POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 3/8

Palin Went to Canada for Health Care

Over the weekend, Sarah Palin talked about her little-known connection with the Canadian single-payer health care system as a child, the Calgary Herald reports.

Said Palin: “Believe it or not — this was in the ’60s — we used to hustle on over the border for health care… isn’t that kind of ironic now. Zooming over the border, getting health care from Canada.”

DeMint Not Running for President

When Sen. James DeMint (R-SC) was asked by the American Spectator if he’ll be “in that mix” of Republicans running for president in 2012.

Said DeMint: “I don’t think so. I hope I can be part of helping to find somebody who can really change things. It’s going to be hard because we need someone who will tell Americans the truth. The truth is we can’t make any more promises that the federal government is going to do more for us. It will take a very talented person to say that the federal government has to do less rather than more. That’s not too far from the Churchill promise of nothing more than blood, sweat, and tears.”

Pawlenty Approval Sinks in Minnesota

Not great news if you’re running for president: A new SurveyUSA poll finds that 52% of Minnesotans disapprove of the job Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) is doing and only 42% approve, “giving him some of the lowest marks he’s gotten in his seven plus years at the state’s helm.”

Jeb’s One Big Problem

In an interview with the St. Petersburg Times, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) says he thinks former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) would be his party’s best presidential candidate in 2012 — except for one thing.

Said DeMint: He would be a great president. He’d probably be the best on the list, if he didn’t have the Bush name.

Thompson May Soon Start Exploratory Committee

A former aide to ex-Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) said that Thompson could soon form an “exploratory” committee for a possible campaign against Sen. Russ Feingold (D), CQ Politics reports.

Bill McCoshen said that Thompson is “very seriously considering” a Senate race and that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if Thompson forms a preliminary committee in the next couple of weeks to begin raising money.

Said McCoshen: “Tommy will obviously have the opportunity to say no. He’s got a couple more hurdles he’s got to get over, but he’s working his way through it. You can see the passion that he had when he ran for governor four times successfully.”

Paterson Has Support to Stay in Office

A new Siena Poll in New York finds 55% of voters would prefer Gov. David Paterson (D) serve the remainder of his term, compared to 37% who would like him to resign and allow Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch to serve as governor for the remainder of the year.

Quote of the Day

“Rahm Emanuel is son of the devil’s spawn… He is an individual who would sell his mother to get a vote. He would strap his children to the front end of a steam locomotive.”

— Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY), in a radio interview, on the White House chief of staff.

Massa also claimed it was Democrats who pushed the ethics charges that led to his resignation today.

Spitzer Inner Circle Distances from Paterson

Aides to former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) tell the New York Post they were warned about picking David Paterson as his running mate because the Albany veteran was a “hard partier.”

In fact, former Spitzer adviser Lloyd Constantine writes in a new memoir that he “projected a Paterson governorship as even uglier than one under a disgraced but psychologically unfettered Eliot … However great Eliot’s handicaps, I viewed David’s as greater.”

Constantine’s book: Journal of the Plague Year: An Insider’s Chronicle of Eliot Spitzer’s Short and Tragic Reign.

Repeating Bush’s Mistakes

Mark Halperin: “Who would have thought that one of Barack Obama’s biggest missteps as president would be repeating some of the bad habits of George W. Bush? No single factor was more instrumental in Obama’s 2008 victory than his pledge to completely reverse the nation’s course once in the White House. Instead, over the past year, Obama has mimicked some of Bush’s most egregious blunders, leading to much of the political predicament in which the present decider finds himself today.”

Key mistakes: No chief economic spokesperson… Failure to integrate policy, politics, and communication… Tying the Administration’s fate too closely to his own party’s congressional leadership… Failing to empower Cabinet members on domestic policy.

UpdateAndrew Sullivan responds: “Every single thing he cites in his latest brain-dead critique is, I believe, tangibly false, and the moronic attempt to grab some pageviews by a counter-intuitive and utterly dumb analogy – Obama is like Bush, guys! Aren’t I clever? – is Beltway hackery at its worst.”

Obama Wants Less Drama

After a series of news stories “delving into West Wing palace,” President Obama warned his senior staff “against fueling the blaze,” Politico reports.

Said Obama: “Don’t get absorbed in the Washington finger-pointing and intrigue.”

“The season of turmoil, which has erupted just as Obama is pushing for final health care votes that could determine his domestic legacy, is the most vivid example of how the discipline of the campaign — which prided itself on a tight-knit culture and aides who stayed aloof from the who’s-up, who’s-down obsessions of the press and the Washington political class — has frayed under stress.”

Massa Says Democrats Pushed Ethics Charges

Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) — who will resign at 5 p.m. today — said that an ethics investigation “was triggered by a comment he made to a staffer at a New Year’s Eve wedding, and intimated that Democrats desperate to pass health care legislation pushed the issue to get Massa, a vocal opponent, out of the way,” the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

Said Massa: “Now they’ve gotten rid of me and it will pass.”

After dancing and drinking, Massa said a male staff member “made an intonation that maybe I should be chasing after the bridesmaid.”

Massa responded by saying, “Well, what I really ought to be doing is frakking you.”

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