POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 11/18

Why Cain’s Unconventional Approach is Failing

As Herman Cain continues to stress that he is an outsider running an “unconventional” presidential campaign, Chris Cillizza argues that Cain’s approach may be too unconventional for its own good.

“Being unconventional in terms of campaign messaging is one thing. Then Illinois Sen.Barack Obama did that with much success in 2008… But, Obama also put a very conventional campaign team and organization in place to ensure that the skeleton that held up his message was strong. Cain hasn’t done that. He continues to try to do things so differently that his campaign has proven virtually incapable of getting out of its own way. Cain is learning the hard way that unconventional can only get you so far.

 

Cain Doesn’t Show for Interview

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports Herman Cain “was a no-show” for an interview with the newspaper’s editorial board.

“The interview was scheduled last week and was supposed to last between an hour and about 75 minutes. Initially, the Cain campaign agreed to the full hour or more but then told the newspaper it did not want C-SPAN to tape the interview.”

Likely reason? Cain’s last editorial board meeting that was videotaped didn’t go so well.

 

Gingrich Jumps Ahead of Cain in Iowa

A new Rasmussen survey in Iowa shows Newt Gingrich leading among likely GOP caucus-goers with 32%, followed by former Mitt Romney at 19%, Herman Cain at 13%, Ron Paul at 10%, Rick Perry at 6% and Michele Bachmann at 6%.

Cain led in a similar survey conducted just last month.

 

Bonus Quote of the Day

“He did ask if I could debate here in Washington on Monday. It is my understanding that such a letter has come in. Monday I’m going to be in Portland in the morning, I’m going to be visiting some of our labs. I’m in California in the afternoon, that’s two. I can’t remember what the third is.”

— House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), quoted by Politico, rebuffing Rick Perry’s request for a debate on overhauling Washington, DC.

 

The Jim Webb of 2012?

Democrats are celebrating former Surgeon General Richard Carmona’s decision to run for the open Senate seat in Arizona in 2012, as The Hotline reports that one Arizona Democratic strategist called him “the Latino Jim Webb of the 2012 cycle.”

“There are several similarities between Webb of Virginia, who is retiring after one term, and Carmona. For starters, both men have accomplished military backgrounds and are Vietnam veterans who earned Purple Hearts. Webb served in the Marines; Carmona, the Army. When Webb ran in 2006, he enjoyed strong support from veterans. Carmona is hoping that he can count on something similar… Neither Carmona nor Webb had run for elected office before mounting their first Senate campaigns, and both had previously served in Republican administrations… The two share something else in common: controversial events in their pasts that will take some explaining.”

 

Romney Wiped Records Before Leaving Office

“Just before Mitt Romney left the Massachusetts governor’s office and first ran for president, 11 of his top aides purchased their state-issued computer hard drives, and the Romney administration’s e-mails were all wiped from a server,” the Boston Globe reports.

“Romney administration officials had the remaining computers in the governor’s office replaced just before Governor Deval Patrick’s staff showed up to take power in January 2007… As a result, Patrick’s office, which has been bombarded with inquiries for records from the Romney era, has no electronic record of any Romney administration e-mails.”

Ben Smith: “It’s also, perhaps, a mark of how dangerous is is for Romney that his old office is now occupied by one of Obama’s closest allies.”

 

Another Poll Has Gingrich Leading

The latest Economist/YouGov poll shows Newt Gingrich leading the Republican presidential race nationally with 23%, followed closely by Herman Cain at 21% and Mitt Romney at 19%.

The remainder of the field is far back: Ron Paul at 7%, Rick Perry at 6%, Michele Bachmann at 5%, Jon Huntsman at 5%, Rick Santorum at 2% and Gary Johnson at 1%.

 

Feds Probe Richardson Campaign

The Albuquerque Journal reports a federal grand jury is investigating whether former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) violated campaign finance laws during his unsuccessful 2008 presidential bid by raising money to settle a threatened lawsuit by a woman who worked in state government.

“Several people familiar with some aspects of the investigation have mentioned similarities to pending criminal charges against former presidential candidate John Edwards on allegations that his campaign supporters paid to shield the candidate from a public scandal.”

 

Edwards Trials Date Set for January

A federal judge has set the trial of John Edwards to begin January 30, a week earlier than the date prosecutors and defense lawyers had sought, the AP reports.

 

Abramoff Calls Out Gingrich

Disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff told David Gregory that Newt Gingrich’s $1.6 million consulting contract with Freddie Mac to provide “strategic advice” is an example of the corruption that’s taken over Washington politics.

Said Abramoff: “People who come to Washington who have public service, and they cash in on it. And they use their public service and their access to make money, and unfortunately Newt Gingrich is one of them who’s done it. I don’t know if he’ll survive this, to be honest with you.”

He added that Gingrich is “doing and engaging in the exact kind of corruption that America disdains. The very things that anger the Tea Party movement and the Occupy Wall Street movement and everybody who is not in a movement and watches Washington.”

 

Quote of the Day

“He’s a man with no ethical core whatsoever. There are a number of conservatives whom I respect… Newt’s just never had any principles, so no I’m not surprised about this at all.”

— Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), quoted by the Boston Globe, about Newt Gingrich’s $1.6 million contract with Freddie Mac for “strategic advice.”

 

Cain Leads Iowa But Many Still Undecided

A new Iowa State University/Gazette/KCRG poll in Iowa finds Herman Cain still leading the Republican field in the first presidential voting state.

Cain leads with 25%, followed by Ron Paul at 20%, Mitt Romney at 16%, Rick Perry at 8%, Michele Bachmann at 8%, Newt Gingrich at 5% and Rick Santorum at 5%.

However, the big story is that the race is really still up for grabs with just 17% firmly commited to a candidate, 30% leaning towards a candidate and 52% still undecided.

 

Americans Less Optimistic About Future

A new CNN/Opinion Research Poll indicates that only 44% of Americans believe that things will be going well in the country a year from now. That’s down from last fall, when 55% were optimistic about the coming year, and from November, 2009, when 63% felt that way.

 

Romney Leads Republicans in California

A new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll finds Mitt Romney is the clear front-runner in California’s Republican presidential primary.

Romney leads the GOP field with 27%, followed by Herman Cain at 20%, Newt Gingrich at 14% and Ron Paul at 6%. All others are below 5% in support.

The California Republican primary will not be held until June 2012.

 

Republicans Can’t Reconcile Romney

New Bloomberg polls in New Hampshire and Iowa find wide majorities of likely Republican voters view Mitt Romney as “smart, business-savvy and fit to be president” however “substantial numbers, almost half in Iowa and two out of five in New Hampshire, also view him as someone who will do or say anything to get elected, ‘a flip-flopper,’ or not a true social conservative.”

“Those warring impressions help explain how Romney has attained front-runner status in national polls while remaining unable to secure enough backing to break away from his rivals.”

Said pollster Ann Selzer: “They see the competence, and they see that the problems that are immediately to be solved are in his wheelhouse, but there’s sort of this lurking suspicion about whether they can trust him or that he is going to be their guy on social, moral issues.”

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