Hero in the Balcony

Daniel Hernandez Jr., one of the heroes of the mass shooting in Tucson two weeks ago, tells ABC News that he will be sitting, along with his father, Daniel Hernandez Sr., with Michelle Obama at the State of the Union on Tuesday, which happens to be his 21st birthday.

Schumer Says Repeal Bill Will Look Like Swiss Cheese

Responding to Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) promise that there will be a vote in the Senate to repeal the health care law, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) outlined the Democratic response on Face the Nation.

Said Schumer: “Mitch McConnell has the right to offer an amendment. If he does — if the Republicans offer an amendment on the floor, then we will require them to vote on the individual protections in the bill that are very popular and that even some of the new Republican House members have said they support.”

He added: “So in the end, their repeal bill is going to be so full of holes it looks like Swiss cheese.”

Christie Declined Chance to Rebut Obama

A close aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) told The Auditor that national Republican leadership had inquired with the governor about rebutting President Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday.

Said the aide: “They tried to see if there was some interest, and there wasn’t any. The governor is in the midst of his legislative agenda. There’s no reason to try to get involved in federal issues.”

One-Fifth of House Freshmen Sleep in Their Offices

CBS News survey of all freshmen members of the U.S House of Representatives has found that at least 21 of the 96 members are sleeping in their office — that’s 19 of the 87 new Republicans and 2 of the 9 new Democrats.

Like 1995 Again?

With House Republicans having leverage over the budget process, Nate Silverwonders whether a showdown with President Obama — perhaps over raising the national debt limit — might once again lead to a government shutdown.

In 1995, the public “largely blamed Republicans for the mess rather than Bill Clinton, whose standing rose as a result; he went on to win re-election the following year.”

“There are no guarantees that the outcome would be the same this time around. Among many other variables, the personalities of both the president and the Republican leaders are significantly different now; the media environment has changed; and the Great Recession would color the debate in 2011 more than the recession of 1990-91 did in 1995, when it was well back in the rearview mirror.”

Romney Wins New Hampshire Straw Poll

Mitt Romney was the big winner in the first New Hampshire straw poll with 35%, according to ABC News.

Ron Paul was a distant second with 11%, followed by Tim Pawlenty at 8% and Sarah Palin at 7%.

New Hampshire Republicans Choose New Leader

John DiStaso: “Today’s vote by the New Hampshire Republican State Committee for a new chairman will be a key indicator of how strong the Tea Party, 9/12 and overall liberty movements have been in influencing the GOP organization in the Granite State.”

Also worth watching: WMUR/ABC News is fielding the first New Hampshire Republican straw poll for 2012.

Thune Says “Clock is Ticking” on Decision

Sen. John Thune (R-SD) is soliciting support in New Hampshire for a possible presidential run in 2012, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports.

Said Thune: “I do know that candidates are getting out there, and people are starting to gravitate certain directions. At some point, you have to make a gut-level decision about whether or not you think you have something to contribute and add to the debate, and (if) the country needs something in the form of leadership that you can provide. And then you have to be committed to it personally, and as a family. And those things are all that we’ve been weighing now for awhile. But I think the witching hour is coming up here pretty soon.”

He added: “The clock is ticking.”

Tactics Shift One Year After Ruling

Politico marks the first anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC ruling noting that while its full impact “still isn’t entirely clear” the “rhetoric and tactics in the continuing battle” have shifted.

“Republicans, who once downplayed its potential impact or presented it as equally helpful to Democrats, increasingly acknowledge that it has been a major boon to them. And Democrats are privately conceding likely defeat in their legislative efforts to blunt the ruling, and are now concentrating on planning their own groups to both compete with — and investigate — conservative groups such as American Crossroads that sprouted during the 2010 campaign.”

West Virginia Special Election Set

West Virginia will hold a special election for governor on Oct. 4 to fill the seat vacated by Sen. Joe Manchin, the Charleston Gazette reports.

The state joins Louisiana, Kentucky and Mississippi in holding gubernatorial race this year.

Giuliani More Likely to Run if Palin Does

In a forthcoming CNN interview, Rudy Giuliani says he’s actually “more likely” to run for president if Sarah Palin does.

Said Giuliani: “The more Republicans in which I can show a contrast, probably the better chance, the better chance that I have.”

Gingrich Gears Up for Bid

In the last 24 hours, Newt Gingrich “has touched base” with several prominent Republicans in Georgia “telling them that he intends to make a run for president in 2012 using Georgia as his base,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

“The visits and conversations — some face-to-face, others on the phone — appear to be an attempt by Gingrich to revive his old campaign network and lock down as much support as possible in a state won by Republican Mike Huckabee in the 2008 presidential primary.”

Though he was a congressman from Georgia, Gingrich currently lives in Virginia.

The Reason for Anonymity?

New York Times: “Well, now we know why the author of this much gossiped about, heavily marketed new book wanted to remain anonymous: O: A Presidential Novel is a thoroughly lackadaisical performance — trite, implausible and decidedly unfunny.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“I’ve never really come to terms with the decision in Bush v. Gore… I’ll forever be really angry about the Supreme Court decision and the way it ended.”

— Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), in an interview with NPR, on the decision that may have prevented him from becoming Vice President.

Huckabee Leads Nationally

For the first time, Public Policy Polling‘s monthly survey of the 2012 GOP presidential hopefuls finds a clear leader: Mike Huckabee.

Huckabee leads with 24%, followed by Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney at 14%, Newt Gingrich at 11%, Tim Pawlenty at 8% and Ron Paul at 7%.

Key finding: “He’s ahead with both moderates and conservatives, showing an ability to unify two wings of the party that have become increasingly polarized from each other with the rise of the Tea Party movement. That’s important not just for snagging the nomination but also for Republican prospects of winning the general — they can’t do it without a candidate who is able to hold the entire base in line.”

Quote of the Day

“They don’t want civility. They want silence from the Republicans. And the sitting together being kissy-kissy is just another way to try to silence Republicans, and also to show — to keep the American people from seeing how few of them there are in the U.S. House now.”

— Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), on Scott Hennen’s radio show, objecting to mixed seating at next week’s State of the Union address.

Murkowski Says GOP Should Move On

Though she would vote to repeal the new health care law if it came to a vote, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) told KTVA-TV that Republicans should focus on other issues because they don’t have the votes in the Senate.

Said Murkoswki: “The real question is, how much time do we as a Congress spend on this messaging?”

Wonk Room: “Murkowski has been on a bit of an independent streak after being disavowed by the Republican party for mounting a successful re-election campaign as a write-in candidate.”

Ryan Likely to Give GOP Response

The buzz on Capitol Hill is that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) will deliver the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address next week.

Huckabee Will Wait Until Summer

We knew Mike Huckabee was not close to making a decision on whether he’ll run for president in 2012, but he told Fox News he’ll wait until summer before deciding because “very few people can sustain the burn rate of a campaign if it’s going to have to last 18 months.”

Said Huckabee: “I think people get sick of us if we’re out there for too long a period of time, and by the time it starts to matter — when you’re getting closer to the caucuses and the primaries — you’ve been so, just, essentially, exposed in a campaign mode that there’s nothing new. You’re the stale loaf of bread on the shelf, and it’s very difficult to make your message fresh.”

Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics

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