POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 3/7

Gingrich Caught Snoozing

Just before he was set to talk live via satellite to the AIPAC conference, Newt Gingrich wascaught on video nodding off.

He woke up just as they went live and said, “I understand you have a panel. I look forward to any questions.”

After 12 seconds of silence he was told there was no panel and began an improvised speech.

See more…

 

Landrieu Will Run Again in 2014

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that she will seek a fourth term in 2014.

Said Landrieu: “I am definitely running for re-election. My numbers are moving in the right direction.”

 

Kerrey Trails Badly in Nebraska

A new Rasmussen survey in Nebraska shows Bob Kerrey (D) way behind each of three possible GOP rivals for U.S. Senate.

Jon Bruning (R) leads 55% to 33%, Don Stenberg (R) leads 52% to 34%, and Deb Fischer (R) leads 46% to 34%.

 

Obama’s Message to Romney

During a Super Tuesday news conference, President Obama was asked what he would like to say to Mitt Romney in response to some of his recent criticisms.

Obama: “Good luck tonight.”

Reporter: “No, really?”

Obama, grinning: “Really.”

 

Bonus Quote of the Day

“If some of these folks think it’s time to launch a war, they should say that.”

— President Obama, at his news conference, responding to Mitt Romney’s criticism of his policy towards Iran.

 

King Leads in Maine Senate Race

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Maine finds Angus King (I) leading in a three way U.S. Senate race with 36%, followed by Chellie Pingree (D) at 31% and Charlie Summers (R) at 28%.

Key findings: 62% of voters in the state have a favorable opinion of King to only 24% with a negative one. His appeal also crosses party lines: he’s at his most popular with Democrats at 74/14, but he’s almost as well liked with independents at 69/20 and even above water with Republicans at 43/38.

 

Stephen Colbert Takes on Rush Limbaugh

Not to be outdone by Jon Stewart on the the Rush Limbaugh controversy, Stephen Colbertoffers his own priceless review.

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Advertisers Keep Bailing on Limbaugh

Think Progress notes that 26 companies have pulled their advertising from Rush Limbaugh’s radio show in the wake of his slurs against a Georgetown law student.

John Avlon notes Limbaugh’s radio bosses are “spooked” and “the exodus hasn’t stopped.”

Explained radio executive Laurie Cantillo: “This controversy will no doubt give Rush a temporary ratings lift, but it won’t be worth the damage that’s been caused in terms of loss of revenue and advertiser confidence. It is perceived by many as an attack on young women who represent the holy grail for ratings. Women 25-54 is the prize demo for most advertisers. Rush’s remarks strike at the heart of the audience they’re trying to reach, hence the apology. This is an audience that’s already been in gradual decline on many right-wing radio stations, so Rush’s gaffe compounds the problem.”

 

Santorum Discovers the Limits of Nostalgia

Rosie Gray smartly points out that Rick Santorum’s campaign feels not like “a Tea Party gathering but a kind of Tea Party reunion.”

“The crowds at a Christian school, an American Legion post, and a banquet hall seemed to represent the limits of a conservative grassroots that has failed to ignite in this crucial season, and the candidate matched the moment. The emotion Santorum evokes most poignantly isn’t hope, anger, or fear: It’s nostalgia.”

 

Paul’s Slow and Steady Strategy

John Avlon: “Super Tuesday totals could begin a shift from the Paul campaign’s caucus strategy to a delegate strategy. It’s the day when Paul could start to adjust the narrative just a bit by creeping ahead of Newt Gingrich in total delegates. Right now, Gingrich is one delegate ahead of Paul in the totals — 39 to 38. Mitt Romney’s organization, by comparison, has earned 182 delegates to date. While Rick Santorum and Gingrich have some overlapping support from conservative populists looking for a red-meat alternative to Romney, Paul has the libertarian side of the conservative coalition all to himself.”

 

In Defense of Backroom Deals

Tish Durkin: “There was a time when it was neither a crime nor an ethics infraction to attend a party thrown by lobbyists or issues advocates, at which congressional types from both parties could have cocktails, canapés and — who knows? — conversation with each other. And there was a time when, now and again, politicians went on foreign junkets during which they probably did not spend every hour of every day doing the global good. But they did step foot on foreign soil — always a plus for U.S. officials, too many of whom do not even have passports — and they at least got the opportunity to know each other. This used to be known as a good thing for people who actually planned to work together.”

“Granted, there was also a time when all of these perks were brazenly abused, which is how the impulse arose to regulate or shame them out of existence. It’s a noble impulse… if it had the intended effect. But does it?”

“Too often, then, reforms have succeeded in curbing all the little human interactions inherent in old-style politics, while preserving all the major elements of malfeasance, albeit in somewhat altered forms. Eroding the comity while leaving the corruption cannot have been the goal, but that does seem to be the result.”

 

Jon Stewart Takes on Rush Limbaugh

Jon Stewart recaps the Rush Limbaugh-Sandra Fluke controversy. So good.

See more…

 

Quote of the Day

“I have never had a vote I’ve taken where I have felt that I let down more people that believed in me.”

— Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), quoted by the Anchorage Daily News, admitting she made a mistake voting for the Blunt amendment which would have allowed any employer to opt out of providing birth control as part of their health insurance coverage.

 

Tying Romney to Limbaugh

David Axelrod slammed Mitt Romney in an interview with CNN for his “timid” and “cowardly” response to Rush Limbaugh calling Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute.”

Said Axelrod: “There are very few entertainers who swing the weight that Rush Limbaugh does in the Republican Party. I think one of the reasons why Governor Romney and others were so timid in speaking out is because Rush is the defacto leader of the Republican Party. So to take him on would be to risk your own standing within the party.”

Greg Sargent: “The interesting dynamic here is that it’s become harder and harder for Republicans to fully repudiate Rush, simply because Dems and liberals are pressuring them to do so. No matter how reprehensible Rush’s comments, Republicans who decisively distance themselves from Rush will in effect be surrendering to the liberal media, which in the right wing mythology is doing Obama’s bidding by devoting so much attention to the controversy.”

 

It’s Over for Gingrich and Santorum

Josh Putnam: “The bottom line here is that Romney has enough of a delegate advantage right now and especially coming out of today’s contests that it is very unlikely that anyone will catch him, much less catch him and get to 1144… And that is a problem in this race. Well, a problem for Gingrich and Santorum anyway. If all either of them can take to voters is an argument that all they can do is prevent Romney from getting to 1144, then neither has a winning strategy. That sort of strategy has a half life; one that will grow less effective as, in this case, Romney approaches 1144. Complicating this scenario even further for Gingrich and Santorum is the fact that if neither can get to 1144 or even close to it, neither is all that likely to be the candidate to emerge as the nominee at any — unlikely though it may be — contested convention.”

 

Economists See Improving Economy

The American economy is improving faster than expected, according to an Associated Press survey of leading economists.

“The economists think the unemployment rate will fall from its current 8.3% to 8% by Election Day. That’s better than their 8.4% estimate when surveyed in late December. By the end of 2013, they predict unemployment will drop to 7.4 percent, down from their earlier estimate of 7.8%.”

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