POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES -4/23
Jon Huntsman “took a battle axe to his own party, comparing it to China’s Communist Party and criticizing it’s standard bearer in a wide-ranging interview,” BuzzFeed reports.
He also “jokingly blamed his failed candidacy in part on his wife, Mary Kaye, who told him she’d leave him if he abandoned his principles.”
Said Huntsman: “She said if you pandered, if you sign any of those damn pledges, I’ll leave you. So I had to say I believe in science — and people on stage look at you quizzically as though you’re was an oddball.”
Huntsman added that Ronald Reagan would “likely not” be able to win the GOP nomination in this environment.
George Will says there’s no way Mitt Romney will pick former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) as his running mate:
“If Jeb Bush is to be Romney’s running mate, it would mean that in seven of nine presidential elections there would be a Bush on the Republican ticket. And it gets hard to argue that we’re not a tribal society at that point.”
Despite millions of dollars embezzled from her campaign and 21 challengers in a June primary, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) “isn’t a bit worried. Her campaign is on cruise control, her re-election all but certain — yet again,” the San Jose Mercury News reports.
“After holding elected office for all but five of the last 42 years, Feinstein is the doyenne of California Democrats. She’s so politically bulletproof that no A-list candidates are wasting their time and money trying to dethrone her.”
“I think a lot of Republicans in Congress want to cooperate and know better, but they’re in the thralls of this reign of terror from the Far Right that has dragged the party to the Right.”
— David Axelrod, in an interview on CNN.
Katy Steinmetz: “Romney’s speaking style, try as he might, often seems forced and rather wooden… But if the economy gets worse, more Americans may be drawn to a dry Mr. Fix-It, someone better suited to budgets than banquets. Rousing oratorical skill is not something people require in a good plumber or mechanic… Of course, Romney still needs to make his audiences feel as well as think. He can achieve that by capitalizing on frustrations that voters have about Obama.”
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) told CNN he’s not going to comment on Mitt Romney’s running mate selection process anymore.
Said Rubio: “Up to now it’s all been theoretical, we have a nominee now, and our nominee, Mitt Romney, the leader of the Republican Party, has a vice presidential process in place. And I think from this point moving forward, I think it’d be wise for all Republicans to kind of respect that process, myself included, and say moving forward, we’re going to let his process play itself out.”
However, he then suggested Jeb Bush would be a great pick.
John Edwards goes on trial Monday “on charges he used illegal campaign contributions to cover up an affair with a mistress who became pregnant during his failed bid for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination,” Reuters reports.
“I’m going to try something different this year. I’m going to try to stay out of this one.”
— Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), in an interview on Fox News Sunday, saying he won’t endorse a presidential candidate.
The New York Times reviews Eisenhower in War and Peace noting author Jean Edward Smith makes the “startling claim” that apart from Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower was “the most successful president of the 20th century.”
Smith carefully traces Eisenhower’s “preparation for the presidency, and that’s what this biography is really about. (Only a quarter of the book is devoted to the White House years and beyond.) From it, Eisenhower’s own views on success in leadership emerge reasonably clearly. To reduce them to the length of a tweet — an exercise my students recommend, and which Ike might well have approved — they amount to achieving one’s ends without corrupting them.”
“Ends, Eisenhower knew, are potentially infinite. Means can never be. Therefore the task of leaders — whether in the presidency or anywhere else — is to reconcile that contradiction: to deploy means in such a way as to avoid doing too little, which risks defeat, but also too much, which risks exhaustion. Failure can come either way.”
An informal BuzzFeed survey of more than half of the Republican State Chairmen and national committee people at the GOP meetings in Arizona this weekend finds that two-thirds said they believe Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) is the most-likely and best-qualified running-mate for Mitt Romney.
Said one: “He’s from Ohio, and we need to win Ohio, it’s that simple.”
Mitt Romney’s top aides “plan to move quickly after the primaries on Tuesday to integrate the campaign’s growing staff with the Republican National Committee, in an effort to avoid logistical stumbles that have hampered past nominees,” the New York Times reports.
“Romney has been careful not to push the committee into a formal support role while two of his rivals — Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul — continue campaigning for the nomination. But aides to Mr. Romney expect that dynamic to change after Tuesday, when he is expected to win all five of the primaries, including those in New York and Pennsylvania.”
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) predicted he won’t be recalled from office in June, theChicago Tribune reports.
Said Walker: “I think when we win, it will not only reaffirm what we did. It will send a powerful message to every politician…in our state and even in our city governments who are trying to take on the tough issues and do the right thing. It will send a powerful, powerful message that you can stick your neck out, you can make the tough choices and there will be voters helping you along the way.”
Here’s a potential problem for President Obama’s re-election bid: “New state laws designed to fight voter fraud could reduce the number of Americans signing up to vote in this year’s presidential election by hundreds of thousands,” Reuters reports.
“Voting laws passed by Republican-led legislatures in a dozen states during the past year have sharply restricted voter-registration drives that typically target young, low-income, African-American and Hispanic voters — groups that have backed the Democratic president by wide margins.”
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) “came up just short of the support needed to claim his party’s nomination for the seventh time, forcing him into a primary election with state Sen. Dan Liljenquist in June,” the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
“After two rounds of balloting, Hatch had the support of 59.1 percent, a handful of votes short of the 60 percent threshold to claim the nomination outright. He’ll face his first primary election since his 1976 victory.”
A new Rasmussen poll in Ohio shows President Obama leading Mitt Romney by four points in the all important swing state, 46% to 42%.
Former Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) was picked as the Constitution Party’s nominee for president, according to Ballot Access News.
He is the first Constitution Party presidential nominee to have held important elected office.
At a party meeting in Arizona, RNC members and state GOP chairmen were welcomed into a private reception with Mitt Romney “only after signing a form pledging to support Romney as a delegate to the national convention in Tampa,” CNN reports.
“All three members of Iowa’s conservative RNC delegation… attempted to enter the reception but were rebuffed after refusing to sign the delegate pledge. The dispute became heated in the hallway outside, with the Iowans demanding to know why they had to sign a form to get their picture taken with the former Massachusetts governor.”
Said one: “The don’t trust us. I have said I will support the nominee when we have a nominee, no ifs, ands or buts.”
Jeb Bush told NewsMax that he would consider being Mitt Romney’s running mate.
Said Bush: “Well I’d consider it, but I doubt I’ll get a call, and I don’t know if it’s the right thing for me to do. I didn’t run for president for a similar kind of reason, so I’m all in to try to help him get elected.”
A new CNN/Opinion Research survey finds 43% of Americans say things are going well in the country, up a whopping 19 points from August. That said, 57% say things are still going badly.
Politico reports that “under the table, there is pervasive pessimism among Republicans about Romney’s prospects this fall. It’s apparent in rampant discussions about which Republicans will run in 2016 — talk that obviously presupposes a loss in November — and it’s downright glaring in private conversations with GOP officials on Capitol Hill and in consulting shops across Washington.”
“And the skepticism about Romney isn’t just a Beltway phenomenon. Rank-and-file Republican voters are also uncertain he can win, though it’s the chattering class that is most bearish.”
However, a National Journal Political Insiders poll finds 65% of insiders “very excited” about Romney as the GOP nominee while 30% are “somewhat excited.”