POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 5/23

Previewing Pawlenty’s Formal Announcement

Exploratory announcements and pre-announcements of formal announcements of presidential campaigns are never enough, so Tim Pawlenty released a video previewof his real announcement scheduled for tomorrow.

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Why Foreign Aid Can Work

Bill Gates reviews Getting Better: Why Global Development Is Succeeding — and How We Can Improve the World Even More by Charles Kenny:

“Stepping into the public square to announce that foreign aid is important and effective can be lonely work. As someone who has attempted to make that case over the past decade, I can assure you that the world is often eager to hear just the opposite. But aid money can and does work. It improves people’s lives and makes the world a better and safer place. Fortunately, an elegant and deeply researched new book has come along to reframe the debate and tip it, I hope, in a new direction.”

Another Poll Has Hochul Leading in NY-26

Following yesterday’s surprise Siena poll showing Kathy Hochul (D) ahead of Jane Corwin (R) by four points in Tuesdays’ NY-26 special election, Political Wire has learned that a forthcoming Public Policy Polling survey will also show Hochul with the lead.

Poll Watch Daily: “Special elections for congressional seats left open by the death, retirement or resignation of the incumbent used to be sleepy affairs attracting little attention, but against the backdrop of highly polarized politics of recent years, some of them have ended up being dominated by national issues and watched closely to see whether public sentiment was running for or against one of the two major parties.”

Huntsman Courts Bushies

Former President George H.W. Bush will have lunch with Jon Huntsman on Monday in Kennebunkport, Maine. With Mitch Daniels not running for president, the Bush political circle — political and policy advisers, campaign funders and two former presidents — still does not have a candidate for the 2012 presidential race.

Mark Halperin: “Huntsman might end up being the consensus BushWorld candidate. Within the Republican Party, that remains the largest source of nomination throw-weight out there. Huntsman is playing an aggressive inside game, mirroring his long weekend in New England with many public events. Over the next few weeks, he will go from coast-to-coast doing more prospecting for campaign cash. And BushWorld is watching closely. The semiotics and symbolism of giving Huntsman a Kennebunkport audience are not lost on the very sophisticated Bushes.”

Ryan Leaves Opening for White House Bid

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) told Meet the Press that he’s not running for president but he did keep the door open slightly.

Said Ryan: “I’m not running for president. It’s not my plan. My plan is to be a good chairman of the House Budget Committee and fight for the fiscal sanity of this nation.”

However, he added: “You never know what opportunities present themselves way down the road — I’m not talking about right now. And I want to focus on fixing the fiscal problems of this country.”

Did Palin Buy a Home in Arizona?

The Arizona Republic notes that rumors have circulated in Arizona political circles for months that Sarah Palin “was shopping for homes in Scottsdale or had already bought one.”

“A just-closed deal on a secluded luxury home in far north Scottsdale might fit the bill, and talk has begun that this may be the one. It’s an 8,000-square-foot, dark-brown stucco home with a guard gate that can keep unwanted visitors away. It has six bedrooms, five bathrooms, a six-car garage, a swimming pool and spa, and a full basement with a home theater, billiards room and wine cellar.”

“Confirmation of a Palin house purchase in Scottsdale likely would rekindle chatter about whether Palin might run a political campaign out of Arizona… She also has been mentioned as a possible candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ).”

Cartoon of the Day

5-22-11.jpg

Daniels Will Not Run for President

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels will not run for president, saying his wife and daughters vetoed that choice, the Indianapolis Star reports.

Said Daniels: “I will not be a candidate. On matters affecting us all, our family constitution gives a veto to the women’s caucus, and there is no override provision. Simply put, I find myself caught between two duties. I love my country; I love my family more.”

New York Times: “His announcement answers one of the most highly anticipated questions about the 2012 Republican campaign, but introduces new uncertainty into the race. He is the latest in a string of prominent Republicans to decline a presidential bid, leaving the field without a clear front-runner less than eight months before the first voting could begin.”

Politico: “The pressure on a handful of Republicans who’ve insisted they won’t consider running but would be potentially strong alternatives to Mitt Romney will now significantly intensify, but the ultimate beneficiaries of Daniels’s absence may be two candidates already on course to run: Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman.”Mark Halperin: “How will Romney, Pawlenty, and Huntsman divide the Establishment money bundlers who were committed to the Hoosier? Will the Establishment reach a consensus about which heavyweight they want to coax into the race?”

Goodman Holds Huge Lead for Las Vegas Mayor

A new Strategic National poll finds Carolyn Goodman has a “prohibitively large lead” over Chris Giunchigliani in the race for Las Vegas mayor as the contest comes to a close, moving out to an almost 24-point lead, 53% to 29% with 17% undecided.

Using the Death Grip to Keep Legislative Order

Gawker: “Presiding over a legislative session is hard, as Vice speaker of the Ukrainian parliament Adam Martynyuk can tell you. What do you do if someone keeps bugging you and asking to speak, the way his deputy Oleg Lyashko was doing last week? As Martynyuk shows, sometimes a nice smooth death grip is the only thing that really communicates the procedural rules.”

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Just Asking

Ezra Klein: “In 2008, Republicans nominated a candidate who’d fought the 2003 Bush tax cuts, opposed torture, sponsored the first cap-and-trade bill introduced in the Senate, flirted with joining the Democrats, passed a campaign-finance reform law, led the fight for comprehensive immigration reform and attacked the Christian Right. So why are so many commentators so certain that the heterodoxies of Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman will disqualify them?”

GOP Flirts with Unorthodox Economic Plans

“In this Republican primary season, no economic or monetary policy is too unorthodox for an electorate hungry for change,” Politico reports. “The Republican field is filled with potential candidates who have called for radical overhauls of the tax code, the abolition of the IRS, an end to the Federal Reserve central bank — and even a return to the gold standard.”

“Flirtation with deeply unorthodox economic policy is usually confined to the libertarian fringes of the Republican presidential fields (read: Ron Paul), but has increasingly bled into the mainstream. Only former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney represents the old-fashioned pro-business Republicanism of previous decades.”

Hochul Grabs Lead in NY-26

A new Siena Research poll in New York’s 26th congressional district finds Kathy Hochul (D) with a four point lead over Jane Corwin (R), 42% to 38%, with Jack Davis (I) at 12%.Key findings: 21% of likely voters name Medicare as the most important issue in the race. Of those, 74% prefer Hochul.

Red Professors, Blue Professors

According to Inside Higher Ed, a forthcoming study finds that Democratic professors are “more egalitarian” than their Republican counterparts when it comes to grading, “meaning that more of the Democratic grades are in the middle. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to award very high grades and very low grades.”

“Another key difference is that black students tend to fare better with Democrats than with Republicans.”

Popularity Plummets for New GOP Governors

John Avlon: “The cycle of over-reach and backlash is in over-drive these days — with significant implications for the 2012 presidential election. In pivotal swing-states where voters narrowly elected Republican governors in 2010 — like Florida and Ohio (with 47 electoral votes between them) — evidence of buyer’s remorse is piling up fast.”

Tea Party Rally Fizzles in South Carolina

Though as many as 2,000 people were expected at a Tea Party rally in South Carolina, just 30 showed up after Donald Trump cancelled his appearance with Gov. Nikki Haley (R), according to the Columbia State.

The picture from the rally is priceless. Hat tip: Ben Smith.

Obama Nominates Palin-Appointed Judge

President Obama has nominated Morgan Christen, an Alaska Supreme Court Justice appointed in 2009 by then-Gov. Sarah Palin, to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Anchorage Daily News reports.The nomination came on the same day that Republicans blocked the nomination of Goodwin Liu, another Obama nominee to the 9th Circuit.

DNC Raises Twice as Much as RNC

The DNC significantly outraised the RNC in April, “powered in part by millions of dollars from successful fund-raisers that featured President Obama,” the New York Times reports.

Democrats raised $12.4 million in April, more than double the $6.1 million that Republicans took in over the same month.

“The figures are an early indication of the power of the presidency to raise money. Mr. Obama has rapidly accelerated his money-raising schedule in recent months, holding multiple fund-raisers each week, sometimes dropping by two or three in a single night.”

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