POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 2/7
The New York Times explores whether the legitimacy of the Supreme Court would be damaged if there were a 5-4 partisan split vote on the constitutionality of President Obama’s Health Care Law.
“A decision from the Supreme Court will probably not come for a year and a half or more, and there will be many twists and turns along the way. But some scholars are already wondering how much damage, if any, a party-line ruling striking down the law would do to the court’s prestige, authority and legitimacy.”
Hyped almost as much as the Super Bowl itself was the pregame interview of President Obama by Fox News broadcaster Bill O’Reilly,
National Journal: “Both sides scored. Fox News got an exclusive interview watched by a super-sized audience and Obama looked unafraid to face critics by talking to the network he once described as ‘entirely devoted to attacking my administration.'”
Howard Kurtz: “While the Fox pundit scored a few points in their hyped pre-Super Bowl showdown, the president emerged the victor — deftly addressing his popularity, his creep to the center, and Egypt… Considering that his administration had once declared war on Fox and boycotted the nation’s top-rated cable news outfit, the session’s final score added up to a big win for Obama — with a huge audience virtually guaranteed.”
Former Vice President Dick Cheney, speaking at a Reagan celebration sponsored by the Young America’s foundation, declared that “with luck,” his memoir will be out by the fall, reports Politico.
“I take my first political breath every morning with one thought in mind — repeal Obamacare. That’s my motivation in life. This bill is something else. It is the crown jewel of socialism. President Obama, and I’m willing to say it, ushered in socialism under his watch…my opinion is we can’t shut this president down fast enough.”
– Rep. Michele Bachman (R-MN), quoted by the Missoulian.
The Des Moines Register sees a little activity in Iowa by Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin but almost none for Mike Huckabee.
“Despite their public silence, forces are in motion that could shape an Iowa strategy for Romney and lay the groundwork for a Palin campaign here. But Iowa and national strategists see few signs pointing to a sequel to Huckabee’s 2008 campaign.”
The Hotline: “Either Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) is dead serious about exploring a White House run or she’s doing a tremendous job of tricking the media into covering her like a presidential candidate, thereby boosting her national name recognition ahead of a Senate bid. Conventional wisdom still suggests Bachmann is more likely to run against Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D), but the news this week that she’s planning a trip to South Carolina later this month — which will be followed by visits to Iowa in each of the next two months — means no one can rule out a White House bid.”
Last month Senate leadership struck an unofficial, handshake deal on the chamber’s rules in which Republicans agreed to allow bills to come to the floor without a filibuster in exchange for being able to introduce whatever amendments they wanted. Now, the New York Times reports that the rules truce appears to be working, at least for the time being, with very encouraging results.
“Lawmakers said that the way the Senate is operating in its early weeks bodes well for the future, when more difficult subjects like deficit reduction await.”
Four-star Army Gen. Peter Chiarelli — the number two general in the U.S. army — “says he is absolutely not offended that Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett mistook him for a waiter at a fancy Washington dinner this week and asked him for a glass of wine,” CNN reports.
Said Chiarelli in an email: “It was an honest mistake that ANYONE could have made. She was sitting, I was standing and walking behind her and all she saw were the two stripes on my pants which were almost identical to the waiters pants — REALLY. She apologized and will come to the house for dinner if a date can be worked out in March.”
Former President George W. Bush has canceled a visit to Switzerland due to the risk of legal action against him for alleged torture, Reuters reports.
Bush was to be the keynote speaker at a Jewish charity gala in Geneva. But pressure has been building on the Swiss government to arrest him and open a criminal investigation if he enters the Alpine country.
Though there are many, many Ronald Reagan pieces this weekend, a must-read from Bruce Drake looks at his “eight years of trying to figure out the most elusive personality I ever covered in politics.”
In an interview with David Brody, Sarah Palin criticized President Obama for his handling of the situation in Egypt saying that this was his, “3am White House phone call” and, “that call went right to the answering machine.”
It’s the first time she’s talked publicly about the situation but the rest of her answer offered little about what she would do differently.
She added: “And nobody yet has, no body yet has explained to the American public what they know, and surely they know more than the rest of us know who it is who will be taking the place of Mubarak and um, no, not, not real um enthused about what it is that that’s being done on a national level and from D.C. in regards to understanding all the situation there in Egypt. And um, in these areas that are so volatile right now because obviously it’s not just Egypt but the other countries too where we are seeing uprisings, we know that now more than ever, we need strength and sound mind there in the White House. We need to know what it is that America stands for so we know who it is that America will stand with. And um, we do not have all that information yet.”
Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) told ABC News he has no interest in being Secretary of State.
A story in the Boston Globe, Kerry’s hometown newspaper, that reports Kerry “is running an unofficial campaign to become the next Secretary of State.”
Said Kerry: “I don’t know what else we can do to stop the parlor game speculation about who’s coming and who’s going. Lord knows we’ve knocked it down a thousand times over, and at a time of such challenge for American foreign policy the punditry is especially unwelcome and unhelpful.”
Unsuccessful Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Robin Carnahan (D) and Fox News have reached a settlement over her campaignn’s controversial TV ad that used on-air footage from the news network, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
“The former Senate candidate was sued by the cable network after airing a commercial that consisted almost entirely of a 2006 clip of Fox anchor Chris Wallace quizzing Republican Roy Blunt, who defeated Carnahan in the Nov. 2 election. In a federal lawsuit filed in Kansas City on Sept. 15, Fox complained that Carnahan infringed on its copyrights and misappropriated Wallace’s likeness.”
“On Friday, the two sides announced a settlement in the case, along with a mutually agreed upon statement in which the Carnahan campaign concedes the footage from Fox was used in a matter that exceeded what was ‘permitted.’ Permitted by whom is not said in the statement, which may be intentionally ambiguous so that both sides can claim some type of victory.”