POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 7/7

Quote of the Day

“Governor Romney has reminded us that he’s a world-class political contortionist.”

— White House adviser David Plouffe, quoted by ABC News.

Mark Halperin: “Plouffe is part of a disciplined message team that specializes in reinforcing the most negative memes about Republicans through delivery across multiple platforms. Many Obama advisers shake their head at Romney’s political skills. They are paid to worry, so they worry about him as a general election candidate. But in their hearts, they don’t have any grave, primal fear of facing off against Romney next year.”

Spitzer Show Cancelled

CNN cancelled Eliot Spitzer’s 8 p.m. political talk show, the New York Times reports.

“For Mr. Spitzer, who has tried to rehabilitate his public image since resigning the New York governorship in disgrace three years ago, the cancellation of In The Arena is an embarrassing setback.”

Romney Leads in New Hampshire as Bachmann Surges

A new Public Policy Polling survey in New Hampshire finds Mitt Romney continues to lead the GOP presidential race with 25%, followed by Michele Bachmann at 18%, Sarah Palin at 11%, Ron Paul at 9%, Rick Perry and Herman Cain at 7%, John Huntsman and Tim Pawlenty at 6% and Newt Gingrich at 4%.

Key finding: “Bachmann’s surge in New Hampshire is being built on the back of the Tea Party. Among voters identifying themselves as members of that movement she’s leading the way at 25% with Palin and Romney tying for second at 16%, and Cain also placing in double digits at 11%.”

 

Romney Not Even Close to Fundraising Goal

Mitt Romney disclosed that he raised $18.25 million last quarter, but his goal for the first half of 2011 was $50 million, Politico reports.

An email shows that Don Stirling, a Utah-based Romney finance consultant, sent a message in late-December to another western GOP strategist outlining compensation plans and fundraising targets. The $50 million goal was the same figure that other Romney fundraisers bandied about for their first-quarter target as late as March.

McCain Advising Bachmann on Foreign Affairs?

Foreign Policy reports Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) met with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in late June to discuss national security issues and Afghanistan.

Pawlenty Downplays Iowa Caucuses

Tim Pawlenty tells David Brody he doesn’t need to win the Iowa caucuses and concedes that Rep. Michele Bachmann will do well there because she “is from Iowa.”

His new talking point is that he can do well beyond Iowa.

Said Pawlenty: “I’m the one candidate who can not only do well in a place like Iowa, but can win in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, but also more importantly, beat Barack Obama in a general. There’s a bunch of people who can do well in Iowa, but aren’t gonna win the election.”

Meanwhile, Ben Smith notes it’s a big day for Pawlenty campaign obituaries.

Perry Insists He’s No Bush

The New York Times writes about the interesting rivalry between two Texas Republicans – Gov. Rick Perry and former President George W. Bush.

“The tensions first spilled out publicly in 2007, when a video wound up on YouTube capturing Mr. Perry speaking dismissively of Mr. Bush at a Republican house party in Iowa for former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York. In the video, Mr. Perry said, ‘George Bush was never a fiscal conservative — never was,’ adding, I mean, ’95, ’97, ’99, George Bush was spending money.'”

Obama and Boehner Both Want a Deal

President Obama and House Speaker Boehner met privately over the holiday weekend to continue negotiations over raising the nation’s debt limit, Politico reports.

The news suggests both men want to prove they can get a “big” deal done which is why President Obama pushed back against suggestions by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that they settle for a short term deal.

First Read: “Realize that both sides — politically — share the same goals. As we’ve written before, a deal is most likely good for the status quo and thus their re-election chances in 2012. If there’s a deal, the argument goes, economic armageddon is averted and the recovery continues (especially if gas prices continue to fall and as Japan recovers). But if there’s not a deal, the ensuing chaos could be VERY problematic for the Democrat in the White House and the Republicans in charge of the House.”

“On the other hand, does McConnell have a different political goal? The chaos probably helps Senate Republicans gain the majority next year, although they already have — at the least — a 50-50 shot of winning control of the chamber in 2012 even in a status-quo political environment.”

The New York Times reports Obama has called leaders from both parties to the White House on Thursday.

Obama’s Twitter Town Hall

President Obama will take questions today in what White House officials are calling his first Twitter town hall, Bloomberg reports.

“Users of the social networking service can post questions for Obama before and during the event, which starts at 2 p.m. Washington time. Questions should fit Twitter’s 140-character limit and include the hashtag #askObama.”

Time for a Third Party?

John Avlon: “The two parties are deeply polarized, but the American people are not. That’s why we’re witnessing a market breakdown in our politics. A rising tide of voters might describe themselves as fiscally conservative but socially liberal, but because of the disproportionate influence of special interests like the religious right and public-sector unions, the two parties cannot meet this market demand. They are polarized and paralyzed — incapable of reasoning together to solve long-term problems, absent a crisis.”

“Impractical extreme voices dominate the debate. And unless they show a new capacity to self-correct, it just might take a third party to remind Republicans and Democrats that they are Americans first — and that hyperpartisanship is the opposite of patriotism.”

Minnesota Shutdown Spin Continues

One day after Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty released an ad in Iowaframing the Minnesota government shutdown as a positive legacy of his administration, the Iowa Democratic Party has put up its own hard-hitting video calling into question the fiscal condition left behind by Pawlenty’s policies.

Says one Minnesotan in the ad, “I just don’t understand why this guy thinks he can run for president.”

See more…

Chaffetz Endorses Romney Over Huntsman

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) has endorsed Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential contest, bucking his former boss Jon Huntsman. Chaffetz ran Huntsman’s first gubernatorial campaign and served as his chief of staff.

Chaffetz attributed his decision to electability, saying, “Mitt Romney is in the best position to beat [President] Barack Obama, and I really want to beat Barack Obama. I think he’s the best horse in the race to win.”

Martinez Strong in New Mexico

A new Public Policy Polling survey finds New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R) bucking a trend among Republican governors in states that President Obama won in 2008 with strikingly positive job performance numbers. 52% approve and 37% disapprove of her work so far, including approval by one-third of Democrats and 49% of Hispanics.

Tom Jensen: “A female Hispanic Governor who’s maintaining her popularity as she governs a blue state? Martinez would be at the top of my VP list for next year if I was a Republican strategist.”

Still Waiting on Bachmann’s Numbers

The Washington Post notes the only major GOP presidential candidate who has not reported second quarter fundraising totals is Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN). Her campaign says she will not announce her fundraising totals until July 15, the day the reporting is due at the Federal Election Commission.

Disorder in the House

“The rapid-fire succession of floor votes in the House this year has triggered lawmaker confusion and mistakes,” according to The Hill, as Republican leaders attempt to balance a schedule with more recesses with the need to complete the business of the House.

“The new House GOP majority has adopted a much different schedule from what Democrats embraced during the last Congress. By and large, the House recesses once every three weeks, allowing members to spend more time with their families and constituents. That change has attracted praise from members, but it also puts pressure on leaders to cram as many votes as they can into the schedule… With as many as 30 amendments in a series, legislators have found themselves confused as they insert their member voting card into the electronic reader.”

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