POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 1/19
Former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) has signed a book deal with Crown Publishers to write, While America Sleeps, his take on America’s foreign policy missteps since the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.
With retirement announcements from Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Kent Conrad (D-ND), Jon Karl looks at the other senators most likely to retire rather than face re-election in 2012.
Despite a federal investigation into her campaign spending, former Delaware U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell (R) is launching ChristinePAC to raise unlimited funds from donors to spend in races across the country.
Sunlight Foundation: “The most glaring issue is that, like O’Donnell’s campaign, ChristinePAC’s office address is O’Donnell’s home address… One of the central aspects of the federal investigation is that O’Donnell used approximately $20,000 of her campaign funds to pay her home rent, on which she was behind at the time.”
In the mail: O: A Presidential Novel by Anonymous.
From a press release: “Primary Colors was a portrait of a presidential campaign that had already occurred. O is about events in the immediate future — and the lengths to which the Obama campaign and the Republican opposition will go in order to prevail. This is an intricately conceived story of how crucial events can turn on the smallest details, and what our leaders are really thinking when their careers are on the line.”
So who is going to do the first computer analysis of the writing style to see who really wrote this book?
“I am not arrogant enough to believe that after one year as governor of New Jersey and seven years as the United States Attorney that I am ready to be President of the United States, so I’m not gonna run.”
— New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), in an interview with Fox News.
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) will announce whether he’s running for re-election to the U.S. Senate tomorrow at 12:30 pm in Stamford, CT.
Update: Kevin Rennie reports Lieberman will announce his retirement.
Hartford Courant: “A couple of active Democrats said they think the timing of the event, and the tone of the behind-the-scenes conversations, indicate that Lieberman wants to announce that he’s not running while there’s still speculation that he could still win if he chose to run. In other words, they said, he can pull out of the 2012 race now — before being battered by continual announcements of polls that show him sinking ever farther in his prospects.”
Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) advised Republicans in Congress to drop their bid to repeal the health-care reform law and instead make changes to it and build on it, the Huffington Post reports.
Said Frist: “It is not the bill that [Republicans] would have written. It is not the bill that I would have drafted. But it is the law of the land and it is the platform, the fundamental platform, upon which all future efforts to make that system better, for that patient, for that family, will be based.”
Must-read profile at Esquire:
“Today, here at Esquire — and only at Esquire, because only Esquire has the guts to tell you this story — we’re going to tell you about a man you need to know a little better, maybe a lot better: a man named Roger Ailes. Maybe you’ve heard of Mr. Ailes. As the chairman and CEO of a well financed and admittedly antigovernment organization called Fox News, he made a reported $23 million in 2009, which, to do the math, was not just more money than you earned, it was more money than everyone related to you earned, combined, even if you count the sudden windfall that came your aunt Ida’s way after she got five out of six in Powerball. Nice work if you can get it, Mr. Ailes — especially when that “work” consisted of nothing but advancing your own agenda at the expense of the president of the United States of America during a time of war.”
Pro-life leader Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, will announce later this week that he will challenge President Obama for the 2012 Democratic presidential nomination, Sunshine State News reports.
President Obama welcomes China President Hu Jintao at the White House tonight and the New York Times notes that everyone “will be crossing his fingers that things go better than the last time the Chinese leader was here.”
Among the things that went wrong four years ago: A Falun Gong protester acquired press credentials and disrupted a press conference, an announcer mistakenly confused the official names of China and Taiwan, and President Bush grabbed the Chinese president by his suit to prevent him from walking down the wrong stairs.
President Hu is scheduled to have “an unusual, very intimate dinner” with President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and National Security Adviser Tom Donilon tonight. The official state dinner will take place Wednesday night
A new USA Today/Gallup poll shows Sarah Palin’s favorable rating has dropped to 38%, her lowest since just after bursting onto the national scene as Sen. John McCain’s running mate in 2008. In the wake of controversy over her response to the Tucson shooting, her unfavorable rating hit a new high at 53%.
“It’s been the same in every single race I’ve ever run. People underestimate me. Can’t say it’s ever bothered me, though.”
— Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), in an interview with The Hill, on being an underdog if he runs for president in 2012.
A new Quinnipiac poll finds that Americans, by a 54% to 43% margin, feel the economy is beginning to recover.
Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) will announce his retirement today, according to The Fix, “creating a potentially prime pickup opportunity for Republicans in a GOP-leaning state.”
In an interview with ABC News, Newt Gingrich said Sarah Palin’s recent statements indicate she needs to “be more careful and think through what she’s saying and how she’s saying it.”
Susan Bysiewicz (D) will announce a bid today for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), the CT Mirror reports.
“Her first challenge will be to convince Democratic activists she was not permanently damaged last year by a string of missteps, beginning when she exited the governor’s race in January as the early front-runner, tempted by a seemingly easier campaign for attorney general. Instead, Bysiewicz was knocked from the race in stunning fashion: Just days before the Democratic nominating convention, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that she lacked the requisite experience to be attorney general.”
Lieberman has not yet declared his intentions to run for re-election but said he could win as an independent candidate.
Any attempt to declare the congressional seat of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) to be vacant based on state law would probably violate the U.S. Constitution, theTucson Sentinel reports.
Though Arizona statutes say public offices may be declared vacant if their holders fail to discharge their duties for 90 days, it pertains only to state and local officials.
Washington Post: “The U.S. Constitution provides the qualifications for service in Congress and makes the House the sole judge of those qualifications. Courts have consistently held that states cannot add qualifications to those in the Constitution and have rejected efforts to remove members of Congress, even through term limits and recalls.”
Though Nate Silver notes midterm approval rates show little correlation to a president’s re-election, it’s interesting to note that at this point in Ronald Reagan’s first term, the unemployment rate was 10.4% and his approval rate was 37%.
In contrast, the unemployment rate today is 9.4% and President Obama’s approval rate is either 53% or 54% according to two polls released today.
With an independent campaign to draw him into the 2012 presidential race, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) said he was nearing a decision on his political future, theIndianapolis Star reports.
A run for Indiana governor is also a possibility.
Said Pence: “We’ve been trying to listen first to Hoosiers and then to other voices around the country about where they think we might best serve in the years ahead. We’ll be making a decision before the end of this month.”
A new UtahPolicy/Exoro poll finds Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) leading Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) in a possible U.S. Senate race.
However, Hatch is not the first choice of Utah Republicans with just 26% picking him in a hypothetical three way race, while 33% would prefer Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and 40% would choose U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, Jr., the state’s former governor.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) said “he plans to be the governor of all Alabamians and be color-blind, but he also said people who aren’t ‘saved’ Christians aren’t his brothers and sisters,” the Birmingham News reports.
Said Bentley: “I was elected as a Republican candidate. But once I became governor… I became the governor of all the people. I intend to live up to that. I am color blind.”
He added: “Now I will have to say that, if we don’t have the same daddy, we’re not brothers and sisters. So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother.”
A new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds President Obama’s approval rating at 54%, the highest it’s been in more than a year.
By an 18-point margin, 58% to 40%, Americans say Obama “understands the problems of people like you.” That’s up from a mere 2-point split, 50% to 48% in September.
A new CNN/Opinion Research poll finds Obama’s approval rating is up five points to 53% “as a growing number of Americans consider him a strong leader who is tough enough to handle a crisis.”
In an interview with NBC News, former Vice President Dick Cheney predicted President Obama will be defeated for re-election in 2012.
Said Cheney: “His overall approach to expanding the size of government, expanding the deficit, and giving more and more authority and power to the government over the private sector. Those are all weaknesses, as I look at Barack Obama. And I think he’ll be a one term President.”
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, President Obama announced a government-wide review of federal regulations to “make sure we avoid excessive, inconsistent and redundant regulation,” focusing on rules that “stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive.”