With approximately 800 uncounted absentee ballots left, Politicker NY says Tedisco would need 75% of the remaining absentee ballots to catch up to Murphy.

Martinez Predicts Crist Will Run for Senate

Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) said that there’s “a strong likelihood” Gov. Charlie Crist (R) will run for his open Senate seat in 2010 “and added that if that does happen, he is not interested in trading jobs with Crist,” Roll Call reports.

“Republicans familiar with Florida politics expect Crist to announce for Senate at some point after the state legislative session concludes. The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn on May 1, but that could be delayed because of disagreements over the budget.”

Source Says Tedisco Knows He Lost

A GOP source on Capitol Hill says that Jim Tedisco’s (R) camp “has abandoned hope” of winning the NY-20 special election but that he “won’t concede the race” to Scott Murphy (D) “until technical legal questions surrounding voter residency issues are resolved,” Roll Call reports.

Apparently, Tedisco believes the residency issues “could have a bearing on future races in New York. As such, the source said, Tedisco wants to see those issues resolved before ending the legal battle.”

Meanwhile, the Albany Times Union reports Murphy’s lead expanded again to 401 votes.

Castle More Likely to Run for Senate — Unless He Retires

Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE) told Roll Call “that he’s leaning more toward running for Senate rather than another term in the House, if he decides to run for Congress again in 2010.”

In an interview, Castle “also acknowledged that several GOP Senators, including John McCain (R-AZ), have been pushing him in recent weeks to make the move to the other side of Capitol Hill. He said a final decision on his 2010 plans would likely have to come by early summer at the latest.”

On factor: He’s got strong competition if he decided to run again for his House seat.

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