POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 8/25

A Nightmare Scenario for Romney

Nate Silver notes that while Mitt Romney currently retains a large lead in New Hampshire, the danger is that, if Rick Perry “were to win Iowa convincingly, he could clear the field of other conservative candidates.”

“New Hampshire has a lot of moderate and independent voters — but it is still majority conservative. And although Mr. Romney holds a solid lead over each of the individual conservatives, he does not hold a lead over them collectively: Mr. Perry, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Herman Cain, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich together have in excess of 50% of the vote there, based on a trendline constructed from recent polls of the state, as compared to 34% for Mr. Romney. If, for example, Mr. Perry were to knock out Mrs. Bachmann, Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Cain by winning Iowa, picking up most of their votes, the New Hampshire contest would become very tight.”

CEOs Pledge Not to Donate to Politicians

CNN reports that over 100 CEOs have promised not to donate to political campaigns until politicians stop the “partisan gridlock.”

Those who have signed on include Starbucks’ Howard Schultz, AOL’s Tim Armstrong, and Whole Foods’ Scott Griffiths.

Edwards Seeks to Delay His Trial

John Edwards “has asked for more time to prepare for his trial,” the Raleigh News and Observer reports.

Attorneys representing Edwards said that there “would be insufficient time if the trial goes in October, as scheduled, for the hearing of numerous legal issues tied to a case that not only is complex but also novel.”

Make Obama or Bush Say What You Want

Two new iPhone apps are out — iSpeech Bush and iSpeech Obama — that use the actual voices of President Bush and President Obama to recite anything you type or say. The results are actually fairly convincing, even if neither man ever said what you’ve asked them to say.

 

Pataki Website in Development

An early version of former New York Gov. George Pataki’s (R) presidential campaign website was accidentally made public this morning, Politicker NY reports.

A Pataki spokesman tells Capital Tonight: “Can’t run a campaign without a website — the hosting company apparently made a mistake and has prematurely made it searchable. The site is still in development and will only be launched if the Governor decides to get in the race.”

Perry is the New Frontrunner

A new Gallup poll shows Texas Gov. Rick Perry has jumped to the front of the Republican presidential race with 29%, followed by Mitt Romney at 17%, Ron Paul at 13% and Michele Bachmann at 10%. All other contenders are below 5% in support.

A new Public Policy Polling survey finds Perry at 33%, Romney at 20%, Bachmann at 16%, Newt Gingrich at 8% and Herman Cain and Ron Paul at 6%.

Key finding: “There was some thought that Perry’s entry would actually help Romney because it would lead to a split in the conservative vote between Perry and Bachmann but Perry is now winning those voters by such a wide margin that it doesn’t even matter.”

Cheney Kept Letter of Resignation in Safe

Former Vice President Dick Cheney tells NBC News that he had a letter of resignation ready from shortly after he became vice president. Only President George W. Bush and a Cheney staffer knew about the letter.

Said Cheney: “I did it because I was concerned that — for a couple of reasons. One was my own health situation. The possibility that I might have a heart attack or a stroke that would be incapacitating. And, there is no mechanism for getting rid of a vice president who can’t function.”

Cheney kept the signed letter locked in a safe, he reveals in the memoir In My Time, which comes out Tuesday.

Of the other revelations in the book, Cheney said: “There are gonna be heads exploding all over Washington.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“I would humbly suggest to you that being a conservative is not necessarily a bad thing. But if you are a conservative, you have to persuade. You have to defend a position. You can’t just be against the president. And that’s the big test.”

— Jeb Bush, quoted by CNN.

New Low for Nevada

Jon Ralston: “The race to replace Dean Heller in Congress has come down to the lesser of two lessers. After moderating an hourlong debate this week and witnessing the nonsense emanating from the campaigns as the election draws nigh, I can honestly say this is one of the more embarrassing spectacles in Nevada campaign history. After 25 years (ritualistic ‘I’m a grizzled veteran’ reference) of covering politics, I have a high tolerance for campaign silliness. But the Mark Amodei-Kate Marshall contest has set new standards of inanity.”

Bush Family Wants Jeb to Run

Former White House press secretary Dana Perino told Fox News that the Bush family wants former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to run for president someday.

Said Perino: “I know that his dad and his brother both want him to run. I think that each of those Bush presidents and a possible future president brings a unique aspect to the table, but what they have in common is a quiet dignity and love for America that makes me still support them everyday when I wake up.”

Jeb Bush has said repeatedly that he will not run for president in 2012.

The Off-Site Senate

While yesterday’s earthquake forced the U.S. Senate to convene its daily session off Capitol Hill, the Wall Street Journal notes it was not the first time the world’s greatest deliberative body met outside the Senate chamber.

Nearly nine years ago, the Senate held a ceremonial joint session with the House at Federal Hall in New York City, as a memorial for the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

But the only nonceremonial occasion for a displaced Senate came in 1814, after the Capitol was burned during the war of 1812 and senators were forced to convene in Blodgett’s Hotel on 8th and E Streets N.W.

An Opening for an Independent Candidate?

With President Obama’s approval rate hitting new lows and an increasing probability Republicans will nominate a presidential challenger outside the mainstream, Matthew Dowd suggests there’s room for a “more-moderate independent candidate.”

“The Republican Party base — for smaller government, low taxes, and socially conservative — represents about 26 percent of all voters. The Democratic Party’s bloc — for larger government, higher taxes, and more socially progressive — represents about 23 percent of all voters. Thus, 51 percent of the electorate is a mishmash of independents, not ideological members of either political party.”

Quote of the Day

“You stand up on stage in the debate like we did the other night and look around and say, ‘Whoa, where’d these folks come from? What an interesting assortment of characters!'”

— Jon Huntsman, quoted by the Salt Lake Tribune, describing his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination.

What Makes Perry Different

Walter Shapiro says that what sets Texas Gov. Rick Perry apart from other prominent conservatives of the modern political era “has nothing to do with the gyrations of the 2012 campaign.”

“Indeed, Perry is not only a presidential candidate, but also a cowboy-booted sociological experiment. It is almost as if Perry’s political persona was constructed by bundling together all the fears and phantoms in the left-wing anxiety closet. Since the hysteria of the 1950s Red Scare, no Republican figure has matched Perry in his God-given ability to give liberals the heebie-jeebies. Others can rival the governor’s disdain for academic achievement (Palin), his cross-on-the-sleeve religiosity (Michele Bachmann and Mike Huckabee), and his antipathy to Social Security and Medicare (Paul Ryan and Barry Goldwater). But never before has a top-tier presidential candidate embodied the whole lethal package.”

Upper Income Confidence Plunging

The Gallup Economic Confidence index is at its lowest level since March 2009.

Key finding: “Confidence has fallen among Americans of all income levels, but plunged among upper-income Americans making $90,000 or more a year. Normally, upper-income Americans are more optimistic than their middle- and lower-income counterparts, however, this changed in the first weeks of August.”

Rubio Saves a Falling Nancy Reagan

Before his speech at the Reagan Library, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) escorted a frail Nancy Reagan to her front row seat when video shows her cane slipped and she nearly fell to the floor. Reacting quickly, Rubio caught the former president’s widow by her left arm and helped her back to her feet.

See more…

Levi Johnston “Too Busy” to Run for Mayor

Levi Johnston has decided not to make a bid for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska because he’s “too busy” to run, the AP reports.

Instead, he’ll focus promoting his book, Deer in the Headlights, about the publicity he received for impregnating Sarah Palin’s daughter.

His manager gave Radar a slightly different explanation, saying, “Levi doesn’t want the office of the Mayor to be a joke and so he’s not going to do it right now.”

Hanabusa Passes on Senate Bid

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI) announced she would skip a run for the U.S. Senate and instead seek re-election, Honolulu Civil Beat reports.

“Hanabusa’s decision means the 2012 general election will likely be a rematch with Republican Charles Djou, who announced his candidacy last week. Hanabusa defeated Djou in the November 2010 general election but lost to him in the May 2010 special election that sent Djou to Congress to fill the remainder of Neil Abercrombie’s seat.”

Rubio Insists He’s Not Interested in Veep

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) insisted he isn’t interested in running for vice president, despite being on nearly every Republicans short list for the job, Politico reports.

Said Rubio: “They have to talk about somebody. I guess it’s my turn but they will move on to other people soon enough.”

He added: “I’m not going to talk about vice president. I’m certainly not going to start speculating about 2016 and presidential stuff. That is just distracting. It’s just something I’m not really focused on.”

First Black Nominee for Mississippi Governor

Johnny DuPree (D) won the Democratic nomination for Mississippi governor last night, “becoming the first black candidate to win major-party nod for the state’s top job,” the APreports.

He advances to the November general election to face Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant (R).

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