POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 4/20

Jeb Bush Would Crush Obama in Florida

Viewpoint Florida (R) poll finds former Gov. Jeb Bush (R) would trounce President Obama in a (very) hypothetical presidential match up in the Sunshine state, 57% to 38%.

Did Republicans Just Walk Off a Cliff?

A new McClatchy-Marist poll finds Americans heavily opposed to cuts in Medicare, the government health program for the elderly, or Medicaid, the program for the poor. Voters oppose cuts to those programs by 80% to 18%. Even among conservatives, just 29% supported cuts, and 68% opposed them.

House Republicans voted nearly unanimously last week to drastically restructure and reduce those programs, while President Obama called for trimming their costs but leaving them essentially intact.

Budget Talks Will Involve Fewer Than Expected

Though President Obama had urged each congressional caucus to each name four members to the budget talks led by Vice President Biden, Politico reports that House and Senate Democrats named two and Republicans just named one each.

Wisconsin Recall Drive Makes History

More than enough signatures have been collected in an effort to recall the fourth Republican state senator in Wisconsin, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

Republicans just under a week for their signatures to trigger recall elections against Democratic senators. They have not yet submitted any.

Greg Sargent: “Here’s what this means. Presuming all four elections take place — which they all but certainly will, given the massive amounts of sigantures gathered in all four cases — Dems will have matched the amount of recalls triggered in the state’s whole previous history in less than a year.”

The GOP’s Al Sharpton

Charles Krauthammer: “Trump is the Al Sharpton of the Republican party — provocateur and clown. Unserious. I think he’s going to harm the party if he runs for the same reason that Sharpton harmed the Democrats. In the debates, he’ll be up there… like Sharpton, he’s going to monopolize the discussion, draw it away on issues that are irrelevant like Obama’s birth, and that can only hurt the party.”

Jindal Would Sign “Birther” Bill

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) vetoed a bill which would have required presidential candidates to provide a copy of their birth certificate to qualify for the presidential ballot in the state, but the New Orleans Times Picayune says Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) would sign such a measure if it reaches his desk.

Majority Backs Gay Marriage

A new CNN/Opinion Research poll finds 51% of Americans think marriages between lesbian and gay couples should be legal, while 47% said the marriages should not be recognized.

Quote of the Day

“You don’t need a charming, wavy-haired talker for a mayor. You need the toughest, canniest, most obsessive sonofabitch in town. You need someone who’s going to make it his life.”

— William Donald Schafer, who died yesterday, quoted in a great 1984 Esquireprofile, which is now online thanks to Ben Smith.

Why Palin Still Might Run for President

Jay Newton-Small: “Palin has been unusually low-key of late — she’s not putting herself out there as relentlessly as she did in 2010.  If absence makes the heart grow fonder, some distance from the spotlight might be exactly what Palin needs to recover from low approval ratings. Her true believers will be all the more thrilled if and when she launches herself back into the fray for 2012.”

Huckabee Way Ahead in Iowa

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Iowa shows Mike Huckabee remains the clear GOP frontrunner if he decides to run for president in 2012.

Huckabee leads with 27%, followed by Mitt Romney at 16%, Donald Trump at 14%, Newt Gingrich at 9%, Sarah Palin at 8%, Michele Bachmann at 6%, Ron Paul at 6% and Tim Pawlenty at 5%.

Interestingly, if Huckabee and Trump do not run, Romney leads with 25% to 15% each for Paul, Palin, and Gingrich.

Cartoon of the Day

4-19-11.jpg

Did Obama’s Speech Backfire?

First Read notes that recent polls showing a sharp drop in President Obama’s approval rate seem to confirm that his speech last week on the national debt “might not have played well. For one thing, and this is true going back to the ’08 campaign, Obama usually doesn’t get rewarded when he comes off as too partisan (even though the left loves it). More importantly, last week’s speech was on a topic — the deficit/debt — that most Americans don’t find as important as the economy/jobs.”

Why Trump Leads in the Polls

David Brooks: “Many people regard Trump as a joke and his popularity a disgrace. But he is actually riding a deep public fantasy: The hunger for the ultimate blowhard who can lead us through dark times.”

Cameron Hints He May Block Brown

British prime minister David Cameron has indicated he may block former prime minister Gordon Brown from becoming head of the International Monetary Fund because someone who “didn’t know we had a debt problem in the UK” might not be the “best person” to run the global finance watchdog, the BBC reports.

Said Cameron: “I certainly don’t want a washed-up politician from another country. It’s important that the IMF is led by someone extraordinarily competent.”

How Trump Could Avoid Disclosing His Finances

The key moment in determining whether Donald Trump is a serious presidential candidate will be the day he is required to file a disclosure form explaining his personal finances. But Justin Elliot finds he could delay that for many months.

“Trump would have to reveal his personal finances within 30 days of filing as an official presidential candidate with the Federal Election Commission. However, Trump could request up to two 45-day extensions beyond that deadline. If the FEC concluded he had ‘good cause’ and granted the extensions, Trump could wait up to 120 days after filing as an official candidate before submitting his personal financial disclosure.”

Schaefer Dies in Maryland

William Donald Schaefer (D), the dominant political figure of the last half-century of Maryland history, has died, the Baltimore Sun reports.

“Flamboyant but private, irascible but sentimental, quirky but hard-headed, Mr. Schaefer won immense and enduring popularity among voters for his blunt talk and passionate dedication to public service. He prided himself on saying what ordinary people were thinking — even when it went counter to prevailing political norms — but his outspokenness would eventually contribute to his ouster as comptroller in the 2006 Democratic primary.”

Republicans Don’t Like Their Candidates

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds just 43% of Republicans are satisfied with their choices in the 2012 presidential field, far below the 65% who said the same at this time in the 2008 race.

The Fix: “Put Simply: The opportunity is ripe for someone with the fiscally conservative focus of an Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels or, less likely, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, to get into the race and immediately begin winning over Republicans dissatisfied with their current options.”

GOP Hopefuls Try to Defuse Their “Fatal Flaws”

USA Today reviews the various strategies used by Republican presidential contenders to defuse the vulnerabilities that threaten their standing in the party. Denial isn’t an option anymore.

“The era of fact-checking and YouTube videos has made it more difficult to ignore or deny a past indiscretion or inconvenient policy position.”

Examples: Tim Pawlenty has apologized for previously supporting cap-and-trade legislation, Mitt Romney has tried to explain the context of his health care reform efforts in Massachusetts, Newt Gingrich has embraced religion to overcome his moral failings and Haley Barbour has suggested his career as a lobbyist would actually make him a better president.

Trump’s Conditions on Financial Disclosure

Many think the financial disclosures required to run for president will ultimately keep Donald Trump on the sidelines, but in an interview with ABC News he set a possible condition.

Said Trump: “Maybe I’m going to do the tax returns when Obama does his birth certificate…I’d love to give my tax returns. I may tie my tax returns into Obama’s birth certificate.”

Paul Files for Re-Election

Just three months after taking office, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has already filed to seek re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2016, the AP reports.

Obama Struggles But Republicans Gain No Traction

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds President Obama’s approval rating falling and virtually all of the possible Republican presidential challengers struggling to gain traction. Obama’s net approval has fallen by nine points in the past month, from 51% approving and 45% disapproving in March to 47% to 50% now.

Meanwhile, none of the potential GOP hopefuls polled gets more than 20% of Republican leaners’ support. Mitt Romney leads with 16% support, but 12% of Republican leaners choose none of the above. Donald Trump comes in a distant second with 8%, followed by Mike Huckabee with 6%, Sarah Palin with 5%, and a cluster of Republicans with 2% or 1% support each.

Key finding: Obama still leads in every hypothetical general election contest that was polled. Only Mitt Romney comes within five points, getting 45% to Obama’s 49%, while Mike Huckabee trails Obama by six, 50% to 44%. Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty all trail Obama by double digits.

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One Comment on “POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 4/20”

  1. Kevin Says:

    Hey how about the Tom Coburn and John Ensign presidential ticket, it represents what the GOP is, rather than what they profess to be. But I guess it would be like the Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump presidential ticket, right?


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