Perry Wants to Run Again in 2016

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) told the CBS affiliate in Dallas that he’s going to give the “appropriate consideration” to running for re-election as governor in 2014 and said he was leaning toward running for president again in 2016.

Said Perry: “2016 is way down the road, but I’ll assure you one thing, if I decide to run for the presidency in 2016, I’ll be way in before the summer of 2016; 2015, even.”

Romney Holds Edge in New Hampshire

A new Dartmouth College poll in New Hampshire finds Mitt Romney edges President Obama in a general election match up, 44% to 42%.

A Romney-Rice Ticket?

A new CNN survey of Republican voter preferences for Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate finds Condoleeza Rice with 26% support, ahead of Rick Santorum at 21%, Marco Rubio at 14%, Chris Christie at 14%, and Paul Ryan at 8%.

Dan Amira: “Rice hasn’t been considered a very plausible contender in the Mitt Romney veepstakes so far, and perhaps with good reason. Rice was a central figure in the Bush administration, particularly in terms of homeland security and foreign policy, which are most prominently defined by the worst terrorist attack in American history and a widely unpopular war, respectively. And if the Obama campaign decides to portray a potential Romney presidency as a retread of the Bush years, putting one of Bush’s closest advisers on the ticket would be a big help.”

The Parties are Already Unified

While recent polls may disagree on whether President Obama or Mitt Romney is leading,Mark Blumenthal notes they all show both candidates getting an average of 88% to 90% support from members of their own parties.

John Sides: “Remember when Obama was going to lose the support of all those Democrats dissatisfied with his weak-kneed compromises? And remember how Romney was going to struggle to win over the base because, like, ‘Anybody but Romney’ was 75% of the GOP? Well, here it is only April, and the bases are basically unified.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“I mean, it’s going to be the dirtiest campaign you’ve ever seen. I would say: Hide the children and check the plumbing because you’re going to have to shower several times a day.”

— Charles Krauthammer, in an interview on Fox News.

See more…

Nelson Leads Rivals in Florida

Despite a dismal 36% approval rating, a new Public Policy Polling survey finds Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) continues to lead all of his potential Republican opponents by double digits.

Nelson leads Connie Mack (R) 47% to 37%, tops Mike McCalister (R) 47% to 35% and beat George LeMieux (R) 48% to 34%.

Most interesting: An astounding 33% of voters have no opinion about Nelson even after 12 years in the Senate.

Secret Service to Investigate Nugent’s Comments

Musician Ted Nugent is set to meet tomorrow with the U.S. Secret Service regarding his controversial remarks about President Obama, USA Today reports.

Nugent defended himself to Glenn Beck: “I don’t threaten, I don’t waste breath threatening. I just conduct myself as a dedicated ‘We the people’ activist because I’ve saluted too many flag-draped coffins to not appreciate where the freedom comes from. The Nugent family is a totally nonviolent, peace and love, rock and roll, working-hard, playing-hard American family.”

Democrats Surge in House Swing Districts

A new Democracy Corps survey in the 56 most-competitive Republican held congressional districts finds President Obama now edging Mitt Romney, 48% to 47%. In December, Obama trailed by seven points.

Key finding: “Democrats are winning the image battle, up and down the ticket. While half of the voters in these districts register cool feelings toward the Republican Party and Republican Congress, the Democratic Party has enjoyed an 8-point bump in favorability since September 2011, and Democrats in Congress have seen a 7-point rise.”

Also interesting: “The Ryan budget is in trouble. Just 41% support it in these Republican districts with no description other than the fact that it cuts spending. When described, including using Ryan’s own language, support collapses to 34%.”

Newsom Gets TV Show

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) “is getting a second job: as a talk show host on Current TV, the progressive cable television upstart,” the New York Times reports.

Newsom will be paid but a spokesman said that the payments “would be donated to charity and would be disclosed in accordance with state law.”

Hatch Close to Securing GOP Nomination

A new Dan Jones & Associates poll of Utah Republican state delegates shows Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) is on the cusp winning 60% at this weekend’s state Republican Party Convention, and thus winning his record-setting seventh nomination.

It Hatch gets 60% at the convention, he’ll avoid a June 26 Republican primary against Dan Liljenquist (R).

Will Flip-Flops End Up Helping Romney?

Howard Kurtz: “In politics, the flip-flopper label is deemed deadly, the fingering of a candidate with no fixed principles. But I suspect that, with swing voters at least, it helps Romney. If voters believe he was just throwing red meat to voracious primary voters — and that the real Mitt would govern as a sensible man of the center-right — the damage of the last few months could be mitigated.”

Should Bloomberg Run for President?

Tom Friedman urges New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to run for president this year as an independent.

“Bloomberg doesn’t have to win to succeed — or even stay in the race to the very end. Simply by running, participating in the debates and doing respectably in the polls — 15 to 20 percent — he could change the dynamic of the election and, most importantly, the course of the next administration, no matter who heads it. By running on important issues and offering sensible programs for addressing them — and showing that he had the support of the growing number of Americans who describe themselves as independents — he would compel the two candidates to gravitate toward some of his positions as Election Day neared. And, by taking part in the televised debates, he could impose a dose of reality on the election that would otherwise be missing. Congress would have to take note.”

McDonnell Makes Play for Veep Spot

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) plans to air “positive” television ads in the coming weeks “as he looks to bolster his approval ratings and remind viewers of Virginia’s successes following a spate of bad publicity,” the Washington Post reports.

McDonnell is term-limited and can’t run for re-election in Virginia but the move indicates he’s very serious about boosting his image in a key battleground state in advance of Mitt Romney’s running mate selection.

Scott Brown Gets Boost from Evil Empire

Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) may be rooting for the Red Sox against the Yankees this weekend, but Yankees president Randy Levine donated the maximum $2,500 to the senator’s re-election campaign last month, the Boston Herald reports.

“That’s right, the commander of the Evil Empire is helping to pay for all those Brown adschampioning his support of the Red Sox.”

Quote of the Day

“Many progressive donors think President Obama has it in the bag. But he doesn’t even have it in the shopping cart yet, much less in the bag.”

— Paul Begala, in an interview with Greg Sargent, saying Democratic donors need to step up.

Allen West 2016

Charles Mahtesian believes that Rep. Allen West (R-FL), best known for his strong Tea Party affiliation and controversial attacks on Democrats, is likely to run for president in 2016 or 2020.

“The conservative congressman hasn’t explicitly said as much, but he’s following a path blazed by Michele Bachmann, Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul… Thanks to Internet and direct mail fundraising and the national platform offered by cable news shows, even a House backbencher can now build a well-financed national following. And Barack Obama’s victory, just four years removed from the Illinois state Senate, suggests the boundaries surrounding the question of office-holding experience have been erased.”

Clinton Still Rewarding Loyalists

Bill Clinton’s “recent endorsements in a handful of House primaries have conjured up memories of the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, as he has sought to reward his wife’s supporters and candidates with loyalties to the couple,” Roll Call reports.

Said one Democratic fundraiser: “There’s nobody in this business that keeps score like the Clintons.”

Blue Dogs Near Extinction


Blue Dog Democrats representing the conservative wing of the Democratic Party are close to extinction, reports Politico, as the 2012 election season promises to further thin their ranks.
“Of the 24 remaining Blue Dogs, five are not seeking reelection. More than a half-dozen others are facing treacherous contests in which their reelection hopes are in jeopardy. It’s a rough time to occupy the right wing of the Democratic Party… Redistricting is at the root of the Blue Dog problem. The once-in-a-decade line-drawing has forced some of them to compete for seats that have become even less friendly to Democrats — and those seats weren’t very friendly to begin with. Utah Rep. Jim Matheson, Georgia Rep. John Barrow and North Carolina Rep. Mike McIntyre are among those who have been thrust into deeply Republican territory after being targeted in GOP-led redistricting efforts in their home states.”

“For Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Holden, another Blue Dog, redistricting has created another kind of problem. When Republicans redrew his central Pennsylvania seat, they created a district far more liberal than Holden’s old one — one at odds with the conservative record he has compiled during his two decades in the House… For a few Blue Dogs, the problems presented by redistricting are compounded by the challenges of running in conservative Southern states during a presidential election year. Kentucky Rep. Ben Chandler, McIntyre and Barrow must run in states where President Barack Obama’s unpopularity threatens to trickle down the ballot and damage their reelection bids.”

Pastor Backs Romney Despite Mormon Faith

The AP reports that Rev. Robert Jeffress, an evangelical leader in Texas, has called on Christians to support Mitt Romney “in spite of his Mormon faith.”

Jeffress has previously called Mormonism a cult and said Mitt Romney is not really a Christian.


Dead Heat

A new CBS News/New York Times poll finds Mitt Romney has closed the gap with President Obama among registered voters nationally with the two now tied at 46% each.

Alex Burns: “This is what you’d expect to see at the outset of the general election, as the challenger candidate solidifies his stature as his party’s nominee, but before either campaign really unloads on the other in a comprehensive, expensive way. But it’s helpful to Romney to get a spate of polling that may reassure voters and GOP leaders that his poor favorability rating won’t stop him from making this thing competitive.”

Kelly Will Face Barber for Giffords’ Seat

Jesse Kelly (R) won the Republican primary and will face Ron Barber (D) in a special election to fill the remaining months of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ (D-AZ) term in Congress, the Arizona Republic reports.

“Kelly, who lost narrowly to Giffords in 2010, had a campaign ready to go when Giffords resigned in late January to focus on recovering from a 2011 shooting outside a Tucson constituent event. The 30-year-old Kelly benefited from voters knowing his name and having a strong base of ‘tea party’ support built two years ago, when Republicans reclaimed a majority in the House.”

“As Giffords’ former district director, Barber is a formidable candidate… He is also forever linked to the 2011 tragedy, which left six dead and 13 wounded, including Barber, who survived shots to the leg and face.”

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