POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 6/25

Hutchison’s Big Fall

Since losing her gubernatorial bid, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) has shown interest in running for reelection in 2012. However, a new Public Policy Polling surveyin Texas finds her approval dropping from 58% to 37% in the last 16 months.

Furthermore, only 35% of voters think she should seek another term in 2012 while 48% think it’s time for her to hang it up.

Another Candidate Exaggerates Vietnam Experience

Robert Bentley (R), running for Alabama governor, is taking heat for a campaign ad that talks about serving his country “with honesty and integrity” while showing a military aircraft and the words “Hospital Commander Vietnam War.”

However, the AP reports that while Bentley joined the Air Force in 1969 his service was as the commander of the hospital at Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina.

Insiders Split on Prospects for Energy Bill

The latest National Journal‘s Congressional Insiders Poll finds 56% of Democrats predict the enactment of a “modest” energy bill and another 23% believe that nothing will be enacted.

Republicans were even more negative about the legislative prospects for one of the Democrats’ top priorities: 73% predicted that nothing would be enacted and another 23% expected a modest bill.

Conservatives Outnumber Moderates, Liberals

A new Gallup poll finds 42% of Americans describe themselves as conservative while 35% say they are moderates and 20% call themselves liberals.

For comparison, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey finds 38% say they’re conservative, 36% say they were moderates and 23% call themselves liberals.

Just Rory

Rory Reid (D) kicks off his Nevada gubernatorial campaign with an advertisement that doesn’t mention the last name that he and his father, embattled Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), share.

See more…

A Historic Year

Now that Democrats have agreed on a Wall Street reform bill, President Obama is set to have an incredible year of accomplishments. He’s already signed major health care reforms into law and is more than likely to have energy/climate change legislation on his desk later this year. Not since FDR has a president done so much to transform the country.

First Read: “The agreement — and the likelihood that Obama will sign it into law — is yet another reminder about how much the White House and the Democrat-controlled Congress have done in the past year and a half (stimulus, health care, Wall Street reform, perhaps energy). You can’t say this is a Do-Nothing Congress; Then again, Republicans would argue it’s a Do-Too-Much Congress.”

Mike Allen: “Two legs of the triple crown: This means President Obama will sign health reform and Wall Street reform within four months of each other. Plus there’s the likelihood he’ll get some sort of energy-climate bill by year’s end — an astounding year.”

Blagojevich Aide Says Obama Knew of Plot

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s chief of staff said on a wiretap that he believed President Obama “knew of Blagojevich’s plot to win himself a presidential Cabinet post in exchange for appointing Valerie Jarrett to the U.S. Senate,” the Chicago Sun Times reports.

Said John Harris: “The president understands that the governor would be willing to make the appointment of Valerie Jarrett as long as he gets what he’s asked for… The governor gets the Cabinet appointment he’s asked for.”

However, as CBS News reports, Harris also noted the “short list” Rahm Emanuel gave of people that Obama would find acceptable as his successor in the Senate: Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL), Tammy Duckworth, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Dan Hynes.

Jarrett was not on the list.

Kanjorski Under Fire for Remarks

Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-PA) is taking heat for comments that Republicans say suggest minorities are not “average, good American people,” the Allentown Morning Call reports.

During a meeting on financial reform, Kanjorski insisted that he’s not fighting for relief for, “people that aren’t responsible, that don’t know what the hell they’re doing or don’t care what they’re doing. We’re giving relief to people who I deal in my office with every day now unfortunately that because of the longevity of the recession, these are people — and they’re not in minorities and they’re not defective and they’re not all the things you’d like to insinuate that these programs are. These are average, good American people.”

Lawmakers Reach Deal on Financial Reform Bill

“After more than 20 hours of continuous wrangling, Congressional Democrats and White House officials reached agreement on the final shape of legislation that would transform financial regulation, avoiding last-minute defections among New York lawmakers that had threatened to upend the bill,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“After months of uncertainty about how the U.S. would craft new rules, the agreement offers the clearest picture since the financial crisis of how markets and the government will interact for decades to come. The common thread: large financial companies are facing a tougher leash.”

Politico: “The final piece of the deal fell into place when Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) agreed to limit the reach of new derivatives rules to only the riskiest investments, a move to mollify New York lawmakers and moderate Democrats who feared the original plan would cripple Wall Street.”

The bill is expected to have enough support to become law when the House and Senate vote on the package next week.

If signed into law, Washington Wire notes the bill will be called the Dodd-Frank Act.

Palin Defense Fund Violated Ethics Law

An investigator has determined Sarah Palin’s legal defense fund broke Alaska ethics law, the Anchorage Daily News reports.

Palin has agreed to settle the matter by having the trust return more than $386,000 to donors.

McCain Holds Big Lead Over Hayworth

A new Magellan Strategies poll in Arizona shows Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) easily handling his Republican primary challenger J.D. Hayworth and leads by 23 points, 52% to 29%.

Perry Aide Paid for Effort to Get Green Party on Ballot

The former chief of staff to Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) “personally paid for an aborted effort to qualify the Green Party of Texas for the ballot,” the Austin American Statesman reports.

The information came in court testimony from a case filed by the Texas Democratic Party to block the Greens from certifying their candidates for the November ballot.

Very Close Race in North Carolina

A new Rasmussen poll in North Carolina finds Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) leads Elaine Marshall (D) by just one point, 44% to 43%.

Majority View Palin Endorsement as Negative

Greg Sargent dives into the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll and finds Sarah Palin has become toxic to the broader American electorate. In fact, a majority of those surveyed view an endorsement from Palin in a campaign as a clear negative.

Also of note: Palin’s favorable/unfavorable rating is upside down at 29% to 43%.

The Perfect Political Ad

Why can’t all political ads be this honest?

See more…

Aren’t Gaffes Good?

Michael Kinsley: “If a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth, as someone once said, why isn’t that a good thing? Don’t we prefer the truth, even if it pops out by accident? Increasingly, no. What the press seems to value is successful spin. As gaffes and the phony umbrage that follows them gradually swallow up our politics, the press has taken on a bizarre role like that of judges in a figure-skating competition, as opposed to referees in a hockey match. What counts is the artistry.”

Barbour Building Big Political Operation

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) doesn’t want to talk about whether he’ll run for president in 2012 but Politico notes Barbour “is discreetly building a complex political operation rivaling those of any other 2012 GOP presidential prospects.”

The key is starting political action committees in states with no contribution limits to raise money for staff, travel and chit-collection.

“A Republican operative close to Barbour said the governor is strongly inclined to run for president because he sees weakness in the field of likely candidates and strength in his own political operation. Many of his advisers, however, have warned him against a bid because his profile — as a Southern governor and former Washington political operative and superlobbyist with extensive ties to the tobacco industry — is expected to be a considerable obstacle.”

Casey Would Handily Defeat Santorum

If Republicans want to beat Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) for reelection in 2012 they’re going to have to look somewhere other than former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) as a challenger. A new Public Policy Polling survey finds Casey leads Santorum, 51% to 39%, in a hypothetical rematch of their 2006 contest — a particularly impressive result given the very tough political climate for Democrats.

Just Half of Governors Were Born in Same State

Smart Politics analysis finds that only slightly more than half of the more than 2,300 governors that have served the nation’s 50 states since the original 13 colonies declared their independence over 230 years ago were born in that state.

One interesting fact: Iowa has given birth to more Idaho governors (5) than Idaho (4).

Angle Maintains Lead Over Reid

A new Rasmussen poll in Nevada shows Sharron Angle (R) with a seven-point edge over Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), 48% to 41%.

The previous Rasmussen survey gave Angle an 11 point lead.

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