POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 1/28

Rahm Put Back on Ballot

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that Rahm Emanuel can stay on the ballot for Chicago mayor.

Chicago Tribune: “The high court’s decision reverses a 2-1 Illinois Appeals Court decision Monday that ruled Emanuel ineligible on the grounds he did not meet the requirement of being a Chicago resident for a year before the election… The Chicago election board and a Cook County Circuit judge had earlier both ruled Emanuel met the residency requirements. The Supreme Court unanimousy said the appellate court was in error in overruling them.”

A More Bureaucratic White House?

One appointment in a memo announcing White House staffing changes sounds like something from a future Harvard Kennedy School case study of what went wrong: Emmett Beliveau was appointed Deputy Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the Chief of Staff.

Thune Will Decide by Next Month

Sen. John Thune (R-SD) tells Hugh Hewitt that he’ll make a decision on a presidential bid by the end of next month but indicated the thinks the campaign is starting too early, particularly with a debate already scheduled in May.

Said Thune: “I know that people are interested, and the political cycle starts right away. But I do think that in a lot of respects, people do weary of the long campaigns, get weary of the long campaigns. And in some ways, it seems like you could push those events back a little bit. It seems awfully early. And there are a number of events, frankly, that are really early in a lot of the states this year, that if you’re a candidate, you’re probably going to have to participate in. But it does force that calendar to begin much earlier. And I think that gets, sometimes, tiresome to the American people.”

Pence Rules Out Presidential Bid

Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) has ruled out a run for president and will instead explore a bid for governor of Indiana, sources tell Howey Politics Indiana.

“The sources say that Pence has not made a final decision about a run for governor, keeping open the option of running for reelection in the 6th CD. State law prohibits Pence from raising money in a gubernatorial race until the Indiana General Assembly’s sine die on April 30. However, Pence gave up the No. 3 position in the Indiana House in November.”

Pence is scheduled to give an interview to the Indianapolis Star later today to discuss his future plans.

Carney is New Press Secretary

President Obama has picked Jay Carney, communications director for Vice President Joe Biden, to replace Robert Gibbs as White House press secretary,Politico reports.

Jake Tapper was the first to break the news in a report about multiple staff changes taking place today in the White House.

Moran Says Race Behind GOP Victory

Rep. James Moran (D-VA) told the Arab television network Alhurra that the Republicans won control of the House last November because “of the same reason the Civil War happened in the United States. The Civil War happened because the Southern states, particularly the slaveholding states, didn’t want to see a president who was opposed to slavery. In this case a lot of people in this country, I believe, don’t want to be governed by an African American, particularly one who is inclusive, who is liberal, who wants to spend money on everyone and who wants to reach out to include everyone in our society. That’s a basic philosophical clash.”

Huntsman Leaning Towards Run

U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman (R) “appears to be leaning toward a run for president in 2012 and a team of political operatives and fundraisers have begun informal talks and outreach to ensure he could rapidly ramp up if he decides to run,” the Washington Post reports.

Why Romney Shouldn’t Skip Iowa

Tom Jensen thinks it would be “slightly crazy” for Mitt Romney not compete in the Iowa caucuses, as he’s reportedly considering.

Key reason: “If Mike Huckabee doesn’t run, Romney would start out tied for the lead in the state! If you allocate all of Huckabee’s supporters to who they said was their second choice on our poll there earlier this month you would end up with Romney and Sarah Palin tied for the lead at 23% each with Newt Gingrich at 18% and no one else with double digits. This is not a state where Romney would have to be coming from behind. Choosing not to compete there would basically be an admission that you assume you’re going to blow it.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“Twice now in the past year, the voters have said they want me to stay as attorney general.”

— Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley (D), quoted by the AP, referring to her recent reelection and her failed U.S. Senate bid last year against Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA).

Sanford Photos Were Taken Last Week

The pictures of former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) and his “soul mate” Maria Belen Chapur were apparently taken the week after he left office “on the beach in the same resort where their romance began,” the Columbia State reports.

The Argentine celebrity magazine Caras, published an eight-page spread on Sanford’s romantic encounter last week.

Romney Gets Closer

In an interview on Fox News, Mitt Romney said he had “No decision at this point…No announcement to make” on a possible presidential run and didn’t have a “specific time frame” for his decision, but admitted he’s “looking at different dates.”

Not Exceptional Enough

If House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) looked bored during President Obama’s State of the Union address, perhaps it’s because he wasn’t listening. On CNN last night he claimed the president rejects the idea that America is exceptional — which happened to be one of the main themes of the speech.

Said Boehner: “Well, they — they’ve refused to talk about America exceptionalism. We are different than the rest of the world. Why? Because Americans have — the country was built on an idea that ordinary people could decide what their government looked like and ordinary people could elect their own leaders. And 235 years ago that was a pretty novel idea… but you can’t get the left to talk about it. They don’t — they reject that notion.”

Ben Smith: “It should also be noted that Obama called Boehner Speaker of ‘The Greatest Nation on Earth.'”

DeMint Open to a Presidential Bid

When the Iowa Republican reported Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) was headed to Iowa in March, it was sure to start a new wave of speculation about his intentions, despite consistent denials he’ll run for president.

However, several of DeMint’s closest advisers and political confidantes are now telling CNN that he is “at least open to a presidential bid if a suitably conservative candidate fails to emerge from the early and wide-open GOP field.”

Said one: “I think that you can read into it that he sees he has a role in the process and he sees he hasn’t completely shut the door. He hasn’t completely shut the door on running, and if there was a situation where there is a massive void in the group of candidates, who knows what would happen?”

Two More Considered for Press Secretary

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said yesterday he expected an announcement of his successor very soon.

Washington Post: “The candidates, according to Democrats familiar with the process, include two veteran party operatives who don’t currently work at the White House: former Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Karen Finney and Doug Hattaway, who served as spokesman for Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign and then for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2008 quest for the Democratic nomination.”

Daniels Picks Basketball Over Obama

If you want a sign Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) isn’t running for president, it’s that he admitted to watching a basketball game instead of President Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

Daniels told WLFI-TV: “You caught me. I didn’t watch it. I was watching the Purdue game as long as it was watchable. Honestly, I’ve read the accounts. I’ve got the text of the speech and I’ll be reading it between now and the next stop. I think I’ll just say that I’m very hopeful that we are going to see changes in national policy.”

Reagan as Role Model

In a cover story, Time picks up on the fact that President Obama is very interested inlearning lessons from Ronald Reagan’s presidency.

“At a glance, it’s hard to imagine a President who had less in common with Reagan than the Ivy League lawyer from Hawaii who seeks larger federal investments, a bigger social safety net and new regulations for Wall Street and Big Oil. But under the surface, there is no mistaking Obama’s increasing reliance on his predecessor’s career as a helpful template for his own.”

Obama Keeps it Simple

Smart Politics used the Flesch-Kincaid test to assess the readability and grade level of President Obama’s State of the Union speech and finds it notched the second lowest score of 69 orally delivered addresses since the mid-1930s.

McCain Aide Unmasked as Author

Mark Halperin confirms what others have suspected: Mark Salter, former aide to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), is the anonymous author of O: A Presidential Novel.

Key clues:

  • Editor Jonathan Karp was Salter’s editor on books he co-authored with McCain.
  • Salter has been “holed up” in Maine since leaving the Senate.
  • The descriptions that Karp has given of the author matched Salter.
  • Salter’s non-denial denial was closest to a confession of anyone asked.

Also interesting: “There is a story early in the book based on a real-life tale that would have been known only to a McCain campaign insider such as Salter.”

Do Republicans Have a Strategy?

Mark Halperin: “Not yet. The GOP is offering nothing on the public’s Issue One (jobs), while Obama is calling for spending on construction, education and energy. Republicans won in November by critiquing Democrats on Issue Two (the deficit), but Obama has laid a trap. Now that the GOP is running the House, it must deliver the superlean budget it promised without angering Tea Party passionistas who reject compromise with the White House. Obama is using his renewed strength to box the Republicans in.”

Majority of Californians Back Tax Increases

A new Public Policy Institute of California poll found 67% of Californians back Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D) plan to ask them to extend tax increases to help close a $25.4 billion state budget gap.

“That is much stronger than the 50% who thought a special election in 2009 championed by previous Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and lawmakers was a good idea. The state’s leaders had hoped voters that year would approve a slate of budget-related measures, including a measure for an extension of tax increases. Voters did not.”

Romney May Skip Iowa

After he spent millions of dollars “and a huge chunk of time in Iowa, only to finish behind former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee” in 2008, the National Journal reports that Mitt Romney (R) is in talks with advisers about skipping the state entirely in a second presidential bid and focusing on New Hampshire instead.

Though no final decision has been made, Romney “is signaling he will make New Hampshire his top priority in 2012. He held several private meetings at his home on Lake Winnipesaukee, just north of Manchester and Concord…to garner support. The events are secretive; attendees are invited just a few days before and are asked not to share the information.”

Quote of the Day

“That was a tough speech to have to sit through and kind of try to stomach because the president is so off-base in his ideas. And his theme last night in the State of the Union was the ‘WTF,’ you know, ‘Winning the Future.’ And I thought, ‘OK, that acronym, spot on.’ There were a lot of ‘WTF’ moments throughout that speech.”

— Sarah Palin, in an interview on Fox News, on President Obama’s State of the Union address.

Republicans Viewed Positively First Time Since 2005

A new Gallup Poll finds opinions of the Republican Party have improved to the point where now more Americans have a favorable than unfavorable opinion of the party, 47% to 43%.

It’s the first time the GOP’s been viewed more positively than negatively since 2005.

No Signs of a Palin Bid

Politico reports that although Sarah Palin’s (R) political action committee SarahPAC enters 2011 with over $1.3 million in the bank, a recent financial disclosure “shows no indication that Palin has started to ramp up for a potential presidential run, as no new staff shows up on SarahPAC’s expenses — which remain very low compared to a campaign of even moderate size.”

This news comes as aides insist Palin is putting out feelers in Iowa.

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3 Comments on “POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 1/28”


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