POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 10/4

Rendell Would Like to be Obama’s Chief of Staff

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell (D) told Bloomberg TV “he’d love to replace Rahm Emanuel as Barack Obama’s next chief of staff, while allowing that he may be the last person the president would pick for the job.”

Said Rendell: “If I were president, I am not sure that I would offer Ed Rendell the job of chief of staff. I am a free spirit. I tell the truth, and I like to mix it up. And that is not the Obama administration’s modus operandi, to say the least.”

Pelosi Doesn’t Mind Attacks from Democrats

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) insisted to the New York Times that she didn’t mind efforts by some vulnerable Democrats in conservative House districts appealing to their constituents by criticizing her.

Said Pelosi: “I say go for it. Just win your election.”

Paladino Told Spitzer Not to Resign

New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino (R) tells the Los Angeles Times that “he believes the personal failings of elected officials should not be held against them if they’re qualified to govern.”

He cited Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D), “whom Paladino supported with campaign contributions, as an example of a capable public servant who never should have left office.”

Said Paladino: “The day before he left I told Eliot, ‘Don’t quit.’ You show me the perfect person. You show me Mr. Perfect out there. Who? Arnold [Schwarzenegger]? The former president, Clinton? … He’s human, Eliot’s human, I’m human.”

Quote of the Day

“To those who say we should focus on fiscal issues, instead of the right to life, I say ‘what is more fiscally responsible than rolling back this administration’s effort to expand funding for abortion at home and abroad?’ What is more fiscally responsible than denying any and all funding to Planned Parenthood of America?”

— Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), quoted by The Hill, criticizing moderate Republicans for focusing on “public policy alone.”

Rahm’s Softer Side

While former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is commonly portrayed as a “ruthless, foul-mouthed insider raising millions, whispering into the ears of powerful friends, brow-beating cringing underlings and anyone unfortunate enough to get in his way,” the Washington Post notes that this masks why Emanuel is so dangerous as he begins his campaign for mayor of Chicago.

“Emanuel is a good campaigner, disciplined, focused and ready to ring doorbells, pump hands and kiss babies. In his six years in Congress, he tirelessly engaged in the kind of gnat-level constituent service and hokey freshman-representative showboating that builds loyalty back home… This is the side of Emanuel that gets obscured by stories about obscenity-bespattered phone calls and gifts of dead fish. He knows you can’t bully the voters. (Political opponents, of course, are another story.)”

Trump Testing the Waters?

Donald Trump was among the potential 2012 presidential candidates tested in a recent New Hampshire poll. The survey asked, among other things, if voters had heard that Trump donated to Democrats in the past.

Mark Halperin: “Trump created a flurry of speculation when he flirted with running for president in the past. The Republican nomination fight is so wide open — with no clear front-runner and a lot of potentially strong candidates on the fence about making the race – that a Trump trip or two to the Granite State (along with some token TV and radio spots) could juice his poll numbers and make him an immediate player in the world of cable/blog/talk radio speculation. Trump’s brashness, faux anti-establishment populism, willingness to take on Obama right here right now as a take-charge-CEO-type, and bright-shiny-object status with the media would allow him to draw a lot of attention. He wouldn’t have to declare he was running for sure, just say he was thinking about it.”

Angle Speaks Freely

Jon Ralston has amazing audio of Nevada U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle (R) meeting privately with Tea Party rival Scott Ashjian in which she blasts the Republican party as “corrupt.”

Said Angle: “The Republicans have lost their standard, they’ve lost their principle. Really that’s why the machine in the Republican Party is fighting against me…. They have never really gone along with lower taxes and less government regulation.”

Ben Smith: “Angle’s words may not have an immediate political impact, but they show what a profound challenge she and a handful of other Senate candidates pose to the Republican leadership, should they win. Angle’s view of herself is clearly of an insurgent, a subversive force within the GOP.”

The recording is definitively worth listening to in full.

Martinez Still Leads in New Mexico

A new Albuquerque Journal poll in New Mexico shows Susana Martinez (R) leading Diane Denish (D) in the race for governor, 47% to 41%.

Mikulski Cruising to Re-Election

A new Washington Post poll in Maryland finds Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) has a commanding lead in her re-election race, topping challenger Eric Wargotz (R), 61% to 29%, among likely voters.

Buck Builds Lead in Colorado

A new SurveyUSA poll in Colorado shows Ken Buck (R) leads Sen. Michael Bennet (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 48% to 43%.

Said pollster Jay Leve: “That extra enthusiasm the men are showing, or lack of enthusiasm women are showing, is providing a margin for Republicans in a tight race.”

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