POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 6/29

A New Republican Leader?

Jonathan Martin and Chris Cilliza rave about “an inspired performance” on Meet the Press by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) yesterday.

“Why? Because unlike other Republicans who seem to be so fixated on scoring political points on President Obama, Graham was willing to point out where his own party had strayed while also making a reasonable argument for GOP ideals… 

“Does one solid performance on a Sunday show mean that Graham is the new ‘it’ guy for the GOP? No. But the notoriously private Graham seemed to signal on Sunday that he is ready to take more of a leadership role.”

Read more…


DeMint Rolls Out Book

Saving Freedom: We Can Stop America's Slide into SocialismJust published: Saving Freedom: We Can Stop America’s Slide Into Socialism by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC).

The book is billed as DeMint’s “firsthand account of the unsettling socialist shift — behind-the-scenes actions in Congress that are changing the character of our nation. He illuminates key principles of freedom and how they are being compromised by big government. More important, DeMint lays out a complete action plan to reclaim America’s freedom based on legislation that would reduce debt, fix Social Security, and provide a tax credit for every family to buy health insurance. The plan also emphasizes reversing America’s cultural decline by restoring a strong spirit of God and country.”

GOP 12: “If Jim DeMint is planning on running for Prez, he’s got the book thing out of the way.”


Most Governors Easy to Find

Most of the nation’s governors were willing — even eager — to prove to the AP they “were on the job after revelations that South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford ditched his security detail and disappeared for a secret weeklong tryst with a mistress in Argentina.”

Case in point: Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s (R) newlywed love life “hasn’t been an obstacle to keeping in touch.”

Said his communications director: “I talked to the governor 100 times while he was on his honeymoon.”

Coleman Becomes Butt of Late Night Jokes

Politico notes Norm Coleman (R) has become a favorite topic of late night comedians over his court fight against Al Franken (D). 

Here are a few of the better jokes:

“They had elections today in Iran. Apparently, it’s still too close to call. They say if the vote is still close by tomorrow, there will be a runoff election next week and then the usual series of lawsuits from Norm Coleman.” (Bill Maher, June 12)

“So now they’re going through the recount. They’re recounting the ballots cast in the Iranian election, and today they found 14 more votes for Norm Coleman.” (David Letterman, June 17)

“The supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, said, ‘This election was not rigged, the results are final, and you can protest all you want, but if you keep doing it, we’re going to start cracking heads.’ Now, if we could only get this guy to call Norm Coleman.” (Bill Maher, June 19)

On Iran’s decision to get rid of 3 million suspicious votes: “To put that in perspective, that’s enough to put 9,615 Norm Colemans in the Senate.” (Steven Colbert, June 23)

Click here to find out more!

Back Into Fighting Trim

President Obama, in an interview with the New York Times, said Washington, D.C. is finally getting into shape to solve the nation’s problems.

Said Obama: “What we’ve been doing over the last six months is getting people back into fighting trim. This is a town where there was just a belief that nothing could get done… I’ll use just the workout metaphor, and that is… when you start training again and you’re pushing your body a little bit harder, sometimes it hurts. But if you keep on at it, after a while your body adjusts. And I think that’s what’s happening to politics in Washington. Folks have been sitting on the couch for a while, and now they’re starting to feel like, hey, you know what, I can run. And that’s why we’re getting stuff done. That doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be times where it hurts a little bit. All right?”

Pawlenty Waiting on Court Ruling

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) said on CNN yesterday that he would sign an election certification declaring Al Franken (D) the winner if Norm Coleman (R) loses his court challenge.

Said Pawlenty: “We expect that ruling any day now. I also expect them to give guidance and direction as to the certificate of election. I’m prepared to sign it as soon as they give the green light… I’m not going to defy an order of the Minnesota Supreme Court. That would be a dereliction of my duty.”

Romney Team Stands Ready

“Mitt Romney says publicly he’s not considering another presidential campaign, most recently on Sunday during an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press. But many of his loyalists expect one and remain at the ready for 2012,” Politico reports.

“For the Romney team, it’s not too much of a stretch to say that the campaign never really ended… The Washington-based alumni have a regular monthly luncheon, are working on another reunion-like event around a 2009 candidate later this year and always make sure their former candidate is briefed on the latest political doings.”

Independents Stay With Obama on Key Issues

Greg Sargent got the partisan breakdowns from the new Washington Post poll which asked respondents who they trust to handle health care, the economy, the budget deficit, and terrorism. On every issue, majorities of independents trust President Obama, while small minorities trust congressional Republicans.

  • On health care, 51% of indys trust Obama, and 26% trust GOPers in Congress.
  • On the economy, 51% of indys trust Obama, and 31% trust the GOP.
  • On the budget deficit, 52% of indys trust Obama, and 30% trust the GOP.
  • On terrorism, 53% of indys trust Obama, and 36% trust the GOP.

“Given that pundits often wonder whether all-hallowed independents will be turned off by Obama’s ambitious agenda, you’d think this storyline would enter the media narrative.”

How Dodd and Kennedy Need Each Other

In a fascinating piece, the Hartford Courant says Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) probably needs Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) for his re-election bid in 2010 as much as the ailing Kennedy needs Dodd to help push health care reform through the Senate. In fact, Dodd “constantly and travels to Cape Cod to visit him about every other week.”

Said Dodd: “I was with him last Sunday, I spent an hour with him in Hyannis.”

Dodd said they talked business for a while — mainly health care — but Kennedy “was also interested in the latest Washington gossip.”

All Politics Wasn’t Local on Climate Vote

With the House passage of landmark climate change legislation by a super-thin margin, National Journal has a very interesting analysis on how the vote broke down along partisan and regional lines.

A map of congressional districts breaks down the vote and whether that district is dependent on coal for a large part of its energy supply.

The bottom line: Politics appeared to play a greater role than local energy needs. “In both parties, nothing appeared to drive the outcome more than the presidential result in last November’s election.”

Meanwhile, Nate Silver correctly notes the Senate vote will probably play out differently. “The Senate will be voting on a somewhat different bill, at a somewhat different time in the legislative calendar, and its members have somewhat different prerogatives. Fewer of them are under re-election pressure. And Obama — wisely, I think — has conserved a lot of his political muscle for the Senate fight.”

CQ Politics notes White House adviser David Axelrod said he believed “will probably be dealt with in the fall” after work is completed on health care overhaul.

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