POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 4/28

Crist Will Run as an Independent

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist “is telling key financial backers that he’s running for Senate with no party affiliation,” the St. Petersburg Times reports.

The announcement is scheduled for 5 p.m. tomorrow in St. Petersburg.

Brewer Gets Bump from Immigration Bill

A new Rasmussen Reports survey finds Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) leading Terry Goddard (D) in the race for governor, 48% to 40%.

Key finding: “The new figure includes 22% who Strongly Approve of the governor’s performance. That’s up from five percent (5%) before Brewer signed the law that authorizes local police to stop and verify the immigration status of anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrant.”

PPP survey yesterday found Goddard in the lead.

McCain Approval Sinks in Arizona

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Arizona finds Sen. John McCain’s approval plummeting — “a Charlie Crist-like drop “– to just 34% with 55% disapproving.

Palin Needed Scripted Answers for Debate

In an interview with Sky News, McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt said that Sarah Palin’s debate preparations during the 2008 presidential campaign “were going so badly in the days leading up to the debate” that the campaign was facing an “emergency” and a “crisis.”

Scmidt said he gave her scripted answers to memorize telling her, “These are the questions. Here’s what he’s going to say. Here’s what your most effective response is. That we want to be able to come out of this debate saying you were on offense.”

Schmidt said they had predicted all but one of the questions “and that was a question on nuclear non-proliferation, if I recall.”

Republicans Senators May Stop Blocking Bank Bill

In a sign the Democratic strategy is working, Republican senators sent signals this morning “that they may relent in blocking a Wall Street reform bill from moving to the floor,” The Hill reports.

“Several GOP senators expressed frustration about the stalled negotiations, and indicated they feel it is likely the legislation approved in a party-line vote by the Senate Banking Committee will eventually hit the floor for debate.”

Lieberman to Hold Fundraiser for Reid

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) will host a fundraiser for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) this weekend, the Connecticut Post reports.

“The gesture of goodwill toward Reid, who was quoted earlier this year as saying that Lieberman double-crossed him on health care reform, has thrown even the most politically astute for a loop.”

A Bigger Wave Than 1994?

GOP strategist Patrick Ruffini says Republicans “may be headed toward to a seat gain in the House of epic proportions — somewhere over 50 seats and well above the historical high point for recent wave elections (the 50-55 seats we experienced in elections like 1946 and 1994).”

“All in all, I don’t think a 70 seat gain is out of the question.”

Obama’s Strained Relationship with the Media

Politico says President Obama and the media “actually have a surprisingly hostile relationship — as contentious on a day-to-day basis as any between press and president in the last decade.”

Key issues: “Day-to-day interaction with Obama is almost non-existent” and “the ferocity of pushback is intense. A routine press query can draw a string of vitriolic emails. A negative story can draw a profane high-decibel phone call — or worse. Some reporters feel like they’ve been frozen out after crossing the White House.”

A Botched Apology

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown apologized “profusely” after being caught on a live microphone pinned to his shirt calling a woman who spoke to him on the campaign trail “bigoted,” according to the Guardian.

“Labour has changed its campaigning tactics in recent days to expose Mr Brown to ordinary voters more, after complaints that he had been appearing only in carefully controlled conditions in front of Labour supporters.”

However, as Ben Smith notes, Brown compounded his problem by blaming “the incident on the staffer who allowed the woman to approach him.”

Update: The Guardian has the must-see video of the exchange.

Pennsylvania is Biggest Redistricting Loser

Smart Politics takes a historical look at the winners and losers from the decennial redistricting after each Census and notes Pennsylvania has suffered the largest number of lost House seats over the years — going from 36 seats in 1910 to just 19 seats today. Pennsylvania has also lost seats for a record eight consecutive census periods and is expected to lose another seat after the 2010 Census.

Other big losers: New York (from 45 to 29 seats), Virginia (from 23 to 11 seats), and Massachusetts (from 20 to 10 seats).

Obama Rides Above it All

First Read: “Despite the Democrats’ political troubles this midterm season, as well as the president’s pedestrian poll numbers, it’s often easy to forget that Obama is still the most popular Washington politician in the country. And he’s also the one who has the ability to portray himself as being above the fray, especially when he leaves DC.”

Key data point: The new Washington Post/ABC News finds Obama much more trusted than lawmakers in Congress — of either party — to deal with the nation’s big problems.

Quote of the Day

“Well, I probably shouldn’t say this. But I have thought from time to time that I might have helped the country more if I’d stayed a Republican.”

— Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), in an interview with the Allentown Morning Call, questioning his party switch one year ago.

Perry Packs Heat While Jogging

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) “says he needed just one shot from his laser-sighted pistol to take down a coyote that was menacing his dog during an early morning jog in an undeveloped area near Austin,” the AP reports.

Said Perry: “Don’t attack my dog or you might get shot… if you’re a coyote.”

Laura Bush Blasts Husband’s Critics

The New York Times obtained an early copy of Laura Bush’s new memoir, Spoken from the Heart, in which she admonishes her husband’s political adversaries for “calling him names.”

Ms. Bush specifically takes on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for calling Mr. Bush “an incompetent leader” and she complains that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called her husband a “loser” and a “liar.”

More interesting: “Ms. Bush also suggests, apparently for the first time, that she, Mr. Bush, and several members of their staff may have been poisoned during a visit to Germany for a G8 Summit. They all became mysteriously sick, and the president was bedridden for part of the trip.”

How the White House Wins by Losing

Senior White House officials tell the Washington Post that they are pleasantly “surprised” that Senate Republicans are still blocking consideration of bank reform legislation.

“Ahead of the first vote on Monday evening, the assumption inside the White House was that Republicans would back down and allow the debate to begin, said one top Obama adviser, who asked for anonymity to discuss White House strategy. The fact that they didn’t plays ‘right into their narrative.'”

“He called it a ‘proof point’ for the American people as they try to assess which party wants to stick it to Wall Street and which party is trying to protect the banks and institutions from new and onerous regulations if the legislation passes.”

Fisher Pulls Away in Ohio Primary Race

A new Quinnipiac poll finds Lee Fisher (D) has opened up a big lead over Jennifer Brunner (D) in the Democratic U.S. Senate race in Ohio, 41% to 24%.

Said Peter Brown: “Although anything can happen in politics, at this point the race appears to be his to lose. The obvious reason for Fisher opening up the race is that in the last weeks he has overwhelmed Ms. Brunner in television and radio advertising. Money may not buy happiness, but it sure can win elections. Of course, a third of likely voters say they remain undecided, but Ms. Brunner would have to win the vast, vast majority of them.”

The primary is next week.

Crist Likely to Launch Independent Bid

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is expected to announce Thursday “that he will run as an independent candidate for Florida’s open U.S. Senate seat,” the Miami Heraldreports.

Multiple Republican sources tell the Washington Post that Crist “conducted a poll on Monday and Tuesday to test his viability as an independent and got numbers back that encouraged him that there was a path to victory running without any major party affiliation.”

Most Anti-incumbent Electorate Since 1994

The new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds less than a third of all voters say they are inclined to support their representatives in November.

“Dissatisfaction is widespread, crossing party lines, ideologies and virtually all groups of voters. Less than a quarter of independents and just three in 10 Republicans say they’re leaning toward backing an incumbent this fall. Even among Democrats, who control the House, the Senate and the White House, opinion is evenly divided on the question.”

However, those polled “also say they trust Obama over Republicans in Congress to deal with the economy, health care and, by a large margin, financial regulatory reform. And the president continues to get positive marks on his overall job performance, with, for the first time since the fall, a majority of independents approving.”

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2 Comments on “POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 4/28”

  1. possum Says:

    God bless Laura Bush. Can she really be that delusional?
    Re redistricting – who gained seats? Where did everybody go?

    • fvmoore Says:

      Southern and Sun Belt states have been gaining population and will gain seats. Rust Belt states and Northeast have been losing population and will lose seats


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