House Expands Rangel Investigation

“The House ethics committee is expanding its investigation of Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-NY) to include his August disclosure of more than $500,000 worth of assets that he failed to previously report,” Roll Call reports.

McDonnell Leads by Nine in Virginia

A new Washington Post poll in Virginia finds Bob McDonnell (R) has taken a commanding lead over Creigh Deeds (D) in the race for governor, 53% to 44%, “as momentum the Democrat had built with an attack on his opponent’s conservative social views has dissipated.”

“McDonnell held a four-point lead in mid-September. Deeds’s advantage with female voters has all but disappeared and McDonnell has grown his already wide margin among independents.”

Deadlocked in New Jersey

SurveyUSA poll in New Jersey finds Chris Christie (R) barely ahead of Gov. Jon Corzine (D), 43% to 40%, within the margin of sampling error. Independent Chris Daggett gets 14%.

Key finding: “Who is independent Daggett hurting more? Of those who voted for Corzine in 2005, 67% stick with Corzine in 2009. 17% of 2005 Corzine voters crossover to Republican Christie in 2009; 13% vote Daggett. Of those who voted for Corzine’s 2005 Republican opponent, Doug Forrester, 82% vote for Republican Christie in 2009; 4% defect to Corzine; 14% vote Daggett.”

What Could Have Been

In a speech in Kansas City, former Sen. Bob Dole (R-KS) — the 1996 GOP nominee for president — spoke about Monica Lewinsky, who was briefly Dole’s neighbor in the Watergate complex in the 1990s, the Kansas City Star reports.

Said Dole: “If I’d had little wiretap there, I could’ve been president… I never had a conversation with that lady.”

Corzine Takes the Lead in New Jersey

A new Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (D) poll finds that Gov. Jon Corzine (D) has now moved slightly ahead of challenger Chris Christie (R), 41% to 38%, with independent Chris Daggett getting 14%. 

Key finding: “Corzine has now consolidated the vote among his base, crossing the 80% threshold among Democrats and winning more Democrats than Christie does Republicans for the first time.”

This is the second poll this week showing Corzine with a lead.

Bonus Quote of the Day

“I’m in my place. I’m the Speaker of the House.”

— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, responding to a GOP spokesman’s call for a general to put her “in her place” on the Afghanistan war. 

Read more…

Chia Obama

It’s actually hard to believe, but they’re now actually selling Chia Obama decorative planters. I must have missed the Chia Bush.

White House Calls ‘Em Out

When Obama aides realized they could not let the media moderate policy debates,Time reports a new White House strategy emerged: “rather than just giving reporters ammunition to ‘fact-check’ Obama’s many critics, the White House decided it would become a player, issuing biting attacks on those pundits, politicians and outlets that make what the White House believes to be misleading or simply false claims… Obama cheered on the effort, telling his aides he wanted to ‘call ’em out.'”

“The take-no-prisoners turn has come as a surprise to some in the press, considering the largely favorable coverage that candidate Obama received last fall and given the President’s vows to lower the rhetorical temperature in Washington and not pay attention to cable hyperbole. Instead, the White House blog now issues regular denunciations of the Administration’s critics, including a recent post that announced ‘Fox lies’ and suggested that the cable network was unpatriotic for criticizing Obama’s 2016 Olympics effort.”

Republicans Hammered in Public Opinion

A new Quinnipiac poll shows President Obama’s approval rating holding steady at 50%, but finds Republicans get their lowest grades since Obama was elected on several measures:

  • Voters disapprove 64% to 25% of the way Republicans in Congress are doing their job, with even 42% of Republican voters disapproving
  • Only 29% think Republicans on Capitol Hill are acting in good faith
  • Voters trust Obama more than Republicans 47% to 31% to handle health care
  • By a 53% to 25% margin, voters have an unfavorable opinion of the Republican Party

Said pollster Peter Brown: “Republicans are taking a public opinion pounding.”

The poll also finds voters oppose President Obama’s health care reform plan, 47% to 40%, but they do back specific features of it, including overwhelming support for a public insurance option.

First Depose the President, Then Hire a Lobbyist

“In the months since soldiers ousted the Honduran president, Manuel Zelaya, the de facto government and its supporters have resisted demands from the United States that he be restored to power. Arguing that the left-leaning Mr. Zelaya posed a threat to their country’s fragile democracy by trying to extend his time in office illegally, they have made their case in Washington in the customary way: by starting a high-profile lobbying campaign,” the New York Times reports.

Baucus Bill Puts GOP on Defensive

After the health care bill championed by Sen. Max Baucus scored well in a CBO analysis, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) sounds a little worried. 

McClatchy Newspapers quotes McConnell: “This partisan Finance Committee proposal will never see the Senate floor since the real bill will be written by Democrat leaders in a closed-to-the-public conference room somewhere in the Capitol. The real bill will be another 1,000-page, trillion-dollar experiment that slashes a half-trillion dollars from seniors’ Medicare, raises taxes on American families by $400 billion, increases health care premiums, and vastly expands the role of the federal government in the personal health care decisions of every American.”

First Read: “Did you catch that? The GOP spin on this is that Baucus’ bill won’t be ‘the real bill.’ And he’s right, to a point, there will be some changes, i.e. some form of a public option, but the bar’s been set by Baucus on the deficit front. And considering the initial reaction the Baucus bill is receiving on the Hill, don’t be surprised if the White House makes this bill the standardbearer.”

The Finance Committee will vote on the bill next Tuesday.

Brown Way Ahead of Newsom in California

A new Field Poll in California finds Jerry Brown (D) is running comfortably ahead of Gavin Newsom (D), 47% to 27%, in the Democratic race for governor.

However, the picture is less clear on the Republican side, where 49% of voters are still undecided. Among those with a preference, Meg Whitman (R) edges Tom Campbell (R), 22% to 20%, with Steve Poizner running third at 9%.

“Each of the potential Democratic contenders are known to large majorities of this state’s voters, whereas only small proportions hold an opinion of the three Republicans. When voters are asked to choose between the Democrats and their lesser known GOP rivals in general election match-ups, both Brown and Newsom best each of the Republicans. Brown’s leads, however, are large and range from 21 to 25 points. By contrast, Newsom’s leads are in the single digits.”

Sanford Pulled Over for Speeding

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s (R) car was pulled over for speeding and a video from a dashboard camera shows the trooper asking the driver, “You got a good reason for running 85?”

When the driver says he’s driving the governor, the trooper replies, “Not a really good reason to be speeding.”

“Tell him that,” the agent says.

After shaking Sanford’s hand, the trooper let them go without issuing a ticket. 

However, The State reports that after police review of the video, the driver will now be cited.

Read more…

Palin’s Problem

It’s not clear that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will run for president in 2012. What is clear, however, is that if she does run she’ll need a strategy to deal with the father of her grandson, Levi Johnston.

The AP reports Johnston will pose nude for Playgirl by the end of the year. Palin’s representatives declined to comment.

Quote of the Day

“There isn’t a candidate in the world that likes how they’re depicted in their opponent’s ads.”

— New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D), quoted by the New York Times, on whether his campaign is intentionally highlighting Chris Christie’s (R) “heft, jowls and double chin” in campaign ads.

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

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