POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 11/17
A new Fox News poll shows Newt Gingrich leading the GOP presidential field nationally with 23%, followed by Mitt Romney at 22% and Herman Cain at 15%.
The rest of the pack: Ron Paul at 8%, Rick Perry at 7%, Michele Bachmann at 6%, Jon Huntsman at 3%, and Rick Santorum at 2%.
Gawker reports that Anthony Shaffer “is suing the Pentagon and the CIA over their extraordinary attempts to censor Operation Dark Heart, the book he wrote recounting his days as a military spy in Afghanistan and elsewhere. One problem he’s run into: The government has the original unredacted manuscript he wrote. And it won’t give him a copy. Because it’s classified.”
But he can buy it on eBay.
When the Pentagon discovered the book contained sensitive information, it had already been printed and dozens of review copies sent out. So even though the government bought all 10,000 copies of the book directly from the publisher and destroyed them, there are still copies floating around.
Obama administration Cabinet members and senior aides “are fanning out across the country in an aggressive fundraising drive, taking advantage of porous campaign finance laws that allow them to appear as marquee speakers and raise substantial money for the president’s reelection effort,” the Los Angeles Times reports.
“For $5,000, a donor can get a kind of season pass to see officials when they come to town — a bargain compared with the $35,800 typically charged for dinner with President Obama… None of this is illegal, although the appearances must be carefully choreographed to avoid running afoul of the federal Hatch Act, which regulates political activity by government employees but allows ample wiggle room.”
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) mocked Mitt Romney’s Iowa expectation-setting and warned him that he “would meet the same fate as Rudy Giuliani four years ago if he didn’t get serious about the caucuses,” Politico reports.
Said Branstad: “I think he’s making a big mistake…by not coming here and spending more time. I mean Romney is dropping in the polls and I think he thinks that he wants to keep down expectations, you know. Well, his expectations may get really bad if he doesn’t get a little more serious.”
He added: “Iowans don’t like being ignored, they don’t like being ignored!”
Nate Silver: “Romney certainly does not need to win Iowa to win the nomination. But unless he builds up more of a cushion in the national polls before the voting there, a loss for his campaign in the caucuses would at least make for an exciting January.”
A new SurveyUSA poll finds President Obama leading Mitt Romney nationally, 46% to 44%.
However, if the survey only includes landline respondents (72% of registered voters), Romney leads by 6 points. Among those who only use mobile phones (28% of registered voters), Obama leads by 22 points.
“I’m not supposed to know anything about foreign policy. Just thought I’d throw that out.”
Two-thirds of the House Republican freshmen — 43 of 65 — saw their fundraising dip in the past quarter, USA Today reports.
“In addition, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee took in nearly twice as much campaign cash as House Republicans in September — a sign Democratic donors are energized, despite low poll rankings for Congress and President Obama.”
A new Public Policy Polling survey shows that just 37% of voters think that Republicans were an upgrade from when the Democrats controlled the House of Representatives, while 41% think they’ve been worse.
Nonetheless, the generic congressional ballot is a tie — with 45% favoring a Democratic candidate and 45% going for a Republican — because Democrats are almost as unpopular as their GOP counterparts.
Said Donovan: ”It made me proud to be a New Yorker — not enough to get me to move back. We’ve got more work to do in the Obama administration in a second term.”
Asked if that included marriage equality, Donovan confirmed it did, saying, “Like marriage equality.”
“You must understand: to Republican stalwarts, a relationship with Freddie Mac is the moral equivalent of satanism. Gingrich was a paid helper — and, believe me, he didn’t get paid $1.6 million to lecture the organization on the failures of government intervention in the market — in a ‘socialist’ effort to make home-buying easier for people who ordinarily wouldn’t be able to afford houses, an effort that famously went off the rails when the government began supporting sub-prime and other highly questionable mortgages.”
“In other words, Gingrich was supporting — the best guess was that Gingrich was hired to win some Republican support for Freddie — the very sort of program that he routinely excoriates. This sort of hypocrisy is astounding but, sadly, not unknown to Newt. After all, this was the guy who led the Republican Impeachment of Bill Clinton while having an extra-marital affair of his own.”
“Hang him from the highest tree. I’ll bring the rope.”
— Sarah Palin, quoted by USA Today, on former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who has been accused of sexually assaulting children.
Smart Politics finds that if Newt Gingrich were to win the presidency in 2012, his 13+ year hiatus from political office at the time of his inauguration would be the largest among all presidents who previously held political office.
Michael Shear notes that despite a steady stream of “gaffes, misstatements, puzzled looks and long, awkward pauses” the Republican presidential candidates “have turned the cringe-inducing moments to their advantage, asserting that they demonstrate an authenticity different from the slick professionalism of politicians in Washington.”
“But the embarrassing moments are piling up, and some veteran Republicans are beginning to wonder whether the cumulative effect weakens the party brand, especially in foreign policy and national security, where Republicans have typically dominated Democrats.”
Notes former Reagan chief of staff Ken Duberstein: “It is an Animal House. It’s a food fight. Honestly, the Republican debates have become a reality show. People have to be perceived as being capable of governing this country, of being the leader of the free world.
Obama administration officials “are quietly bracing for supercommittee failure, with advisers privately saying they are pessimistic that the 12-member Congressional panel will find a way to cut $1.2 trillion from the deficit as required,” the Washington Post reports.
“Perhaps mindful of the long odds of success, Obama has largely left the negotiations alone, after issuing his blueprint in September for more than $3 trillion in savings… At the same time, several Democrats said, any greater involvement by Obama at this stage could have a toxic effect as Democrats and Republicans try to find middle ground. If the president were more deeply engaged, it could force Republicans into a reactionary role.”
A new CNN/Opinion Research survey shows 78% of Americans think it is “somewhat or very unlikely” the committee will develop a plan to significantly reduce the federal budget deficit by the November 23 deadline.
A new Bloomberg poll in New Hampshire shows Mitt Romney way ahead of his GOP presidential rivals with 40%, followed by Ron Paul at 17% and Newt Gingrich at 10%. All the other candidates are below 10%.
Said pollster Ann Selzer: “You just don’t have any volatility in these numbers. He’s liked and widely liked.”
John Dickerson: “No candidate spans the rheostat more than Gingrich, who can go from sweet to sour in seconds. As the Gingrich candidacy gains traction in the polls, the key questions are going to be about temperament, discipline, and character. Those are important with any candidate — but with Gingrich they are especially so… But now Gingrich will face the pressures of being a front-runner, which means reliving that period during the 1990s when his disapproval rating was in the high 70s. He will face a lot of questions about his temperament and discipline, most of which he’ll undoubtedly think are stupid. Whether he says so will tell us something about his temperament this time around.”
With exactly one week remaining until the supercommittee on deficit reduction is due to present its recommendations, House Republican leaders have begun preparing their full conference for a deal that includes new tax revenues, according to The Hill.
“The GOP co-chairman of the deficit supercommittee, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), briefed the House Republican Conference on the details of multiple offers that GOP members of the panel have made to their Democratic counterparts… Some conservatives have said they are concerned with the GOP’s offer, especially considering the pledge most of them signed to oppose any net tax increase… Hensarling made no direct reference to Grover Norquist, the author of the anti-tax pledge, but he brought up pledges in general, and said that ‘his pledge is to the people of his district.'”
However, Politico notes rank-and-file Republicans are suspicious and “there seems to be a growing civil war on the right over the idea of tax revenues.”
Newt Gingrich made between $1.6 million and $1.8 million in consulting fees with mortgage company Freddie Mac, Bloomberg reports.
The amount is significantly larger than the $300,000 payment Gingrich was asked about during a Republican presidential debate last week.Explore posts in the same categories: Accomack Dem Committee, Blogroll, Candidates