POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 9/23

Bonus Quote of the Day

“No one. It’s all the same old guys who were in leadership with me, and those old guys aren’t the leaders the party needs.”

— Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), in an interview with Politics Daily, on who he sees as the party’s “up-and-comers.”


Giuliani Keeping Options Open

In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, Rudy Giuliani discusses if he’ll run for president in 2012.

Said Giuliani: “I’m keeping my options open is how I put it — meaning who knows? Things outside yourself determine whether you can run for president and then whether you can win in running for president. Before I would decide to run for president again, I’d have to see those things outside myself lined up correctly.”


Will McCain Elaborate?

With Muammar Qadhafi giving a bizarre 90 minute speech today at the United Nations — Ben Smith has an good account — it would be interesting to hear more about Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) “late evening” visit with the Libyan leader last month which he described on Twitter as an “interesting meeting with an interesting man.”

Sanford Prepares to Fight Impeachment

In an interview with the Greenville News, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) said that “he has no plans to resign, will fight any attempt at impeachment and believes he may have the best chance next year at pushing for government restructuring.”

“He said he believes any violations of law found by an ongoing state Ethics Commission investigation would be ‘technical’ ones and he will fight any attempt by legislators to use those to oust him from office.”

It will be interesting to see what the state legislature does when they’re back in session early next year.


McDonnell Cited Coburn Staffer in Thesis

Here’s an interesting convergence of news: 

Blue Virginia notes that Michael Schwartz — the chief of staff for Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) who claims pornography will turn you gay — is cited twice in the controversial master’s thesis written twenty years ago by Virginia gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell (R).


Obama Approval Stays Flat

A new national poll from Public Polling Polling finds President Obama’s overall approval steady at 52% with support for him on health care on the rise. 

Last month, 47% of American voters said they were opposed to his health care plan with just 40% in support. Today, Americans are almost evenly divided with 46% opposed and 45% in support. The primary movement in the last month has come from independents.

Key finding: As we noted yesterday, Obama has barely lost any support from people who voted for him last November.


Quote of the Day

“I think if anything is off the table, it’s that I’m not running for president. It’s 100 percent believable now.”

— South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R), quoted by Upstate Today.


Capitol Hill Republicans Use Twitter More

Political Wire obtained a new Congressional Research Service report that says 158 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate now use Twitter.

Interestingly, during a two week period of observation, Republicans sent more tweets than Democrats, 64% to 36%.


Stewart on Values Voters

Fresh from his Emmy award win, Jon Stewart offers his take on the Values Voter Summit, whether pornography turns you gay and Tom DeLay’s dancing.

Read more…


Virginia Race Hinges on NoVA

Mark Blumenthal looks at the tightening Virginia polls and sees Northern Virginia as the wildcard in the gubernatorial race.

“It makes things interesting both because the fast growing, suburban counties that ring Washington, D.C. have trended more Democratic in recent years and because its voters live in one of the most expensive and politically inefficient television advertising markets in the country.”

“If you’re a Democrat, the bad news is that Deeds is still behind on all surveys and McDonnell still holds the votes he needs to win. The good news — perhaps — is that these new polls may have caught just the first few days of negative television advertising. If the Deeds message works, and if it is not neutralized by McDonnell’s counterpunch, then we may still see further gains in the next round of polls.”


Not Dukakis?

According to the New York Times, former DNC Chairman Paul Kirk might have the inside track to getting the interim U.S. Senate appointment from Massachusetts.

Senior Democrats in Washington said they believed that former Gov. Michael Dukakis “was out of the running and would not be named. Other possibilities include Evelyn Murphy, a former lieutenant governor; and Charles Ogletree, a professor at Harvard Law School.”

The Boston Globe says late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s two sons, Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) and Ted Kennedy Jr., have told Gov. Deval Patrick (D) that Kirk is their first choice to fill their father’s seat.


Angry at Washington

First Read: “Another takeaway from our new NBC/WSJ poll is just how angry the American public is at Washington right now. Only 22% approve of Congress’ job, which is down two points from July; the Democratic Party’s fav/unfav is 41% to 39%, down from 49% to 31% back in February; and the GOP’s fav/unfav is 28% to 43%, which is a slight uptick from its 26% to 47% score back in February but still close to the party’s ALL-TIME low…”

“Compared with those figures, Obama’s numbers seem sky-high. But, in truth, they’re decent — and they’ve stabilized. Overall, Obama’s job-approval rating is at 51%, which is unchanged from last month’s poll. And the public continues to like him personally: A combined 77% say they like him, even if they don’t agree with his policies, and his fav/unfav is 56% to 33%.”


O’Malley Looks Safe for Re-Election

A new Gonzales Research survey in Maryland finds Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) leading potential rivals in his expected re-election bid. 

In hypothetical match ups, O’Malley leads former Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R), 49% to 38%, and tops RNC Chairman Michael Steele (R), 52% to 37%.


Dead Heat in Missouri

A new Rasmussen Reports survey in Missouri finds Robin Carnahan (D) and Rep. Roy Blunt (R) dead even in their hotly contested race for the U.S. Senate.

Both candidates capture 46% of the vote, while 2% favor some other candidate, and 5% are not sure which candidate they will vote for.


Warning Signs for Democrats, Not Predictions

Charlie Cook of the Cook Political Report responds to Thomas Holbrook’s assertions yesterday that it’s too early to talk about Democratic losses in next year’s the midterm elections.

One of the more frustrating aspects of being a political analyst is that we are fair game for anyone who wants reduce hundreds or even thousands of words of analysis, boil it down to a sentence or a paragraph or a single thought, turning it into a straw man for them to knock down. I guess it just an occupational hazard.

Fair enough, but since I didn’t make any definitive prediction, didn’t even come close, and usually don’t do actual predictions until the final weeks or months before an election, his whole piece is pretty pointless. In 2006 for example, we began writing that it was becoming more likely than not that Republicans would lose their House Majority, we didn’t start writing that until the first week of August of 2006, which was pretty early by our standards for making predictions, (and pretty much the first anywhere to be saying that), in the Senate up until the very end we were saying 50-50 chance of the Senate flipping, which it did by the narowest of margins. We don’t and never have made predictions a year or more out before an election.

Read more…


2010 House Outlook

The Rothenberg Political Report updates their House ratings for next year’s midterm elections and notes “the cycle is starting to look more and more like a typical midterm election, with the majority party (in this case the Democrats) trying to localize elections by beating up their Republican opponents, and the out-party (in this case the GOP) trying to ride a wave of change and dissatisfaction – and seeking to have voters ‘send a message’ to President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”

The bottom line: “Democratic control of the House is not now at risk, and Republicans could gain anywhere from only a handful of seats to a couple of dozen or more, depending on how things develop over the next year. Two things seem clear: the NRCC’s 2006 and 2008 long nightmare is over, and Democrats must localize races to limit their losses in 2010.”

Pelosi Kills Deal with Blue Dogs

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) “is nixing a deal she cut with centrists to advance health reform,” reports The Hill.

“Pelosi’s decision to abandon the agreement that was made with a group of Blue Dogs to get the bill out of committee would steer the healthcare legislation back to the left as she prepares for a floor vote.”

“Pelosi is planning to include a government-run ‘public option’ in the House version of the healthcare bill. She wants to model it on Medicare, with providers getting reimbursed on a scale pegged to Medicare rates.”


GOP to Blame if Health Care Bill Doesn’t Pass

The new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that if health care reform is not passed this year, 37% will blame congressional Republicans, 16% will blame congressional Democrats and 10% will blame President Obama.

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