POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 8/18

Perry’s Victory Lab

Out next week: Rick Perry and His Eggheads: Inside the Brainiest Political Operation in America by Sasha Issenberg, a chapter from the forthcoming book, The Victory Lab.

“For his 2006 re-election effort, his campaign manager convinced him to allow four social scientists from Yale to come in and gauge the effectiveness of various campaign tools–candidate appearances, yard signs, television ads, etc. — by running real-time experiments in the heat of a campaign.  No candidate had done this before and no one has done it since.”

 

Romney Leads in New Hampshire, Perry Second

A new Magellan poll in New Hampshire finds Mitt Romney leading the GOP presidential race with 36%, followed by Rick Perry at 18%, Rep. Ron Paul at 14% and Rep. Michele Bachmann at 10%. All other candidates received 3% or less.

Kinder Talks About Strip Club Visits

“Hoping to curb what has become a growing distraction to his political ambitions, Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder (R) today talked more about his strip-club visits and how he came to be photographed with a stripper he knew,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Kinder, who is widely expected to run for governor next year, said he first visited the strip club the mid-1990s and returned about 10 times. He said he stopped visiting the club after he concluded that it contradicted his religious beliefs.

Said Kinder: “I came to realize that this is not consistent with my upbringing. I’m a Christian. I was raised in a good family, and I thought, you know, continuing to go there is leading me down the wrong path.”

Obama Hits New Low on the Economy

The latest Gallup poll shows President Obama hitting a new low approval rate of 26% for his handling of the economy, down 11 points since it was last measured it in mid-May and well below his previous low of 35% in November 2010.

Obama earns similarly low approval for his handling of the federal budget deficit (24%) and creating jobs (29%).

 

Christie Reportedly Mulling Bid

Jonathan Alter says that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) is conducting focus groups in preparation for a possible Republican presidential bid in 2012.

DNC Selling Romney T-Shirt

It was only a matter of time: The DNC is selling a new t-shirt with Mitt Romney’s face and the caption, “Some of my best friends are corporations.”

Obama’s Preferred Challenger

First Read: “You think the White House is seeing the influence of the Tea Party on the campaign trail — and is loving every minute of it? You better believe it. While President Obama is happy to poke Mitt Romney (for his health-care law), he declined to take a shot at Rick Perry for criticizing Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and for bringing up Obama’s lack of military experience. In an interview with CNN, Obama said presidential candidates have ‘got to be a little more careful’ about what they say. But as Perry had just entered the race over the weekend, Obama said, he will ‘cut (Perry) some slack’ for the moment.”

“Cut him some slack? Whom does Obama want to run against next year? It’s pretty transparent…”

Romney vs. Romney on Tax Cuts

“I’m not for tax cuts for the rich. The rich can take care of themselves. I want to get America working again. And so I want to make sure that whatever we do in the tax code, we’re not giving a windfall to the very wealthy.”

— Mitt Romney, quoted yesterday by the Concord Monitor.

“I do want to keep the Bush tax cuts in place.”

— Romney, quoted yesterday by the Boston Globe.

Quote of the Day

“You don’t accuse the chairman of the Federal Reserve of being a traitor to his country, of being guilty of treason and suggesting that we treat him pretty ugly in Texas.”

— Karl Rove, quoted by the New York Times, ripping Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s recent criticism of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Bachmann Will Not Compete in Florida Straw Poll

Though she was the winner in Iowa, Rep. Michele Bachmann will skip the Florida straw poll in late September, Politico reports.

 

Obama Plans Major Speech on the Economy

President Obama “will give a major speech in early September to unveil new ideas for speeding up job growth and helping the struggling poor and middle class,” the AP reports.

“The president’s plan is likely to contain tax cuts, jobs-boosting infrastructure ideas and steps that would specifically help the long-term unemployed. The official emphasized that all of Obama’s proposals would be fresh ones, not a rehash of plans he has pitched for many weeks and still supports, including his ‘infrastructure bank’ idea to finance construction jobs.”

“Obama will also present a specific plan to cut the suffocating long-term national debt and to pay for the cost of his new short-term economic ideas.”

Rick Perry’s Stimulus

The Texas Tribune reports that as Gov. Rick Perry has launched his presidential bid, “he’s turned to a talking point familiar to anyone who has heard him rail against the federal government over the last two years: the perfidy of the roughly $800 billion stimulus plan orchestrated by the Obama administration in 2009.”

He even ripped the plan in his recent book, Fed Up!: “We are fed up with bailout after bailout and stimulus plan after stimulus plan, each one of which tosses principle out the window along with taxpayer money.”

“But the reality of Perry’s relationship with fed-stim is complicated. Through the second quarter of this year, Texas has used $17.4 billion in federal stimulus money — including $8 billion of the one-time dollars to fund state expenses that recur over and over. In fact, Texas used the federal stimulus to balance its last two budgets.”

Democrats Win Final Two Recall Races in Wisconsin

“The six-month saga that was Wisconsin’s state Senate recall movement ended Tuesday with Democrats retaining two seats – and Republicans still in possession of a week-old, razor-thin 17-16 majority,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

“Bottom line: Republicans will continue to control the agenda in the Capitol, but it will be difficult for Gov. Scott Walker and other GOP leaders to get everything they want.”

The Palin Tease

Meghan McCain: “To be completely honest, I don’t believe that Palin has any intention of actually running for president. Granted, trying to predict Sarah Palin’s next move is like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall. Candidates who are serious about running for president flirt and tease up to a point, but they don’t normally star in a reality show while making such deliberations. In fact, the Palin road show is more like a Mark Burnett production, where she doesn’t inform the media where she’s going, ends up in random places of historical importance with her children, and continues to act as if journalists are to blame for wondering what she’s doing there.”

Ryan Mulling Presidential Bid?

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is strongly considering a run for president, the Weekly Standardreports.

“Ryan, who has been quietly meeting with political strategists to discuss a bid over the past three months, is on vacation in Colorado discussing a prospective run with his family. Ryan’s concerns about the effects of a presidential campaign — and perhaps a presidency — on his family have been his primary focus as he thinks through his political future.”

A source told Roll Call that Ryan discussed the matter with House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) when the question of whether he should be appointed to the congressional committee set up to come up with debt reduction ideas.

However, CBS News quotes a Ryan spokesman saying Ryan has not changed his mind about not running.

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