POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 2/22
New York Magazine looks at recent comments by Mike Huckabee (R) about a potential 2012 bid for president and concludes that he isn’t very likely to run, despite his front-runner status.
Some of the conclusions: “Lacks Necessary Messianic Self-Delusions… Enjoys Current Job As a TV Host/Radio Commentator… Which by the Way Has Him Rolling in Cash Money… Not Confident About Beating Obama.”
New York state Assemblywoman Jane Corwin (R) was picked to be the GOP’s candidate in the special election to replace Rep. Chris Lee (R-NY) but Roll Callreports the nomination of an establishment favorite “drew an ominous warning from western New York tea party activists who immediately vowed to pursue a third-party candidate.”
“New York’s complicated election laws allow the tea party to seek a separate line on the ballot should they choose to. Specifically, the group would have to collect 3,200 signatures from 26th district residents in the 12 days after the governor formally calls for a special election.”
After losing a U.S. Senate race last year, former Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) tells theDelaware County Times he “intends to sit down and think about where he goes from here, but is in no rush to make a decision.”
Said Sestak: “I want to stay in public service of some sor. It’s broadly defined, I don’t know what that means yet. … I still want to be a part of the public dialogue and help — you know, how can you be involved and say, ‘I want to serve,’ and then all of (a) sudden, ‘No?’ You don’t just say, ‘No, I don’t want to continue.’ So I want to do something, and I’ll take the weeks and months off to figure out how best to do that.”
Mike Huckabee told CNN that Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) was the “the smartest political mind in America today” and “a sheer genius of political strategy.”
A new Gallup poll finds that between 2008 and 2010, the number of states that are lean-Democratic or strongly Democratic has decreased by more than half, from 30 to 14.
Additionally, the number of lean-Republican and strongly Republican states has doubled in that time, going from five to 10, and the number of competitive states has almost doubled, going from 10 to 18.
New York Times: “Members of Libya’s mission to the United Nations publicly repudiated Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi on Monday, calling him a genocidal war criminal responsible for mass shootings of demonstrators protesting against his four decades in power. They called upon him to resign.”
The New York Times looks at the recent austerity efforts by Republicans, from the budget standoff in Congress to the labor protests in Wisconsin, and notes that “Republicans may be risking the same kind of electoral backlash Democrats suffered after they were perceived as overreaching.”
“At the very least, the huge demonstrations in Wisconsin over Mr. Walker’s efforts suggest that the Republicans have succeeded in doing what Mr. Obama was unable to do last year: energize the Democratic base.”
Politico: “Labor hopes the public will see Walker’s attempt to use a budget gap to reshape labor-management relations as an overreach. But for many people watching from afar, the…fight is playing out as yet another in a long string of recent state-based brawls over the high cost of the public sector.”
Central Falls, RI Mayor Charles Moreau (D) “has not set foot in City Hall since July 19, the day that a state-appointed receiver took control,” the New York Timesreports.
“The state police knocked on his door that morning, he said, demanded his city-owned car and cellphone and keys to City Hall and handed him a letter announcing his salary of $71,736 was being cut to $26,000. His role was now advisory, he was informed.”
Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) will announce his primary challenge to Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) tomorrow “with the support of a majority of both the state’s 92 Republican county chairmen and its state party executive committee,” The Fix reports.
Said Mourdock: “I feel bad that he’s going to be humiliated by this list.”
“That such a large contingent of the party establishment should come out against or withhold support from an incumbent senator is highly unusual and reflects the difficult path ahead for Lugar in advance of the May 8, 2012, primary fight.”
Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi’s regime “showed more signs of crumbling as dozens were reportedly killed in the capital and Gaddafi’s son and heir-apparent declared in a televised speech that the North African nation could fall into anarchy if his father was ousted,” the Washington Post reports.
“The six-day-old uprising had reached the capital, Tripoli, with reports of buildings being set ablaze, looting in some neighborhoods, and military helicopters shooting at protesters on the ground.”
New York Times: “The revolt shaking Libya is the latest and most violent turn in a rebellion across the Arab world that seemed unthinkable just two months ago and that has already toppled autocrats in Egypt and Tunisia.”
“Our Peace Prize-winning president is very busy bowing these days to kings. He is bending down to dictators, and he is brown-nosing the elites that are in Europe, and he’s babying the jihadists who are following Sharia-compliant terrorism. He is callow and confused and inconsistent in his response to the Egyptian crisis, and to the uprisings in Iran, and to the terrorist threats. And he’s accomplishing something nobody thought even possible: He’s making Jimmy Carter look like a Rambo tough-guy.”
— Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), quoted by the Spartanburg Herald Journal during a visit to South Carolina.
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) told Radio Iowa what’s he’s weighing in order to possibly make a White House bid:
Said Barbour: “There’s a lot that enters into it. I have been political director of the White House under Ronald Reagan and I understand what I’m getting into. I’m 63 years old and this is a 10 year commitment if you run and get elected, you’re commiting yourself for reelection and so you’ve got to be prepared for a 10 year commitment and that’s the majority of the rest of my productive life and you have to decide am I willing to take on the most consuming job in the world, which the presidency is, and I have to see if I have the fire in the belly and the willingness, to the exclusion of all other things, to take that on.”
The AP notes New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) “has cut more than the state budget in his first year in office: he has also dropped a few notches in his belt.”
“He will not say exactly how much he has lost, but his suits have been getting noticeably baggy.”
Said Christie: “I’m motivated by the fact that the job is pretty stressful at times and I have four kids, so I need to be around for them. I don’t want to be in a situation where, as I get older, my health is really at risk.”
“I hate this damn job.”
— Sarah Palin, quoted by the Anchorage Daily News, in an email sent to a staffer before she resigned as governor.
On President’s Day, a new Gallup Poll finds Americans are most likely to say Ronald Reagan was the nation’s greatest president — slightly ahead of Abraham Lincoln and Bill Clinton.
Cheri Daniels, the wife of Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (R), is not sure whether she wants her husband to run for President, reports the Greenfield Daily Reporter.
An aide close to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) tells the Courier Post that the governor is mulling the creation of a federal fundraising committee.
Mike Huckabee tells the Washington Post that President Obama “is going to be much tougher to beat than people in our party think.”
“He’s going to have a clear ride through to the Democratic nomination, because no one is going to oppose him or challenge him. He’s going to start out with a billion dollars, no opponent, so he can save his money to the last four months. He’s got a huge social network and he has the power of the incumbency. People underestimate how sweet it is flying on Air Force One with all the trappings of the presidency.”
The Chicago Tribune profiles Valerie Jarrett, the only remaining of President Obama’s four original senior advisers when he took office.
“Long the closest personal confidante of Barack and Michelle Obama, she is steadily becoming more visible at Obama’s side… She is a consensus builder who reinforces Obama’s tendency toward centrism, but is also a voice for women and minorities in policy considerations. Her involvement in an issue has the presidential imprint. Her presence is seen as his proxy… As a measure of the trepidation she inspires, when one business leader was asked to talk about Jarrett on the record, he said: ‘It would only be good.'”
The RNC raised $5.7 million last month, its first month under new chairman Reince Priebus, Roll Call reports.
Now the bad news: The RNC still had $21.4 million in debt and only $2.1 million on hand by the end of the month.