POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 6/10

Palin Blasts Letterman

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) put out a scathing statement blasting David Letterman who joked about her visit to Yankee stadium and said Palin’s daughter got “knocked up” by Alex Rodriguez.

Said Palin: “Laughter incited by sexually-perverted comments made by a 62-year-old male celebrity aimed at a 14-year-old girl is not only disgusting, but it reminds us some Hollywood/NY entertainers have a long way to go in understanding what the rest of America understands — that acceptance of inappropriate sexual comments about an underage girl, who could be anyone’s daughter, contributes to the atrociously high rate of sexual exploitation of minors by older men who use and abuse others.”

It’s interesting that Palin’s statement assumes Letterman was referring to the governor’s 14-year-old and not her older unmarried daughter who recently gave birth to a son.

Read more...


Quote of the Day

“Them Jews aren’t going to let him talk to me. I told my baby daughter, that he’ll talk to me in five years when he’s a lame duck, or in eight years when he’s out of office.”

— The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, in an interview with the 
Hampton Roads Daily Press, when asked if he had spoken to President Obama.


Large Majority Backs Major Overhaul of Health Care

The latest Diageo/Hotline Poll finds that 62% of voters support “the President enacting a major overhaul of the U.S. health care system,” with 38% of voters strongly supporting a major overhaul.

Specifically, one-third (35%) of Republican voters, 64% of Independent voters, and 87% of Democratic voters support a major overhaul of health care.

Among age groups, while a majority all age groups support reforming health care, senior citizens age 65+ are the least supportive, with 56% of them supporting reform. Likewise, a majority of income categories support reform, but those earning $100K+ in annual income are the least supportive, with 58% supporting reform.

For the latest, check out our 
Daily Pulse of health care politics.

The Virginia Map

The Electoral Map offers an interesting view of Creigh Deeds’ broad-based primary victory in Virginia yesterday.


Alabama Governor’s Race Could Be Competitive

A new Public Policy Polling survey tests eight potential match ups for Alabama Governor and finds nearly all came out within the margin of error.

The early front runner appears to be Bradley Byrne (R) who leads Artur Davis (D), 39% to 35%, and Ron Sparks (D), 41% to 27%.



The Power and Influence of David Brooks

Marc Ambinder: “It’s an open secret in Washington that White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel telephones the conservative New York Times columnist more than just about anyone else except for his wife. Brooks’s columns have been quite critical of Obama as of late, which testifies to Brooks’s independence and to Emanuel’s sticktoitiveness. Their friendship predates the administration by many years, but the White House understands that Brooks’s voice, even when not embraced by conservatives, influences how centrists and many intellectually honest liberal Democrats look at the world.”



When Lying Works

In studying the persistent rumors that Barack Obama is a Muslim, political scientist Brendan Nyhan makes the academic case that getting your allies to lie about your opponents can be a very effective political tactic.

In fact, his new 
working paper finds that Obama’s attempts to correct the myth actually may backfire among Republicans.

Matthew Yglesias: “At the end of the day, it’s extremely difficult to actually counter misinformation, and so society needs there to be disincentives to spreading it.”



Limbaugh, Gingrich, Cheney Speak for Republicans

Gallup: Asked to name the “main person who speaks for the Republican Party today,” Republicans across the country are most likely to name three men: Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, and Dick Cheney… Both Republicans and Democrats overwhelmingly say Barack Obama is the main person who speaks for the Democratic Party.

UpdateGreg Sargent contacted Gallup and found that just .5% of Republicans say Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks for the party.


What Was Schweitzer Doing?

First Read: “Here’s another question we have: What the heck was Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, the current head of the Democratic Governors Association, thinking when he endorsed McAuliffe last week, especially as polls were beginning to show a Deeds surge? Schweitzer last night released a statement congratulating Deeds that said this: ‘Creigh is the natural choice to continue the legacy of Governors Warner and Kaine.’ But people are obviously going to ask: How is Deeds the natural choice when Schweitzer originally endorsed McAuliffe? One can’t help but wonder: What did McAuliffe promise Schweitzer? Is this about Schweitzer’s own national ambitions?”


Crist Way Ahead of Rubio

A new Quinnipiac poll in Florida finds Gov. Charlie Crist (R) crushing Marco Rubio (R) 54% to 23% in a Republican U.S. Senate primary.

On the Democratic side, the Senate race is far from settled. Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL) leads the primary field with 18%, followed by Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL) with 12% and Rep. Ron Klein (D-FL) with 8%. However, 57% of voters say they don’t yet have a candidate in the race.


Corzine Trails Christie by 10 Points

A new Quinnipiac poll in Virginia finds Chris Christie (R) leading Gov. Jon Corzine, 50% to 40%, among likely voters.

Said pollster Clay Richards: “Don’t count Gov. Jon Corzine out just because he trails by 10 points less than five months before Election Day. But he certainly has his work cut out for him. Most New Jersey voters say he does not deserve re-election; that things have gotten worse since he became Governor and that personally he is cold and businesslike, not warm and friendly.”



Daily Pulse on Health Care Politics

The Washington Post notes that passing a health care reform bill this year “would be an extraordinary feat for Congress, but it is fraught with political peril.” 

“The great unknown of the health-care debate as it unfolds in the months ahead is whether the current political landscape will prove more hospitable to mandates, cost controls and tax increases — all measures now on the table that helped doom the Clinton plan.” 

House Democratic leaders gave members their first glimpse of their version of a health care overhaul, “with liberals leaving the meeting happy and centrist Democrats walking away skeptical,” according to The Hill.

Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) also introduced his proposal which is similar to the House version. The 
Wall Street Journal notes it “would require individuals to carry health insurance except for those who couldn’t afford it, and would establish federal or state ‘health benefit gateways’ to allow Americans to buy it. Mr. Kennedy had earlier called for a new public insurance plan and a requirement that employers help pay for coverage, and while they are mentioned in the bill, there are few details, suggesting those policies are still being negotiated.”

Important side note from 
First Read: “But don’t expect any health-care plan to be identified with anyone other than the president. The one thing the White House doesn’t want is this bill to be identified with any one person in Congress.”

Read more…


The Political Middle Grows

Pew Research: “The proportion of independents now equals its highest level in 70 years. Owing to defections from the Republican Party, independents are more conservative on several key issues than in the past. While they like and approve of Barack Obama, as a group independents are more skittish than they were two years ago about expanding the social safety net and are reluctant backers of greater government involvement in the private sector. Yet at the same time, they continue to more closely parallel the views of Democrats rather than Republicans on the most divisive core beliefs on social values, religion and national security.”




Virginia Rematch

Virginia Democrats have set up a replay, picking state Sen. Creigh Deeds (D) to run against Bob McDonnell (R) for governor — a race that will be a high-profile prelude to the 2010 elections, CQ Politics reports.

When Deeds ran against McDonnell for state Attorney General in 2005, McDonnell won by a whisper — 323 votes out of more than 1.9 million cast.

Washington Post: “This time, the two men with deep roots in the state will not only battle for Virginia’s highest office, but will do so in an election that is expected to draw intense national attention and be viewed as a bellwether for the Democratic Party, “



Is the Clinton Brand Damaged?

Last night’s Virginia primary results were a “brutal repudiation” of the most famous man in the race: former DNC Chairman and Clinton family friend Terry McAuliffe who until recent days was widely seen as in command of the race, Politico reports.

In the end, he wasn’t in command, and it was not even close.

The 
Washington Post notes McAuliffe “ended up doing the worst in the Washington suburbs, the place where people knew him best, despite amassing a $7.5 million war chest. He spent an average of $90 per vote.”

Ben Smith: “Like any landslide, Creigh Deeds’ victory tonight had more causes than one: His rural margins, the continuing sway of The Washington Post, Terry McAuliffe’s inability to close the deal. One big loser was Bill Clinton, as the McAuliffe loss will be seen (rightly, mostly) as an echo of the Clinton loss and another blow to the Clinton brand.”

The Google Blast

With Creigh Deeds (D) winning the Democratic primary in Virginia by a wide margin, the story of the night — besides Terry McAuliffe (D) losing badly — might be the “Google blast” his campaign used in the final hours.

Washington Post: “Starting at 3 p.m EST Monday, hours before polls opened across Virginia, Deeds’s campaign bought what’s called a ‘Google blast.’ Or, more appropriately, a Google attack. If you live in Northern Virginia (or, like many voters, work in D.C. but live in NoVa), Deeds has been almost inescapable on highly-trafficked sites such as washingtonpost.com, the blog Talking Points Memo and Oxygen.com, which is popular among women. Capitalizing on his Post endorsement, he peppered those sites with banner ads reading ‘The Washington Post endorsed one Democrat — Creigh Deeds’ until polls closed.”

Scott Murphy (D) used the 
same strategy in the final hours of his special election campaign earlier this year in New York’s 20th congressional district.

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

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