POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 5/31

Cartoon of the Day

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Career Executives Give Low Marks to Obama Appointees

A new Government Executive survey shows strained relationships between senior career federal managers and the political appointees they work with.

“In the survey, respondents rated Obama appointees lower than those in previous administrations. Obama appointees earned a C average, or 2.0, compared with a 2.3 for those in the George W. Bush and Clinton administrations. More than 30 percent gave Obama appointees a D or an F for overall job performance, while only 20 percent awarded past appointees such low marks.”

The Epicenter of the Cold War

In the mail: Berlin 1961 by Frederick Kempe.

From the author: “I want Americans to understand how the decisions of their presidents — then and now — shape world history in ways we don’t always understand at the time of a specific event. I want readers to know that Kennedy could have prevented the Berlin Wall, if he had wished, and that in acquiescing to the border closure he not only created a more dangerous situation — but also contributed to mortgaging the future for tens of millions of Central and Eastern Europeans. The relatively small decisions that U.S. presidents make have huge, often global, consequences.”

 

Ryan Sought Blue Dog Support

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) met with leaders of the 26-member Blue Dog Coalition of fiscally conservative Democrats in early April in an unsuccessful effort to gain their support for his budget proposal, reports The Hill.

Said Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR), the Blue Dog’s communication chair, “we quickly realized that the difference were too great… I’ll never vote to privatize social security or Medicare.”

 

Daniels Insists He Could Have Beaten Obama

Just a week after declining a run for president at the wishes of his family, Mitch Daniels (R) told ABC News that he could have beaten President Obama in 2012.

Said Daniels: “Yes, I think so. I mean, no one can know.”

“It was uncomfortable to feel two duties that I am very passionate about. But in the end, it wasn’t really any question which came first to me.”

 

Obama Comforts from Abroad

As President Obama prepared to speak at a memorial service for the victims of the deadly tornado in Joplin, Missouri, The Hill noted that “Obama, not typically regarded as a politician gifted with Clinton-esque empathy, has been playing the role of comforter-in-chief more and more in recent months.”

“Despite the president’s travel abroad, both he and the White House have made it clear that Obama has been closely monitoring the situation in Joplin and other parts of the MidWest… Throughout the early days of the trip, Obama mentioned the catastrophe repeatedly, receiving the condolences and well wishes of foreign leaders and making a statement from Ireland about the tornado.”

Do Early Polls Mean Anything?

Taking issue with Nate Silver and others, John Sides posts a nice chart which essentially shows that polls 300 days out from a presidential election have very little predictive value. They begin to have a little more predictive power during the next 3 months or so — when the eventual nominees are becoming better known during the primaries — and then increase more sharply again in the 3 months before the election, when the general election campaign is underway.

Jonathan Bernstein: “The only two things to watch, this far out, are: Indicators about the state of the economy, especially how it will likely look next year; and Obama’s approval ratings, which incorporate both economic factors and anything else that matters to people. When it comes to predicting who’s going to win in the end, nothing else really counts.”

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