POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 2/23

Palin Has a Secret Facebook Identity

While reading a staffer’s leaked memoir of working with Sarah Palin, Wonkette found the former Alaska governor’s personal Gmail address.

“We searched for this address on Facebook, the way millions of people search for people on Facebook every day, and it appears that Palin keeps a second Facebook account.”

The email address links to a Facebook page for ‘Lou Sarah‘ — Sarah Palin’s middle name is “Louise” — which is just a bunch of praise and “Likes” for the things Sarah Palin likes and writes on her other Sarah Palin Facebook page.

Who Gains by Thune Not Running?

David Frum: “If you work on the assumption that the 2012 GOP nomination contest is a battle between Romney and not-Romney, John Thune’s departure helps Romney by removing a plausible candidate who is not Romney.”

“If you think Romney is already terminally wounded, then Thune’s departure helps the best organized of the not-Romney alternatives: Tim Pawlenty.”

“If you think that Republican primary voters are struggling to find a candidate who is 100% conservative but also free from the baggage carried by Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich, that mission just got a lot harder.”

Daniels Wants to Drop Bill That Forced Democrats to Flee

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) signaled that Republicans “should to drop the right-to-work bill that has brought the Indiana House to a standstill for two days and imperiled other measures,” the Indianapolis Star reports.

Daniels told reporters that “he expects House Democrats will return to work if the bill dies. It would be unfortunate if other bills are caught up in the turmoil, he said.”

He also said he will not send out state police to corral the Democrats who fled to prevent a quorum in the state House.

Reid Wants to Outlaw Prostitution in Nevada

In a speech to the Nevada legislature, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) called for “an adult conversation” about prostitution in the state “saying it is an impediment to economic development because it discourages businesses from moving here,” the Las Vegas Sun reports.

Said Reid: “Nevada needs to be known as the first place for innovation and investment — not as the last place where prostitution is still legal.”

Public Opposes Limiting Union Power

A new USA Today/Gallup poll finds the public strongly opposes laws taking away the collective bargaining power of public employee unions as a way to ease state financial troubles: 61% would oppose a law in their state similar to one being considered in Wisconsin, compared with 33% who would favor such a law.

The Rogue

Coming in September: The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin by Joe McGinniss.

You’ll recall that McGinniss rented the house next door to the Palin family in Wasilla, Alaksa in order to conduct research for the book forcing Palin to put up a big fence to prevent snooping.

Extra Bonus Quote of the Day

“I’m not one of those politicians who thinks that because I’m in public office, I have to be nice all the time. If you’re not nice to me, I’m not going to be nice to you.”

— New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), in an interview on Fox News.

How to Tell if Daniels is Running

First Read notes that Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels’ (R) comments at the Conservative Political Action Conference may force him to tip his hand about his presidential considerations, depending on his decision to endorse or not endorse in the looming Republican primary for the Indiana U.S. Senate seat between incumbent Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock.

At the time, Daniels noted that “big change requires big majorities.”

“That sounds like a Mitch Daniels who, if he’s privately for Lugar, will be unafraid to support him publicly. Then again, if Daniels does remain neutral, it does tell you he’s interested in higher office running from within the GOP.”

Reagan Endorses Barbour

Ben Smith found the prized video clip of Ronald Reagan endorsing Haley Barbour in his 1982 U.S. Senate campaign — which almost certainly will be made into a campaign ad if Barbour runs for president in 2012.

In many ways it’s the Republican equivalent of the video Bill Clinton showed at the 1992 Democratic convention of him shaking hands with President John F. Kennedy as a teenager.

See more…

More Lawmakers Flee to Illinois

The Indianapolis Star reports that Democrats in Indiana’s state House may be fleeing the state to block legislation that would limit the power of unions.

“Today’s fight was triggered by Republicans pushing a bill that would bar unions and companies from negotiating a contract that requires non-union members to kick-in fees for representation. It’s become the latest in what is becoming a national fight over Republican attempts to eliminate or limit collective bargaining. With only 58 legislators present, there was no quorum present to do business. The House needs 67 of its members to be present.”

They may have fled to Illinois, as the choice of state is key: “They need to go to a state with a Democratic governor to avoid being taken into police custody and returned to Indiana.”

Front and center, of course, is the battle in Wisconsin, where state Democrats have also fled and are in hiding.

Bonus Quote of the Day

“Muammar Gaddafi is not a normal person that you can poison.”

— Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, in a defiant statement vowing to “fight to the last drop of blood.”

Thune Will Not Run for President

Sen. John Thune (R-SD) announced that he would not run for president in 2012.

“There is a battle to be waged over what kind of country we are going to leave our children and grandchildren and that battle is happening now in Washington, not two years from now. So at this time, I feel that I am best positioned to fight for America’s future here in the trenches of the United States Senate.”

What States Have the Longest-Serving Senators?

Smart Politics finds that the senators from Hawaii (68.2 years) and Iowa (56.2 years) are far and away the most seasoned in the 100-member body.

In fact, Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) has notched a longer tenure in the Senate (48.1 years) than the combined service from both delegation members of every single state in the nation with the exception of Iowa.

Did Hanna Plagiarize?

A reader notes that a recent op-ed by Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY) in the Syracuse Post-Standard explaining his vote against extending provisions of the Patriot Act has significant passages that appear to be lifted directly from a Cato Institute piece by Julian Sanchez.

Last year the National Interest noted other instances of Hanna cribbing from the Cato Institute.

Conservatism for Dummies

Mike Huckabee’s new book, A Simple Government, reads like Conservatism for Dummies, says a National Journal review.

“Part manifesto and part how-two manual, it provides a step-by-step guide to applying conservative principles to executing the responsibilities of the federal government… Huckabee manages to make his case while maintaining his image as the most likable of Obama’s potential Republican opponents.”

Less Educated Whites Especially Pessimistic

A new Kaiser/Harvard/Washington Post poll finds less educated white people have “a particularly dark view of the economy and the financial future. Whites without college degrees also are the most apt to blame Washington for the problems, and are exceedingly harsh in their judgment of the Obama administration and its economic policies.”

The demographic group is “often considered a bellwether of the political ramifications of economic woes.”

Differing Strategies

Ezra Klein: “Republicans and Democrats, it seems, govern rather differently. Republicans are proving themselves willing to do what liberals long wanted the Obama administration to do: Play hardball. Refuse compromise. Risk severe consequences that they’ll attempt to blame on their opponent. The Obama administration’s answer to this was always that it was important to be seen as the reasonable actor in the drama, to occupy some space known as the middle, and to avoid, so much as possible, the appearance of dramatic overreach. This is as close as we’re likely to come to a test of that theory. In two cases, Republicans have chosen a hardline and are refusing significant compromise, even at the risk of terrible consequences. Will the public turn on them for overreach? Applaud their strength and conviction? Or not really care one way or the other, at least by the time the next election rolls around?”

Texas Senate Race Wide Open

A new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll finds David Dewhurst (R) leading the Republican race for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) with 27%, followed by Michael Williams (R) at 5% and several other potential candidates with even less support.

On the Democratic side, Chris Bell (D) leads with 16%, followed by Chet Edwards (D) at 13% and John Sharp (D) at 12%.

Huntsman Gears Up

U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman (R) launched an unorthodox but very creative website for his new political action committee with the slogan “Maybe Someday.”

The site doesn’t mention Huntsman or his rumored presidential bid but promises to “elect a new generation of conservative candidates for local and state offices all across America.”

Gingrich Accuses Obama of “Conspiracy of Silence”

In a Fox News interview, Newt Gingrich accused the Obama administration of not standing up to countries hostile to the United States.

Said Gingrich: “There’s almost a conspiracy of silence if it’s an anti-American government. If you’re the Iranians, if you’re the Libyans — for that matter — if you’re the Chinese, you are able to suppress your people, and the American government stays quiet.”

Wu Sought Treatment for Mental Health

Rep. David Wu (D-OR) told ABC News that he’s had medical help amid reports of hisbizarre behavior.

Said Wu: “Last October was not a good month. It was very stressful. I did some things, I said some things, which I sincerely regret now. And as a result of those things, I saw fit to consult professional help. I got the help I needed then. I’m continuing to consult medical help as I need it, and I’m in a good place now.”

See more…

Quote of the Day

“No, I’m a Republican from Massachusetts. I’m not a Tea Party member.”

— Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), when asked by USA Today whether identifies as a member of the Tea Party movement.

Huckabee Ties Obama in Potential Match Up

Anew Newsweek/Daily Beast poll finds Mike Huckabee in a dead heat with President Obama in a potential 2012 presidential race, 46% to 46%.

In other match ups, Obama edges Mitt Romney, 49% to 47%, beats Donald Trump, 43% to 40%, and tops Sarah Palin, 51% to 40%.

Why Palin Wears Glasses

A great nugget from the leaked book by a former top aide to Sarah Palin, courtesy ofJosh Green: Even though Palin had Lasik surgery to correct her vision, she still wears glasses to “look smarter.”

Another one from of Politico: The former Alaska governor didn’t even support her own eventual ticket-mate in the GOP presidential primary, saying in a January 2008 email: “Huck’s a good pick for me, just fyi.”

Close Race to Replace Harman

A new Progressive Change Campaign Committee poll in California’s 36th congressional district shows California Secretary of State Debra Bowen (D) leading Janice Hahn (D) by 4 points in the race to replace Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), who will make her resignation official next week.

McDonnell Would Take Veep Offer

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) told NBC12 that it would “probably” be difficult for him to turn down an offer to run as the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2012.

“McDonnell made the most convincing move toward positioning himself as a national candidate as he ever has before. Not only did McDonnell find time to dine with Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty in the past two weeks, an almost certain candidate for president, he also minced no words in his criticism of the Obama administration… He then reiterated his consistent position that he is focused on being Governor and is not looking to jump on a national ticket. It seems clear though, McDonnell will be ready to jump, if the call is made.”

Rangel Offers Tax Advice

Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) just emailed his latest “Rangel Report” featuring tax advice for constituents despite being censured by the House for ethics violations which included failing to pay taxes, the New York Daily News reports.

Palin Show Received Public Funding

The company that produced Sarah Palin’s Alaska, the TLC show starring the former vice presidential nominee, is set to receive $1.2 million in state subsidies, according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

The funding has led to criticism that then-Gov. Palin may have approved of tax credits for programs filmed in Alaska as a way of boosting her profile in the future. The subsidies under the law run until 2013.

Wisconsin Republicans to Move Other Legislation

With Wisconsin “braced for another week of protests and deadlock over a budget bill that would severely restrict public employees’ unions here,” the New York Timesreports Republicans in the state Senate announced that the body would resume consideration of other matters.

“The move seemed intended to increase the discomfort of the Democratic state senators who have fled the state as a way of preventing a vote on the union legislation. Starting Tuesday, those senators, who are in Illinois, will have to watch from afar as Republicans continue the work of governing without them, taking up matters from the mundane to the controversial.”

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel notes Republicans may “force a vote soon on a bill that is abhorred by Democrats: requiring people to show an ID at the polls.”

A quorum of 20 votes is needed for lawmakers to take up fiscal matters, but just 17 votes on other matters. Republicans hold 19 senate seats.

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