POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 8/4

Quote of the Day

“If I can’t take five years out to serve my country as President, then everything I’ve been singing about, like equal rights, doesn’t mean anything.”

— Wyclef Jean, confirming to Time magazine that he would run for President of Haiti.

What Palin Doesn’t Want You to See

Sarah Palin uses her Facebook page as her preferred place to make statements and political endorsements, so Slate had a computer program monitor the page over 12 days and found that roughly 10 percent of the comments on her postings were later deleted.

“It should not surprise you that the comments to posts she makes on her page are screened. For any high-profile politician, online comments are like town hall forums: Both appear to be spontaneous but are actually highly choreographed.”

However, the deletions “amount to a real-time look at how much effort and care Palin puts into protecting her public image. It’s not just the number of posts that are screened out that gives some indication of how seriously Palin’s team is monitoring things.”

Bristol Palin Calls Off Engagement

Bristol Palin told People magazine that she has called off her engagement to Levi Johnston after learning he was in a music video that mocked the Palin family.

Said Palin: “The final straw was him flying to Hollywood for what he told me was to see some hunting show but come to find out it was that music video mocking my family. He’s just obsessed with the limelight and I got played.”

Sarah Palin — who has feuded publicly with Johnston since ending her vice presidential bid — referenced Ronald Reagan’s national security strategy in a statement about her daughter: “I wish for Bristol to be able to move forward in life with her same forgiving, gracious, optimistic spirit, but from henceforth she’ll know to trust but verify.”

McMahon Cuts Blumenthal’s Lead Again

A new Quinnipiac poll in Connecticut finds Linda McMahon (R) has pulled to within 10 points of Richard Blumenthal (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 50% to 40%. McMahon has picked up 7 points in less than three weeks.

Said pollster Doug Schwartz: “The McMahon-Blumenthal Senate race in Connecticut could be a real smackdown, as the Republican has the money and momentum, cutting into Blumenthal’s lead month to month.”

In the Republican primary, McMahon holds a 17 point lead among likely voters over Rob Simmons, 47% to 30%.

Kilpatrick Ousted in Primary

Hansen Clarke (D) staged a stunning upset victory last night over seven-term Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-MI), the Detroit Free Press reports.

Kilpatrick is the fourth House incumbent to be ousted in a primary this year. She was no doubt hurt because of the scandals surrounding her son — former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who is in jail on a probation violation on state felonies and is awaiting trial on federal charges of tax evasion and mail and tax fraud.

Missouri Senate Race Now Begins

Rep. Roy Blunt (R) and Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) cruised to easy Senate primary victories in Missouri, contests that were mere formalities on the road to a November showdown between the state’s two modern political dynasties, CQ Politics reports.

Moran Wins  Senate Nomination in Kansas

Rep. Jerry Moran (R-KS) narrowly defeated Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS) in the Kansas GOP U.S. Senate primary, making the seven-term lawmaker the heavy favorite to become the state’s next senator, the Wichita Eagle reports.

Snyder vs. Bernero for Michigan Govenor

Rick Synder (R) — “whose ‘tough nerd’ campaign drew interest across the political spectrum” — won the the five-way Republican primary for governor in Michigan, the Detroit Free Press reports.

He will face Virg Bernero (D), who handily won the Democratic primary.

Coleman Will Not Attend RNC Meeting

Former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) will no longer be attending the RNC summer meeting in Kansas City, CNN reports.

A Coleman spokeswoman did not cite a reason for the change in plans. His decision to stay away from the meeting could be a sign that Coleman is trying to tamp down chatter about a possible challenge to chairman Michael Steele, after his early jockeying irked some RNC members.

Hickenlooper Has Big Lead in Three-Way Race

A new Rasmussen survey in Colorado finds what a recent Denver Post poll did: Tom Tancredo’s third party bid for governor is essentially giving the race to Democrats.

John Hickenlooper (D) leads with 43%, followed by Scott McInnis (R) at 25% and Tancredo at 24%.

With Dan Maes (R) as the GOP nominee, Hickenlooper has 42%, followed by Maes at 27% and Tancredo at 24%.

Reid Maintains Edge Over Angle

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll in Nevada finds Sen. Harry Reid (D) holds a narrow edge among likely voters in his re-election bid against Sharron Angle (R), 48% to 44%.

Among registered voters, Reid holds a commanding 52% to 36% lead.

Sandoval Ahead for Governor

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll in Nevada shows Brian Sandoval (R) with a big lead over Rory Reid (D) for governor, 50% to 39%.

Steele Courts Ambassadors

RNC Chairman Michael Steele is trying to set up meetings with foreign ambassadors to the United States, according to an email obtained by Politico – “an effort that has puzzled diplomats as well as fellow Republicans.”

“The staffs of high-level American political figures typically go directly to an embassy’s political officer officer to set up meetings with an ambassador.  Steele’s outreach to foreign representatives heading into the final stretch of the mid-term election cycle is exasperating senior Republicans, already fed up with the controversial chairman’s knack for bad publicity.”

Murray Holds Small Lead Over Rossi

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Washington finds Sen. Patty Murray (D) holds a narrow lead over likely challenger Dino Rossi (R), 49% to 46%.

Low Budget vs. High Budget in California

Jerry Brown (D) is continuing his low-budget campaign for California governor, spending just $633,205 this year, the Fresno Bee reports. He had about $23.2 million in cash on hand.

Meanwhile, rival Meg Whitman (R) is expected to near or surpass a record-shattering $110 million in spending in her latest filing, including $91 million of her own money.

Support Sinks for Afghanistan War

Public support for President Obama’s Afghanistan war policy has plummeted amid a rising U.S. death toll and the unauthorized release of classified military documents, according to a new USA Today/Gallup Poll.

Support for Obama’s management of the war fell to 36%, down from 48% in a February poll. Now, a record 43% also say it was a mistake to go to war there after the terrorist attacks in 2001.

Marshall Closing on Burr

A new Public Policy Polling survey in North Carolina finds Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) just ahead of challenger Elaine Marshall (D), 39% to 37%, with 7% for Libertarian Michael Beitler.

Key finding: “The main thing that’s changed since the last poll, when Burr led by 5, is that Marshall is shoring up her support from within the party. 65% of Democrats say they’ll vote for her, up from 57% a month ago. Burr continues to lead because of a 44-25 advantage with independents and because with 73% Republican support his party is more unified around him than Marshall’s is around her.”

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