POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 6/4

 

All You Wanted to Know About Sonia Sotomayor

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee makes Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s questionnaire available online.

The Hotline notes it was returned just 9 days after being nominated to the Supreme Court by President Obama. “For context, this is the swiftest questionnaire completion in recent history. Based on the time between a nominee’s designation and when they returned their questionnaire, it took Chief Justice Roberts 13 days, Justice Ginsburg 15 days and Justice Alito 30 days to complete their questionnaires.”



Bonus Quote of the Day

“We need to accept the role of the loyal opposition much more gracefully than our opponents did. If you haven’t noticed, the meanest people in politics are on the American left.”

— Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R), quoted by the AP, saying Republicans must be more “friendly” if they are to “emerge from the political doldrums.”



The Power of Robert Gibbs

Vanity Fair has today’s must-read piece: “The Obamas may have the smartest, most finely calibrated press operation in White House history, parceling out scoops (The New York Times), partisan talking points (the Huffington Post), and First Family tidbits (the celebrity mags) to a desperate media. Just don’t ask them to admit it.”

Cheney Threatens to Further Isolate Republican Party

Democracy Corps finds the Republican Party “with a net favorability rating of -15 points (30% favorable, 45% unfavorable. By comparison, the Democratic Party enjoys a relatively strong +8 rating (46% favorable, 38% unfavorable). The image gap between the two parties also remains near its all-time high.”

Furthermore, Dick Cheney’s “persistent visibility does not appear to be helping matters for the Republicans. With a net favorability of -20 (31% favorable, 51% unfavorable), the former vice president is at his lowest level of popularity since Democracy Corps first measured it in 1999. Cheney is a deeply divisive figure, popular only with the conservative base of the Republican Party but unpopular with everyone else, including independents (among whom he has net -26 favorability rating) and moderate Republicans. In fact, President Obama (+5) is more popular with moderate Republicans than Cheney (-9).”



Christie Begins With 13 Point Lead Over Corzine

With the primaries over, a new Rasmussen Reports poll finds Chris Christie (R) with a double-digit lead over Gov. Jon Corzine (D) in the New Jersey Governor’s race, 51% to 38%. 

“Still, voters recognize that it’s tough for a Republican to win statewide races in the Garden State. Just 43% say that Christie is likely to end up as the next governor while 41% say Corzine will be re-elected. New Jersey polls often show Republican candidates doing well in the spring with Democrats gaining ground in the fall. Corzine is expected to heavily outspend Christie which could add to that trend.”



Coleman Seen as Likely to Give Up Fight

Roll Call reports Senate Republicans will defer to Norm Coleman’s (R) decision whether or not to pursue a federal lawsuit if he loses his Senate recount court case to Al Franken (D) in Minnesota.

In addition, sources close to Coleman say he “would likely give up his legal battle and accept defeat if the Minnesota Supreme Court decides in Franken’s favor. That’s because Coleman anticipates that Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) would 
ultimately sign Franken’s certification papers.”


Quote of the Day

“I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

— Oakland County Commissioner Kim Capello (R), quoted by the 
Oakland Press, after police caught him in a “public sex act” with 37-year-old woman who was not his wife.


Maloney Could Announce Challenge Today

Two sources tell CQ Politics that Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) will announce her primary challenge to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) as early as today.

However, the congresswoman disputed that during a brief hallway interview.

“Where did you get that from?” she asked. “It’s not true.”

A story yesterday said Maloney 
would announce this month.

Update: The Hill reports Vice President Biden met with Maloney this week to talk her out of entering the primary.


Nevada First Lady Backs Harry Reid

Nevada first lady Dawn Gibbons (R) “is atop a list of Republicans signed on to support U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) re-election bid in 2010,” reports the Reno Gazette Journal.

“Gibbons, a former Republican assemblywoman, confirmed her support for Reid but would not comment on it. She is currently seeking a divorce from Gov. Jim Gibbons (R).”


No Leader for 2012

A new CNN/Opinion Research poll finds no clear front-runner in the 2012 Republican president race with 22% of Republicans currently supporting Mike Huckabee, 21% backing Gov. Sarah Palin (R) and 21% choosing Mitt Romney.


Obama Speaks in Egypt

President Obama called for a “new beginning between the United States and Muslims” in a much-anticipated speech in Egypt aimed at improving relationships with Muslims worldwide. 

New York Times: “The president delivered a sweeping message that was forceful and, at times, scolding as he promoted democracy…”

Washington Post: “The speech at times had the feel of a history lesson as Obama listed the accomplishments of Muslims in America…”

Wall Street Journal: “Obama, in a major speech, called for a new beginning between the U.S. and Muslims.”

Read more…



Sotomayor Gets High Approval

Led by large black, Hispanic and Jewish majorities, American voters approve 55% to 25% percent of President Obama’s nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to a new Quinnipiac poll

Said pollster Peter Brown: “So far the Republicans have barely laid a glove on Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. There may be disputes within the Beltway about her nomination, but she is still playing well in Peoria.”


Virginia Race Still Up in the Air

With just 6 days until Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, SurveyUSA finds a race with “unusual volatility.” 

Terry McAuliffe (D) remains in front with 35%, but is closely followed by Creigh Deeds (D) at 29% and Brian Moran at 26%. 

Key finding: Half of survey respondents say they may still change their mind. Among those who have decided, Deeds leads with McAuliffe and Moran a half-dozen points behind.



Obama Makes Another Republican Appointment

Continuing the plot we described earlier, President Obama said he would nominate former Rep. Jim Leach (R-IA) to be chairman of the National Endowment of the Humanities, the Des Moines Register reports.

Leach, a Republican, endorsed Obama last year and had a prime-time speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.


Daniels Ends 2012 Speculation

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) indicated today that his current job would be his last, “a statement likely to deflate the hopes of many conservatives around the country that he’d run for president in 2012,” according to Real Clear Politics.

Said Daniels: “I’ve only ever run for or held one office. It’s the last one I’m going to hold.”


Bush Needed Explanation of Biden Controversy

Remember during the presidential primaries when Joe Biden described Barack Obama as “articulate and bright and clean?” 

According to
 Renegade: The Making of a PresidentPresident Bush didn’t understand the resulting controversy.

“Bush was so taken aback with the public criticism of Biden that he called in his African American secretary of state Condoleezza Rice. ‘I don’t get it,’ he said. ‘Condi, what’s going on?’ Rice told him what everyone else had said: that white people don’t call each other articulate.”

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