POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 6/7
Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Austan Goolsbee will leave the White House in the Fall to resume his teaching post at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, the White House announced.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, are calling for an investigation into Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) over the series of sexually explicit conservations and lewd photos he exchanged with a half-dozen women during the last several years,” Politico reports.
Said Pelosi: “I am calling for an Ethics Committee investigation to determine whether any official resources were used or any other violation of House rules occurred.”
Of course, Pelosi’s statement should be read as an explicit call for Weiner to resign from office.
At a news conference to discuss a lewd photo sent over Twitter, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) admitted that “the picture was of me, and I sent it.”
Said Weiner: “I have not been honest with myself. I am deeply ashamed of my terrible judgment.”
He also admitted to inappropriate online “communications” with at least six other women and suggested he may have sent X-rated photos.
Weiner says he will not resign from office. However, New York Democrats may take a long look at his district in the redistricting process this year.
The long-delayed release of 24,199 pages of emails sent between Sarah Palin (and her husband) and Alaska state officials, will happen in Juneau at 9 a.m. Friday,MSNBC reports.
Though a string of Wisconsin senate recall elections set for July 12 were originally sparked by a battle over collective bargaining rights, Wisconsin Democratic party chairman Paul Tate tells Politico that Democrats plan to make Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) a central issue in the campaigns.
Said Tate: “We’ve got them on camera with Paul Ryan. We’ve got them on the record saying they support the Ryan agenda. And I think it’s something that voters are going to weigh in on. I think the list of Republicans who are going to lose their seat because of Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan is not just going to be starting at the federal level.”
Rick Hasen notes that over the last five quarters the John Edwards for President Committee has spent $912,117, with travel, consulting, office fees and salaries among the most common expenses. The committee reports having nearly $2.8 million left in its account.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has signed on high-profile political strategist Ed Rollins to run her presidential campaign, CBS News reports.
“Rollins, who was Mike Huckabee’s national campaign director in the 2008 campaign, is an experienced political operative with a well-earned reputation for his tough tactics and willingness to play hardball. He’s probably best known for running the 1984 Reagan-Bush reelection campaign, which Reagan won in a landslide.”
Mark Halperin: “This is only the latest big-league hire the Minnesotan has signed up. Bachmann’s political gifts plus the experience of old pros like Rollins give her a potentially formidable candidacy. This is bad news for Tim Pawlenty (Rollins managed Huckabee to an Iowa caucuses win four years ago) and great news for Romney (a strong Bachmann will push the establishment faster into the arms of the frontrunner.”
Mediaite reports that a Sunday Fox News report which noted that Sarah Palin is “50-50” on getting into the 2012 presidential field, actually used an image of Tina Fey impersonating Palin instead of Palin herself.
Politico notes that “thanks to the outcome of a May special election, resistance to the Republican-led plan to overhaul Medicare and the growing sense that new congressional maps aren’t going to produce a GOP windfall, an idea only dead-ender Democrats clung to is starting to gain currency: The House might be in play next year after all.”
“Even Democrats concede that gaining 24 seats is a heavy lift. Few believe the GOP majority is in jeopardy. But the mere fact that the tone of the conversation has subtly changed — the prospect of a Democratic comeback in the House has gone from laughable to somewhat plausible — is an accomplishment in itself after the party suffered historic losses in 2010.”
CBS News notes that about 6.2 million Americans, 45.1% of all unemployed workers in this country, have been jobless for more than six months — a higher percentage than during the Great Depression.
Ryan Lizza: “Romney’s real problem is not just that he supported a mandate, but that he showed Democrats the political and procedural path to passing a universal-health-care bill in America.”
“More gregarious politicians, such as Boehner and former President Bill Clinton, view the game as the convivial marriage of sports, politics and schmooze. Lyndon Johnson, a lousy golfer but a first-class legislator, secured Senate votes for the historic 1964 Civil Rights Act while on the links. But Obama is more hermetic about a sport that has supplanted basketball as his weekend passion — and he’s been loath, until now, to mix business with pleasure.”
“Friends and associates say the president sees his five-hour outings as a chance to blow off steam, improve on a score that averages in the mid- to upper-90s and, above all, escape the scrutiny of his day job.”
With poor job numbers last week, USA Today says President Obama “is moving to refurbish a political brand that has been defined for the worst by his Republican opponents, dented by the realities of governing and battered by a faltering economy.”
The Wall Street Journal notes Obama and many advisers “are largely sticking with his longtime economic message: that he inherited a crisis, adopted unpopular policies that kept it from getting worse and has pointed the economy in the right direction.”
However, other advisers “argue that the president should do more to acknowledge the pain people are feeling.”
First Read: “Expect the president to stop touting AS MUCH about pulling the car out of the ditch and instead try and soothe folks who are still, well, in rehab (In fact, these are the metaphors he HAD used and has now ditched).”
Rick Santorum isn’t afraid of touching the so-called “third rail of American politics” and told ABC News that reforming Social Security is a key part of his presidential bid.
Said Santorum: “Not even Paul Ryan in his budget now — in the face of trillions of dollars of deficits currently — had the temerity to step forward and say we have to do Social Security.”
The Note: “In years past, there’s always been a designated slot for the ‘social conservative’ candidate in a GOP primary. This year, however, the combination of a sour economy and the rising Tea Party influence means that social issues have less of a direct influence in the primary contest. This isn’t to say that social and cultural issues don’t matter to these voters. It’s simply a matter of priorities. And, right now debt and deficit are the drivers of the debate.”
The New York Times reports Obama campaign officials “are sorting through census and polling data as they work to chart a variety of routes to the 270 electoral votes Mr. Obama will need to clinch a second term.”
“The early focus is on the same collection of states that Mr. Obama carried in 2008, with the exception of Indiana, which advisers believe is out of reach. But among these, strategists are digging deeper into Colorado, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina and Virginia — where census figures show surging populations of Hispanics and blacks, groups that supported Mr. Obama in 2008 by wide margins.”
British intelligence forces hacked into an al Qaeda website and replaced bombmaking instructions with a recipe for one of Ellen Degeneres’ favorite cupcakes, ABC News reports.
Mike Allen: “Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), who had played coy about a 2012 presidential run but did not seem to be seriously considering it, is now talking about the possibility with his biggest financial backers in Texas. If Palin doesn’t get in, he sees a path to the nomination. Makes no sense to some of the nation’s top Republicans, who think American has Texas fatigue, and who found Perry’scomments about Texas secession to be boneheaded. Perry is still more likely to challenge Jeb in 2016.”
Meanwhile, the Dallas Morning News reports that Perry has invited the nation’s other 49 governors to join him at “a day of prayer and fasting on behalf of our troubled nation” in August.
NPR looks at some recent videos produced by Republican presidential candidates and notes one by Tim Pawlenty “with a soaring, heart-pounding score and lightning-fast edits” could be “the trailer for a Hollywood action flick.” Another by Mitt Romney is “almost as if you’re watching something produced by documentary filmmaker.”
Said Darrell West, author of Air Wars: Television Advertising in Election Campaigns: “Campaigns today really require a very strong storyline. There’s just so much information out there, you need a strong narrative to break through all that information clutter.”
Failed Nevada gubernatorial candidate Rory Reid (D) “agreed to pay a $25,000 penalty from his own pocket to settle accusations he skirted campaign finance laws,” the Las Vegas Review Journal reports.
“Reid was accused of funneling more than $900,000 to his gubernatorial campaign last year through 90 shell organizations in an effort to bypass limits on political donations.”