POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 8/3

Top Republican Says Obama Will Get Bill By November

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) predicts a health care reform bill will reach President Obamas’ desk by Thanksgiving, according to Radio Iowa.

Said Grassley: “If we get a bill on the senate floor by the third or fourth week of September, it’s probably going to take two weeks. Probably take a month to negotiate the difference between the house and senate provisions, so I would suggest the middle of November. And it’s an ideal time for that because it’s kind of natural break… the Friday just before Thanksgiving break.”


Just 32% of Virginia Republicans Think Obama is a Citizen

Here’s an advance look at a new Public Policy Polling survey in Virginia completed over the weekend:  An astonishing 41% of the state’s Republicans think President Obama was not born in the United States while just 32% think he was and 27% are still not sure.

Also from the new poll: Bob McDonnell (R) expands his lead over Creigh Deeds (D) in the gubernatorial race.

The complete results will be released tomorrow.

The Power of a Heckler

Toledo mayoral candidate Ben Konop has his news conference disrupted by a single heckler.

Read more…

Too Much Obama?

In a must-read piece, New York magazine looks at President Obama’s media saturation strategy, noting “it’s gotten to the point where one expects to see and hear from him every day. He’s in the information business almost as much as the policy business.”

Said former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie: “This is president as content provider. It’s like when Rosie O’Donnell had a show and a magazine and a blog.”

“And Obama is a multiplatform natural: He’s done books and audiobooks; he commands audiences on both YouTube and from the podium; he BlackBerrys; he makes a nice photo. He recognizes that, in the same way a blog can’t survive on just one post a day, a presidency can no longer survive on one message per day or one press conference per year. Instead, you have to turn on a fire hose.”


2010 Is Not 1994

While history suggests Republicans will make significant gains in the 2010 House races — as they did in 1994 when Bill Clinton was the new Democratic president — there is a major difference between then and now.

First Read: “The 1992 election actually provided hints of the 1994 tsunami (redistricting, strength of anti-establishment Perot etc.; Republicans actually did well in 1992 House races and picked up senate seats). So 1992’s results scared a number of Dems and led to a lot of retirements — making 1994 even more difficult for their party… We’re not seeing this same pattern for 2010 just yet. Democrats seem to have the ability to have insulated themselves from a 1994- or 1946-like result.”


Jindal Will Not Challenge Vitter

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) “has gone on the record in regard to speculation he might run for U.S. Senate,” WWL-TV reports.

Said Jindal: “Well a couple of things, first (Sen. David) Vitter’s going to have to make his case with the voters, just like every candidate does. There’s been a lot of speculation. Let me answer your question very directly, I’m not running for the senate, I’m running for re-election as governor in 2011, but David’s going have to make his case with the voters directly just like any other candidate’s going to have to do that.”

Rove Weighs In On New Document

This just in: Karl Rove thinks the Kenyan birth certificate circulating around the Internet this weekend is “likely a forgery.”

For those needing more proof, Markos Moulitsas details the extensive problems with document.

Daily Pulse on Health Care Politics

Greg Sargent obtained an internal poll that House Democrats are using to shape their message on health care reform. In short, it tells them to “relentlessly describe reform as something that will take power away from the insurance industry.”


“The survey — taken in 60 battleground districts — found that when people were asked whether they believed reform would shift ‘power from insurance companies to people,’ 62% found it very or somewhat convincing, with 39% finding it ‘very convincing.’ Asked if the ‘status quo means insurance companies are in charge,’ 61% found it convincing.”

“The most persuasive GOP attacks: That reform will ‘further bankrupt the country with trillions more in deficit spending,’ which 59% found convincing, and that reform means treatment will be ‘decided by politicians’ and ‘bureaucrats,’ which 58% found convincing.”

The New York Times has more on how Democrats “are laying the groundwork for an August offensive against the insurance industry as part of a coordinated campaign to sell the public on the need for reform.”


4 Red States, 30 Blue States

An analysis of Gallup Tracking Poll data finds just four states “show a sizeable Republican advantage in party identification, the same number as in 2008. That compares to 29 states plus the District of Columbia with sizeable Democratic advantages, also unchanged from last year.”

Massachusetts is the most Democratic state in the nation, along with the District of Columbia. Utah and Wyoming are the most Republican states.


Picking Palin

The latest excerpt from The Battle for America 2008 by Haynes Johnson and Dan Balz has a behind-the-scenes look at how Sen. John McCain picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate — “the extraordinary tale of how a campaign desperate to shake up the race took a huge gamble that would dog McCain until Election Day.”


Schwarzenegger Plans Big Final Year

The fact that California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s (R) poll numbers “have plummeted to where Gray Davis’ were when Schwarzenegger booted him from office might humble an ordinary politician. He’d probably lower his sights. But not Schwarzenegger,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

“The lame duck governor intends to pursue an ambitious legislative agenda the rest of this year and next while pushing ballot measures in the 2010 primary and general elections.”

Speech-Less

Coming next month: Speech-Less by former Bush speechwriter Matt Latimer.

The Washington Post reports there’s “a growing nervousness these days among former Bush White House officials, Pentagon folks and some senators about what, precisely, is in” Latimer’s book. “We’re told some folks are even devising schemes to get their hands onSpeech-Less to figure out, first, what’s in it about them, and then how to deflect and rebut.”

“But, from what we understand, Latimer’s often laugh-out-loud recollections of the chaos around him — and he apparently took great notes — don’t reflect betrayal or bitterness but are more a memoir of how the sausage is made during times of electoral, economic and foreign-policy collapse.”


Emanuel Strong Arms Networks

“In the days before President Obama’s last news conference, as the networks weighed whether to give up a chunk of their precious prime time, Rahm Emanuel went straight to the top,” the Washington Post reports.

He spoke to the CEOs of each network’s parent company.

“Whether this amounted to undue pressure or plain old Chicago arm-twisting, Emanuel got results: the fourth hour of lucrative network time for his boss in six months. But network executives have been privately complaining to White House officials that they cannot afford to keep airing these sessions in the current economic downturn.”

Branstad May Make Another Run for Iowa Governor

“Signs are increasing that Terry Branstad (R) — Iowa’s longest-serving governor, but one who hasn’t been on the ballot for 15 years — is actively considering a run for the office next year,” the Des Moines Register reports.

“The state’s last Republican governor dismissed talk of a comeback last spring. But now he’s discussing a 2010 run more openly, even as he says he is contentedly busy as president of a growing medical college.”

Said Branstad: “I’m not ruling it out, because I care deeply about the state. And I have real concerns about the direction things are going.”


Fed Provides Back Door Support to Banks

“Wall Street banks are reaping outsized profits by trading with the Federal Reserve, raising questions about whether the central bank is driving hard enough bargains in its dealings with private sector counterparties,” the Financial Times reports.

“The resulting profits represent a relatively hidden form of support for banks, and Wall Street has geared up to take advantage.”

Said on former Treasury official: “Everyone games them. Their transparency hurts them. Everyone picks their pocket.”

Deciding to Run

From The Battle for America 2008 by Haynes Johnson and Dan Balz:

In the days leading up to Obama’s decision to run, Axelrod prepared a private strategy memo — dated Nov. 28, 2006 — that has never been published before. He wrote that an outgoing president nearly always defines the next election and argued that people almost never seek a replica — certainly not after the presidency of George W. Bush. In 2008, people were going to be looking for a replacement, someone who represented different qualities. In Axelrod’s opinion, Obama’s profile fit this historical moment far better than did Hillary Rodham Clinton’s. If he was right, Obama could spark a political movement and prevail against sizable odds. He also counseled Obama against waiting for a future opportunity to run for president. “History is replete with potential candidates for the presidency who waited too long rather than examples of people who ran too soon. . . . You will never be hotter than you are right now.” 

The second half of the Axelrod memo was more personal and pointed. “We should not get into a White Paper war with the Clintons, or get twisted into knots by the elites,” he wrote. He argued that the issue of experience was overrated but said strength was not, and he conceded that Clinton, because of all she had weathered, was seen by voters as a candidate of strength. “But,” he added, “the campaign itself also is a proving ground for strength.”

The Washington Post runs a longer excerpt from the book that is worth reading.


Quote of the Day

No chance.”

— Sen. John McCain, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, on whether he’ll seek a rematch against President Obama in 2012.

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

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