High Price to See Cain and Gingrich Debate

If you want to see next month’s “modified Lincoln-Douglas debate” between Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich — not carried on television — it will cost you, the Wall Street Journalreports.

“Bleacher seating at the Gingrich/Cain debate, hosted by the Texas Tea Party Patriots at the Woodlands Resort in Houston, costs a cool $200. The next step up, the $500 ticket, gets you ‘prime seating’ and a ticket to the ‘Nite Cap party after the Debate,’ … And for the really high rollers, $1,000 will get you ‘the best seating in the house for the debate’ and ‘a professional picture taken with the candidates.'”

There’s no word if the candidates are getting paid for their appearance, but Dave Weigel, who first broke the story, reports proceeds will go to the Tea Party Patriots group.

Bachmann for Halloween!

The Daily Beast reports Newsweek‘s Michele Bachmann cover has become a Halloween costume.

Obama Approval Bounces Back

The latest Gallup tracking poll finds President Obama’s job approval rating has improved to 43% — up from his low point of 38% two weeks ago.

The increase could be tied to two recent major foreign policy events — the death of former Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi and Obama’s announcement that virtually all U.S. troops would be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of the year.

King May Not Endorse in Iowa

Rep. Steve King (R-IA), one Iowa’s leading conservative voices, tells CNN he might stay out of the 2012 race and not make an endorsement.

Said King: “I would have told you in June, yes, I will make an endorsement. But today I will tell you that my head and my heart have not come together behind a single candidate. I wish that has happened by now. It hasn’t. I can’t just make a decision based on a date on the calendar. It’s got to be a conviction.”

Romney Hold Big Lead in New Hampshire

The latest Rasmussen survey in New Hampshire finds Mitt Romney running away from the GOP presidential field with 41%, followed by Herman Cain at 17%, Ron Paul at 11%, Newt Gingrich at 8%, Jon Huntsman at 7% and everyone else under 5%.

Judge Won’t Dismiss Case Against Edwards

A federal court judge rejected efforts by John Edwards to have his case thrown out before trial, the Raleigh News & Observer reports.

Said Edwards: “What’s important now is that I now get my day in court, after all these years I finally get my day in court. What I know with complete and absolute certainty is I did not violate any campaign laws.”

A trial has been set for January.

Brawl Breaks Out in Italian Parliament

Sky News reports that Italian lawmakers “came to blows in the Chamber of Deputies after an opposition leader made comments about Northern League leader Umberto Bossi’s wife on television.”

“Gianfranco Fini, a former ally of Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi, mentioned on a talk show that Mrs Bossi had taken early retirement from a teaching job when she was 39. The retirement age in Italy has been a key issue holding up a programme implementing emergency growth measures.”

Respectful Rivalry in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald (R), who is a candidate for U.S. Senate, has a portrait hanging in his personal office of one his opponents in the Republican primary former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R), according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Fitzgerald has no plans to remove the portrait, saying, “I still respect the guy.”

Is Rubio a Risky Bet?

Washington Post: “Republicans who are eager to repair the party’s battered image among Hispanic voters and unseat President Obama next year have long promoted a single-barrel solution to their two-pronged problem: putting Sen. Marco Rubio on the national ticket.”

“But Rubio’s role in recent controversies, including a dispute with the country’s biggest Spanish-language television network and new revelations that he had mischaracterized his family’s immigrant story, shows that any GOP bet on his national appeal could be risky. Democrats had already questioned whether a Cuban American who has voiced conservative views on immigration and opposed the historic Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina justice, could appeal to a national Hispanic electorate of which Cubans are just a tiny fraction but have special immigration status. And Rubio’s support in Florida among non-Cuban Hispanics has been far less pronounced than among his fellow Cubans.”

Carville Says Romney Will Be the Nominee

James Carville told George Stephanopoulos that Mitt Romney is almost certain to win the Republican presidential nomination becauase Rick Perry and Herman Cain are not serious candidates.

Said Carville: “I don’t think so. I mean Rick Perry’s completely blown himself up. There’s zero chance that Herman Cain’s going to be the nominee.”

“The only thing that I can see is that Republicans just don’t like him enough that he can’t accumulate half the delegates as he goes through this. That these candidates just keep going and becoming such an irritant that he can’t close the deal but that’s almost impossible to imagine.”

See more…

The Underdog

Mark Halperin: “If the election were held today, the Obama-Biden ticket would not win the 270 electoral votes required to hold the White House. The coalition that helped elect the President — fired-up liberals, independents, business interests, a friendly media contingent — has been disbanded. Deep-pocketed conservative donors and Republican voters are desperate to depose the man they consider Jimmy Carter redux or worse. Democrats on Capitol Hill privately display nearly as much disdain for the Administration as their GOP counterparts, complaining about both its incompetence and its ideology. Most of all, Obama now owns a weak economy and hasn’t been able to generate his own luck.”

That said: “No one has a better record of taking up his game when everything is on the line.”

The End of TV Campaign Ads?

John Avlon: “This might finally be the election cycle when viral video gets some respect while breaking the chokehold that broadcast-TV advertising buys have on campaign budgets. The roughly 45 percent of total campaign funds that end up being spent on TV ads is no longer commensurate to their actual power or reach. Instead, it’s starting to look like a racket, reflecting a political-consultant playbook first fashioned in the 1980s that’s resistant to change.”

Huntsman Raises Just $1000 in New Hampshire

Despite holding more than 80 events in the first primary state, Jon Huntsman has raised just $1000 from New Hampshire resident, Yahoo News reports.

Said Huntsman: “I was surprised by it because we haven’t had a single fund-raiser in New Hampshire… It hasn’t been a center for fundraising for us. It’s been a primary process that we take extremely seriously. One that we have developed a strategy around. Fundraising happens elsewhere. So if we were to do a fundraiser in New Hampshire we’d pull in more, no doubt about that.”

Clinton Would Crush Romney, Perry

A new Time poll finds that if Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ran for president, she would have much bigger leads over both Mitt Romney and Rick Perry than President Obama.

In hypothetical match ups, Clinton beats Romney by 17 points, 55 to 38%. Obama leads Romney by 3 points in the same poll. Clinton beats Perry by a whopping 26 points, 58 to 32%. Obama leads Perry by 12 points.

Economy Grows Faster Than Expected

The Wall Street Journal reports the U.S. economy grew at an inflation-adjusted annual rate of 2.5% last quarter, the strongest performance in a year.

The report could allay at least for now concerns the the economy is slipping back into recession.

Edwards Uses the Ensign Defense

In an attempt to have the case against him dismissed, lawyers for John Edwards argued in a federal court that nearly $1 million in secret payments used to hide his pregnant mistress were not presidential campaign expenses and therefore not a violation of campaign laws, the AP reports.

As an example, they cited former Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), “whose parents gave a$96,000 check to his married mistress as “severance” when she left the employment of his campaign. Federal Elections officials later determined the payment was a personal gift, not a campaign contribution.”

Iowa Poll This Weekend

The Des Moines Register reports the latest Iowa Poll on the Republican presidential race will be released Saturday night at 8 pm ET.

Quote of the Day

“As you know — check out the Internet — many people say it is not real.”

— Donald Trump, in a CNN interview, suggesting he’s still not sure President Obama’s birth certificate is authentic.

See more…

Chaos with Cain

The New York Times has a fascinating look at Herman Cain’s unorthodox and often mismanaged campaign.

“All presidential candidates make mistakes — including experienced candidates like Mitt Romney — and campaigns are chaotic and unruly by nature… But interviews with Mr. Cain’s former staff members, volunteers and supporters give a glimpse of a candidate who appeared to show ambivalence toward basic campaign management, which led to problems in hiring, scheduling, fund-raising and messaging.”

Especially odd: “Several former workers interviewed for this article said they were directed by the campaign not to speak with reporters. (Two said they had signed nondisclosure agreements, a rare demand within political campaigns, and they had been reminded, they said, by the campaign not to speak with the news media.)”

European Leaders Agree on Debt Deal

European leaders have reached a “three-pronged” agreement to solve the region’s massive debt crisis, the BBC reports.

“They said banks holding Greek debt accepted a 50% loss, the eurozone bailout fund will be boosted and banks will have to raise more capital.”

New York Times: “After all the buildup to this summit meeting, failure here would have been a disaster. While the plan to require banks to raise new capital was generally approved without difficulty — banks will be forced to raise about $150 billion to protect themselves against losses on loans to shaky countries like Greece and Portugal — the negotiations over the Greek debt were difficult.”

Does Cain Really Have a Shot?

Nate Silver on Herman Cain’s presidential candidacy:

“Has there ever been a candidate with such strong polling but such weak fundamentals? Almost certainly not, at least not at this relatively advanced stage of the race… [I]t is quite arrogant to say that the man leading in the polls two months before Iowa has no chance, especially given that there is a long history in politics and other fields of experts being overconfident when they make predictions.”

Perry May Skip Future Debates

Maggie Haberman reports that Rick Perry, who has not proven himself to be the most compelling performer in debates, may not attend any more Republican presidential primary debates after the upcoming debate in Michigan.

Said Perry spokesman Mark Miner, “I think all the campaigns are expressing frustration right now. We said we would do Michigan but the primaries are around the corner and you have to use your time accordingly.”

National Journal: “There appears to be consensus in the Rick Perry campaign that skipping some future debates may be the best strategy for the Texas governor.”

Who Favors Whom?

The latest CBS News/New York Times poll asked respondents who the Obama administration and Republicans in Congress supported the most, the rich, middle class, and the poor, or all of them equally.

The Fix: “While people were pretty evenly split on whether the administration favors the middle class, the rich or the poor, they were all but unanimous about which class the Republicans favor; 69 percent said Republicans in Congress favor the rich, while just 9 percent said the middle class and 2 percent said the poor. That’s a significant perception problem for the GOP, and the Occupy Wall Street protesters — for whatever bad press they have created and will create due to the actions of some participants — are rallying support against the very class that the GOP is thought to favor.”

Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics

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