POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 8/30

Bonus Quote of the Day

“I don’t have to say I’m going to caucus with the Democrats or the Republicans.”

— Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (I), in an interview on CNN’s State of the Union, dodging the question of which of the two major political parties he would caucus with if elected to the U.S. Senate.

Quote of the Day

“I’m making decisions that are not necessarily good for the nightly news and not good for the next election, but for the next generations.”

— President Obama, in an interview on NBC News.

Martinez Takes Early Lead in New Mexico

A new Albuquerque Journal poll in New Mexico finds Susana Martinez (R) has taken an early lead over Diane Denish (D) in the race for governor, 45% to 39% with 16% undecided.

Denish also is suffering from a successful Martinez strategy to tie her to Gov. Bill Richardson (D), with whom Denish has served since 2003, and now holds a dismal 33% approval rating. Among those who disapprove of Richardson’s performance, 62% said they would vote for Martinez compared to 22% who said they would vote for Denish.

Number of Congresswomen Could Drop

Despite what many have dubbed the “year of the woman,” the Los Angeles Times reports that this year’s midterms could actually see the number of women serving in Congress drop for the first time since 1978.

“If large numbers of Democratic incumbents lose in November, as expected, many women could be replaced by men. Female candidates tend to do better in Democratic years, and 2010 is shaping up as a successful year for Republicans.”

What about the Mama Grizzlies? “While political attention has focused this year on Sarah Palin’s handpicked candidates and on a record number of Republican women running for House seats, primary losses have thinned their ranks to several dozen. In fact, just four women are among the GOP’s 46 ‘Young Guns,’ as the party calls its frontline challengers who are considered future leaders.”

Life as a Wartime President

The New York Times has a compelling look at President Obama’s steep learning curve on national security as “the first president in four decades with a shooting war already raging the day he took office,” and his attempts to juggle two wars and a full domestic agenda.

“Along the way, he has confronted some of the biggest choices a president can make, often deferring to military advisers yet trying to shape the decisions with his own judgments — too much at times for the Pentagon, too little in the view of his liberal base… A year and a half into his presidency, Mr. Obama appears to be a reluctant warrior. Even as he draws down troops in Iraq, he has been abundantly willing to use force to advance national interests, tripling forces in Afghanistan, authorizing secret operations in Yemen and Somalia, and escalating drone strikes in Pakistan.”

Fewer Jobs, Larger Deficits if Republicans Were in Charge

Newsweek notes that nothing is apparently more important to Republican politicians these days than jobs and the budget deficit, but there’s a problem with their message: “So far, the things that Republicans have said they want to do won’t actually boost employment or reduce deficits. In fact, much the opposite. By combing through a variety of studies and projections from nonpartisan economic sources, we here at Gaggle headquarters have found that if Republicans were in charge from January 2009 onward — and if they were now given carte blanche to enact the proposals they want to — the projected 2010-2020 deficits would be larger than they are under Obama, and fewer people would probably be employed.”

Miller Leads for U.S. Senate in Alaska

A new Public Policy Polling survey shows Joe Miller’s (R) possible victory in the Alaska U.S. Senate primary has given Democrats “at least a marginal opportunity for a pick up this fall, although that will fade if Lisa Murkowski stays in the race for the general as the Libertarian candidate.”

Miller leads Scott McAdams (D), 47% to 39%.

In a three-way race Miller holds a small lead over Murkowsi, 38% to 34%, with McAdams way back at 22%.

Five Years Later

On the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a new entry in the political dictionary: “heck of a job.”

Fenty Way Behind in Re-Election Bid

A new Washington Post poll finds Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty (D) is trailing badly in his reelection bid against D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray (D), “despite a widespread sense that the city is heading in the right direction.”

Gray leads Fenty among likely voters by 17 points, 53% to 36%.

Key finding: “Although most of those Democrats polled credit the mayor with a record of accomplishment and say he brought needed change to the District, many doubt his honesty, his willingness to listen to different points of view and his ability to understand their problems. The criticisms are especially deep-seated among African Americans, who are likely to make up a majority of primary voters.”

No Surprises in West Virginia, Louisiana

West Virginia’s Gov. Joe Manchin (D) won the state’s special Democratic primary election for the late Sen. Robert Byrd’s seat. Manchin will face off against businessman John Raese (R).

In Louisiana, Sen. David Vitter easily won the state’s GOP primary and will face Rep. Charlie Melancon (D) in the midterm election.

Greene Even Lost His Home Precinct

The Palm Beach Post has an interesting finding from Florida’s U.S. Senate primary: “Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene lost his precinct 2-to-1 to Kendrick Meek in the Democratic Senate primary. That’s not a ratio of 2-to-1. It was literally 2 votes for Meek and one for Greene, presumably his own. Greene’s wife isn’t registered in Palm Beach County.”

“Only 26 Democrats are registered in Greene’s precinct, compared to 84 Republicans. Marco Rubio carried the precinct 26-0 in the GOP Senate primary.”

Pawlenty Says He Didn’t Copy Palin

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) insists that any similarity between the book covers of Sarah Palin’s book and his forthcoming one wasn’t intended — though they look very similar, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

Check them out for yourself: Here’s Palin’s Going Rogue and Pawlenty’s Courage to Stand.

Said Pawlenty: “I don’t know if it looks like it or not but we certainly didn’t intend it that way.”

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