POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 10/22

Quote of the Day

“I came very, very, very close (to resigning). At the time, all I wanted was to go down to the farm in Beaufort County and never see another TV camera for the rest of my life. But as a result of a conversation with some close friends, I didn’t go that route. It would have been the easier route, but if you have faith, you’ve gotta stick around for the second half of the show.”

— South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, in an interview with the Morning News.


Senate Health Care Bill Likely to Include Public Option

ABC News reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) “is leaning toward including the creation of a new government-run insurance program — the so-called public option — in the health care reform bill he will bring to the full Senate in the coming weeks.”

After meeting with Democratic moderates, Reid “has concluded he can pass a bill with a public option.”

Though some are still opposed the idea, Reid “is now convinced that Democratic critics of the public option will support him when it counts — on the procedural motion, which requires 60 votes, to defeat a certain GOP-led filibuster of the bill. Once the filibuster is beaten, it only takes 51 votes to pass the bill.”

“Democratic critics of the public option would get a chance to go on-the-record with their opposition by voting for an amendment to strip it from the health care bill.  Under Senate rules, such an amendment would need 60 votes to pass.  And while there may not be 60 votes in favor of a public option, there are also not 60 votes against it.  So, it would remain in the bill.”


New Jersey Race Tight and Unchanged

A new Democracy Corps (D) poll in New Jersey finds the race stable with Gov. Jon Corzine (D) holding a 3-point lead over Chris Christie (R), 42% to 39%, the same margin he enjoyed in the same survey two weeks ago. 

Independent Chris Daggett gets 13% support, also unchanged.

Government Moves to Regulate Bank Compensation

The Treasury and the Federal Reserve unveiled a set of rules for executive compensation at American banks that mark “a watershed moment for government intervention in the private sector,” the Wall Street Journal reports. 

The Fed is proposing that it “more aggressively regulate compensation practices at banks under its control.” 

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank “is working to ensure that compensation packages appropriately tie rewards to longer-term performance and do not create undue risk for the firm or the financial system.” 

These rules would apply to all banks and not just those who received bailout funds.


Bloomberg Expands Lead

A new Marist Poll finds New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has widened the gap between himself and challenger Bill Thompson (D) to 16 points among likely voters, 52% to 36%.

Last month, Bloomberg led by 9 points. Although Bloomberg’s support is unchanged, Thompson has lost ground.

Key finding: “Support among likely Democratic voters has shifted in Bloomberg’s direction. Nearly half of Democrats — 47% — are planning to cast their ballot for Bloomberg while 39% are backing Thompson.”


McCain Voters Experienced Drop in Testosterone

According to an interesting new study, men who voted for Sen. John McCain in last year’s presidential election experienced a drop in testosterone levels after Barack Obama was announced as the winner.

The testosterone levels of men who voted for Obama remained at the same levels throughout the evening.

The study’s conclusion: “The present results suggest that male, but not female, voters respond with testosterone changes to the outcome of presidential elections as if they had personally fought to ascend a social dominance hierarchy.”


Sick of Political Ads Yet?

According to Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball, there have been 29,000 political television ads aired in Virginia and 20,000 in New Jersey — with the most active two weeks to come.


Obama Leads All 2012 Match Ups

Public Policy Polling on some hypothetical 2012 match ups: President Obama leads Mike Huckabee 47% to 43%, Mitt Romney 48% to 40%, Sarah Palin 52% to 40%, and Tim Pawlenty 50% to 30%.

Interesting: Huckabee is the only Republican with a positive favorability rating and even then it’s only 33% to 29%.


Why Gay Marriage is Inevitable

Conservative columnist Ross Douthat to the New York Observer: “If I were putting money on the future of gay marriage, I would bet on it. The secular arguments against gay marriage, when they aren’t just based on bigotry or custom, tend to be abstract in ways that don’t find purchase in American political discourse. I say, ‘Institutional support for reproduction,’ you say, ‘I love my boyfriend and I want to marry him.’ Who wins that debate? You win that debate.”


Innoye Becomes Third Longest Serving Senator

Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) “becomes the third-longest-serving senator in U.S. history on Thursday, a landmark for the powerful lawmaker who has held a seat in Congress for as long as Hawaii has been a state,” the AP reports.

Inouye has been in office in the U.S. Senate for nearly 47 years.

Roll Call notes Inouye today also set a second milestone: he became the fifth-longest-serving member of Congress in history.


Candidates Reach for Obama

Despite talk of President Obama’s falling approval rates from Republicans, it’s important to note that New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine’s (D) closing argument in his re-election race is to tie himself as closely to the president as possible. 

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Obama did not disappoint at an energetic rally yesterday, calling the Corzine a “partner” and “the kind of leader New Jersey needs during difficult times… Corzine, standing nearby, smiled broadly throughout.”

Clips from the rally will certainly be in Corzine’s final television ads.

Even Creigh Deeds (D), who is slipping behind badly in his race for Virginia governor, seems to be playing his last card in a new ad that’s all about Obama.


The Great Irony of Health Care Reform

The National Journal looks at the percentage of people who are uninsured in each Congressional district and notes: “If health care reform passes, many of the districts that benefit most from the federal subsidies to expand access to coverage will be those represented by members who voted against the bill.”


Daily Pulse: House Democrats Line Up Votes

House Democratic leaders “sounded bullish” after launching “an all-hands-on-deck effort to win support for a ‘robust’ public insurance option in their health care bill,” Roll Call reports.

Said Caucus Chairman John Larson (D-CT): “We think we have the votes now. We have the votes to pass a robust public option.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) “has asked her Members to line up behind the Medicare-based plan, rather than one that negotiates rates with providers, because it saves the most money, according to the Congressional Budget Office.”

“House Democrats hope to nail down support for the public option this week, negotiate the remaining details next week and put the bill on the floor as early as the first week in November. Pelosi reiterated that she hopes a bill is sent to President Barack Obama’s desk by Thanksgiving.”

Business Week: All but declared dead over the summer, the idea of a public health-care option is suddenly gaining support in Congress.”


Will He Stay or Will He Go?

The New York Times reviews the back-and-forth story over the fate of White House counsel Gregory Craig and whether he’ll stay in his post, as he maintains, or whether he’ll be moving on as the rumor mill suggests.

“It is a classic and not particularly savory Washington story. When an administration stumbles, whispers begin and fingers point in search of someone to blame. At a certain point, assumptions can become self-fulfilling, and an official in the cross hairs finds it harder to do the job.”


More Independents

Mike Allen notes a Pew Research survey shows “the share of independents in the electorate is the highest in 70 years (36 percent), while the share of voters who call themselves Republicans is the lowest in 30 years (23 percent, compared to 35 percent for Democrats).”

These are very similar to findings from a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll.


Neck-and-Neck in New Jersey

A new Rutgers-Eagleton Poll in New Jersey finds Gov. Jon Corzine (D) and challenger Chris Christie (R) nearly even in the New Jersey governor’s race.

Corzine has the slight edge over Christie, 39% to 36%, but within the survey’s margin of error of 4.1 point. Independent Chris Daggett draws 20% support.


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

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