POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 6/9

Quote of the Day

“I wasn’t surprised, but not really. I mean, just a little, but not much.”

— Alvin Greene (D), in an interview with Mother Jones, when asked about winning the Democratic nomination to challenge Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) this fall with no website, lawn signs, or fundraising.

What’s Next for Schwarzenegger?

Though speculation abounds as to what California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) will do after his term ends, in an interview with ABC News he claims “he has not — and will not — think about any future plans until his final days in office arrive.”

Said Schwarzenegger: “I don’t allow myself. Even if I sometimes wander off, I come right back to this year. I don’t allow myself to have no meetings, and nothing about next year or about my future because this time, right now it’s about now, and getting things done, serving California. That’s my job.”

Haley Could Be a Factor in 2012

First Read: “The result last night with the biggest impact on 2012 was Nikki Haley’s 49% in South Carolina’s GOP gubernatorial primary — more than double the percentage her closest competitor (Gresham Barrett) received. Haley fell short of avoiding a June 22 run-off against Barrett, but she heads into that contest in a very strong position. As First Readers know well, South Carolina plays a crucial role in GOP presidential nomination battles; in fact, going back to 1980, every winner of the South Carolina presidential primary has gone on to capture the GOP nomination. And given that Haley was endorsed by both Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin, it might be difficult for Haley to avoid what Mark Sanford was able to do in 2008: stay neutral. Also, given that Haley is perhaps the most conservative candidate in the entire GOP gubernatorial field — she has supported calls for Lindsey Graham’s censure — she could very well push the 2012 Republican field to the right.”

Taitz Loses in a Landslide

Dave Weigel notes that in the end, “the hype took birther attorney Orly Taitz to a decisive 49-point defeat in the race for the GOP nomination for California secretary of state. Mainstream Republican candidate Damon Dunn, who got into that race earlier and raised seven times as much money, carried every county and won more than 1 million votes; Taitz will end up with around 370,000 votes.”

Staffer Calls Blumenthal a Liar

A member of Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s (D) staff, himself a former Marine, told the New Britain Herald his boss is “a liar and disgrace to the Marine Corps for representing himself repeatedly as having served in Vietnam.”

Richard Hine said that Blumenthal “had lied about his service in Vietnam at least five times. Hine has worked for Blumenthal for more than 20 years but said he felt he had to come forward after Blumenthal’s recent actions.”

Said Hine: “This has to do with integrity, has to do with qualifications for office and with a very personal conversation back in January or February, 1991… He didn’t misstate, he didn’t misspeak — he lied.”

Massive Swing Against Offshore Drilling in Florida

In the wake of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a new Quinnipiac poll finds Florida voters now oppose increasing the amount of offshore oil drilling by a 51% to 42% margin — a 48-point swing from the 66% to 27% support for drilling in an April survey.

Crist Holds Small Lead in Florida

A new Quinnipiac poll in Florida shows Gov. Charlie Crist (I) edging Marco Rubio (R) in the U.S. Senate race, 37% to 33%, with Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) in third at 17%.

If Jeff Greene (D) gets the Democratic nomination, Crist beats Rubio, 40% to 33%, with Greene at 14%.

Said pollster Peter Brown: “Obviously there is a long time until November, but the Governor is doing very well among independent voters, almost as well among Democrats as Meek, and better among Democrats than Greene. With Rubio getting two-thirds of the Republican vote, the fate of Gov. Crist, who switched from a Republican to independent six weeks ago, depends heavily on his ability to appeal to Democratic voters.”

Good News, Bad News for Republicans

Peter Beinhart: “For the Republican Party, Tuesday’s primaries contain good news and bad news. The good news: Republicans are angry — angry at Barack Obama, angry at the national debt, even angry at some of the leaders of their own party. Anger is a good motivator, and in midterm elections, where turnout is small, a little motivation goes a long way. The bad news: Republicans are not hungry. They’re not willing to submerge their anger for the sake of winning elections. They either don’t think they need to compromise their ideological purity to beat Democrats this fall or they don’t care. In either case, they may be blowing their shot at a midterm landslide.”

Ladies Night

Mark McKinnon: “Voters in 12 states expressed their anger with Washington and special interests Tuesday night by defeating a $10 million union campaign to unseat a senator who had the courage to stand up against their special interest legislation, promoting women outsiders who have run public companies but never held office, and supporting candidates aligned with Tea Party values. And as clear evidence of voter desire to the shake up the good old boy network in politics, women ruled the night.”

Jonathan Alter: “We already know that this is the year of outsiders, but it may be that the most successful outsiders aren’t Tea Party Foxulists but women of all stripes. With only six women governors, 16 women senators, and 74 women in the House, female candidates are fresher for voters looking for change. The problem for Republicans is that the wacky ones might hamstring the serious ones.”

Angle Wins Nomination to Challenge Reid

Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle (R) “celebrated a spectacular victory Tuesday, one fueled by conservative groups hellbent on defeating Democratic incumbent Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Angle dominated the field of a dozen GOP candidates with 40% of the vote, followed by Sue Lowden (R) with 26% and Danny Tarkanian (R) with 23%.

Josh Marshall: “Harry Reid is weak. And Sue Lowden looked like a serviceable establishment GOP candidate who could take him out. But she self-destructed and the win looks like it will go to Sharron Angle, a hard-right Tea Partier who makes Rand Paul look like a bit of a trimmer. And no, that’s not hyperbole.”

“This is the kind of result national Republicans have been desperately hoping to avoid. And it’s the price of the ‘energy’ Republicans have been benefiting from on the right. In Nevada, you might say, their chickens are coming home to roost.”

Whitman, Fiorina Secure Easy Victories

California Republicans “reached for history in Tuesday’s primary elections, as Meg Whitman (R) claimed the party’s nomination for governor and Carly Fiorina (R) won the GOP race for the U.S. Senate, results that gave women the Republican nominations for the two most powerful statewide political offices for the first time,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

“The two wealthy businesswomen, who powered their first electoral bids with millions of dollars of their own money, swept into election day as the front-runners and rode the momentum of an angry electorate that spurned the appeals of veteran politicians competing against them on the ballot.”

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