POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 1/14

Coakley Leads by 8 Points in Latest Poll

A new BMG/Research 2000 poll in Massachusetts finds Martha Coakley (D) leading Scott Brown (R), 49% to 41%.

Key finding: Brown is ahead among independents 49% to 36%; “significant, to be sure, but not the overwhelming advantage suggested in the Rasmussen (71-23) and PPP (63-31) polls that came out recently.”

A final Public Policy Polling survey in the race will be released Sunday night.

Palin Gets Motivated

Sarah Palin has joined the Get Motivated! speaking series, joining former President Bush as a previous speaker for the organization. Her topics:

  • How to Successfully Manage and Balance Your Personal and Professional Priorities
  • How to Overcome Obstacles with Creative Solutions
  • The Secrets to Effective Decision-Making
  • How to Have Grace Under Fire
  • How to Become a Person of Influence

Reid Stays Way Behind

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Nevada confirms the results of all previous polls showing Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) trailing his possible Republican opponents.

Sue Lowden (R) leads by 51% to 41% and Danny Tarkanian in ahead by 50% to 42%.

The poll also tested possible alternatives to Reid, should he step aside. However, only Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman — an independent who could presumably run as a Democrat — does much better than Reid. Goodman leads Lowden 42% to 40% and ties Tarkanian at 41%.

Palin and Beck

Glenn Beck’s “interview” of Sarah Palin on Fox News doesn’t really need an introduction or commentary. Just watch it.

Read more…

Quote of the Day

“Maybe when his helicopter lands in Queens next I can ask him.”

— Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), quoted by Politico, refering to Harold Ford’s revelation in a New York Times interview that he has only seen New York City’s five boroughs from a helicopter.

Portman Maintains Lead in Ohio

A new Rasmussen Reports survey in Ohio finds Rob Portman (R) leading Lee Fisher (D) by seven points in the U.S. Senate race, 44% to 37%.

Against Jennifer Brunner (D), Portman holds a narrower three-point edge, 43% to 40%.

Last month, Portman was in a virtual tie with Fisher 38% to 36% and was ahead of Brunner 40% to 33%. In September, the candidates neck-and-neck.

Obama Would Lose to Generic Opponent

A new Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor poll finds 39% of Americans would cast a ballot for President Obama in 2012, while 50% say they would probably or definitely vote for someone other else.

The Bank Tax

President Obama intends “to raise $90 billion over the next decade through a special fee on the largest financial firms,” reports The Hill. “The administration is proposing the fee on the largest firms, not all of which received direct emergency money, to make up the losses on the government’s bailout efforts during the financial crisis,”

The New York Daily News notes officials are calling the tax a “financial crisis responsibility fee.”

Meanwhile, ABC News has an excellent piece which shows the big bank CEO’s contrite about their activities in public but arrogant and unapologetic afterward.

Gingrich Says He’s Considering Bid

Newt Gingrich “says he’s among a handful of Republican candidates who are thinking about running for president in 2012,” CNN reports.

Said Gingrich: “I think I’m probably on a list of seven or eight possible candidates at this stage.”

Others on the list, according to the former House Speaker: Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Tim Pawlenty, Mitch Daniels, Haley Barbour, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal and John Thune.

Curisously missing from the list was Mitt Romney, however he was included in Gingrich’s interview with the Raleigh News and Observer.

Clinton, Bush to Lead Disaster Recovery Efforts

Just after 10 am ET, President Obama will make more remarks on the recovery efforts following the massive earthquake in Haiti.

First Read: “According to multiple sources, Obama last night called George W. Bush and formally asked him to participate, along with Bill Clinton, in humanitarian relief efforts for Haiti — in the same vein that Bush’s father and Clinton did following the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia. Bush 43 said he was ready to do whatever was necessary. A formal rollout of the Clinton/Bush 43-led relief effort will take place as early as tomorrow afternoon, but possibly not until the weekend, as the administration doesn’t want to take any attention away in the next 24 hours from search and rescue efforts. For Bush 43, this is his first real public effort since he left office; it’s an opportunity to begin establishing his post-presidential legacy, especially on an issue like disaster relief, which remains a scar on his presidency.”

Please make your own donation to the American Red Cross today.

Obama Wins More Spending Cuts Than Bush

President Obama “notched substantial successes in spending cuts last year, winning 60 percent of his proposed cuts and managing to get Congress to ax several programs that had bedeviled President George W. Bush for years,” the Washington Times reports.

“The administration says Congress accepted at least $6.9 billion of the $11.3 billion in discretionary spending cuts Mr. Obama proposed for the current fiscal year. An analysis by The Washington Times found that Mr. Obama was victorious in getting Congress to slash 24 programs and achieved some level of success in reducing nine other programs.”

Republicans Caught in 2006 Wave Seek Comeback

“Four years after getting swept out of office by a Democratic tide, nearly one-third of the 21 GOP House members who lost reelection bids in 2006 are plotting their 2010 comebacks,” Politico reports.

“Some of them are running for their old seats. Others are looking at higher office. The common denominator is that the current environment has spurred them to re-enter the political fray after their careers were abruptly cut short.”

Perry, Hutchison Face Gender Pitfalls in Debate

The Dallas Morning News says gender stereotypes are the biggest potential traps for Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) in their first gubernatorial primary debate tonight.

“Communications and political experts said that in facing off against women, Perry must stay steady and calm. He must not seem to attack. Mostly, he must stay unfailingly polite because TV amplifies a tone and a look and assumes an attitude. And if he slips, as plenty of male candidates famously have, TV also provides an endless instant replay and becomes the one thing remembered from the debate — and not just for the relatively few watching, but for the millions who didn’t.”

Hutchison, “in her fervor to score political points, must not come across as too ‘shrill’ — a word reserved almost exclusively to describe women in debates. She must avoid a high-pitched tone and anything that resembles scolding. What comes across as forceful for a man is sometimes seen as churlish in a woman.”

Blumenthal Crushes Republicans in Connecticut

A new Quinnipiac poll in Connecticut finds Richard Blumenthal (D) has astonishingly high 35 to 47-point leads over three Republican candidates for U.S. Senate, thumping Linda McMahon (R) 64% to 23%, crushing Peter Schiff (R) 66% to 19% and beating Rob Simmons (R) 62% to 27%.

Key finding: Connecticut voters approve 84% to 11% of the job Blumenthal is doing as attorney general and give him a 74% to 13% favorability rating.

Said pollster Douglas Schwartz: “Blumenthal’s job approval is unbelievably high, higher than any other politician we’ve ever measured, other than former President George W. Bush after 9/11.”

DADT May Be Headed For Repeal This Year

“Congressional negotiators and White House officials are moving forward with plans to add the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to the upcoming defense authorization bill,” according to the Huffington Post.

“In Congress, members are being whipped to ensure that the votes will be there for passage, should the legislation be placed in the bill. At this juncture, aides say, the prospects look good. Meanwhile, a source close to the White House says the president has instructed the Defense Department that he believes the repeal of DADT should be placed in the authorization bill.”

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