POLITCAL WIRE’S HEADLINES -11/1

Cain’s Story Shifts

Politico put together an excellent video compilation showing how Herman Cain’s recollection of sexual harassment charges made against him changed throughout the day.

Alexander Burns: “Cain’s inability to stick to a single set of reliable facts about the controversies over his leadership at the NRA will make it difficult for his campaign to turn the page on a story that has overshadowed the GOP primary race this week.”

See more…

 

McKenna Leads Inslee in Washington

A new Washington Poll finds Rob McKenna (R) leading Rep. Jay Inslee (D) in the race for Washington governor, 44% to 38%.

 

Rollins Says Bachmann Can’t Win Iowa

Ed Rollins told ABC News that former client Michele Bachmann has “run out of money and ideas” and can no longer expect to win in Iowa.

Said Rollins: “She’s still saying the same things she said in the first the debate. There’s no substance. She says, ‘I’m going to repeal Obamacare.’ But she’s been saying that from Day 1. I told her: That’s your Tea Party speech, now you have to say what you’re going to do next.”

Ben Smith: “Rarely has the arc of a campaign been so clearly foretold (another win for the pundits!) as Michele Bachmann’s, about whom the conventional wisdom this summer was, roughly, Ames victory, abrupt collapse, public recriminations from Ed Rollins.”

 

Obama is Tobacco Free

President Obama has passed his physical — and is “tobacco free” to boot, USA Todayreports.

“Obama, who has been criticized for smoking, has told interviewers recently that he has kicked the habit… The two-page report concludes that Obama is physically active, eats a healthy diet, stays at a healthy weight, and on occasion drinks alcohol in moderation.”

 

Tea Party Binge

Newsweek investigation found about five dozen of the most fiscally conservative Republicans “trying to gobble up the very largesse they publicly disown, in the time-honored, budget-busting tradition of bringing home the bacon for local constituents.”

 

Health Care Reform: The Comic Book

Coming soon: Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It’s Necessary, How It Works by Jonathan Gruber.

WBUR interviews the author: “I think Mitt Romney is the hero of this story. But I want to make clear that the way he’s portrayed in this book has nothing to do with his presidential campaign. Mitt Romney is the single person most responsible for health care reform in this country: Without his leadership we don’t get reform in Massachusetts, and without Massachusetts reform we don’t get national reform.”

 

Cain Denies Harassment Claims

In an interview with Fox News, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain deniedaccusations that he had sexually harassed two female employees when he was head of the National Restaurant Association, reports Politico.

Said Cain, “It is totally baseless and totally false. Never have I ever committed any kind of sexual harassment.”

Cain also claimed that he “wasn’t even aware” of any settlement between the restaurant association and the women involved.

Meanwhile, NBC News has confirmed at least one of Cain’s accusers received a cash settlement.

 

Romney Taps Bush’s Network

The Wall Street Journal reports that Mitt Romney has picked up more of President George W. Bush’s top fundraisers than any other candidate in the Republican presidential race, and has even “won over twice as many of the Bush backers as Texas Gov. Rick Perry,” who served as Bush’s Lieutenant Governor in Texas.

“Winning the support of Mr. Bush’s network would be a coup given that the former president’s fund-raising operation was among the best in recent Republican campaigns. He invented the modern system of relying on a group of ‘bundlers’ who could generate huge sums by soliciting donations from colleagues, friends and associates… Of the roughly 550 people who raised at least $100,000 for Mr. Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign, about 400 have yet to make a campaign donation to any of the Republicans running for president.”

 

One More Look at Jack Kennedy

Out tomorrow: Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero by Chris Matthews.

Howard Fineman highlights a story about the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon debates: “According to new interviews, the Kennedy team insisted that makeup be prohibited. Richard Nixon followed the rules, with disastrous results. JFK did not. His staff secretly applied powder and told reporters that his ruddy glow was merely a natural tan. After Nixon was seen perspiring badly in the first debate, his staff tried secretly to lower the thermostat in the NBC studios for the second debate. The Kennedy team found out and just as secretly turned the dial back up.”

 

Corzine Firm to Declare Bankruptcy

Jon Corzine (D), whose political ambitions ended when he was defeated for re-election as New Jersey governor nearly two years ago, has now run his Wall Street firm into bankruptcy, Deal Book reports.

However, Corzine “is expected to receive a severance payment of nearly $12.1 million.”

 

Americans Would Pick Reagan Over FDR

A new 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll finds Americans would choose Ronald Reagan over Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 36% to 29%, as the past president they would want in the White House in these trying times.

Thomas Jefferson came in third place with 14% from a list of five past presidents that also includes Harry Truman at 8% and William Henry Harrison at 1%.

 

What Happens to Cain and the GOP Field?

Herman Cain’s survival as a GOP frontrunner depends on how he handles the mob of reporters interested in his response to the story that he sexually harassed at least two women.

First Read: “Three questions immediately come to mind: One, can his campaign handle this story? (The most sophisticated of political operatives struggle to handle and get in front of scandal stories; Cain’s less experienced team, so far, appears to be struggling big time.) Two, assuming the campaign can’t fix this, does Cain become the latest conservative darling (after Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry) to sink in the polls? And three, what happens if he does? Could that benefit Perry or someone else?”

Ben Smith: “I’m not sure to whose benefit the new information about Cain’s record goes — but that beneficiary will obviously be a Republican. I’m inclined, in fact, to think Newt Gingrich has the best shot of the next boomlet, and both Mitt Romney — eager to have anyone but Rick Perry in that slot — and Rick Perry, who’s still re-assembling his campaign and image, might have been glad to leave Cain there a while.”

 

Quote of the Day

“Rick Perry is going to go down in history for the all-time train wreck beginning. Because private polling in Iowa 40 days ago had him leading.”

— GOP strategist Mike Murphy, on Meet the Press, commenting on the latest Iowa Poll that has Perry in 6th place.

 

Company Picked Up Cain Campaign Expenses

Top aides to Herman Cain “ran a private Wisconsin-based corporation that helped the GOP presidential candidate get his fledgling campaign off the ground by originally footing the bill for tens of thousands of dollars in expenses for such items as iPads, chartered flights and travel to Iowa and Las Vegas — something that might breach federal tax and campaign law,” the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.

 

Perry Rolls Out New Iowa Ad

Rick Perry continues to introduce himself to Iowa voters with a new positive television adset to air this week.

Paul Begala: “Perry has had it bass-ackwards, attacking in person and using paid TV for positive spots that have been surprisingly bad. Right now he’s running ads claiming he will create 2 million jobs by loosening regulations on coal and oil companies. First, someone needs to tell Rick we need about 20 million jobs. And second, no one thinks the recession was caused by too few drilling rigs. You work with what you have, so if your candidate can’t debate, just get him through the events without an unforced error — and then use TV to carpet-bomb the most dangerous opponent.”

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Election Laws Tighten in GOP-Run States

Republicans in states like Florida and Ohio are making it more challenging to vote or to register others, the Los Angeles Times reports.

It’s part of a national trend, “as election law has become a fierce partisan battleground. In states where Republicans have taken majority control, they have tightened rules for registering new voters, reduced the time for casting ballots and required voters to show photo identification at the polls. The new restrictions were usually adopted on party-line votes and signed by Republican governors.”

“Democrats have denounced new restrictions as ‘voter suppression’ laws intended to deter voting by students, the elderly, the poor, the disabled and minorities.”

 

Cain Edges Perry in Texas

One more sign of how far Texas Gov. Rick Perry has fallen since he announced his presidential bid: A new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll shows Herman Cain edging Perry in his home state among Republican voters, 27% to 26%.

Rep. Ron Paul was next with 12%, followed by Mitt Romney at 9% and Newt Gingrich at 8%. The other Republican primary candidates — Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman, Gary Johnson and Rick Santorum — each got 2% or less.

In general election match ups, President Obama loses to each of the top four GOP candidates.

 

Romney Limits National Media Exposure

Michael Calderone: “The Romney campaign, running this cycle from a frontrunner position, has scaled back on the candidate’s accessibility from four years ago and rarely allows for such unguarded moments on the campaign trail. While Romney has taken the stage for primetime debates and has done a few cable news hits, he’s avoided lengthy interviews with magazines to which he spoke in 2008 — such as Time and Newsweek — and hasn’t appeared on any of the Sunday morning chat shows, a traditional pit stop for any presidential contender.”

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