POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 2/8

The Palin Emails

Thanks to a public records request by NBC News, nearly 3,000 pages of emails from Sarah Palin’s tenure as governor of Alaska are now available online for your perusal.

We highlighted some of the more interesting findings last week.

Andrew Sullivan is digging in to find more.

Making the Filibuster a Campaign Issue

“Over the past week, President Obama and his senior aides have repeatedly cited Republicans’ filibuster threats as the primary reason for the lack of progress on big ticket legislative items, an early sign that Democrats will seek to use this bit of legislative arcana against the GOP in the coming midterm election,” The Fix observes.

“By making the filibuster a political issue, the White House may be hoping to turn the base’s anger at the way things are being done in Washington away from an inward focus on the party’s unwillingness to change the rules and toward Republicans for their legislative blocking.”

New York Times Will Interview Paterson

New York Gov. David Paterson will be interviewed by the New York Times tomorrow,Ben Smith reports, “as his state chatters about an as-yet unpublished retrospective on his difficult year in office.”

The Republican Ideas Already in the Health Care Bill

Ezra Klein: “At this point, I don’t think it’s well understood how many of the GOP’s central health-care policy ideas have already been included as compromises in the health-care bill. But one good way is to look at the GOP’s Solutions for America homepage, which lays out its health-care plan in some detail. It has four planks. All of them — yes, you read that right — are in the Senate health-care bill.”

The Apology

White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel finally apologizes.

Read more…

Tea Party Finds Support in Iowa

A new Des Moines Register Iowa Poll finds that 33% of Iowans “from across the political spectrum” say they support the “tea party” movement.

“The findings are the first up-or-down test of the tea party’s support in a midterm battleground state. They also shed light on a movement that could affect the campaign for Iowa’s leadoff Republican presidential caucuses next year.”

Obama Losing Independent Voters

A new Marist poll finds that for the first time since taking office, a majority of independent voters — 57% — disapprove of how President Obama is doing in his job, while just 29% approve.

Overall, 44% of American voters currently approve of Obama’s job performance, while 47% disapprove.

Sarah Palin and the Consulting Paradox

Nate Silver: “There’s something which, if you’ve ever been in the business of trying to sell consulting services, you’ve probably grown accustomed to. It’s what I call the ‘consulting paradox’. Namely, it’s the idea that the people who are most in need of help are often the least aware of it. Indeed, the range of potential clients who (i) aren’t smart enough to solve all their own problems and (ii) are smart enough to know it … is generally very narrow.”

“Sarah Palin needs help. So does almost every politician — but Palin needs it more than most. She is young. She is inexperienced. She’s not especially well connected. She’s strong-willed and a little impulsive. And call me a hater, but the woman just ain’t that bright.”

In Search of Self-Governance

New from pollster Scott Rasmussen: In Search of Self-Governance.

“Americans don’t want to be governed from the left, the right or the center. They want to govern themselves. The American desire for – and attachment to – self-governance runs deep. It is one of our nation’s cherished core values and an important part of our cultural DNA. And right now, it needs to be saved.”

Quote of the Day

“Politics is a comparative exercise. This isn’t just a referendum on Democrats or our party. It’s a choice.”

— David Plouffe, in an interview with the Washington Post, on the Democratic party’s strategy for the midterm elections.

Close Senate Race in Ohio

In Ohio’s U.S. Senate race, a new Rasmussen Reports survey finds Rob Portman (R) ahead of Lee Fisher (D), 43% to 39%, and in front of Jennifer Brunner (D), 42% to 38%.

Tarkanian Mistakes Reagan and… Reid?

The Hill finds a “rather bizarre” video clip of Nevada Senate candidate Danny Tarkanian (R) “stumbling over his words as he apparently tries to talk about Reagan’s ’11th Commandment’ — thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.”

Tarkanian refers to the famous slogan as the “11th Amendment” and repeatedly attributes it to Reid, not Reagan.

Read more…

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Paterson Discussed Possible Resignation

New York Gov. David Paterson (D) “has met privately with key democratic leaders about his reelection plans,” WENY-TV reports.

A democrat “close to the situation” says the meetings “included discussions about whether Paterson would resign or announce he will not run.”

This comes as rumors swirl about a “bombshell scandal” involving the governor.

Jenny Sanford Not Running for Office

In an interview with the Columbia State, Jenny Sanford insists her new book, Staying True, “is not a setup for her own run for political office as some have speculated.”

Said Sanford: “You’ve read the book. Does that sound like someone who wants to run for office? I’ve wanted for us (Mark Sanford and me) to get out of politics for years. I was always hopeful that once we got out of the political world he would settle into a better routine with respect to me and with respect to the marriage.”

Landslide Harry

Mark Warren, co-author of Sen. Harry Reid’s The Good Fight, talks to the Las Vegas Sun about the Nevada senator’s low poll numbers and prospects for re-election.

“They don’t call him Landslide Harry for nothing. It’s pretty simple, actually. Graced with the retail political skills of your average monk, Harry Reid has always had to work twice as hard for everything he’s ever achieved. Ever. You don’t climb out of a hole in the ground in Searchlight, Nevada, to become one of the most powerful men in the world by being outworked…”

“In most ways, he is the least likely politician I’ve ever met. He is not gregarious. Small talk doesn’t come easy for him. He’d rather be alone than in groups… He and the camera maintain an uneasy relationship. Sometimes in pictures, he looks pissed off, or like he’s focused on some distant landscape of the mind. He is impervious to drama, not given to acting out or gaudy shows of emotion. Or, you know, any emotion.”

Obama’s Fearsome Foursome

The Financial Times takes an interesting look at President Obama’s inner circle of advisers — Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett and Robert Gibbs — noting that the president “rarely holds a meeting, including on national security, without some or all of them present.”

Though some unnamed sources want a shake up in the White House team, it’s highly unlikely to happen.

David Gergen: “There is an old joke. How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb? Only one. But the lightbulb must want to change. I don’t think President Obama wants to make any changes.”

Brennan Briefed GOP Leaders on Christmas

White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan revealed on Meet the Press that he briefed four Republican congressional leaders on Christmas night about the arrest of the “underwear bomber” and the handling of the case.

Said Brennan: “None of those individuals raised any concerns with me, at that point. They didn’t say, ‘Is he going into military custody? Is he going to be Mirandized?’ They were very appreciative of the information. We told them we’d keep them informed. And that’s what we did.”

The disclosure undermines GOP complaints about the reading of Miranda rights to the Nigerian suspect arrested for the attempted bombing.


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