POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 5/2

Obama Beats Romney in National Match Up

A new Economist/YouGov poll finds President Obama well ahead of Mitt Romney in a possible 2012 general election match up, 46% to 37%.

For what it’s worth, Obama also crushes Donald Trump, 49% to 32%, and trounces Sarah Palin, 52% to 34%.

Iowa Republicans Want Someone Else

A new University of Iowa Hawkeye poll finds 26% of Republicans surveyed want “someone else” to be their party’s nominee in 2012.

While another 11% were not sure whom they would pick, 16% said they would choose Mike Huckabee, 15% would choose Mitt Romney, and 10% would choose Sarah Palin.

Wealthy Lawmaker Claims to be Struggling

Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT), estimated by Roll Call to be the 23rd richest member of Congress with a self-reported net worth of between $6,598,014 and $56,244,998,told an audience member at a town hall meeting that he was “struggling like everyone else.”

Said Rehberg: “I’m a small businessman. My wife is a small businessman. You know she hasn’t taken a salary in ten years? She has not, as a result of the business, because we are struggling like everyone else… with the economy.”

Rehberg is currently running for the GOP nomination to challenge Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) next year.

Bonus Cartoon of the Day

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Bonus Quote of the Day

“I know he’s taken some flak lately, but no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald. And that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter, like: Did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?”

— President Obama, speaking at the White House Correspondents Association dinner, ripping Donald Trump over various conspiracy theories.

Obama to Host Bipartisan Dinner for Lawmakers

Sources tell ABC News that President and First Lady Obama will host a dinner on Monday night at the White House with the bipartisan leadership of Congress, as well as the chairmen and ranking members of House and Senate committees.

Iraq’s Elvis

It seems some Iraqis think Saddam Hussein might still be alive.

New York Times: “Since the former dictator’s execution in December 2006, numerous conspiracy theories of the Elvis variety have percolated. And with precision timing on the eve of Mr. Hussein’s birthday, a new YouTube video landed that depicted an actual recent phone call between a member of Iraq’s Parliament and a man who claimed to be Mr. Hussein, whose voice and inflection so resembled that of the former dictator’s that it even gave pause to those who are convinced that Mr. Hussein is dead.”

Obama Taps Finance Chair

U.S. ambassador to Sweden Matthew Barzun will give up his diplomatic post to become national finance chairman for President Obama’s re-election and oversee what could be the country’s first $1 billion White House campaign, the Boston Globereports.

Congressman Takes Credit for Health Reform Project

Three months after voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) sent a staff member to a “groundbreaking ceremony to hand over nearly $4.5 million in grant money — entirely funded by the Affordable Care Act — for the construction of a community health clinic in Cumberland County, Tennessee,”ThinkProgress reports.

The staffer even posed for a photo-op with a giant ceremonial check to local officials.

Cartoon of the Day

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Lawmaker Has History of Controversial Statements

Political Wire reader points out that Oklahoma state Rep. Sally Kern (R), who recently claimed that minorities don’t work hard in school, made national headlines a few years ago when she said that homosexuality is a bigger threat to national security than terrorism.

ABC News reported at the time that Kern said that “the homosexual agenda is just destroying this nation” and that “Studies show no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted more than a few decades.”

Pointing the Finger on the Economy

Lee Miringoff: “I must admit to being surprised by the 63% of the national electorate in the latest McClatchy-Marist Poll who still thinks that President Obama largely inherited the country’s economic woes. The percentage is down from the 80% who expressed this view two years ago. But, you’d think that by now more of the recession minded voters would be placing their displeasure at the doorsteps of the current occupant of the White House. If these numbers hold as the president swings into campaign mode, expect Obama to mention it every now and then.”

Quote of the Day

“We won’t be boxed in by a double standard.”

— Former Obama aides Bill Burton and Sean Sweeney, quoted by NBC News, on why they created outside groups that can raise unlimited campaign funds without disclosing their donors.

The Beltway Deficit Feedback Loop

Greg Sargent digs into the latest McClatchy-Marist poll and notes that while the political class is focused almost exclusively on a debate over the deficit and national debt, most Americans still care about one thing: jobs.

“If the number one topic in our national conversation…is going to be the deficit, it’s terrific to hear the President making an expansive moral case for liberal governance and contrasting it sharply with the GOP’s vision. But it’s becoming increasingly clear that all the deficit chatter is doing nothing to reassure voters about their number one concern. No one is saying the deficit isn’t a valid topic of conversation. But we’re increasing caught in a ‘Beltway Deficit Feedback Loop,’ in which the relentless bipartisan focus on that one topic to the exclusion of others is leading more and more people to tell pollsters they’re worried about it. That in turn reinforces a sense among public officials that it should continue to be their number one focus.”

How Trump Avoided Vietnam

Despite Donald Trump’s claim that he avoided serving in the Vietnam War solely due to a high draft number, the Smoking Gun uncovers Selective Service records that show he “actually received a series of student deferments while in college and then topped those off with a medical deferment after graduation that helped spare him from fighting for his country.”

New York Special Election Looks Tight

A new Siena College Poll in New York’s 26th congressional district finds a much closer special election than expected with Jane Corwin (R) leading Kathy Hochul (D) by just five points, 36% to 31%. Tea Party candidate Jack Davis gets 23% of likely voters.

Said pollster Steven Greenberg: “Three weeks is a lifetime in a tight political campaign like this, and the only thing obvious in this race is that voters are going to be inundated by commercials, mailings and campaigning.”

The Fall of the Tea Party

A new USA Today/Gallup poll shows American views of the Tea Party turning more negative since January, with 47% holding an unfavorable view of the movement and 33% holding a favorable view.

The 14-point gap is the largest since Gallup began tracking support for the Tea Party, which stood at 40% unfavorable and 37% unfavorable in March 2010 and remained relatively stable until this latest poll.

Boehner’s challenge: “The data reviewed here demonstrate the nature of the political challenges Republican congressional leadership faces in responding to Tea Party-supported members. A majority of rank-and-file Republicans nationwide give the Tea Party favorable ratings, but a sizable minority say their opinion is unfavorable or do not classify themselves as supporters.”

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