POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 4/29

Romney Leads in Poll of GOP Contenders

Though several other recent surveys have shown Donald Trump surging into the lead of potential Republican presidential candidates, a new Fox News poll finds Mitt Romney in front with 19%, followed by Mike Huckabee at 17%, Sarah Palin at 9%, Trump at 8%, Newt Gingrich at 7% and Ron Paul at 7%.

Network Not Commenting on Trump’s Plans

NBC declined to say whether Donald Trump has committed to another season ofCelebrity Apprentice, the AP reports.

The television network will formally announce its 2011-12 season schedule on May 16 and likely already knows if the show and Trump will return.

Earlier this month, NBC executives were reportedly “unconcerned” that Trump might leave his show to run for president.

Is the Debt Limit Unconstitutional?

Garrett Epps makes the case that the debt limit set by Congress violates the 14th Amendment which directs that “the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.”

In short: “This provision makes clear that both the monies our nation owes to bondholders, and the sums promised in legislation to those receiving pensions set by law from the federal government, must be paid regardless of the political whims of the current congressional majority. All obligations that the nation has undertaken by drawing on its credit must at all times be rendered current.”

Obama’s iPad

A newly-released White House photo shows an iPad on President Obama’s desk in the Oval Office. Another photo shows him walking with an iPad tucked under his arm.


Another Wisconsin Lawmaker Likely Faces Recall

The ninth drive to get enough signatures to force a recall election of a Wisconsin state senator has apparently succeeded, NBC News reports.

Of the nine recall efforts, six target Republican state senators and three target Democratic state senators. Three other recall campaigns aimed at Democrats failed to collect the required number of signatures.

The Milawaukee Journal Sentinel reports the recall elections would probably be held on July 12.

No Decision for Daniels this Weekend

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) slapped down speculation he might soon announce a presidential bid telling the Indianapolis Star that “it absolutely won’t be (announced this weekend) because you can’t announce a decision you haven’t made.”

Why Are So Few Willing to Challenge Obama?

Mark Halperin: “Most Republican brainiacs fear that potent GOP talking points about high gas prices, health care quagmires and stubborn unemployment will evaporate in the face of Obama’s fundraising and political talent and the advantages of incumbency. Running for President often means giving up your day job, and it always means unrelenting (and possibly life-changing) scrubbing from political opponents and the media. The pending decisions of Daniels and Huckabee will tell us a lot about whether the Republican Party truly thinks Obama can be toppled.”

Manchin Seems in Good Shape

A new Public Policy Polling survey in West Virgina finds Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) leading Shelley Moore Capito (R) in a possible 2012 match up, 48% to 40%, a margin similar to that he had over John Raese (R) in last year’s special election.

Cuomo’s Highly-Disciplined Team

The New York Times seems at a loss after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) first full-scale cabinet meeting, which it calls “a bizarre spectacle even by Albany standards.”

“At least one order of business was accomplished at the 90-minute meeting: the cabinet members all agreed they have nothing but deep affection for Mr. Cuomo… the governor’s cabinet members emerged one at a time from Mr. Cuomo’s ceremonial office into a scrum of television cameras. Each time, they refused to discuss the meeting. And then, as if reading from the same Hallmark greeting card, they praised Mr. Cuomo.”

“And at a news conference a few hours later, Mr. Cuomo himself did not seem eager to discuss the session. Asked if there was a specific reason that he convened the session, he replied, ‘No.’ He did not elaborate.”

Bad Timing?

It will be interesting to see how well Jerome Corsi’s Where’s the Birth Certificate? sells now.
Even though the book doesn’t come out until May 17 it’s currently one of Amazon’s bestsellers.

Cartoon of the Day

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Obama’s Handling of Economy Hits All Time Low

A new McClatchy-Marist Poll finds that just 40% of Americans approve of how President Obama is dealing with the economy while 57% disapprove — the lowest marks of his presidency.

The Survivor

Time profiles FBI Director Robert Mueller:

“As he nears the end of a 10-year term, Mueller, 66, is easily the longest-serving of his peers atop the national-security establishment. His anonymity in the role is almost a parlor trick. He remade the bureau in his image, pushed out the old guard and hired more than half its present cohort. Behind the scenes, he fought historic battles with the White House, twice compelling George W. Bush to change course under threat that Mueller would resign. Yet he is so careful to dodge the spotlight, so rigorously bland when caught onstage, that he could drink unrecognized at any bar in America.”

No Future for Angle

Public Policy Polling tested how Sharron Angle (R) might fare in a statewide U.S. Senate primary in Nevada against Dean Heller (R) and found she would lose by a whopping 76 points, 84% to 8%.

For comparison, Heller barely beat Angle in a 2006 congressional primary, 36% to 35%.

PPP’s conclusion: “Angle’s days as anything other than a side show in Nevada politics are probably over.”

Trump Leads Republican Field

A new Rasmussen survey finds Donald Trump leading the GOP presidential pack with 19%, followed by Mitt Romney at 17%, Mike Huckabee at 15%, Newt Gingrich at 9%, Sarah Palin at 9% and Ron Paul at 8%.

When the Fringe is the Base

John Avlon: “The birther conspiracy theory should now be placed on the ash heap of presidential derangement syndromes that date back to at least the John Birch Society’s founder declaring President Dwight David Eisenhower a ‘dedicated, conscious agent of the communist conspiracy’ — or, a Soviet spy. The sad difference is that back then William F. Buckley had the decency to denounce that fringe fear-mongering because he realized that it could discredit the entire conservative movement. Today, because the fringe is blurring with the base, conservative leaders seem afraid to confront the unhinged extremists in their midst.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“I’ve come to New Hampshire today because I’m very concerned. I want to see the original long-form certificate of Donald Trump’s Republican registration.”

— Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), quoted by the New York Times.

Economy Slows

The U.S. economy “hit the brakes in the first three months of 2011 as higher prices, especially for gasoline and food, squeezed spending by Americans,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

GDP rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.8% in the first quarter, a significant slowdown from the 3.1% increase in the fourth quarter.

Santorum Claims Obama Not Fighting “Militant Socialism”

In prepared remarks given in advance to the Associated Press, Rick Santorum says the United States is shirking its responsibility to fight “militant socialism.”

However, an earlier version of the speech used the term “godless socialism” which was changed without explanation.

News Lost in Birth Certificate Frenzy

First Read notes just how many significant stories were overshadowed by President Obama’s birth certificate release yesterday.

“Birth Certificate Day, of course, overshadowed a bigger story that will actually impact U.S. lives: the news of Obama’s new national security team, which includes a lot of familiar faces… there was Bernanke’s first press conference and the announcement that the Fed’s $600 billion bond purchase will end in June and that interest rates will remain low for a while longer. There was the news that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to hold a Senate vote on the House budget plan (which means that Dean Heller will have to vote for it again). And there was the story about some rowdy GOP town halls, especially in senior-rich Florida.”

Vicious Vintage Campaign Buttons

Think our current politics is ugly? Collectors Weekly looks at some historical campaign buttons that went right for the throat, from calling Richard Nixon a “Faker Quaker” to joking about Jimmy Carter’s mother and her “boobs.”

Schieffer Calls Trump a Racist

Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer appeared on The CBS Evening News last night and blasted Donald Trump’s recent suggestion that President Obama might not have had the grades to get into Harvard Law School, TMZ reports.

Said Schieffer: “That’s just code for saying he got into law school because he’s black. This is an ugly strain of racism that’s running through this whole thing.”

Quote of the Day

“I gotta tell you something: if you support Medicare the way it is now, you can kiss the United States of America goodbye.”

— Rep. Allen West (R-FL), quoted by WPTV-TV.

Large Number Still Have Doubts on Obama Birthplace

A new SurveyUSA poll finds that of those who have seen President Obama’s newly-released detailed birth certificate, 71% are satisfied that he was born in the United States but 18% still have doubts and another 10% say the document released by the White House is a forgery.

Daniels’ Big Decision

While Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) considers whether he wants to launch a presidential bid, the state legislature may have made his decision a bit more explicit by sending Daniels, who has called for a “truce” on social issues, a controversial bill placing restrictions on abortions and cutting funding to Planned Parenthood, according to The Hotline.

“Getting a read on Daniels’ decision is difficult: Despite his consistently conservative record, Daniels has consistently rejected the rigid ideology embodied by some members of his party. And after taking a beating for his ‘truce’ proposal, he boldly doubled down on the idea during his speech to CPAC.”

“On the other hand, Daniels is too politically savvy not to recognize the importance of evangelicals and social conservatives to the campaign of any presidential candidate vying for the GOP nomination.”

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