POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 5/3

Hitch 22

This can only be interesting: Hitch 22: A Memoir by Christopher Hitchens.

Bonus Quote of the Day

“Still, if you’re somebody who only reads the editorial page of the New York Times, try glancing at the page of the Wall Street Journal once in a while. If you’re a fan of Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh, try reading a few columns on the Huffington Post website. It may make your blood boil; your mind may not be changed. But the practice of listening to opposing views is essential for effective citizenship.”

— President Obama, at a commencement address at the University of Michigan.

Pawnbroker Announces Bid for Illinois Governor

Scott Lee Cohen — the pawnbroker who voluntarily gave up his spot as Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor after allegations of domestic abuse surfaced — jumped into the race for Illinois governor as an independent, the Chicago Tribunereports.

How to Get an Interview with Andrew Cuomo

The New York Times has a great piece on Andrew Cuomo’s relationship with his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, in which the elder Cuomo agreed to be interviewed and then offered the reporter a strategy for persuading his son to do the same.

Said Cuomo: “Andrew likes to be in control. So you call his office and say, ‘Look, I know Andrew doesn’t want to talk. But The Times, you know The Times, we are going to do this piece with or without you. You don’t want that to happen. You want to have your say.'”

The advice didn’t work.

Sestak Narrows Gap with Specter

A new Muhlenberg College/Morning Call tracking poll of likely Democratic voters in Pennsylvania finds Rep. Joe Sestak (D) gaining on Sen. Arlen Specter (D) in their U.S. Senate primary.

Specter had enjoyed double digit leads over Sestak, but now leads by just six points, 48% to 42%, with a primary just two weeks away.

Check back in the morning for a new Quinnipiac poll of the race.

Final Days in British Elections

After making a major political gaffe last week, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is trying to prevent his Labour Party from finishing in third place in Thursday’s parliamentary vote.

The latest poll average from Politics Home shows the Conservatives at 35%, followed by the Liberal Democrats at 29% and Labour at 27. However, it’s still unclear how this translates into parliamentary control since each race is fought out seat-by-seat across the country.

Interestingly, the Independent reports David Cameron is set to claim victory for the Conservatives if Labour comes third — even if he fails to win an overall majority for his party. Tradition holds that if Britain “votes for a hung parliament, the existing Prime Minister gets the first chance to form a government, even if his party has fewer seats or votes than its main rival.”

Traficant Files Today

Former Rep. James Traficant (D-OH) will file paperwork sometime today as an independent candidate for Congress, the Youngstown Vindicator reports.

Traficant, released from federal prison late last year, must decide if he’ll run in the 17th congressional district, currently represented by Tim Ryan (D-OH), or the 6th District, currently represented by Rep. Charlie Wilson (D-OH).

It’s still unclear which race he’ll choose.

Three Primaries Tomorrow

There are primaries tomorrow in Indiana, North Carolina, and Ohio to select nominees for U.S. Senate races.

First Read: “We’re dubbing this day Marginal Primary Tuesday because 1) the races aren’t expected to be as competitive as the ones on May 18 are, and 2) the most important takeaways will be the actual margins of victories. In Indiana’s GOP Senate primary, for example, Dan Coats is the favorite, but does he win impressively or is it close as some polls are suggesting? In North Carolina’s Democratic Senate primary, the DSCC’s favored candidate is Cal Cunningham, but is he able to avoid a June 22 run-off against Elaine Marshall? And in Ohio’s Democratic Senate primary, just how big will Lee Fisher’s likely victory over Jennifer Brunner be? The final Quinnipiac poll before tomorrow’s primary has Fisher leading Brunner by 20 points among likely primary voters (43%-23%).”

Washington Wire has a good run down of some of the House races as well.

Also coming this week: British parliamentary elections on Thursday and the Republican party convention in Utah.

Obama Funnier Than Leno

If you missed it, President Obama’s speech at the White House Correspondents Association dinner over the weekend was amusing. In fact, most thought he was better than Jay Leno.

But as the Washington Post points out, the dinner is now really more about Hollywood celebrities than it is about Washington, D.C. politics and media.

Read more…

Quote of the Day

“The ocean will take care of this on its own if it was left alone and left out there. It’s natural. It’s as natural as the ocean water is.”

— Rush Limbaugh, quoted by the St. Petersburg Times, arguing that a cleanup of the oil spill off the Lousiana coast is unnecessary.

Crist Internal Poll Showed Him Leading

Public Opinion Strategies (R) poll commissioned before Florida Gov. Charlie Crist announced he would become an independent showed him winning a three way race for U.S. Senate.

Crist leads with 36%, followed by Marco Rubio (R) at 28% and Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) at 23%.

Fisher Leads in Ohio on Primary Eve

A new Quinnipiac poll in Ohio finds Lee Fisher (D) with a big lead over Jennifer Brunner (D) in the Democratic Senate primary, 43% to 23%.

However, another 32% are undecided and 44% of Democrats who name a candidate say they might change their minds when they head to the polls tomorrow.

Said pollster Peter Brown: “Lt. Gov. Fisher started the campaign better known and raised more money to keep him better known and able to get out his message. On the eve of the primary, he is in very strong shape to win. Ms. Brunner would need to hold all of those who say they are voting for her and win most of the undecided voters in order to prevail.”

Marshall Holds Lead in North Carolina

A new Public Policy Polling survey in North Carolina shows Elaine Marshall (D) expanding her lead in the closing days of the Democratic Senate primary;

Marshall leads Cal Cunningham (D), 28% to 21%, but there are still 33% undecided who they will vote for on Tuesday.

“There continues to be a very strong chance of a runoff election… The biggest suspense on Tuesday night may not be about who’s in the lead, but about whether that leader can inch over 40.”

Schwarzenegger Would Like to Run for President

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) told Jay Leno he would love to run for president — if the U.S. Constitution actually allowed foreign-born citizens to become president, the AP reports.

Said Schwarzenegger: “Without any doubt. There’s no two ways about that.”

Voters Like Bennett More Than Delegates

A poll of Utah Republican delegates found Sen. Robert Bennett (R-UT) on the brink of defeat for the Republican Senate nomination.

However, a new Salt Lake Tribune poll shows that 39% of Republican voters would support Bennett’s re-election — nearly twice as much support as his nearest competitor, Mike Lee (R), who received 20% of GOP support. Another challenger, Tim Bridgewater (R), received just 14%.

Lieberman Convinced Crist to Make Independent Bid

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist tells National Review Online that a conversation with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) helped to convince him to run for U.S. Senate as an independent.

Said Crist: “He told me that it is the most liberating thing. He was right. I’m much happier now, to be perfectly candid.”

Fieger Will Not Run for Michigan Governor

Geoffrey Fieger (D), the attorney best know for representing suicide doctor Jack Kevorkian, does not intend to take another shot at becoming governor of Michigan, the Detroit News reports.

A poll last week showed Fieger would lead the pack of Democrats seeking the party’s gubernatorial nomination.

Republican Leads in Hawaii Special Election

A new Honolulu Advertiser poll shows Charles Djou (R) leading in the special election in Hawaii’s first congressional district with 36%, followed by Ed Case (D) at 28% and Colleen Hanabusa (D) at 22%.

“It is important to note that voting in Hawai’i has already begun. This is a vote-by-mail election with the final tally occurring on Saturday, May 22nd.”

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