POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 6/22
Newt Gingrich had a second line of credit at the high-end jewelry store Tiffany’s for as much as $1 million dollars, the Washington Post reports.
The line of credit was in addition to the revolving charge account previously disclosed.
A spokesman said that Gingrich’s personal financial disclosure filing, which is due within 30 days of his formal entrance into the presidential race, will “show that the Gingriches had a $500,000 to $1 million line of credit at Tiffany’s, that it has a zero balance, and it has been closed.”
Though many of Newt Gingrich’s recently departed staffers joined Texas Gov. Rick Perry in an exploration of a presidential bid, the former House Speaker told Laura Ingraham he welcomes Perry as a rival.
Said Gingrich: “I like him a lot. I wrote the foreword to his most recent book, I think he’s been a great Governor of Texas, he will be a very formidable competitor if he gets into the race.”
A new Public Policy Polling survey in Montana finds Sen. John Tester (D-MT) is considerably more popular than his likely challenger, Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT), yet still lags him in his bid for a second term, 47% to 45%.
“His first strategy meeting took place less than eight hours after his resignation as ambassador took effect at midnight on April 30. There he sat — not yet unpacked — in his Washington, D.C., home and told John Weaver, the former McCain strategist, that he was going to run. It was a done deal at 7:30 that morning.”
Said Thune: “My view on that hasn’t changed. I’m focused on the Senate. I’m gonna keep focused on my work here.”
As President Obama prepares to announce a schedule for drawing down U.S. forces in Afghanistan, a new Pew Research survey finds that 56% of Americans want troops brought home as soon as possible, while 39% favor keeping them in Afghanistan until the situation has stabilized.
The proportion favoring a quick withdrawal jump by eight points since last month, immediately after the killing of Osama bin Laden.
St. Petersburg Times: “With each television network and 13,000 to 15,000 journalists in attendance, it is expected to use more cables and fiber connections and draw more electricity than anything ever held in Florida… As a result, organizers are working with Tampa Electric to determine whether they need to bring in additional power.”
“He talks a lot and he’s not very bright. And that’s a combination I like in Republicans.”
— James Carville, in an interview on CNN, commenting on Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R).
Newt Gingrich’s top fundraisers for his presidential campaign “have abandoned his struggling bid amid anemic fundraising and heavy spending,” the AP reports.
“The former House speaker’s campaign has been on life support since earlier this month when 16 top aides and advisers resigned en masse over disagreements with the Republican candidate.”
Andrew Sullivan: “Could this be one of the worst campaigns in memory?”
Tim Pawlenty will become the first Republican candidate to launch a major media buy in Iowa, Ben Smith reports.
“Pawlenty is going up with ads in the first-in-the-nation caucus state starting tomorrow on Fox News with a buy just under $50,000 in the Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Omaha, Ottumwa, Rochester, and Sioux City media markets. The ads will run from June 23rd to July 3rd.”
CMAG Ad Watch notes its actually a very small ad buy. In fact, at this time “on the road to the 2008 election, candidates and groups on both sides had been on the air for months and already shelled out more than $5.5 million nationwide and close to $2 million in Iowa.”
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and her husband, astronaut and Navy captain Mark Kelly, “are working on a memoir that Scribner will publish at a date to be determined,” CBS News reports.
“The book, currently untitled, will be an intimate chronicle of everything from their careers and courtship to the Jan. 8 tragedy when a gunman shot Giffords in the head during a political event in Tucson, Ariz.”
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) “has won the famous Capitol hideaway office that once belonged to his old friend, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA), which has long been considered the pinnacle of insider prestige,” according to The Hill.
“It’s a nice prize and the envy of colleagues, but Hatch would prefer not to talk about senatorial perks as he faces a potential Tea Party-backed challenge in the 2012 Utah Republican primary.”
ABC News notes every detail of Jon Huntsman’s “long-awaited campaign launch was meticulously planned, except of course for one minor detail: the misspelling of the candidate’s name.”
“Members of the media were handed a press pass that read ‘John Huntsman for President’ — adding an unnecessary H in the candidate’s first name.”
“By this time in the 2008 presidential cycle both John McCain and Mitt Romney had lined up considerate political talent in Florida. This year is different… The big exception is Jon Huntsman, who has opened up his national campaign headquarters in Orlando,” the St. Petersburg Times reports.
First Read: “As for the debt-ceiling talks, it appears that the ‘grand bargain’ — marrying a ceiling increase with big deficit reduction and entitlement reform — isn’t going to happen as expected. Instead, the objective seems to be raising the debt ceiling with agreed-to cuts attached. Politically, that the grand bargain probably won’t happen has to make both Democrats and Republicans smile. For Democrats, that means the Medicare card is on the table, and that the issue will be decided by the 2012 election. And Republicans are glad their incumbents don’t have to eat their words about taxes.”
Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that Fitch Ratings said lawmakers are “very likely” to raise the debt ceiling limit before the August 2 deadline.
The Fix: “In the wake of her surprisingly strong debate performance a week ago, Michele Bachmann and her campaign team have gone surprisingly silent — a calculated strategy aimed at building message discipline within the ranks as the Minnesota Republican ramps up her 2012 presidential bid… the decision to hunker down — from a message perspective — was made prior to the debate but put into practice once Bachmann announced that she had filed paperwork to run and hired on Alice Stewart, an alumni of Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential bid, to handle press.”
Just what you were waiting for: Bristol Palin’s memoir, Not Afraid of Life: My Journey So Far, is now out.
ABC News reports Sarah Palin’s daughter is very critical of Sen. John McCain’s family in the book, noting “I’d never seen people with so much Louis Vuitton luggage, so many cell phones, and so many constant helpers to do hair and makeup.
She added that Cindy McCain looked “like a queen” and held “herself like royalty.”
Palin also writes that she was shocked when the senator’s wife offered to be a godmother to her unborn baby: “I had just met her and I wondered why she wanted any type of guardianship over my child.”
The Des Moines Register notes that Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) “will visit Iowa’s presidential testing grounds next week” but the five term congressman might now have one more reason to stay in the House: According to Politico, his district just got safer.
Many had expected a presidential bid only if McCotter, a Democratic target, had lost out in the redistricting process.