Republicans Try to Force Democratic Retirements

“An informal list of 17 members the NRCC believes can be convinced to step down, privately called the ‘Dem Retirement Assault List,’ makes clear the party needs Dem incumbents to step aside if they have hopes of taking back the majority. The NRCC has taken pains to attack those lawmakers in recent weeks,” Hotline On Call reports.

The list: Ike Skelton (D-MO), Bart Gordon (D-TN), Rick Boucher (D-VA), Alan Mollohan (D-WV), Marion Berry (D-AR), Vic Snyder (D-AR), Baron Hill (D-IN), Earl Pomeroy (D-ND), Tim Holden (D-PA), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) and Leonard Boswell (D-IA).

White House EKG Up

Almost proving Robert Gibbs’ point: The new Gallup daily tracking poll shows President Obama’s approval rate jumping three points since yesterday.

Bowling vs. Skiing in 2012?

Joshua Green: “Recently, word came that Sarah Palin would address the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America’s annual convention next year. This struck me as a coup for bowlers, but evidently they’re not of one mind about Palin… Today, a highly placed source in the skiing industry notified me that Mitt Romney, unwilling to cede sports enthusiasts to Palin, will address the annual convention of the National Ski Areas Association in Florida next year. On the one hand, this is kind of a twofer–Romney hits the mountain swing states (Colorado, New Mexico) and Florida, too. On the other hand, skiing rather reinforces the out-of-touch-rich-guy image Romney is trying to play down, doesn’t it? Seems like the GOP primary could soon shape up as a contest between salt-of-the-earth, bowling-class Republicans, and elite ski-track Republicans.”

Jenny Sanford Not Interested in Running

ABC News released a tease of the upcoming Barbara Walters interview with Jenny Sanford, the wife of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R).

Interestingly, Mrs. Sanford said she “did not stand by her husband’s side during his June press conference when he confessed to cheating” and that her husband “didn’t ask her to.”

Said Sanford: “I wouldn’t have. If he had asked me, I would have said no.”

Meanwhile, despite rumors to the contrary, Mrs. Sanford said she has no political ambitions of her own.

Thompson to Write Memoir

Former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-TN) “has penned his memoir and given it a title that reflects his early days in small-town Tennessee,” the Memphis Daily News reports.

The book is called Notes from a Country Lawyer and is scheduled for release in May.

Graham Has High Crossover Appeal

A new Public Policy Polling survey in South Carolina finds Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) “has more crossover appeal than almost any other U.S. Senator in the country. He’s also one of the least popular Senators within his own party. Such is the product of being a rare politician with any bipartisan instincts in these highly polarized times.”

“As long as he can survive Republican primaries Graham’s probably got this seat for as long as he wants it. When you’re relatively popular with Democrats in a state that’s strongly Republican leaning to begin with that’s a good recipe for reelection in perpetuity.”

Quote of the Day

“I tell you, if I was a heart patient and Gallup was my EKG, I’d visit my doctor.”

— White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, quoted by Politico, noting the volatility of the Gallup daily tracking poll.

New Jersey Gay Marriage Bill Squeaks Through Committee

Same-sex marriage passed the New Jersey Senate judiciary committee last night, 7-6. The full Senate will vote on Thursday. If passed there, the bill is expected to pass the lower house and out-going Gov. Jon Corzine (D) has pledged to sign it, but opponents of the bill are still optimistic. Sen. Paul Sarlo, a Democrat who chairs the Judiciary committee and voted against the bill told the New York Times, “This bill still has a long, long way to go.”

Gay marriage advocates in New Jersey have been activated suddenly by the election of incoming Gov. Chris Christie (R), an opponent of the measure.

Pawlenty Cedes Stage to Bachmann

Minnesota Republicans held a major rally yesterday to support Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s (R) proposed constitutional cap on state spending, but he was nowhere to be found. According to the Minneapolis City Pages, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) stepped in for Pawlenty and criticized “out of control government spending”.

Where was Pawlenty? Apparently he was in Latin America on a trade mission with Minnesota financial heavyweights.

Palin Opens Door to Third Party Bid

In an interview with conservative talk radio host Lars Larson, The Fix notes Sarah Palin said she would consider a possible third party bid for president in 2012.

Said Palin: “That depends on how things go in the next couple of years… If the Republican party gets back to that [conservative] base, I think our party is going to be stronger and there’s not going to be a need for a third party, but I’ll play that by ear in these coming months, coming years.”

In July, GOP 12 noted that Rush Limbaugh worried Palin might try a third party bid.

Tiahrt Catches Moran in Kansas

A new SurveyUSA poll in Kansas finds Jerry Moran (R) and Todd Tiahrt (R) effectively tied in their race for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination to replace Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS).

Moran is nominally ahead by 3 points, 37% to 34%, but just two months ago he held a double-digit lead.

Voters Head to the Polls in Massachusetts

“For three months, the candidates for US Senate have tried to generate voter excitement for a special primary election that has often seemed to be off the public’s radar. Today, with low turnout expected across the state, their campaign organizations will pull out all the stops to get those voters who were paying attention into the polling booths,” the Boston Globe reports.

The four Democrats — Martha Coakley, Michael Capuano, Alan Khazei and Stephen Pagliuca — “scrambled to reach late-deciding voters yesterday by every means possible, by airwaves, telephone, in person, and via the Internet, and then turned the campaigns over to their ground games for today’s final push.”

All of the campaigns are “operating on models assuming a turnout of 500,000 or fewer voters.”

A final Suffolk University poll in bellwether communities showed Coakley with a double-digit lead over Capuano.

Obama Gets Surge in War Approval

A new Quinnipiac poll finds public support for the war in Afghanistan is up nine points in the last three weeks, as American voters say 57% to 35% that fighting the war is the right thing to do. President Obama’s approval for handling of the war is up seven points in the same period.

Said pollster Peter Brown: “President Obama’s nationally televised speech explaining his policy and troop buildup has worked, at least in the short term, in bolstering support for the war effort and his decisions. History teaches that the bully pulpit can be a powerful tool for a president who knows how to use it, especially when it comes to foreign policy. The American people tend to rally around their presidents in military matters, at least for a while.”

The Art of the Tick-Tock

Walter Shapiro looks at “one of the most insidious forms of insider journalism, the White House tick-tock.”

Specifically, he takes apart the weekend stories in the New York Times and theWashington Post that provided “lengthy fly-on-the-wall dramatic renderings of Barack Obama’s bold Afghan decision to…well…surge and then not surge.”

“For all the talk about journalism as the ‘first draft of history,’ stories like these are more apt to be the first draft of spin. There are so many ways that presidential images can be sugar-coated and top officials like Biden can get the shiv. Of course, we want to know what happened in the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room. But these semi-authorized instant histories provide the illusion of an insider account without anyone, including the president, being accountable.”

Hardball on Climate Change

The Financial Times notes that a new ruling issued by the Environmental Protection Agency today finds “that carbon dioxide and five other gases pose a danger to human health clears the way for the agency to regulate emissions from large industrial sources without waiting for legislation from Congress.”

Marc Ambinder: “Having ‘found’ that CO2 is a ‘public danger,’ and having taken the requisite administrative steps, the executive branch now believes it has the power to unilaterally impose carbon and greenhouse gas emissions caps on industry in the United States. This overhanging boot will threaten to drop until and unless Congress acts. It’s a neat executive weapon to have — one that, incidentally, the Bush administration chose not to take out of the locker, and one that the Obama administration decided to unsheathe as the President prepares to travel to Copenhagen.”

It’s hardball politics. With the threat of regulation hanging over them, many large companies would much prefer a cap-and-trade type system the Obama administration has proposed than have the EPA impose its own rules.

Quote of the Day

“Instead of joining us on the right side of history, all the Republicans can come up with is, ‘slow down, stop everything, let’s start over.’ If you think you’ve heard these same excuses before, you’re right. When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said ‘slow down, it’s too early, things aren’t bad enough.'”

— Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), quoted by Fox News, during the health care reform debate in the Senate.

Bachmann Meets Palin

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) is meeting Sarah Palin tonight, reports Minnesota Public Radio.

Said Bachmann: “I hope I can get a book and maybe get it signed.”

Obama To Propose New Jobs Program

The real significance of the Treasury’s announcement that most of the bank bailout money will be returned to the government is that it can now be used to support a new jobs program.

In a speech tomorrow, CNN reports that President Obama will propose using $200 billion from TARP for “funding projects to build bridges and roads, weatherize homes, and provide other assistance for small businesses as well as the unemployed.”

Chuck Todd notes the White House spin: “If it’s good enough for Wall Street, then it’s good enough for Main Street.”

No 2012 Primaries or Caucuses Until February

Frank Leone, a DNC member from Viriginia, reports on the weekend’s meetings to schedule 2012 presidential nominating contests.

“As to timing, the discussion was relatively brief and consistent with prior discussions — Iowa/NH/SC/Nevada can go after Feb. 1, every other state goes after March 1, the rules should encourage regional clusters by offering incentives such as bonus delegates, the RBC will address enforcement procedures and sanctions, and the DNC will try to coordinate timing with the RNC rules committee. The RNC coordination process is ongoing.”

Obviously, no final decisions have been made but that’s the thinking so far.

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

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