POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 7/2

Quote of the Day

“There’s something in Hillary as a model for me, because Hillary, well she came in with a different kind of celebrity obviously. But there was a kind of skepticism where she had to prove herself a certain way and also prove not to be a kind of a show horse, but to be a work horse. And so I want to… put my head down and get to work when I get there.”

— Senator-elect Al Franken (D-MN), quoted by Minnesota Public Radio, on lessons he can learn from Hillary Clinton.


Palin Emails Show Infighting

CBS News: “Internal campaign e-mails exchanged three weeks before Election Day offer a rare look at just how frustrated then Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin had become with the manner in which top McCain campaign aides were handling her candidacy. The e-mails, obtained exclusively, also highlight the power struggle and thinly veiled acrimony that pervaded the relationship between Palin and the campaign’s chief strategist, Steve Schmidt.”


Sanford Shed Security Detail 39 Times This Year

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) left the Governor’s Mansion “without a security escort, 38 times in 2008. In the first six months of this year, he left the mansion without security, 39 times,” according to The State.

“The frequency with which the governor shed his security detail has fallen under scrutiny after his secret trip earlier this month to Argentina.”

The Fall of the Class of 1994

Gov. Mark Sanford (R) and Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) have more in common than being part of sex scandals: They were also members of the famed Republican Class of 1994, swept into the House of Representatives in a massive electoral wave that pushed Democrats out of power for the first time in decades.

However, Politico notes that “in the 14 years since that star-crossed class arrived in Washington espousing an agenda that placed family values at its core, no less than a dozen of its members have been caught up in affairs, sex scandals or in messy separations and divorces from their spouses that, in more than a few instances, led to their political downfalls.”

“The problems started almost as soon as they took office, and by the end of their first year in Congress, the marriages of at least four Republican freshmen had collapsed.”


Cracks in Obama’s Approval Rate?

A new Quinnipiac poll finds that while President Obama’s job approval rating remains stable overall — currently at a politically healthy 57% to 33% — his disapproval has risen 8 to 10 points among several key demographic groups.

Said pollster Peter Brown: “Those who liked President Obama the most from the start – African-Americans, Democrats, women — still like him by the same margins, but a chunk of voters who were undecided have decided he’s not their cup of tea. Among independents, men, white Catholics, white evangelical Christians and Republicans, his numbers have fallen. He still has a ways to go before his coalition becomes politically unstable, but there are some groups and issues — especially the economy — where he needs to make sure this trend does not continue.”


Sestak Says He’s Running

Though Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) has been coy about whether he’ll actually challenge Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) in a Democratic primary for Senate next year, he was was very clear in an interview with the Wayne Independent.

Said Sestak: “I am going to get into the race against Arlen Specter… for senator.”

It was Sestak’s “first media interview as part of a three-week tour through all of the Commonwealth’s 67 counties.”


Testing Iowa Already

Radio Iowa reports someone is using automated phone calls to test the popularity of possible Republican 2012 presidential candidates: Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Bobby Jindal, and Jeb Bush.

Sanford Will Not Disclose Records

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) “has backed out of a promise to release personal financial records proving he did not use state money for trips to see his mistress,” the AP reports.

A spokesman now says the governor “does not want to discuss personal matters in the media anymore.”

Meanwhile, the AP released audio clips of the Sanford interview — which show “a midlife crisis playing out in public,” as one Political Wire reader said —  that may ultimately prove to be his undoing: Clip 1Clip 2Clip 3


Bonus Quote of the Day

“I can say without hesitation that this government is totally theirs… Everything that comes out of it and everything that results from it is on their plate.”

— RNC Chairman Michael Steele, on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, “almost gleeful” about giving the Democrats another Senate seat.

Read more…


Sununu Passes on Comeback Try

Former Sen. John Sununu (R-NH) announced he will not run for New Hampshire’s open Senate seat in 2010, forcing Republicans to continue their search for a top flight candidate, CQ Politics reports.

Said Sununu: “Representing New Hampshire in the United States Senate is a great honor, but effective public service is much more than just a desire to hold office. It’s essential that the timing fit both personally and professionally.”


White House Salaries Released

The Obama administration today released the annual salaries of all White House staffers.

The Hotline crunches the numbers and finds an 18% increase in the total amount paid to Obama staffers over Bush staffers

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