POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 6/10
Reuters reports that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “has been in discussions with the White House about leaving her job next year to become head of the World Bank… Associates say Clinton has expressed interest in having the World Bank job should the bank’s current president, Robert Zoellick, leave at the end of his term, in the middle of 2012.”
However, a Clinton spokesman emailed the Washington Post: “100 percent untrue, Reuters is wrong.”
Mitt Romney “will skip a key early test for Republican presidential candidates by forgoing the Iowa straw poll in mid-August, a decision that could recast the contest in the nation’s first presidential nominating state,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“Romney’s decision sends the clearest signal yet that he doesn’t want to wade deeply into the social issues that carry particular weight with Iowa Republicans and instead intends to present himself to voters nationally as a successful businessman who can improve the economy.”
The St. Petersburg Times notes Romney has made the decision to “not participate in any straw polls, whether it’s in Florida, Iowa, Michigan or someplace else.”
A new NY1-Marist poll finds that 56% of registered voters in New York’s 9th congressional district do not think Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) should resign from Congress, while 33% believe he should and 12% are unsure.
Said pollster Lee Miringoff: “Congressman Weiner’s constituents are drawing a line between his ethical conduct and professional judgment. The bottom line: they’re still in his corner on the question of resignation. As for his re-election prospects, that’s still very much up in the air.”
Newt Gingrich’s senior presidential campaign staff has resigned en masse.
The Washington Post reports the departures include longtime spokesman Rick Tyler, campaign manager Rob Johnson, senior strategists Dave Carney and Katon Dawson and media consultant Sam Dawson.
Tyler, of course, was the author this classic campaign statement.
Carney and Johnson have strong ties to Texas Gov. Rick Perry which will only increase the speculation he’s going to jump in the presidential race.
The Des Moines Register reports Gingrich’s entire paid Iowa staff quit as well.
Politico: “Gingrich was intent on using technology and standing out at debates to get traction while his advisers believed he needed to run a campaign that incorporated both traditional, grassroots techniques as well as new ideas. One official said the last straw came when Gingrich went forward with taking a long-planned cruise with his wife last week in the Greek isles.”
An Arizona Republic interview with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’s (D-AZ) chief of staff, Pia Carusone, suggests it may be some time before the congresswoman is able to return to work as she’s still recovering from a gunshot wound to the head in January.
Said Carusone: “We do a lot of inferring with her because her communication skills have been impacted the most… She is borrowing upon other ways of communicating. Her words are back more and more now, but she’s still using facial expressions as a way to express. Pointing. Gesturing. Add it all together, and she’s able to express the basics of what she wants or needs. But, when it comes to a bigger and more complex thought that requires words, that’s where she’s had the trouble.”
Giffords would need to decide about running for another term by May 2012, when petitions are due for re-election.
“Put me in charge of the fence and it will be a twenty foot wall, barbed wire, electrified on the top. And on this side of the fence, I’d have that moat that President Obama talked about. And I would put those alligators in that moat!”
— Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, quoted by Mediaite.
Mike Murphy: “The race is close because next year both Obama and the Republican nominee are likely to be skating on wafer-thin ice. For while the weak economy is one huge force driving these numbers, there is a second force in play that could be equally unsettling. The 2012 election is shaping up as a battle between economics and demographics. The economy is threatening to end the President’s political career. The demographics of a changing America might just re-elect him.”
President Obama has vetoed just two bills as president — an average of one every 435 days he has been in office — which Smart Politics says is the most infrequent use of the president’s veto power since James Garfield was president 130 years ago.
Even though Obama worked with a Democratic-controlled Congress for the first 700+ days of his administration, his veto rate still lags far behind the seven presidents since 1881 who worked with a legislative branch controlled by their own party throughout the entirety of their tenure: Franklin Roosevelt (one veto every 7 days), Teddy Roosevelt (33 days), William McKinley (39 days), Calvin Coolidge (41 days), John Kennedy (49 days), Lyndon Johnson (63 days), and Warren Harding (147 days).
The most frequent user of the veto: Grover Cleveland, who vetoed a bill once every five days in office.
A new SurveyUSA poll finds that 46% of New Yorkers think Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) should resign in the wake of his scandal involving lewd online behavior, while 41% think he should remain in office.
A recent Marist poll found a slim majority didn’t think Weiner should quit.
The Rapid City Journal reports Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) washed windshields at a Sioux Falls gas station while sharing her message about energy policy with drivers and had a surprise customer: Ben Nesselhuf, the chairman of the South Dakota Democratic Party.
“The two politicos – who served together in the Legislature for four years – chatted cordially for a minute while Noem’s aides took photos and videos of the encounter. When it was all done, Nesselhuf found himself in an unusual situation: saying something nice about Noem.”
Said Nesselhuf: “She did a nice job on the windshield.”
With Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) facing down a scandal as he prepared for a New York City mayoral bid, the Wall Street Journal reports actor Alec Baldwin is once again flirting with running for political office.
Said a spokesman for the actor: “I wouldn’t rule it out.”
Public Policy Polling has polled on nine Presidential candidates or potential candidates in their home states and finds only one of them is well liked: Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson.
A new Gallup poll finds 45% of Americans identified as Democrats last month as compared to 39% who identified as Republicans.
The six-point Democratic edge is the largest measured since October 2009, when the gap was seven points.
A new Blogging While Blue poll in Georgia’s 5th congressional district finds Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) can probably hold his seat as long as he likes.
“Lewis’ ratings among Democrats in his district are off the charts. Over 65% of people who rate Lewis give him a 100. These people are functionally never going to vote against him without a huge scandal taking place or some hint of impropriety. Neither of which has happened in his more than twenty five years serving the constituents of the 5th district. Furthermore, White Democrats in the 5th District are more likely to give Lewis a rating of 100 than African American Democrats.”
“Anthony Weiner lied to the country about his sexual misconduct online. He also lied to me. I had been defending him, based on what he told me, but no more. Weiner must resign from Congress immediately.”
— Kirsten Powers, writing for the Daily Beast, regretting that she defended her ex-boyfriend on television.
The political drumbeat to push Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) to resign is noticeably louder than anything faced by two scandal-plagued Republican Sens. John Ensign and David Vitter.
First Read: “There’s a simple reason for the difference. With Weiner, the entire Republican Party has leaned its shoulder into putting the Democratic Party in a box. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus has gone on TODAY to demand Weiner’s resignation, while a top aide to House Minority Leader Eric Cantor has tweeted the latest developments in the story. By contrast, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee issued press releases for a week when the Ensign news first broke. But after that, Democrats let go… Republicans are much more disciplined at the drumbeat than Democrats have proven to be. Of course, there may be ONE big reason Democrats tread differently on sex scandals: Bill Clinton.”
In private conversations with advisers, the Wall Street Journal reports Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) “has changed his tune on a possible presidential campaign. In private conversations, they say, the three-term governor said he worries that the current GOP contenders have yet to stir real excitement within the party and may struggle when facing President Barack Obama.”
“Republican operatives in Washington and elsewhere say they have received calls recently from prominent Texas GOP donors seeking advice on how Mr. Perry might navigate a late entry into the field… Some of Mr. Perry’s own top aides have had tentative discussions with unaffiliated campaign operatives who worked for previous Republican presidential candidates, according to people familiar with the exchanges.”
Update: Sources close to Perry tell CBS News he is “serious” about making a run for the White House
First Read: “One, there’s clear evidence she’s running (hiring Ed Rollins, participating at the debate). Two, she’s going to able to raise money, lots of it (take a look at what she raised last cycle). Three, she will stand out at the debates. Four, she’s going to be the only female in the field (if Palin doesn’t run). And five, and most importantly, she has the ability to win over the sizeable number of Republicans who were cheering on Donald Trump (for a while) and who are listening to Herman Cain (right now). This segment of the GOP wants a candidate who will carry the Tea Party banner, who talks strongly about his/her religious faith, and who will take the fight to President Obama.”
Members of Congress cut back on their use of Twitter in the week after Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) was caught sending a lewd image of himself through the social network, The Hill reports.
President Obama’s campaign team “is gaming out complex state-by-state scenarios for 2012 that anticipate uphill battles in recession-ravaged blue states — and new opportunities in Arizona and Georgia,” Politico reports.
“Virtually all of the scenarios envision Obama winning either North Carolina or Virginia, centerpieces of his 2008 win and the biggest prizes of the moderating demographic shifts that have opened up parts of the upper south to Democrats.”
“Still, Obama’s team does acknowledge one area of probable contraction: Indiana, which has, for all intents and purposes turned red despite Obama’s 30,000-vote margin of victory there three years ago.”
Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) “is bringing his knack for fundraising to the national stage, and eyeing a possible run for the U.S. Senate,” the Newark Star Ledgerreports.
Booker started CoryPAC, a federal political action committee, primarily as a tool to help support federal candidates in 2012 but he’s not ruling out a bid for Senate in the future.
Booker would neither confirm nor deny the speculations surrounding a run.
Mark Halperin: “Overexposure is the normal mode for someone who wants to beat an incumbent President, but Romney has lain low for months. Behind the scenes, he has traveled widely, meeting with potential supporters, collecting campaign cash and only rarely appearing before cameras. Romney’s aides believe that keeping him out of the line of fire from the left and the right will allow him to enter 2012 as he entered 2011 — as the unquestioned front runner for the nomination. Some old pros, previously dubious about Romney’s chances, are now saying more admiringly, ‘Fear the possum.'”
Jon Huntsman “is trying out a novel strategy: running for president without criticizing the incumbent by name,” Politico reports.
“Obama’s political team has so far returned the courtesy. Even as they blast out a seemingly endless stream of attacks on Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty, Huntsman’s two establishment GOP rivals, the DNC is issuing few press releases and pushing little opposition research about the man who until the end of April served in the administration.”
“It amounts to a de facto non-aggression pact that is as unconventional as it is tenuous. With a Republican primary electorate convinced Obama is doing grave damage to the country, it’s difficult to see how bloodless rhetoric about the administration and generalized talk about America’s challenges are the recipe for victory. And if Huntsman emerges as a strong contender, it’s improbable to think that a White House that affirmed his political potential by dispatching him to far-off Beijing would let him rise unchecked.”