POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 1/17
As House Republicans prepare for a Wednesday vote to repeal the new health care law, a new Associated Press-GfK poll finds just 25% favor complete repeal.
“If you’re scared then you shouldn’t be in politics.”
— Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA), in an interview on CNN, on the need to interact one-on-one with constituents.
“In a move that stunned Haitians here and abroad, former dictator Jean-Claude ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier unexpectedly returned to his homeland Sunday after decades of exile in France,” the Miami Herald reports.
Former Sen. George Allen (R-VA) “plans to tell supporters within a week that he is mounting a campaign to retake the Senate seat he lost to Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) in 2006,” Mike Allen reports.
“Allen, 58, the most prominent 2012 challenger to announce so far, has begun to line up key staff members. Webb, 64, who won by 1 percent, has sent mixed signals about whether he will seek reelection. DNC Chairman Tim Kaine, a former Virginia governor who could be the Democratic nominee if Webb bowed out, has been telling friends he thinks Webb will run. The rematch could be one of the hottest races in the country, especially if President Obama’s reelection campaign plays hard in the Old Dominion.”
Mark Feldstein notes that 50 years ago this week Richard Nixon “stood uncomfortably on the Capitol’s inaugural platform and watched his rival John F. Kennedy being sworn in as president.”
Said Nixon: “We won but they stole it from us.”
“Indeed, the dirty tricks that helped defeat Nixon were more devious than merely the ballot-stuffing of political lore. In one of the least-known chapters of 20th-century political history, Kennedy operatives secretly paid off an informant and set in motion a Watergate-like burglary that sabotaged Nixon’s campaign on the eve of the election.”
The New York Times has a must-read report on how Israel tested the Stuxnet computer worm which was later found effective against the Iranian nuclear program.
Highlight: “The worm itself now appears to have included two major components. One was designed to send Iran’s nuclear centrifuges spinning wildly out of control. Another seems right out of the movies: The computer program also secretly recorded what normal operations at the nuclear plant looked like, then played those readings back to plant operators, like a pre-recorded security tape in a bank heist, so that it would appear that everything was operating normally while the centrifuges were actually tearing themselves apart.”
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) “has been upgraded to serious condition after being listed in critical condition since last week,” the Arizona Republic reports.
“Doctors took Giffords off the ventilator Saturday and performed a tracheotomy, replacing the breathing tube with a tracheotomy tube in her windpipe to help evaluate whether she could speak. Giffords was breathing on her own Sunday, but hospital officials would not say if she was speaking.”
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told Fox News that his tough exchanges with political rivals don’t represent a breach of civility.
Said Christie: “I make a distinction between hostility and vitriol and straight talk….We’ve become so politically correct. And we have so gotten into this figuring out how not to answer a question, how to be completely neutral about things. And people have become fogged over listening to political conversation that’s like that. What I’m doing in New Jersey is when they ask me a question, I give an answer.”