Think of the Lobbyists

Polls show New York Gov. David Paterson (D) as one of the least popular governors in the nation and the leadership revolt in the state Senate isn’t helping improve his stature. The governor has been “largely relegated to the sidelines” in the dispute, reports the New York Times

However, Paterson made “one of the more unusual pleas for sanity” when he asked lawmakers to “think of the lobbyists” in urging their return to the Senate. He went on to explain that they had worked hard “to persuade legislative leaders and legislators of issues.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“You can’t blame me for any of the politicians. I didn’t vote for them.”

— Businessman Peter Schiff (R), who is weighing a challenge to Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), admitting to 
Roll Call he can’t remember the last time he voted.

Still Searching for a Burr Challenger

With early polling showing Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) potentially vulnerable in his re-election campaign, Democrats continue to seek “a brand name” to challenge him. 

Raleigh News & Observer says Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-NC) “is still toying with a run” and Secretary of State Elaine Marshall (D) “has lately dipped her toe in the water.” In addition, a definitive “no” has not come from state Sen. Dan Blue (D) yet.

Lobbyists Warned to Stay Away from GOP Meeting

Top aides to Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) called a “last-minute, pre-emptive” strike “with a group of prominent Democratic lobbyists, warning them to advise their clients not to attend a meeting with Senate Republicans set for Thursday,” Roll Call reports.

Recounted one lobbyist: “They said, ‘Republicans are having this meeting and you need to let all of your clients know if they have someone there, that will be viewed as a hostile act… Going to the Republican meeting will say, ‘I’m interested in working with Republicans to stop health care reform.'”

Frank Storms Off

It’s not often that you see a politician walk away from a television camera, but that’s exactly what Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) did this morning during a rather heated CNBC interview about the government’s role in setting executive compensation for companies receiving federal assistance.

Read more…

Quote of the Day

“It’s when they move to the mushy middle and get squishy they get beat.” 

— Mike Huckabee, quoted by the 
Des Moines Register, arguing that Republicans can regain power by staying true to their conservative convictions.

It was Huckabee’s second trip to Iowa since the presidential election.

Deeds Leads McDonnell in Virginia

A new Rasmussen Reports survey in Virginia finds Creigh Deeds (D) leading Robert McDonnell (R) by six points in the Virginia governor’s race, 47% to 41%.

Interesting: “It is worth noting that, following Deeds’ victory, the number of undecided Democrats is significantly lower than the number of undecided Republicans and unaffiliated voters. It is too early to know if this reflects a temporary bounce following Deeds’ primary victory or if it signifies a more lasting change.”

Coleman Must Pay Franken Court Costs

A court ruled that Norm Coleman (R) owes Al Franken (D) $95,000 for the U.S. Senate trial, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

“Coleman owes the cash because Minnesota law dictates that the loser pay the winner’s court costs in an election contest. Because Coleman sued to overturn Franken’s lead, he owes Franken’s costs.”

A Coleman spokesman said the campaign “wouldn’t pay the costs until the state Supreme Court rules on the appeal. That decision means the $95,000 will tick up for each day it remains unpaid.”

Daily Pulse on Health Care Politics

“So far in his young presidency, every time President Obama has wanted to sell a legislative priority to the public (and to Congress) he has hit the road,” First Read notes.

“In February, when campaigning for his stimulus, he held town halls in Indiana and Florida. In March, when pushing for his budget, he traveled to California. And now, as health care has become the administration’s top priority for the rest of the year, Obama is hitting the road again by holding a town hall in Green Bay, WI at 1:10 pm ET.”

New York Times: “The lesson Obama’s team took from this experience, and one that will no doubt inform its approach to health care, is that it’s fine for a president to stand back from the process — but not so far back that Congress thinks he’s trying to duck the consequences… If Obama is going to sign a transformative health care law this year, it will, at some point soon, have to become his plan, no matter how much autonomy he wants to confer on his allies in Congress.”

Of course, it’s not always clear who Obama’s allies are — even in his own party. 

Read more…

A Republican Ice Age

Republican strategist Mike Murphy in the latest issue of Time magazine:

“Despairing Republican friends have been asking me what I think we should do to rebuild the GOP and begin our certain and inevitable comeback. My answer disappoints them: ‘Build an ark.’ I say this because I’ve made a career out of counting votes, and the numbers tell a clear story; the demographics of America are changing in a way that is deadly for the Republican Party as it exists today… Young voters need to see a GOP that is more socially libertarian, particularly toward gay rights. With changing demographics come changing attitudes, and aping the grim town elders from 
Footloose is not the path back to a Republican White House. The pro-life movement can still be a central part of the GOP — it has support among all ages (and a slim majority of Latino voters) — but the overall GOP view on abortion must aggressively embrace the big tent.”

Letterman Defends Palin Jokes

In a seven minute segment, David Letterman responded to Gov. Sarah Palin’s criticisms of his jokes on his show last night.

Said Letterman: “I’m telling you, I recognize that these are ugly. These are actually ugly. These are borderline…but again, in an act of desperation to get cheap laughs, which is what I’ve been doing for the last 30 years.”

He also invited Palin to appear on his show. 


Republicans Down on Their Party

Almost 4 out of 10 (38%) Republicans and Republican-leaning independents have an unfavorable opinion of their own party, while just 7% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents have an unfavorable opinion of the Democratic Party, according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll.

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

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