POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 6/21

Visualizing Political History

A perfect gift for anyone interested in politics: Large-scale prints that take an interesting look at the history of major political institutions, including the American presidency, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the U.S. Senate.

These are very well done and highly recommended.

Bonus Quote of the Day

“The only thing worse than a torrid affair with sweet, sweet Nancy would be a torrid affair with Helen Thomas. If those were my only options, I’d probably be FOR same-sex marriage!”

— Mike Huckabee, in an email to the New Yorker, joking about having an affair with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Three Republican Primaries for President

Former McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt told the New Yorker what it will take to win the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

Said Schmidt: “Really, there’s three primaries within the Republican primary. There’s the primary that’s the evangelical wing of the party, there’s the establishment primary, and there’s usually a maverick of an insurgent category. Whoever occupies two out of the three is the nominee.”

Referendum or Choice?

First Read wisely notes that “the incumbent party — especially facing tough political headwinds — usually tries to cast elections as a choice. And the opposition typically casts them as a referendum, because referendums are usually losers for the party in power.”

In fact, Rahm Emanuel, when he was head of the DCCC during the ’06 cycle said this: “At the end of the day, this is a referendum on whether you think the next two years should be like the last six years.” In ’06 and ’08, the referendum argument won the day. In ’02 and ’04, the Bush White House was able to win on the “choice” argument.

Sandoval Was Recruited Despite Saying He Was Not

Though Brian Sandoval (R) insists “nobody recruited me” to leave his lifetime appointment as a federal judge to run for Nevada governor, the Las Vegas Review-Journal says the Republican Governors Association and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) “met and called” Sandoval several times in an effort to get him to run.

The meetings, first reported by Politico, suggest Sandoval was engaged in political activity despite the fact he’s a judge.

Is Emanuel Ready to Quit?

The Daily Telegraph reports White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has grown tired of the “idealism” of President Obama’s inner circle and “will quit within six to eight months in frustration at their unwillingness to ‘bang heads together’ to get policy pushed through.”

Emanuel “enjoys a good working relationship with Mr Obama but they are understood to have reached an understanding that differences over style mean he will serve only half the full four-year term.”

However, Fox News says the White House dismissed the report this morning as “ludicrous.”

Quote of the Day

“Rahm, u lie.”

— Sarah Palin, responding on Twitter to Rahm Emanuel’s assertion that Rep. Joe Barton’s (R-TX) apology to oil giant BP was not a political gaffe but the Republican party’s philosophy.

GOP Enthusiasm Tops Previous Years

A new Gallup poll finds that 59% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents are more enthusiastic than usual about voting this year compared with past elections — the highest found in a midterm election year for either party since 1994.

Key finding: “Republicans’ net score of +14 more enthusiastic in the latest poll compared with the Democrats’ net score of -21 represents the largest relative party advantage Gallup has measured in a single midterm election-year poll.”

Democrats Will Spend Big to Get Out the Vote

“As political gambles go, it’s a big and risky one: $50 million to test the proposition that the Democratic Party’s outreach to new voters that helped make Barack Obama president can work in an election where his name is not on the ballot,” theWashington Post reports.

“The standard rule of midterm elections is that only the most reliable voters show up at the polls, so both parties have traditionally focused on the unglamorous and conventional work that turns out their bases. But this year, the Democrats are doubling down on registering and motivating newer voters — especially the 15 million heavily minority and young, who made it to the polls for the first time in the last presidential election.”

Said Rep. Chris Van Hollen: “It’s a great experiment to see whether we can bring out voters whose only previous vote was in 2008.”

Five Races Key to Republican Success in 2012

“The roots of a Republican political renaissance in 2012 lie in the Rust Belt,” the Washington Post reports. “That swath of manufacturing- based states in the Midwest” — Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — “with tentacles that reach as far east as Pennsylvania, has been the epicenter of the economic difficulties in the country over the past few years.”

“Each state is hosting a competitive gubernatorial race this fall. Republicans argue that a clean sweep (or close to it) would immediately change the electoral calculus heading into the nationwide redistricting in 2011 and President Obama’s reelection race in 2012.”

Paul Likes Johnson in 2012

In an interview with the Daily Caller, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) says he hasn’t decided if he’ll run for president in 2012 “but he does predict that Republicans will be more open than they were in 2008 to nominating a Libertarian-minded candidate.”

Said Paul: “It’s too early for me to talk much about that because I haven’t made a decision. I haven’t ruled it out, but I’m not on the verge of making a decision anytime soon.”

But when asked to name other potential presidential candidates he could support, Paul replied, “I guess the best one would be Johnson from New Mexico — Gary Johnson.”

McInnis Holds Small Lead Over Hickenlooper

A new Denver Post poll in Colorado finds Scott McInnis (R) edging John Hicklenlooper (D) in the race for governor, 47% to 43%.

Scott Takes Lead Over McCollum

Confirming other recent polls, a new Florida Chamber of Commerce poll finds Rick Scott (R) jumping ahead of Bill McCollum (R) in the Republican race for governor, 35% to 30%.

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