POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 8/24
Steve Kornacki says that those “who just want Sarah Palin to go away should consider a Palin presidential campaign an investment: You’d have to deal with a few weeks (or maybe even months) of saturation coverage, but there’d be a good chance it would all end with Palin’s presence in our lives severely and permanently diminished.”
He believes her campaign would be an “epic, humiliating defeat, the sort of disaster that might once and for all convince the political and media worlds that the empress has no clothes.”
John Sides: “But here’s another way to make Palin disappear: have a presidential election in which she is not a candidate. The surest way to sideline any prominent Republican politician between now and November 2012 is for them not to enter the race. Indeed, even those that do enter the race will be sidelined by not winning. The candidates, and then the ultimate nominee, will suck up virtually all of the oxygen.”
Nate Silver: “President Obama’s re-election bid is in quite a lot of trouble, with falling approval numbers and sour economic forecasts. But it’s probably mistaken to assume that those problems would just go away if Democrats replaced him with another candidate. The evidence, if anything, points in the opposite direction: Mr. Obama is more popular than his policies, and probably gives the Democrats a better chance of maintaining the White House than another Democrat would.”
Texas congressional candidate Roger Williams (R) releases a web video in which he tries to have a conversation with donkeys.
A new Public Policy Polling survey shows President Obama and Mitt Romney tied among voters surveyed nationally, 45% to 45%.
In other match ups, Obama leads Rick Perry, 49% to 43%, tops Michele Bachmann, 50% to 42%, beats Sarah Palin, 53% to 40% and leads Herman Cain, 49% to 39%.
Key finding: “One big reason Obama’s doing pretty well in these match ups is the Hispanic vote. Exit polls in 2008 showed him winning it by a 36 point margin over McCain but he builds on that in all of these match ups… This is a good example of what Republican strategist Mike Murphy has described as the economics vs. demographics tension for next year’s election. The economy could sink Obama but at the same time an ever growing expanding Hispanic vote that he wins by a huge margin could be enough to let him eek out a second term. It’s certainly propping him up on this poll.”
Clinton speechwriter Jeff Shesol says President Obama must drop his theme of seeking a post-partisan politics.
“It’s a weary tune, and sounds more like a lament than a call to action. The president freely admits he is ‘frustrated’ with politics, and we cannot be surprised. One of his frustrations with politics must be that he is not better at it. For this and other reasons, he would be well advised to find a new campaign theme — one that more accurately reflects what is happening in Washington, and that plays to his strengths and not his manifest weaknesses.”
“Today, at a time when President Obama has proved incapable of placating, cowing, or shaming Republicans… it is impossible to imagine an end — even a pause — to partisanship. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, Obama declared war on partisanship in 2008, and partisanship won.”
President Obama’s approval rate hit 38% in the Gallup daily tracking poll, a new low.
Newsweek finds new documents that show the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961 was even more disastrously handled than previously known.
A new DailyKos/SEIU poll in Nevada’s 2nd congressional district shows a tight race in the special election to fill the seat vacated by Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV). Mark Amodei (R) barely edges Kate Marshall (D), 43% to 42%, with two minor party candidates getting 3% each and 8% still undecided.
There are still many reasons for Democrats to worry: Amodei has 45% to 43% favorability rating compared to Marshall’s upside down 43% to 47%; Democratic lawmakers President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have very poor job performance approval numbers in the district, while Republican lawmakers Gov. Brian Sandoval and Sen. Dean Heller are quite popular; and Amodei crushes Marshall among independent voters, 45% to 33%, and those who say the economy and jobs are the most important issue, 50% to 38%.
The special election will be held on September 13.
In an excellent piece on the difficulties many presidential candidates have in relating to normal people — Mitt Romney and John Kerry are key examples — Jill Lawrence finds this wonderful quote from Calvin Coolidge in The Tormented President:
“I am as much interested in human beings as one could possibly be, but it is desperately hard for me to show it.”
A new Public Policy Polling survey in Iowa finds Rick Perry leading the GOP field with 22%, followed by Mitt Romney at 19%, Michele Bachmann at 18%, Ron Paul at 16%. Further back are Herman Cain at 7%, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum at 5%, and Jon Huntsman at 3%.
If you add Sarah Palin to the race the numbers are similar with Perry at 21%, Romney at 18%, Bachmann at 15%, Paul at 12%, and Palin getting just 10%.
Meanwhile, Political Wire has learned that a PPP national poll out tomorrow shows Perry with a double-digit lead over the rest of the field.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry “brings to the presidential race a law-and-order credential that none of his competitors can match — even if they wanted to,” the Washington Post reports.
“In his nearly 11 years as chief executive, Perry, now running for the GOP presidential nomination, has overseen more executions than any governor in modern history: 234 and counting. That’s more than the combined total in next two states — Oklahoma and Virginia — since the death penalty was restored 35 years ago.”
“Kind of like kissing your sister, I guess, not exactly what we had in mind.”
— Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), quoted by the Memphis Flyer, on the deal reached by congressional Republicans and President Obama to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.
New York Times: “The biggest — perhaps the only — question remaining about the size and shape of the Republican presidential field is whether Sarah Palin intends to join. The answer is not expected to come by Labor Day, but rather in the final weeks of September.”
For some unexplained reason, former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) is on a media tour — “climbing out of my cocoon,” he says.
He’s got no book to promote but in the past two weeks, he has “appeared on a few political talk shows and given several media interviews, saying repeatedly he is deeply troubled by the spending trajectory of the United States, an anxiety he cites as the impetus for his decision to speak out once more.”
That said, Sanford admits to ABC News he’s all but finished as a candidate for political office.
Said Sanford: “So much has been damaged and destroyed through what I did. My dad taught me to never say never, but I can’t really see a way back as a candidate given my warts. I think what I can do is have an influence on ideas, on the conversation. Anyone who has ever failed, your prayer is for a second chance, for the ability to use your talents even if it’s in a more limited way.”
Politico notes “conservative intellectuals” are still very unhappy with the Republican presidential field.
“From the Weekly Standard to the Wall Street Journal, on the pages of policy periodicals and opinion sections, the egghead right’s longing for a presidential candidate of ideas — first Mitch Daniels, then Paul Ryan — has been endless, intense, and unrequited.”
“Profoundly dissatisfied with the current field, that dull ache may only grow more acute after Ryan’s decision Monday to take himself out of the running. The problem, in shorthand: To many conservative elites, Rick Perry is a dope, Michele Bachmann is a joke, and Mitt Romney is a fraud.”
A new survey finds that 60% of House members are not holding any town hall meetings during their five-week congressional recess.
Mitt Romney will announce his “jobs plan” on September 6, the day before a GOP presidential debate and the same week President Obama said he’ll unveil his own economic plan.
Mike Allen: “POTUS’ choices: a) Wait till after the debate, and let Romney upstage him. b) Go the same day as Romney, producing a back-and-forth narrative, and giving the GOPers new ammo to bash him in the debate. c) Go the same day as the debate. d) Move up his timetable. He’s back from the Vineyard on Aug. 27.”
Of course, the best option politically might be to let Romney go first and suggest to voters that, like with health care, he might be able to steal some of his ideas.
Slow summer day? Download Rick Perry and His Eggheads: Inside the Brainiest Political Operation in America by Sasha Issenberg.
“I feel for them. But I am confident — truly — they will be loyal to their respective candidates. Each understands that of the other and would disrespect any lapses… which is not to say each won’t try. In that case, I put my $$ on the gal. We have the secret weapon!”
— Mary Matalin, quoted by the Texas Tribune, on a married couple in Texas working for opposing candidates in the GOP presidential primary.
Felix Salmon sounds the alarm over what he believes to be “arguably the most uncertain outlook, in terms of the global political economy, since World War II ended and the era of the welfare state began… Most fundamentally, what I’m seeing as I look around the world is a massive decrease of trust in the institutions of government.”
“It looks increasingly as though we’re entering Phase 2 of the global crisis, with 2008-9 merely acting as the appetizer. In Phase 1, national and super-national treasuries and central banks managed to come to the rescue and stave off catastrophe. But in doing so, they weakened themselves to the point at which they’re unable to rise to the occasion this time round… And that failure, in turn, is only going to further weaken institutional legitimacy across the US and the world. It’s a vicious cycle, and I can’t see how we’re going to break out of it.”
Richard Posner: “If we were being honest with ourselves, we would call this a depression. That would certainly better convey both the severity of our problems, and the fact that those problems have no evident solutions.”
Former New York Gov. George Pataki (R) accepted a speaking slot in Iowa this weekend and the Des Moines Register notes “Iowans are buzzing over whether he could use the event to declare his intentions” to run for president.
Said one event organizer: “Strong chance he will announce, I believe.”