POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 6/28
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) was convicted of attempting to barter President Obama’s senate seat. He was convicted on 17 of 20 counts of public corruption charges.
With Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) announcing her presidential candidacy, Smart Politics notes that since 1912 there have been 33 presidential nomination campaigns by sitting members of the U.S. House. None of these campaigns has yet resulted in a ticket to the White House or even their party’s presidential nomination.
First Read looks at the second quarter fundraising expectations game for the presidential candidates.
“Let’s start with President Obama: A good quarter for him would be in excess of $60 million — which is almost twice the amount (about $35 million) that both George W. Bush raised in the 2nd quarter of 2003 and Obama himself raised in the 2nd quarter of 2007. A great quarter would $80 million or more… As a lowball number, the campaign says it’s shooting for a combined $60 million with the DNC’s cash.”
“As everyone expects, Romney will lap the GOP field in fundraising. His campaign is floating a haul of about $20 million for the quarter, but remember he raised MORE than $20 million in the first quarter of 2007… a very good quarter would be in excess of $30-$40 million.”
“As Politico reported last week, the buzz is that Tim Pawlenty has been struggling on the financial front. We’ve heard and read that he’s expected to raise more than $2 to $4 million, which would be less than $6 million-plus that both Chris Dodd and Bill Richardson pulled in during the 1st quarter of 2007. Anything substantially less than that — let alone the $10 million-plus Romney raised in a single day — would be yet another blow for his campaign.”
Said Palin: “Absolutely. I think she’s awesome. I think she’s smart. I think she would be awesome for our country.”
The Washington Post reports that as President Obama “prepares to meet with Senate leaders to try to restart talks about the swollen national debt, some Republicans see a potential path to compromise: significant cuts in military spending.”
“Senior GOP lawmakers and leadership aides said it would be far easier to build support for a debt-reduction package that cuts the Pentagon budget — a key Democratic demand — than one that raises revenue by tinkering with the tax code. Last week, Republicans walked out of talks led by Vice President Biden, insisting that the White House take tax increases off the table.
“After a string of defeats in recent years from California to Maine, the movement to legalize same-sex marriage is hoping its unexpected victory in New York will revive efforts to legalize gay weddings around the nation,” the New York Times reports.
“But the movement’s success here could prove difficult to replicate. Twenty-nine states have constitutional bans on same-sex marriage, while 12 others have laws against it. And many of those states where support for same-sex marriage is high have already acted on the issue.”
Next target: “Officials at several gay-rights organizations said they would seek to move quickly in Maryland, where legislation to legalize same-sex marriage was shelved in February by Democratic leaders concerned that it lacked the support to pass.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) “moved swiftly this weekend to halt an eruption of media speculation that he’ll be a front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 because of his victory in bringing gay marriage to New York,” the New York Post reports.
“Cuomo ordered his staff not to discuss or even speculate on the possibility that he harbors presidential ambitions.”
Though a formal announcement about running for president is “stll weeks away,” Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) “has already made some key decisions about how he would run if he does,” National Journal reports.
“If Perry enters the race, he is determined to compete in all parts of the country — including areas that historically haven’t been as welcoming to Southerners, said David Carney, the governor’s longtime chief strategist, in an interview. That intention to compete everywhere looms as an important factor in Perry’s deliberations… One of the ‘dilemmas,’ he said: Whether Perry and his team have enough time to raise the funds and build the organization to support a national campaign.”
“I don’t have a teleprompter. I don’t know if you’ve noticed that up here. President Bachmann may be retiring that thing.”
— Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), quoted by Radio Iowa.
Today’s must read piece: The New York Times looks at how New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed through legislation to allow same sex marriage.
“The story of how same-sex marriage became legal in New York is about shifting public sentiment and individual lawmakers moved by emotional appeals from gay couples who wish to be wed.”
“But, behind the scenes, it was really about a Republican Party reckoning with a profoundly changing power dynamic, where Wall Street donors and gay-rights advocates demonstrated more might and muscle than a Roman Catholic hierarchy and an ineffective opposition. And it was about a Democratic governor, himself a Catholic, who used the force of his personality and relentlessly strategic mind to persuade conflicted lawmakers to take a historic leap.”
“Instead of having to defend Democratic seats in Republican territory,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says “her party will be playing offense… zeroing in on the 60 GOP members who represent districts that Obama carried in 2008,” the Washington Post reports.
And in the Republican efforts to revamp Medicare, Pelosi “thinks she has been handed a gift.”
Said Pelosi: “Our three most important issues: Medicare, Medicare and Medicare.”
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) formally kicked off her presidential campaign Monday at 9:00 a.m. from her birthplace of Waterloo, Iowa. After Bachmann made her announcement, she headed to the early primary states of New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Mark Halperin: “Bachmann is for real. The Des Moines Register poll and her very polished Sunday show appearances tee up her announcement tour in a special way. The left will say she is whitewashing her record, but it won’t matter for most of her supporters. She is clearly taking the advice of her advisers to heart, and building on her strong New Hampshire debate and RLC performances by stressing the economy and those parts of her record that are mainstream. She is counting on her base being with her, even as she pulls her punches on past controversial statements; her almost sole focus now is on reaching out to the middle. Pending the entry of Rick Perry and/or Sarah Palin, the case can be made that Bachmann has a better chance than anyone else to knock off Mitt Romney. It is a slam-dunk that the Waterloo native will get a rousing reception on Monday. Watch more closely how she does on her New Hampshire and (especially) her South Carolina stops. If she lights up the board in those places, watch out.”
John Avlon: “There are three ways to run for president these days. The first is to run to promote yourself. The second is to run to promote ideas. The third is to actually run for president of the United States. The Republican presidential hopefuls running on this old-fashioned third notion are a distinct minority. And that says a lot about the state of our politics: bread and circuses meets reality TV.”
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said on Meet the Press that he would not follow New York and pass a law to allow same sex marriage.
Said Christie: “In our state, we’re going to continue to pursue civil unions. I am not a fan of same-sex marriage. It’s not something that I support.”