Behind the Wall

Ben Smith notes the New Hampshire Union Leader just put its key political columnists behind a subscription wall.

“My instinct is that it’s essentially suicidal on this beat. It’s a fast road to their no longer being the key political columnists, and a great opportunity for the state’s robust blogosphere to really take over the political conversation, recycling news from behind the paywall when there is any.”


Corzine Leads by Five in New Jersey

The latest Democracy Corps poll in New Jersey finds Gov. Jon Corzine (D) leading challenger Chris Christie (R) by five points, 43% to 38%, with independent Chris Daggett at 12%.

When Daggett voters are pushed to choose one of the two major party candidates, Corzine’s lead holds steady at 5 points, 47% to 42%.


An Odd Response from Palin

Political Wire reader who noted Sarah Palin’s attack on Levi Johnston yesterday — “those who would sell their body for money reflect a desperate need for attention and are likely to say and do anything for even more attention” — points us to a video clip of Palin in a beauty contest swimsuit competition.

I’d never seen that before but it does take the air out of her criticism of Johnston.

Read more…


McDonnell Widens Lead Over Deeds

A new Roanoke College poll in Virginia finds Bob McDonnell (R) has opened a 17-point lead over Creigh Deeds (D), 53% to 36%.

Interestingly, the percentage of undecided voters remains high this late in the campaign — 11% of likely voters have yet to make a decision in the race.


Very Tight in NY-23

A forthcoming DailyKos/Research 2000 poll will confirm that Dede Scozzafava (R) has lost ground in New York’s 23rd congressional district and that Bill Owens (D) and Doug Hoffman (C) are now running “neck and neck.”

Owens leads Hoffman by just one point, 33% to 32%, followed by Scozzafava at 21%.


Deeds Running Behind Even in Rural Areas

An interesting stat from Public Policy Polling comparing the 2008 election results in Virginia with this year’s governor’s race:

“Obama, the black guy from Chicago, was running seven points better with rural whites than Deeds, the white guy from Bath County.”

Meanwhile, a forthcoming DailyKos/Research 2000 poll will confirm what all the other recent polls show: Bob McDonnell (R) holds a comfortable lead over Creigh Deeds (D), 54% to 44%.


Another Beer Summit

Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates and Cambridge police Sergeant James Crowley were spotted at a pub in Cambridge Wednesday night, WBZ-TV reports.


Stimulus Jobs Overstated

An early progress report on President Obama’s economic recovery plan “overstates by thousands the number of jobs created or saved through the stimulus program, a mistake that White House officials promise will be corrected in future reports,” the APreports.

“The government’s first accounting of jobs tied to the $787 billion stimulus program claimed more than 30,000 positions paid for with recovery money. But that figure is overstated by least 5,000 jobs.”

While embarrassing for the administration, “there’s no evidence the White House sought to inflate job numbers in the report.” It’s also likely this will be overshadowed by news the economy grew for the first time in the last year.


Pelosi Introduces Health Care Bill

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) unveiled a health-care reform bill “that includes a government insurance option and a historic expansion of Medicaid, although sticking points in the legislation involving abortion and immigration remain unresolved,” the Washington Post reports.

“The bill includes a version of the ‘public option’ preferred by moderates and raises Medicaid eligibility levels to 150 percent of the federal poverty level for all adults, a steeper increase than in earlier drafts.”

Politico notes the CBO says the bill will cost $894 billion — just under the $900 billion mark set by President Obama — and “expands coverage to 36 million Americans and guarantees that 96 percent of Americans will be covered.”


Bonus Quote of the Day

“If you’re going to do it, at least man up and say I’m fat.”

— New Jersey gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie (R), talking with radio host Don Imus about Gov. Jon Corzine’s (D) making an issue of his weight.

Read more…


Palin Wants Speaking Fee for Iowa Visit

Yesterday, we learned that Sarah Palin would make her first trip to Iowa since last year’s presidential campaign — sparking even more speculation that she may run for president in 2012.

However, Politico reports that she wants a $100,000 speaking fee which “would represent a striking departure from customary practice in the first-in-the-nation state, these Republicans say, noting that a generation of White House hopefuls has paid their own way to boost their party and presidential ambitions.”


Rove Spins

The voting hasn’t even begun, yet that didn’t stop Karl Rove from declaring victory in next week’s elections.

Writes Rove: “Tuesday’s election will provide the most tangible evidence so far of how strong a backlash is building — and just how frightened centrist Democrats should be of 2010. For Republicans, it looks as if hope and change are on the way.”

But First Read notes Rove “should also know that the VA and NJ races don’t always predict what’s going to happen in the midterms. In 2005 — right after Hurricane Katrina — Democrats won both contests, an early sign of their success in 2006 (when they back control of Congress) and in 2008 (when they won the White House). Yet in 2001 — right after the 9/11 terrorist attacks — Democrats also won both races. But the next year, Republicans picked up seats in the House and Senate, and Bush won re-election in 2004.”


Paterson May Reconsider Bid

If his poll numbers “stay in the tank,” New York Gov. David Paterson (D) will “reassess” in early 2010 his decision to run for election, the New York Daily Newsreports.

Paterson still insists he’s running next year but “with one major caveat.”

Said one source: “He’s in it, he’s planning to put the team together, but he’s said if his numbers don’t improve by the beginning of the year, he would have to reassess his campaign.”


Corzine Outspending Christie 3 to 1

New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D) has raised $24.1 million and spent $23.6 million on the general election campaign so far, according to Politicker NJ. Of Corzine’s total raised, $22.6 million is from his own pocket.

Meanwhile, Chris Christie (R) “has maxed out on matching funds, raising a total of $11.7 million and spending $8.8 million, while independent Christopher Daggett has raised $1.3 million and spent $1.2 million.”


Economy Grows for First Time in a Year

“The U.S. economy grew in the third quarter for the first time in more than a year, propelled by stimulus-driven gains in consumer spending and home building,”Bloomberg reports.

“The world’s largest economy expanded at a 3.5% pace from July through September, exceeding the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, after shrinking the previous four quarters, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. Household purchases climbed 3.4%, the most in more than two years.”


Quote of the Day

“When voters step back and analyze how he made this decision, I think he’s going to be in big trouble. You just can’t wing something like this — it’s too important.”

— Barack Obama, quoted in David Plouffe’s new book, on Sen. John McCain picking Sarah Palin as his running mate.


Why Obama Didn’t Pick Hillary as Veep

In his new book, David Plouffe “seems to confirm what a lot of us suspected during last summer’s VP deliberations: that Barack Obama wouldn’t pick Hillary Clinton because he couldn’t figure out how to make a former President named Bill part of his White House family,” ABC News reports.

Said Obama: “I think Bill may be too big a complication. If I picked her, my concern is that there would be more than two of us in the relationship.”

Time runs a brief excerpt from Plouffe’s book.


The First Marriage

New York Times Magazine: “The centrality of the Obama marriage to the president’s political brand opens a new chapter in the debate that has run through, even helped define, their union. Since he first began running for office in 1995, Barack and Michelle Obama have never really stopped struggling over how to combine politics and marriage: how to navigate the long absences, lack of privacy, ossified gender roles and generally stultifying rules that result when public opinion comes to bear on private relationships.”

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

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