POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 6/3
Josh Green: “Palin’s greatest vulnerability is the impression that she’s erratic. A well-orchestrated campaign like the one that Karl Rove rolled out for Bush ahead of the 2000 primaries could have mollified some skeptics. Like Palin, Bush was regarded as callow and not quite up to the job. Those doubts mostly vanished after a carefully arranged regimen of policy conferences, thematic speeches, and personal appeals to major GOP donors. By contrast, Palin’s support among Republicans has declined steadily since the last election. As her bus zigzags between national landmarks, trailed by an army of reporters mystified about her plans and intentions, she seems more erratic than ever.”
Rep. Thadeus McCotter (R-MI) will visit New Hampshire this weekend, according toFox News.
“McCotter has said he is interested in testing the presidential waters and joins a long list of GOP WH wannabees in the Granite state in the next few days.”
Ben Smith notes that the latest daily Gallup poll has President Obama at 53% approval and 39% disapproval, his widest spread and the first time his disapproval numbers have dipped below the 40% mark since November 15, 2009.
The first national Public Policy Polling survey since Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump announced they were not running for president in 2012 finds Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin leading the GOP pack with 16% each.
They’re followed by Tim Pawlenty at 13%, Herman Cain at 12% and Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul at 9%.
Meanwhile, Mark Blumenthal looks at Palin’s polling numbers and concludes that though her favorability ratings are down she does have a path to the GOP nomination if she runs.
“Less than an hour before Mitt Romney was to announce his second bid for the White House in New Hampshire, Sarah Palin appeared in Romney’s hometown and set about picking apart the health care plan he supported as governor of Massachusetts, suggesting it may be a fatal flaw for his candidacy,” CNN reports.
“Surrounded by reporters for several minutes while visiting the Bunker Hill monument along Boston’s Freedom Trail, Palin delivered her unvarnished opinions of the Romney heath care plan, which mandated that Massachusetts residents purchase health insurance or else face penalties.”
Palin heads up to New Hampshire later today.
“No American president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt has won a second term in office when the unemployment rate on Election Day topped 7.2%, the New York Times reports.
“Seventeen months before the next election, it is increasingly clear that President Obama must defy that trend to keep his job.”
Harry Enten agrees Democrats should be worried but his forecasting model suggests personal income is of far greater importance to Obama’s re-election hopes than the unemployment rate.
President Obama’s top lawyer at the White House “is resigning to return to private practice and represent Obama as his personal attorney and as general counsel to Obama’s re-election campaign,” the Washington Post reports.
Bob Bauer will be replaced by his top deputy, Kathy Ruemmler, a former assistant U.S. attorney best known as lead prosecutor in the Enron fraud case.
Donald Trump purchased a new Boeing 757 to replace his much smaller Boeing 727, NYC Aviation reports.
“Recent history has shown the 757 to be the standard issue campaign jet for major Presidential candidates. The two most recent Presidents, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, both flew 757s to victory in 2000 and 2008. John Kerry also darted across the country on a 757 during his 2004 run and Al Gore, who in 2000 ran for President while still in the Vice President’s office, used the US Air Force variant of the 757-the C-32-to move from one campaign stop to the next.”
“In different contexts, we tried out some different speeches, but we’ve come back to me being who I am, calling it like I see it, and letting the election rise or fall on that.”
— Tim Pawlenty, in an interview with the New York Times.
Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign operation in New Hampshire “has a gold-plated organization stocked with New Hampshire primary veterans, enjoys universal name identification and owns a bank full of political goodwill stored up through repeated visits and TLC lavished on all manner of state representatives, county commissioners and sheriffs,” according to Politico, but “Such strong positioning…is accompanied by high expectations… As with McCain four years ago, it’s difficult to envision a path to the GOP nomination for the former Massachusetts governor that doesn’t include a victory in New Hampshire.”
The game plan: “One important factor in Romney’s success is likely to be whether he can persuade the influential Union Leader newspaper to overcome its past objections to him the way they did for McCain… Romney officials note that they’re already lined up support from an array of Republicans who didn’t support their candidate in 2008… Even some skeptics concede that Team Mitt has been diligent about tending to the grassroots.”
Stephen Colbert has begun posting a series of photos on Twitter with the hashtag #ivebeenhacked, remarking for each one that “I cannot say with certitude that this is not part of my body.”
The tweets are meant to mock Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-NY) non-denial that a lewd photo posted to his Twitter feed was of him and starts with a photo of Colbert’s crotch taken during a live taping of the show.
Mike Murphy notes that while “most of the media have gone ridiculously aflutter over Sarah Palin’s latest diesel-powered tourist outing slash fan dance, a far more interesting caper is quietly unfolding in New Hampshire.”
George Pataki’s advocacy group is airing a new ad on Granite State television which is “perfectly attuned to New Hampshire’s flinty primary electorate.”
“My bet? Pataki is going to try to steal the New Hampshire primary: First, ignore all the silly inside games and get on television pronto with a good message. Move up quietly in the polls — with Mitt Romney sitting at a third of the vote, Palin unelectable and Tim Pawlenty drifting near the margin of error, Pataki could televise his way into second or third place in Granite State polls by midsummer. Then let the national media discover the Pataki surge and get bonkers about it. With that national attention, reboot the once massive Pataki money machine in New York State and start attracting more national money and support. Light the right match, and if it combusts correctly, stand back and watch the fire grow.”
A National Journal poll of Democratic insiders found Mitt Romney viewed as the biggest threat to President Obama by 27%, followed closely by Jon Huntsman at 25%, Tim Pawlenty at 20%, Chris Christie at 11%, and Rick Perry at 5%.
First Read looks back at Mitt Romney’s announcement of a presidential bid last cycle.
“Four years ago, it was in Michigan (his original home state), where the backdrop consisted of automotive innovations (and where he walked out to Billy Ocean’s “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car“). This time, it’s at a picnic/barbeque in New Hampshire (what’s become an adopted home state). Four years ago, Romney was wearing a suit and a tie. This time, he’ll likely keep his more casual look. And four years ago, the message was heavy on social conservatism (stressing the importance of family, the sanctity of human life, and securing the borders). This time, it will be about his background and Barack Obama.”
“Here’s Romney’s biggest question, and it’s bigger than the individual mandate: Who, exactly, is Romney? Is he the liberal Republican who supported abortion rights in 1994? Is he the pragmatist who got elected governor of Massachusetts and signed one of the most famous health-care laws in the land? Is he the social conservative who went all-in in Iowa but failed to win? Or is he business executive with unrelenting criticism at the Obama administration?”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told ABC News in an exclusive interview that Democrats “have a very good chance of winning the House” majority in the 2012 elections, pointing to Medicare as the issue that could propel her party back into control.
Said Pelosi: “We just take it, as I say to the members, one day, one good day, one good week, one good month, one good quarter at a time.”
“Asked directly whether she thinks she will be elected speaker again, Pelosi pointed to 63 congressional districts that President Obama carried in 2008 that are now held by Republicans. House Democrats need to win just 24 of those seats to regain control of the House.”
A presentation from pollster Stan Greenberg shows voter confidence on jobs and the economy shifting from a 38 to 46 percent advantage for Republicans to a 42 to 41 percent advantage for Democrats, but concludes that “Democrats need a forward-looking message for 2012, and can’t try to relitigate 2008,” according to Politico.
Said Greenberg: “Paradoxically, Democrats must forget the past and the financial crisis. That is counter-intuitive and painful because conservative policies were so destructive and Democrats did right and brave things. Voters understand this more than you appreciate, but that is at least three years ago now, and voters think a focus on that misses the country’s urgent current reality. They want to serious plans, not triumphalism about jobs reports.”
The Denver Post reports that key fundraisers for President Obama are being asked to raise $60 million for the president’s campaign and the Democratic Party by the end of June.
“Two people familiar with the fundraising goal said it was part of a presentation in Chicago on Wednesday to top Democratic fundraisers… Obama raised $750 million in 2008, and his advisers have privately told donors that they hope to match the amount or exceed it.”
Perspective: The total, if raised exclusively for the president’s coffers, would surpass President Obama’s $59 million haul over two fundraising quarters at the start of the 2007-2008 campaign.
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich admitted that his own profane description of Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat was the “phrase heard around the world,” theChicago Sun Times reports.
But he stumbled badly when finally given the chance in his corruption trial to explain his notorious “It’s fuckin’ golden” comment caught on federal wiretaps.
Said Blagojevich: “I’m afraid to answer this, but I’m not quite sure how to answer it … Well, that’s the, that’s, uh, the Senate seat. I was saying that this opportunity is effin’ golden, and that’s what I was saying, and I don’t want to give it up for nothing, so we had these discussions.”
Mark Halperin: “Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. All the delays and distractions make it harder for Romney’s would-be rivals to catch him in the GOP race. Obama is helped too, because anything that adds to the GOP carnival elevates the President. In some of the most basic areas of politics — opposition research, staff selection, field operations, surrogates — the Obama-Biden re-election campaign has already built up a huge lead. The longer it takes the Republicans to find a nominee, the wider that gap will grow.”
Mitt Romney “will highlight his economic experience while taking direct aim at President Obama today in a sweeping announcement that he’s jumping into the 2012 presidential race,” the Boston Herald reports.
According to prepared remarks, Romney will say Obama has failed. “We didn’t know what sort of a president he would make. It was a moment of crisis for our economy, and when Barack Obama came to office, we wished him well and hoped for the best. Now, in the third year of his four-year term, we have more than promises and slogans to go by.”
Mark Halperin: “Romney needs a new narrative and he needs it Thursday. His announcement event is one of the few times in all of 2011 when he will have control of the stage. There are so many things he needs to achieve in this one speech, but I would say the main one is to come off as likable — as the kind of person Americans would rather see in the White House for four years, more than Barack Obama. Don’t expect a necktie; do expect Ann Romney to be front and center.”
Sarah Palin’s “mystery tour/summer vacation/media scavenger hunt rolled into Boston last night, putting the former Alaska governor on a potential collision course with her possible Republican presidential rival, Mitt Romney, who is set to announce his second bid for the White House in New Hampshire today,” the Boston Globereports.
John DiStaso reports Palin’s staff “has reached out to a number of New Hampshire Republicans for a clambake on New Hampshire’s Seacoast.”
First Read: “Still, Palin is the actual physical evidence that Romney, while the front-runner, is fragile. But history suggests Romney will be the nominee — not since Goldwater in ’64 has the party nominated someone who had never RUN for president before or wasn’t the incumbent (Ford) or wasn’t the son of a former president (Dubya). And that’s why what Palin is doing to Romney today is potentially so damaging. It doesn’t give him even a day to have a clean shot on the most important day of any presidential campaign: announcement day.”