POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 5/13

Edwards Says Campaign Sabotage Unlikely

On Larry King Live, Elizabeth Edwards addressed reports that campaign staffers were ready to tank John Edwards’ presidential campaign if rumors of his infidelity proved true.

Said Edwards: “I don’t think it makes any sense. These young people who work on campaigns, I wish people got a chance to meet them. They are so inspiring… If the campaign that they’re associated with is unsuccessful, what they want to do is move to the campaign that is successful. The earlier you do that, the better. There are more positions available. So to hold on until the very end and then torpedo your candidate means that you have… basically cut off your opportunities to get those jobs in the future… A person who torpedoed your candidate, your chances of getting a job in the future are not very good.”

Sink Will Run for Florida Governor

As expected, Florida CFO Alex Sink (D) will run for Florida governor, the St. Petersburg Times reports.

On the Republican side, the Orlando Sentinel says Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum (R), long thought a likely candidate, will announce his plans next week.

Read more…


Tea Party 2.0

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) will hold another “tea party protest” on Thursday night, the Dallas Morning News reports. However, this one will be a teleconference. 

“The Republican Governors Association said it is expecting 30,000 people to dial in. Perry and Sanford will each speak and then organizers will open up the tele-town hall for an hour-long Q&A session. The governor’s group plans to use Thursday night’s sequel to gather phone numbers and email addresses that will be a useful tool for future political races.”   

Betting on the Next Justice

Intrade has opened betting markets for the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice with Sonia Sotomayor currently the favored candidate at a 28% chance. Elena Kagan has a 23% chance of becoming the next justice, followed by Diane Wood and Kimberly Wardlaw.

Meanwhile, Rick Hasen goes against conventional wisdom and gives five reasons why he thinks it will be Judge Wood.


New Hampshire’s Senate Race Very Close

A new Dartmouth College poll shows Rep. Paul Hodes (D-NH) narrowly beating two Republican opponents in next year’s U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire.

Hodes edges former Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH), 31% to 30% with 39% undecided, and tops former Sen. John Sununu (R-NH), 38% to 35% with 27% undecided.


DSCC Trying to Recruit Madigan

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D) confirmed to the Chicago Sun Times that she’s considering a U.S. Senate bid next year after the DSCC told her she’s their preferred candidate in the race. Previously, she said she was focusing on a gubernatorial bid.

Apparently, DSCC polls show Madigan would be a more formidable candidate against Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL).


Reid Uses Franken as Threat

A “very ticked-off” Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) predicted that the nominee for the Interior Department’s number two post “will be approved despite the lockstep opposition” of Senate Republicans, reports Politico.

Said Reid: “We will confirm David Hayes. If I have to wait until Al Franken comes, we will confirm David Hayes.”

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was equally ticked off after a vote on the Hayes nomination failed, according to NBC News

Said Salazar: “This was a tired vote of bitter obstructionism. It may be uncomfortable for some to watch us have to clean up mess after mess — from corruption to lawbreaking — that is the previous administration’s legacy at Interior, but to cast a vote against such a qualified and fine person is the height of cynicism.”


Specter Wanted Rule to Prevent Party Switches

Political Wire reader found a clip of a 2001 speech by Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) in which he argues for a rule change to prevent senators from switching parties after Sen. Jim Jeffords (I-VT) left the Republican party.


Bloomberg Approval Up

A new Marist Poll finds New York City Michael Bloomberg’s job approval at 59% positive — up seven points since February — while 39% describe his performance as either fair or poor.

There is little difference in opinion among Democrats and Republicans.


Reid Still Has No Opponent

Politico notes it’s “increasingly looking like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is going to get a pass for reelection in 2010.”

“It’s a remarkable turn of events for a polarizing partisan leader with lackluster poll ratings and a history of razor-thin winning margins. But despite the widespread belief that his seat is vulnerable, and despite his status as the GOP’s Senate Public Enemy No. 1, Reid still has no opponent.”

Meanwhile, CQ Politics notes that President Obama will headline his first fundraiser for an individual candidate on May 26 and it’s for Reid.



War of Necessity, War of Choice

In the mail: War of Necessity, War of Choice: A Memoir of Two Iraq Wars by Richard N. Haass.

“Haass is one of just a handful of individuals — along with Colin Powell, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and Bob Gates — involved at a senior level of U.S. government decision making during both Iraq conflicts. He is the first to take us behind closed doors and the first to provide a personal account. The result is a book that is authoritative, revealing, and surprising. Haass explains not only what happened but why.”

This one is a must read.


Palin Book Hits Narrow Window

Mike Allen notes that the timing of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s forthcoming book is perfect: “She wanted to wait to sign a deal until after the Alaska legislature was finished, but interest in her is high now and could eventually wane. Her spring publication date gets her past the crush of colossal political books due at the end of this year or beginning of next — Karl Rove, David PlouffeSen. Kennedy. Then President and Mrs. Bush have separate books later in 2010.”

An interesting side note: All six of these titles were negotiated by Robert Barnett, “who took the no-auction route that he did with President Bush and Clinton: Rather than circulating the proposal to various publishers, the client meets with one publisher and signs a mega-money deal. The logic of that approach is that it creates less of a circus, takes less time for a busy person and ensures confidentiality.”


Interior Nomination Likely to be Rejected

The Senate appears poised to reject President Obama’s nominee to the No. 2 post at the Interior Department, a situation that could escalate tensions between Senate Republicans and the White House, CQ Politics reports.

No other Obama nominee has come to a vote and failed to get the support necessary for confirmation.


RNC to Rebrand Democrats as “Socialists”

A RNC member tells Roger Simon that when committee members meet in an extraordinary special session next week, they will approve a resolution rebranding Democrats as the “Democrat Socialist Party.”

RNC Chairman Michael Steele didn’t want the meeting to be held, but members exercised “a rarely used party rule that allows any 16 RNC members from 16 different states to demand a special meeting” forcing Steele’s hand.

“A further comeuppance — a vote of ‘no confidence’ in Steele — is not being contemplated, I am informed, because Steele’s opponents in the RNC have already won a major victory by forcing him to accept greater controls on how he spends party funds.”


Cuomo Would Crush Paterson in Primary

In New York’s Democratic primary for governor, a new Quinnipiac poll finds Andrew Cuomo (D) beating Gov. David Paterson (D), 62% to 17%.

Key finding: Paterson’s 61% to 28% disapproval is hovering at historic lows.

Said Maurice Carroll: “With support in every demographic sub-group, including a 22-point lead among black voters, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo trounces Gov. Paterson in a Democratic primary. Paterson has time to turn things around before the 2010 election, of course, but there’s not a hint of good news for him in this poll.”

In a general election match up, Cuomo leads Rudy Giuliani (R), 47% to 41%.



Utah Attorney General Mistakenly Posts Candidacy on Twitter

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff (R) inadvertently confirmed on Twitter this afternoon that he’ll challenge Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT) in 2010.

Apparently thinking that he was sending a private text message, Shurtleff posted that he would be making an official announcement soon, and that he could raise significant amounts of money in Utah, California, New York, Arizona and Texas.

The Salt Lake Tribune said Shurtleff planned to announce his candidacy on May 20.


Palin Writing a Book

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) is writing a memoir and will come out in Spring 2010 — the year she is up for re-election, the AP reports.

Said Palin: “There’s been so much written about and spoken about in the mainstream media and in the anonymous blogosphere world, that this will be a wonderful, refreshing chance for me to get to tell my story, that a lot of people have asked about, unfiltered.”

“Being a voracious reader, I read a lot today and have read a lot growing up. And having that journalism degree, all of that, will be a great assistance for me in writing this book, talking about the challenges and the joys, balancing the work and parenting, and, in my case, work means running the state. I’ve read a variety of books, and that helps shape my opinions and my views.”


Bush in 2012?

In a Fox News interview, former Vice President Dick Cheney continued to blast away at the Obama administration on everything from bailing out the auto industry to closing the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.

He even hinted that he’d like to see another Bush as president.

Said Cheney: “I like Jeb. I think he’s a good man. I’d like to see him continue to stay involved politically… I’d probably support him for president.”

Meanwhile, the Fort Myers News-Press reports Jeb Bush (R) isn’t interested in running for Florida governor again, so perhaps he’s setting his sights on the White House.

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