POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 11/3
The Obama administration “is exploring a shift in the military’s mission in Afghanistan to an advisory role as soon as next year,” the Wall Street Journal reports, “a move that would scale back U.S. combat duties ahead of their scheduled conclusion at the end of 2014.”
“Officials said agreement on a formal shift to an advisory role could come as early as a North Atlantic Treaty Organization meeting in May — in the heat of the U.S. presidential election campaign.”
Associated Press: “A third former employee says she considered filing a workplace complaint over what she considered aggressive and unwanted behavior by Herman Cain when she worked for the presidential candidate in the 1990s. She says the behavior included a private invitation to his corporate apartment.”
Meanwhile, Politico reports talk radio host Steve Deace said Cain said “awkward” and “inappropriate” things to the staff at his station.
Oklahoma political consultant Chris Wilson tells KTOK that he was at a restaurant when Herman Cain sexually harassed a staffer.
Said Wilson: “It was only a matter of time because so many people were aware of what took place, so many people were aware of her situation, the fact she left — everybody knew with the campaign that this would eventually come up.”
Wilson said for legal reasons, he can not discuss details of the incident. “But if she comes out and talks about it, like I said, it’ll probably be the end of his campaign.”
Update: A reader notes Wilson does polling for a Super PAC backing Rick Perry’s presidential bid.
Said Matthews: “Fuck you. Where’d you get that? Is that what you think? You think I don’t write my books?”
He adds: “I would never let anybody write something for me. Why do you think I’m like that? It’s amazing to me that you think I’m some lightweight, glib bullshit artist that has somebody do his work for him. The writing is the hard part, the composition.”
David Bernstein finds that just a quarter of those who gave large amounts to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign four years ago have contributed again this year.
“Even Romney’s earliest supporters are, for the most part, sitting on the sidelines. Just 30 percent of big donors who gave in the first three months of 2007 have given this year. Of those who gave in the very first week last time, the return rate is 40 percent — still well under half.”
Another in our guest series from Inkwell Strategies analyzing the 2012 campaign ad war.
With his campaign in free-fall and the Iowa caucuses looming, Texas Governor Rick Perry is attempting to turn things around with what has been described as a “significant ad buy” in New Hampshire, one of the 2012 campaign’s first major paid media campaigns.
In a strong departure from his glossy and stylish “Proven Leadership” ad, Perry’s new video is stylistically simple. Gone are the melodramatic crescendos and the Hollywood-inspired cinematography. With weak debate performances and a bizarre speech in New Hampshire that led to speculation that he was intoxicated, the new ad is a clear effort to counter the prevailing notion that Perry may not have the gravitas for the presidency. Rather than aiming for Beltway politicos, this ad aims at middle class conservative voters who will ultimately decide the GOP race.
The Washington Post’s excellent Republican Primary Tracker shows that Herman Cain hasn’t been to either Iowa or New Hampshire once in the last 30 days.
A new Rasmussen survey in South Carolina shows Herman Cain with a double-digit lead over Mitt Romney, 33% to 23%, with Newt Gingrich in third place at 15%.
It’s important to note the automated phone survey was taken just last night after two days of media coverage about sexual harassment allegations against Cain.
As expected, New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner has scheduled the state’s primary for January 10, 2012, John DiStaso reports.
Here’s the schedule of the first five states in the GOP nominating process:
January 3: Iowa
January 10: New Hampshire
January 21: South Carolina
January 31: Florida
February 4: Nevada
Rick Perry “was stone-cold sober during his bombastic, comedic speech in New Hampshire, according to the man who invited the Texas governor to speak and spent much of the evening with him,” The Hill reports.
Said Kevin Smith: “I can tell you unequivocally he wasn’t drinking at the event and he hadn’t been drinking prior to the event. I was sitting with him, and I found him to be very engaging with all of the people he was talking with, he was very articulate.”
In fact, Smith said that Perry drank “only water” at the event and that his speech was well-received.
Mitt Romney holds a wide lead over his GOP rivals in donations received from the 939 “Pioneers” and “Rangers” who raised at least $100,000 each for George W. Bush’s two presidential campaigns, the Houston Chronicle reports.
“Romney has received 148 donations totaling $351,250 from Bush’s top money people, compared to Perry’s 87 contributions worth $213,000 and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s 47 donations for $102,867… Herman Cain, who is competing with Romney for first place in recent polling, has not received support from former Bush fundraisers, the study found.”
In the wake of the sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain and the rapid drop in the polls by Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann, First Read wonders if Tim Pawlenty dropped out of the Republican presidential race too early.
“Ironically, Pawlenty’s own initial analysis of the 2012 GOP Primary back in 2010 was that this would be two primaries: one to become the anti-Romney, and then one with Romney. As Pawlenty found out the hard way, it was perhaps too soon to drop out of the anti-Romney primary.”
Jonah Goldberg: “His problem stemmed from the fact that he’s a vanilla guy who thought he needed to convince conservatives he was a more exciting flavor. He should have waited, because vanilla may not be anyone’s first choice, but it’s almost everyone’s second choice… This should be Pawlenty’s moment. He could run as the vanilla alternative to the fat-free, sugar-free vanilla frogurt Romney.”
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) tells the Lincoln Journal Star that he’ll make a decision about running for re-election “sometime during the Christmas holiday season.”
“Nelson has his campaign leadership in place, has blanketed the state with a series of TV ads paid for by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, has raised campaign funds and banked more than $3 million for a re-election bid, but he still has not yet left the starting gate, pushed the go button, pulled the trigger.”
Said Nelson: “I’m not trying to drag this out. There is no theater involved in this. It’s more that I just don’t want to be a candidate any longer than I need to be or (it’s more difficult) to do the job I’m elected to do.”
The Hill reviews disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s new book, Capitol Punishment, which says Ralph Reed made a “hard sell” to secure Abramoff’s support for George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential bid. According to the book, Reed said that “Bush personally told him that his presidency would make all of us very rich.”
Asked by The Hill about the anecdote, Reed said: “I don’t recall ever saying that to Jack.”
Herman Cain is hurting himself with his repeated high-profile appearances to discuss sexual harassment allegations made against him because, as The Fix notes, “his side of the story keeps changing. And that means that every time he goes on television, he is creating more questions than he’s answering.”
Said former RNC communication director Brian Jones: “Ultimately, crisis communications is about survival. Repeatedly re-litigating the story and injecting new facts only fuels the story while also casting doubts on the truthfulness of the pushback.”
“In other words: Get your story straight and stick to it. And that’s the opposite of what Cain did in the first 48 hours of this controversy.”
As the Republican presidential primary weaves its way towards the first caucuses and primaries, The Hill notes that in “the past few weeks, White House and campaign officials have all but declared Romney the nominee… blasting the former Massachusetts governor in conference calls and background briefings.”
“And Romney is the second target. The first phase of Obama’s ‘we can’t wait’ political strategy was his fall offensive against Congress. By going on the road and going on offense, using the thin shield of an ill-fated jobs act, Obama has helped drive down congressional approval. And while it hasn’t yielded any huge gains for Obama’s own dismal approval rating, this isn’t about making people like Obama. It’s about making people hate Congress. And soon it will be about making people hate Romney. Or at least fear him.”
Metaphor of the campaign: “The summer days of compromise are gone, replaced by the autumn winds of political combat. The winter will be cold, brutal and long as the president’s team takes its fight from Congress to Romney. Obama can’t wait.”
“Nine local TV anchors got the full Cinderella treatment from the White House, on a day that one likened to ‘a whirlwind,'” according to the Los Angeles Times.
“Yes, they interviewed the president in the Cabinet Room on Tuesday. But they also got lunch with the president’s top political advisor, David Plouffe; an on-camera tour of the White House main floor in the company of a curator; a visit to First Lady Michelle Obama’s garden on the South Lawn; an interview with a White House aide from their home market… Press SecretaryJay Carney skipped over some of the national press to make sure the out-of-town guests got a question at the daily briefing.”
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds 48% of Americans rate the Democratic Party favorably, marking the party’s first sub-50% read in polling since 1984. At the same time, public views of the Republican Party continue to be even more negative with just 40% viewing the party favorably.
Independent voters are broadly critical of the two sides: 55% have unfavorable views of the Democrats and Republicans alike.
Interestingly, while 74% of independent voters favor the idea of an independent candidate for president, majorities of both Republicans (57%) and Democrats (53%) also back the concept, at least in principle.
“This is the year when we can’t have any surprises with our candidate.”
— Michele Bachmann, quoted by the AP, taking a shot at rival Herman Cain as he defends himself against allegations of sexual harassment.
A new Quinnipiac poll finds President Obama’s job approval rating is split with 47% approving and 49% disapproving — a significant improvement from last month when he held a 41% to 55% approval.
Voters also are divided 47% to 49% on whether he deserves reelection, compared to last month, when a majority said he did not deserve reelection.
National Journal: “Still, there are indications that the poll could just be a blip. There is little change in the crosstabs by party from last month, when Romney led Obama by four points. Independents broke for Romney by five points in each survey, yet, overall, there was a nine-point swing. It simply appears that this month’s sample is significantly more Democratic.”
A new Quinnipiac poll finds Herman Cain leading the Republican presidential field nationally with 30%, followed by Mitt Romney with 23%, Newt Gingrich with 10% and Rick Perry with 8%. No other candidate tops 7 percent.
Cain leads a head-to-head race with Romney among Republican voters, 47% to 39%, “coming close to the critical 50% mark, even though more Republicans think Romney has the knowledge and experience to be president.”Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics