POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 8/22

Looking Into Bachmann’s Record as Tax Attorney

Though Rep. Michele Bachmann says her experience as an IRS tax lawyer on “hundreds of civil and criminal cases” triggered her interest in tax simplification, a Minneapolis Star Tribune review finds “a more nuanced picture.”

“It appears that Bachmann seldom entered a courtroom and fully litigated only two cases in four-plus years… Co-workers from the time describe her as pleasant and professional, but cannot recall one important case or criminal prosecution she handled.”

“Bachmann did not respond to interview requests or written questions about her IRS career for this story. But she has repeatedly cast herself as a former tax litigator without mentioning that her job was to represent the IRS against taxpayers.”

Libyan Rebels Enter Tripoli

“Libyan rebels marched into parts of Tripoli on Sunday evening, pushing past the city’s outer defense lines and setting off celebrations in some western neighborhoods of the capital, the final stronghold of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi,” the New York Times reports.

Removing Qaddafi from power would be a significant political victory for President Obama, particularly as most of the Republicans running for president opposed his use of the American military to back the rebels.

For the latest, see the Sky News and Al-Jazeera video feeds.

Bonus Quote of the Day

“When I go on vacation and I lay on the beach, I bring Von Mises.”

— Rep. Michele Bachmann, quoted by the Washington Post, on what she reads during time off.

House’s Most Vulnerable Redistricted Members

For redistricting wonks, The Hill has a run down of the five most vulnerable HouseDemocrats and Republicans in 2012 after the redistricting process.

Democrats: Reps. Russ Carnahan (D-MO), Heath Shuler (D-NC), Mark Critz (D-PA), Gary Peters (D-MI), and Larry Kissell (D-NC).

Republicans: Reps. Robert Dold (R-IL), Ed Royce (R-CA), Judy Biggert (R-IL), David Dreier (R-CA), and Jeff Landry (R-LA).

All five Democrats are from swing states that President Obama will have to fight hard to win, while four of the five Republicans are in solid blue states.

 

Pataki Could Announce Bid Next Week

Sources tell NY1 former New York Gov. George Pataki (R) “is strongly considering entering the crowded race for the Republican presidential nomination.”

“Sources say Pataki, who left office in 2007, could make an announcement as early as next week.”

Update: The New York Daily News reports Pataki does plan to enter the race but has not set an announcement date yet.

Romney to Quadruple Size of Vacation Home

In a case of very odd political timing, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Mitt Romney has submitted plans to nearly quadruple the size of his California oceanfront home from 3,009 squart feet to 11,062 square feet.

Why the Wisconsin Recalls Mattered

The Hotline: “While Republicans in Wisconsin have claimed victory for holding onto control of the state Senate in the face of an unprecedented recall effort, one prominent conservative seems to have interpreted the recall results a bit differently… Ohio Gov. John Kasich sought out a compromise with union leaders on his own controversial new law that restricts collective bargaining rights for public employees. Unions and their allies may have fallen one seat short of toppling the GOP majority in Wisconsin, but they seem to have, at least in part, convinced Kasich that the winds of public opinion may have shifted across the Rust Belt.”

Prosecutor to Drop Charges Against DSK

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office “will ask a judge to dismiss all charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn when he appears in court Tuesday,” the New York Post reports.

“Prosecutors are poised to file what’s called a Dismissal On Recommendation motion, which will say the indictment against the frisky Frenchman cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt because of credibility problems with the sole witness in the case, Strauss-Kahn’s hotel-maid accuser.”

 

Ryan Consults Christie on Possible Bid

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has been quietly looking at a president bid “for nearly three months, since Indiana governor Mitch Daniels called him to say he wasn’t running,” the Weekly Standard reports.

“But that consideration took a serious turn over the past two weeks, following a phone call with New Jersey governor Chris Christie in early August. Ryan and Christie spoke for nearly an hour about the presidential race, according to four sources briefed on the conversation. The two men shared a central concern: The Republican field is not addressing the debt crisis with anything beyond platitudes.”

 

Rove Thinks Palin Will Run

Karl Rove said he believes Sarah Palin will enter the Republican presidential race sometime around Labor Day, reports Byron York.

Noting her new campaign-style video and upcoming Iowa appearance, Rove said Palin “has a schedule next week that looks like that of a candidate, not a celebrity.”

He added: “This is her last chance. She either gets in or gets out. I think she gets in.”

 

Quote of the Day

“I don’t think it’s a problem he’s a Texas governor. I think the concern is that he sounds and has similar ways that he talks and gestures that remind you quickly of George W. Bush.”

— Former Bush adviser Matthew Dowd, quoted by the New York Times, on the biggest hurdle facing Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential bid.

 

Edwards Switches to Less Expensive Lawyers

John Edwards is losing part of his legal team defending him against alleged campaign finance violations, NPR reports.

“Until now, Edwards has been represented by former White House Counsel Gregory Craig… But apparently for both financial and tactical reasons, Edwards is switching lawyers… Edwards, according to some of his friends, simply could not afford the tab.”

Joining his legal team will be Washington, D.C. white collar criminal defense lawyer Abbe Lowell.

 

Romney Holds Solid Lead in Florida

A new McLaughlin & Associates poll in Florida shows Mitt Romney with a double-digit lead over the rest of the GOP presidential field with 27%, followed by Rick Perry at 16%, and Michele Bachmann at 10%.

They are trailed by Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain who each have 5% support.

 

Obama Polls Poorly in Pennsylvania

A new Muhlenberg College poll finds President Obama’s approval rate has dropped to 35% in the key swing state of Pennsylvania.

“f there is any silver lining in the poll for Obama, it’s that 31% of Pennsylvanians say their vote in November 2012 will depend on who the Republican candidate is. And Obama still slightly edges out an anonymous GOP contender 36 percent to 31%.”

 

Democrats Have a Growing Enthusiasm Problem

The latest Public Policy Polling survey shows that Democratic enthusiasm about voting in next year’s election has hit a new low.

Just 48% of Democrats in a recent national poll said they were “very excited” about voting in 2012.  In 13 previous polls, the average level was 57%. It had been as high as 65% and only twice had the number even dipped below 55%.

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