POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 6/30

Sign the Debt Ceiling Negotiations Have Failed?

Greg Sargent notes that the primary goal of President Obama’s press conference was obvious: “He was clearly out to pick a major public fight with Republicans over tax cuts for the rich. Obama mounted a surprisingly aggressive moral case for ending high end tax cuts, casting it as a test of our society’s priorities, and argued — crucially — that anyone who fails to support ending them is fundamentally unserious about the deficit.”

Ezra Klein: “The best advice I’ve gotten for assessing the debt-ceiling negotiations was to ‘watch for the day when the White House goes public.’ As long as the Obama administration was refusing to attack Republicans publicly, my source said, they believed they could cut a deal. And that held true… But today they went public. The negotiations have failed.”

Is Heath Shuler Stepping Down?

Tennessee radio station is reporting that Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC) is considering taking a job as the athletic director of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where he gained national attention as a top quarterback in the early 1990s.

Raising Money Off Boehner’s Tears

Politico reports the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent a fundraising email asking donors to “Make John Boehner Cry.”

Writes DCCC Executive Director Robby Mook: “We all know it doesn’t take much to make Speaker Boehner get teary-eyed. But let’s give him something to really cry about.”

Appeals Court Upholds Obama Health Care Law

The Obama administration won the first appellate review of the 2010 health care law as a three-judge panel held that it was constitutional for Congress to require that Americans obtain health insurance, the New York Times reports.

The Sixth Circuit ruling “was the first on the merits that has not broken down along seemingly partisan lines. Two of the judges on the panel were appointed by Republican presidents and one was appointed by a Democrat.”

First Read: “This brings to four the number of court decisions upholding the law. Two other courts have declared it unconstitutional on its long march to the Supreme Court.”

 

Scott Uses Robocalls to Tout Accomplishments

With poll numbers showing him the least popular governor in the country, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) is using automated phone calls to let voters know what he’s doing, the Miami Herald reports.

“Political robocalls are nothing new in the final weeks of a campaign season, but for the first time anyone can recall Scott has the state GOP paying for regular recorded calls touting his day-to-day accomplishments. It’s part of his continuing effort to bypass the traditional media and communicate directly with voters.”

Said Scott: “The benefit is we get our message out. It allows us to tell people what we’re doing. Part of my job is let people know what I’m doing all the time.”

Axelrod Suggests a Romney vs. Bachmann Battle

David Axelrod said Mitt Romney is the “favorite” to win the Republican presidential nomination, CBS News reports, but he could see a scenario in which Rep. Michele Bachmann wins the Iowa caucuses, Romney wins the New Hampshire primary and the two run-off for the nomination.

Pawlenty Bets It All on Iowa

Despite trying to reset expectations, Tim Pawlenty is in fact betting his presidential candidacy on Iowa, Jill Lawrence reports.

Key fact: Pawlenty has budgeted $1.75 million for the Ames Straw Poll in August and notes it’s comparable to what George W. Bush and Steve Forbes spent in 1999 to place first and second ($1.1 million and $1.9 million, respectively, in today’s dollars).

The only problem: He doesn’t have the money.

Bachmann Says No Feud with Palin

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) denied reports of a feud between her and Sarah Palin and says the rumor was manufactured by the media, CNN reports.

Said Bachmann: “They want to see two girls come together and have a mud wrestling fight, and I am not going to give that to them.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“I’m not going to make news on that today. Good try though.”

— President Obama, refusing to answer whether he personally supports same sex marriage laws.

What Does Newt Gingrich Really Know?

Andrew Ferguson read all 21 books by Newt Gingrich, “the self-proclaimed ideas man of politics.”

“Reading the Gingrich catalog, you get used to intimations — or are they threats? — of Armageddon… The coming rush of high technology will dismantle the welfare state and provide a replacement that is humane and efficient; it will free the poor from government dependency, take apart a failing educational establishment, relieve the drudgery of industrial labor and provide a steady supply of pleasant jobs, defrock out-of-touch elites in every corner of the ruthlessly secular society, clean up the environment.”

Cartoon of the Day

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A Democratic Crist Would Crush Scott

One of the most surprising findings in the latest Public Policy Polling survey in Florida is the extent to which voters have forgiven former Gov. Charlie Crist (I) for his party-switching during the 2010 Senate race.

If Crist were to run for governor as a Democrat in 2014, he currently leads Gov. Rick Scott (R) by a 22-point margin, 56% to 34%. That is the same margin as Alex Sink, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in 2010, leads in a hypothetical rematch against Scott.

Said pollster Dean Debnam: “If Charlie Crist has a future in electoral politics it’s probably as a Democrat.”

 

Forecast Average Suggests Obama Re-Election

Polly Vote averages three presidential election forecasting components — polls, index models, and econometric models — to come up with a prediction about the 2012 presidential race.

The current forecast suggests President Obama will win 51.9% of the popular vote.

 

GOP Voters Lack Enthusiasm for Their Candidates

A new New York Times/CBS News poll finds that 70% of Republican voters are not satisfied with the candidates running for the Republican presidential nomination and wish they had more choices.

When asked to name a candidate they were enthusiastic about right now, Mitt Romney and Rep. Michele Bachmann did best, each named by 7% of Republican voters.

 

What if the Debt Ceiling is Unconstitutional?

The Huffington Post reports that some Senate Democrats believe that the nation’s debt ceiling is actually unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment.

Said Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE): “I don’t think, as of a couple weeks ago, when this was first raised, it was seen as a pressing option. But I’ll tell you that it’s going to get a pretty strong second look as a way of saying, ‘Is there some way to save us from ourselves?'”

“By declaring the debt ceiling unconstitutional, the White House could continue to meet its financial obligations, leaving Tea Party-backed Republicans in the difficult position of arguing against the plain wording of the Constitution.”

 

The Primary Shuffle Begins

If Florida holds its Republican presidential primary just after South Carolina in early March, then Georgia wants to move as well, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

“If the RNC allows Florida to move to a Thursday, Friday or Saturday vote at the front end of March without penalty, there’s no reason that Georgia shouldn’t be allowed to do the same, the secretary of state said.”

 

Majority Don’t Want Christie Re-Elected

A new Bloomberg New Jersey poll finds 51% of New Jersey residents say they wouldn’t back Gov. Chris Christie for a second term, “disapproving of his choices on a range of policy and personal issues, from killing a commuter tunnel to using a state-police helicopter to attend his son’s baseball game.”

Said pollster Ann Selzer: “It just feels as though Christie misread the public on education or believed that he had to go that far in cutting the budget. Even if it’s the latter, he didn’t rhetorically sell it to his audience properly. They’re not with him.”

 

Democrats Hold Edge in Wisconsin Recall Races

New DailyKos/Public Policy Polling surveys in Wisconsin find Democrats leading in two of three recall races against Republican state senators.

In total, six Republican state senators face recall battles while only three Democrats do. In order to win control of the state senate, Democrats need to net three recall wins.

 

Giuliani Breaks Promise to Perform Gay Wedding

“The gay car dealer who opened his home to Rudy Giuliani in 2001 during his humiliating divorce battle says the former mayor offered to preside at his wedding if same-sex marriage were ever legalized — but is now ducking his calls to make good on the offer,” the New York Post reports.

 

Is Obama Too Backward Looking?

Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg tells Time that he fears President Obama may make a huge mistake by trying to convince voters he saved the economy from a much worse fate.

Said Greenberg: “No one is going to give you much credit for what you have done for this recovery. Saying the economy is starting to make progress is bad.”

“But behind the scenes, there is a fierce debate in Democratic circles about just how much Obama should also be focused on explaining the recent past. As it now stands, the President’s stump speech features a backward-looking message at its core… In Greenberg’s estimation, this is an error on par with President Obama’s midterm election pitch, which described the nation as a car that had just gotten out of a ditch that Republicans drove into in the first place. The metaphor didn’t work, Greenberg explained in a recent memo, because ‘people thought they were still in the ditch.'”

 

August 2nd May Not be Drop Dead Date

A Capitol Hill source tells NBC News that the August 2nd “drop-dead debt-ceiling date is not likely as hard a date as Treasury is leading on.”

“It could — and very well may, in fact — be pushed back to mid-August… The government probably even go to October, the source said, but only by doing undesirable things, like selling gold, for example.”

 

Quote of the Day

“Bristol, what we say on the fishing boat stays on the fishing boat!”

— Sarah Palin, quoted by the Los Angeles Times, describing what she told her daughter about suggesting she had already made a decision on a presidential bid.

 

Romney Leads, Bachmann Surges in New Hampshire

While Mitt Romney remains the frontrunner in New Hampshire, a new Suffolk Poll finds Rep. Michele Bachmann climbed 8 points since last month, largely on her debate performance.

Romney leads with 36%, followed by Bachmann at 11%, Ron Paul at 8% and Rudy Giuliani at 5%. All other candidates are below 5% support.

Said pollster David Paleologos: “Despite being a long way from home, it’s clear that Bachmann is finding momentum in the Granite State. Romney has managed to stay on top throughout some shakeups in the Republican field.”

 

Obama Still Beats All Republicans

A new McClatchy-Marist poll finds just 36% of registered voters say they’d definitely vote for President Obama next year — but he still tops all Republican challengers in one-on-one match ups.

Mitt Romney comes closest, but trails Obama by four points, 46% to 42%.

Said pollster Lee Miringoff: “Republican candidates have not at this point developed credibility with voters.”

 

Cuomo Riding Sky High Approval

A new Quinnipiac poll finds New Yorkers overwhelmingly approve of the job Gov. Andrew Cuomo is doing, 64% to 19%.

Cuomo’s approval rate is 53% to 26% among Republicans, 75% to 13% among Democrats, and 61% to 19% among independent voters.

Said pollster Maurice Carroll: “It’s up, up and away for super-Andrew after the close of the legislative session… Cuomo has the same economic problems as governors in other states polled by Quinnipiac University, but somehow he outscores them all.”

 

Obama to Hold News Conference

President Obama will hold a news conference at 11:30 a.m. from the White House.

He’s expected to take questions on the congressional debt-ceiling negotiations, the economy, and the wars in Libya and Afghanistan. There will also almost certainly be questions about his re-election campaign.

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