Quote of the Day

“Harry, what’s John up to? It sounds crazy.”

— Barack Obama, quoted in a new epilogue to Sen. Harry Reid’s autobiography, about Sen. John McCain’s decision to “suspend” his presidential campaign.

Close Democratic Senate Race in Illinois

Lake Research poll in Illinois found Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) edging the Democratic pack for U.S. Senate with 24%, followed by Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias at 22% and Sen. Roland Burris at 18% with another 36% undecided.

Caveat: The poll was paid for by Schakowsky who is exploring a possible Senate bid.

Secret Media Elite Dinners Exposed

Howard Kurtz reports on off-the-record, “secret” dinners hosted by David Bradley, owner of The Atlantic, “at a specially built table in his glass-enclosed office overlooking the Potomac.” 

In addition to a handful of top journalists, the guests have included Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.

“Bradley always begins the questioning and tries to maintain a civil tone, while the journalists tend to pursue their favorite subjects.”

McAuliffe Ramps Up the Fundraising

The Richmond Times-Dispatch notes Bill Clinton will head to Virginia today to boost his former top fundraiser’s campaign for governor.

Meanwhile, the Washington Examiner reports “a network of donors who aided Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful presidential campaign is shoveling six-figure donations into Terry McAuliffe’s gubernatorial war chest, taking advantage of no-limit giving rules to pump up his bid for Virginia’s top job.”

GOP Bruised After Losing NY-20

First Read: “Although the late Friday concession, as well as the nearly four weeks of overtime, might have lessened the sting, let’s make no mistake: The Republicans’ loss in NY-20 was yet another blow to an already-bruised GOP. It had the registration advantage, it had the better-known candidate, and it was expected to benefit from a Republican base fired up after the first several weeks of the Obama administration… The GOP now controls just three out of New York’s 29 congressional seats, and it doesn’t have a single congressman from New England. This is the lowest level the GOP has been in New York State — ever. It’s stunning.”

McCain’s First 100 Days

If things had gone differently: Walter Shapiro looks back at what John McCain’s first hundred days could have been like.

Obama Got More TV Coverage Than Bush, Clinton

The Washington Post reports a new study found the nightly newscasts have given President Obama more coverage than George W. Bush and Bill Clinton combined in their first months — and more positive assessments to boot. 

A striking contrast: “Obama’s personal qualities drew more favorable coverage than his policies, with 32% of the sound bites positive on CBS, 31% positive on NBC and 8% positive on Fox.”

Related from the Washington Times: “The Obama White House has watched the disintegration of the old media order and drawn a simple conclusion – the president’s popularity is the dominant entity in the cluttered, chaotic modern media environment.”

Senate Republicans Delay Nominations

CQ Politics: “Tensions are rising in the Senate over President Obama’s nominees, as Republicans delay selections and Democrats complain that the disputes are slowing important legislation.”

“The weakened Republican minority finds it difficult to amend legislation, but nominations provide opportunities to highlight policy disputes on high-profile issues, including foreign policy and abortion rights. Democrats contend that plodding through confirmation debates followed by protracted votes hinders legislative progress on their priorities, such as health care, energy and economic affairs.”

Reid Says He Encouraged Obama to Run

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told Barack Obama he should run for president in early 2007, telling the then-freshman senator if wanted the White House, he could win it, according to an epilogue to Reid’s autobiography to be released next month.

Reid’s advice came unsolicited, the majority leader told the Las Vegas Sun in an interview.

“Reid said he invited Obama to his office off the Senate floor ostensibly to discuss other matters. But actually the majority leader brought the young senator in to tell him, as Reid writes in the book, ‘If you want to be president, you can be president now.'”

Minnesotans Want Coleman to Concede

Nearly two-thirds of Minnesotans (64%) surveyed think Norm Coleman (R) should concede the U.S. Senate race to Al Franken (D), according to a new Star Tribune Minnesota Poll. Just  28% consider last week’s appeal by Coleman to the Minnesota Supreme Court “appropriate.”

“Large majorities of those polled said they would oppose any further appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Should Coleman win at the state Supreme Court, 57% of respondents said Franken should concede. And 73% believe Coleman should give up if he loses at the state’s highest court.”

Brown Leads Democratic Field in California

A new Tulchin Research poll in California finds Jerry Brown leading the Democratic field for governor with 31%, followed by Gavin Newsom at 16%, Antonio Villaraigosa at 15%, John Garamendi (who has since dropped out) at 11% and Jack O’Connell at 6%.

The primary will be held in June of next year.

The Guardian of Obamaism

Ryan Lizza has a must-read profile of President Obama’s budget director.

“Obama’s budget is a reminder of why he ran for President. That makes Peter Orszag more than just the budget director. He is the unlikely guardian of Obamaism itself.”

Murphy Wins in NY-20

Jim Tedisco (R) has conceded the congressional race in NY-20 and Scott Murphy (D) has declared victory.

Health Care Deadline Set

The New Republic reports a deal on how to handle health care reform was hatched last night in a five-hour negotiating session at the office of Senate Majoriy Leader Harry Reid.

“It’s been in the works for a while and now, according to senior Capitol Hill staffers, it’s a done deal: The final budget resolution will include a ‘reconciliation instruction’ for health care. That means the Democrats can pass health care reform with just 50 votes, instead of the 60 it takes to break a filibuster.”

The reconciliation instruction specifies October 15 as the drop dead date.

“In other words, the House and Senate each have until that day to pass health care legislation. If they haven’t, then both houses will consider health care under the reconciliation process, which is relevant primarily for the way it affects the Senate. There will be a limit on the time of debate. Republicans won’t be able to filibuster it.”

New Biography on Bush 41

Newsweek editor Jon Meacham — who just won a Pulitzer Prize for American Lion — will next write a biography of former President George H.W. Bush, the New York Postreports.

“The book is not an authorized biography, but the Bush family is believed to be cooperating… Our sources say there is no timetable or scheduled publication date for the new book on the 41st U.S. president, but it is expected to be another multi-year effort.”

Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics, Virginia

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