POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 7/13

Obama Losing Jewish Supporters

new poll from Pat Caddell and John McLaughlin finds that only 43% of Jewish voters plan to support President Obama in 2012 — down dramatically from the 78% of the Jewish vote he received in 2008.

These findings conflict with a recent Gallup survey that showed 60% of Jewish Americans approving of the job Obama is doing and just 32% disapproving.

Senate Republicans Propose New Powers for Obama

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is “actively pursuing a new plan under which the debt ceiling would grow in three increments over the remainder of this Congress unless lawmakers approve a veto-proof resolution of disapproval,” Politico reports.

“In effect lawmakers would be surrendering the very power of approval that the GOP has used to force the debt crisis now. But by taking the disapproval route, Republicans can shift the onus more onto the White House and Democrats since a two-thirds majority will be needed to stop any increase that President Obama requests.”

ABC News: “Under McConnell odd plan, the President could get a clean, no-strings-attached debt ceiling increase of $2.5 trillion, but he would have to endure three politically treacherous votes that would allow upwards of two-thirds of the Congress to be on record disapproving of his actions. In other words, the President would get his debt ceiling increase and Republicans would score political points, but there would be no guarantee of any spending cuts.”

Greg Sargent: “At bottom, McConnell’s proposal is the latest GOP line on the debt ceiling — it’s Obama’s problem, not ours — taken to its logical and legislative conclusion.”

Presidential Historian Accused of Theft

Presidential historian Barry Landau and an accomplice “are under arrest for smuggling some 60 rare historical documents out of the Maryland Historical Society,” CNN reports.

“The men were found to be in possession of documents signed by President Abraham Lincoln valued at $300,000, along with signed commemorations of both the Statue of Liberty and the Washington Monument, each valued at $100,000.”

Just this month, Landau bragged to the news network he has collected more than a million presidential objects.

Landau is the author of The President’s Table: Two Hundred Years of Dining and Diplomacy.

 

Boehner Warns GOP May Lose Leverage

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) tried to rally House Republicans at a meeting this morning on the status of debt limit negotiations, but Politico reports “he did warn them that they will quickly lose leverage in the debate as the country grows closer to the Aug. 2 debt default deadline and Wall Street and business leaders pressure them to cut a deal.”

Cornyn Taps Fiorina to Help Win Control of Senate

NRSC Chairman John Cornyn (R-TX) announced that former Hewlett Packard CEO and 2010 California GOP Senate candidate Carly Fiorina will be the committee’s new vice chair, the Washington Post reports.

“Cornyn announced the news at Tuesday’s lunch with fellow GOP senators. In a statement, the Texas Republican says Fiorina should be a major asset — especially when it comes to fundraising.”

Obama Plays Social Security Card

In an interview with CBS News, President Obama said he cannot guarantee Social Security checks will be sent out if a debt-ceiling deal is not reached by the August 2nd deadline.

See more…

Republicans Say Debt Limit is Obama’s Problem

“This debt-limit increase is his problem, and I think it’s time for him to lead by putting his plan on the table, something that the Congress can pass.”

— House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), quoted by NBC News.

“I have little question that as long as this President is in the Oval Office, a real solution is unattainable. This was not an easy decision for me.”

— Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), quoted by Business Insider.

Ron Paul Will Not Run for Re-Election

Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) said that he won’t seek reelection in 2012 as he runs for the Republican presidential nomination, The Hill reports.

“Paul’s decision marks somewhat an end of an era for the congressman, who’s been elected to a combined 12 terms in Congress. During that time, he’s been an obstinate voice for the more libertarian wing of the GOP, showing a willingness to break with his party on certain issues, especially foreign policy.”

Matheson Would Make Utah Senate Race Close

A new Public Policy Polling survey confirms that Utah’s U.S. Senate race could be close if Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) decides to make a run for the seat.

In head-to-head match ups, Matheson edges Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), 45% to 44%, and tops Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), 47% to 42%.

However, other potential Democratic candidates “would lose by the sorts of astronomical margins Democrats are accustomed to losing by in Utah.”

Another Poll Shows Bachmann Leading in Iowa

A new American Research Group poll finds Michele Bachmann leading among likely Iowa caucus goers with 21%, followed by Mitt Romney at 18%, Ron Paul at 14%, Sarah Palin at 11% and Newt Gingrich at 8%.

Would Obey Challenge Walker in Wisconsin?

Former Rep. David Obey (D-WI), who retired after over four decades in Congress, is staying politically involved but “hasn’t made his future entirely clear” when it comes to speculation he might challenge Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), the Chippewa Herald reports.

Said Obey: “What we have to do first is see what happens with these recalls,” he said, referring to upcoming recall elections against six Republican and three Democratic state senators.

Whether there is a Walker recall election may depend on how those elections go.

Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes Wisconsin voters head to polls  to vote in six primary races pitting Democratic recall challengers against “fake” Democrats put up by the Republican Party.

Quote of the Day

“I don’t sign pledges — other than the Pledge of Allegiance and a pledge to my wife.”

— Jon Huntsman, quoted by the Charleston Post and Courier.

The Divergent Styles of Boehner and Cantor

The Hill takes a deeper look at the “complicated relationship” between House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and his second-in-command Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), “who share a political philosophy but differ in personal style.”

“Boehner, 61, is a back-slapping dealmaker who has served in the House more than a decade longer than Cantor, 48, a leader of the conservative ‘Young Guns,’ who in 2006 backed Boehner’s opponent in a GOP leadership race… Boehner’s office has denied that there is any daylight between the two men… Yet there are differences between how the two leaders operate. Cantor has been forthcoming with occasional details of the debt discussions… Boehner has been more tight-lipped; the Speaker has been reluctant to share details of the negotiations even in closed-door conference meetings.”

Total Stalemate on Debt Ceiling Negotiations

First Read: “After more than a week of meetings with congressional leaders and backchannel talks between President Obama and the Speaker John Boehner, the two sides are now FARTHER apart in the debt talks than they have been in a while. It’s a total stalemate bordering on a financial and political disaster that, in the long run, could damage all the parties involved. Democrats want Republicans to compromise.”

“By shooting for the big deal and saying he’s willing to displease his base, Obama has claimed the high ground in the debt talks… But there are a couple of problems with being on the high ground. First, the higher the ground, the steeper the fall. If there isn’t an agreement, if Republicans don’t end up budging, then this whole process could blow up in Obama’s face.”

Mark Halperin: “While it is hard to see a deal that Hoyer and Boehner could both be for, it is nearly impossible to imagine something Pelosi and Cantor could both get behind. The flow of the public debate is certain to send many House Democrats to the mattresses. That is Pelosi’s posture — and she has a lot of loyal followers. But/and a final deal is going to need a decent number of House Democrats to pass, to make up for Tea Party defections.”

Where’s Romney on the Debt Ceiling Debate?

The Wall Street Journal notes that Mitt Romney has largely avoided the issue of the debt ceiling as he presses a more general assault on President Obama’s economic record. His silence has “attracted the attention of his GOP challengers, who have begun to accuse him of ducking the most vital issue of the campaign so far.”

“The Romney campaign says the candidate isn’t going to weigh in on the day-to-day negotiations on the debt ceiling and deficit reduction.”

Praying Away the Gay

NBC News shows undercover video taken from Rep. Michele Bachmann’s husband’s Christian counseling center which “reveals that her therapists are using prayer and Bible scriptures to help cure people of homosexual tendencies.”

Michele Bachmann as Howard Dean

Jonathan Martin suggests Michele Bachmann’s presidential bid looks very much like Howard Dean’s 2004 candidacy.

“The party’s grassroots are radicalized. A blunt-talking, anti-establishment presidential candidate draws big summer crowds by pledging to confront the opposition party president. The political pros, fearing a general election disaster, grow more anxious by the day. Talk begins about how to arrest the outsider’s surge.”

“The challenge for Bachmann is to avoid the same questions that plagued and ultimately undermined the former Vermont governor’s upstart campaign. In other words, if Mitt Romney represents John Kerry in the ‘Dated Dean, Married Kerry’ bumper sticker slogan, how does Bachmann escape playing the role of Howard Dean?”

Passing the Ball to Eric Cantor

Some interesting details from Jay Newton-Small on Monday’s debt ceiling negotiations at the White House:

“Boehner hardly said a word in the meeting. His stance seems to be: if Cantor didn’t like the grand bargain, he’s welcome to negotiate one on his own. Republicans left the meeting noticeably subdued. Few had anything they wanted to say about it. And Cantor may have just jumped from the frying pan of Biden’s debt talks and into the fire of Obama’s. He has little experience hammering out legislative deals — particularly at this level. He wanted a smaller deal, and now Boehner’s sitting back and watching silently as Cantor flounders.”

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times has more on the “long-simmering rivalry” between the top two Republicans in the House.

Rubio’s Brother-in-Law is Convicted Drug Trafficker

Univision Investiga reports that in 1987 Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) older sister “was caught up in the year’s most significant antinarcotics operation in South Florida.”

“Federal prosecutors in Miami ordered the seizure of the home where Barbara Rubio lived with her husband Orlando Cicilia… Cicilia was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana belonging to a crime ring implicated in the death and dismemberment of a federal informant, as well as the bribing of several Miami police officers.”

Issa Investigates White House Political Activities

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) “is probing what he sees as signs of an unseemly overlap between President Obama’s official and political activities,”Politico reports.

Issa sent a letter to Obama’s top lawyer last night asking for documents relating to what he termed as “an array of potentially illegal fundraising behavior.”

Issa singled out a White House meeting in March between Obama, DNC officials and members of the business community — who were all Obama donors. The meeting was organized by the DNC.

Public Split About Raising the Debt Ceiling

A new Washington Post-Pew Research poll finds 42% of those surveyed see greater risk in a potential default stemming from not raising the nation’s debt ceiling, while 47% are more concerned about more government spending if the debt limit is raised.

Not surprisingly, views on the issue remain hardened along partisan lines.

Economy Hurting Obama in Florida

A new Sunshine State News Poll in Florida finds that 54% disapprove of the job President Obama is doing while just 38% approve. That result tracks with Florida voters’ sour view of the economy, with 56% saying it has worsened in the past year.

Said pollster Jim Lee: “Clearly, the bleak economic landscape is not good news for Obama. This is quite sobering when you consider that the recession technically ended in summer of 2009, which really shows that people don’t believe we are out of the woods by any stretch.”

In a general election match up, Mitt Romney leads Obama in the state by four points, 46% to 42%.

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