Rubio Moonlights as a Professor

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) teaches a political science class at Florida International University in Miami “on Mondays and Fridays, when the Senate is typically off (a workload that provides its own instruction on how Washington operates),” the Tampa Bay Timesreports.

“Rubio does not dish Senate gossip or inveigh against President Barack Obama, as he often does in his other job. His lectures are in every sense academic, students say, only drawn from real-time experience.”

video shows Rubio teaching a class “on why political compromise is so elusive.”

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Ex-CIA Officer Defends Destroying Tapes

Jose Rodriguez, who oversaw the CIA’s once-secret interrogation program, says in a new book that he ordered the destruction of videos showing waterboarding because he “was tired of waiting for Washington’s bureaucracy to make a decision that protected American lives,” the AP reports.

He describes sending the order in November 2005 as “just getting rid of some ugly visuals.”


Scott Will Run Again in Florida

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) “made it clear” that he will seek reelection in 2014, the Miami Herald reports.

Said Scott: “I’m running for re-election. I like this job!”


Issa Claims Obama Administration is Most Corrupt Ever

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) told Bloomberg TV that the Obama government is “proving to be” the “most corrupt in history.”

Said Issa: “We are busy in Washington with a corrupt government, with a government that I said perhaps because of the money, the amount of TARP and stimulus funds, was going to be the most corrupt government history and it is proving to be just exactly that. This money going though the hands of political leaders is corrupting the process, whether it is Solyndra, GSA, or a number of other scandals.”


Why Romney Could be a Transformational President

Ezra Klein points out that if President Obama wins re-election, he will likely “still be negotiating with Republican leaders in Congress. But the same can’t be said for Mitt Romney.”

“If Romney wins the election, it’s almost a sure bet that Republicans win control of both the House and the Senate. And that matters. Right now, the GOP’s agenda is the Ryan budget, and that’s entirely fiscal: It’s a premium support plan for Medicare, and tax cuts, and deep cuts to Medicaid, food stamps and other domestic programs. All that can be passed through budget reconciliation — which is to say, all that can be made immune to the filibuster.”

“So if Romney wins and the Republicans take control, they could accomplish quite a lot on party-line votes, even if their majorities are slim, and Democrats are opposed. Indeed, Romney could end up being a fairly transformational president for conservatives so long as he’s paired with a Republican Congress.”


Media is Tougher on Obama

A new Pew Research study finds negative coverage of President Obama outweighed his positive coverage in each of the last 15 weeks — the only presidential candidate where that was true.

“While a sitting president may have access to the ‘bully pulpit,’ that does not mean he has control of the media narrative, particularly during the other party’s primary season.”


Are Democrats Anti-Mormon?

A recent Gallup poll found that 27% of Democrats would not vote for a Mormon under any circumstances, versus 18% of Republicans.

Peter Beinhart: “One reason Democrats may be more anti-Mormon than Republicans is that Democrats, on average, are more secular. Devout Protestants, Catholics, and Jews may be more tolerant of Mormonism because they understand from firsthand experience the comfort and strength that religious commitment brings. Many secular Democrats, by contrast, may start with the assumption that religious orthodoxy produces irrationality and intolerance… Democrats may exhibit greater suspicion of Mormonism, in other words, because they exhibit greater suspicion of all organized religion. It’s just that anti-Mormonism is still socially acceptable enough to confess to a pollster.”


Obama Holds Lead Nationally

The Gallup daily tracking poll, which kicked off eight days ago with Mitt Romney leading bytwo points, now has President Obama in front by 7 points, 49% to 42%.

Meanwhile, a new DailyKos/SEIU poll shows Obama leading Romney 49% to 44%.


Fooled by John Edwards

Walter Shapiro writes about his “political-journalistic courtship” of John Edwards “that now makes me cringe.”

“With Edwards on trial in North Carolina on charges of violating federal campaign-finance laws — after the disgrace of being caught with a mistress and denying being the father of her baby — I wish I had befriended a comparatively more honorable political figure like Eliot Spitzer or Mark Sanford… In hindsight, I feel like the jaded city slicker, bristling with self-confidence that he can never be fooled, who ends up hoodwinked by the smiling rural Southern confidence man.”


Bonus Quote of the Day

“I’m not sure what that is because I’m not serving right now.”

— Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Sarah Steelman (R), quoted by the Springfield News-Leader, when asked for her position on reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act


Huntsman Says He’s 100% Behind Mitt Romney

Despite ripping his own party over the weekend, Jon Huntsman told CNBC that he’s still firmly behind Mitt Romney for president.

Said Huntsman: “Absolutely, I am. Listen, the economic message is going to carry the day in November, and I think that message will resonate — or not — through the critically important states in the Midwest… These are gonna be the states that will tell the story in November. I think it’s about recovery, it’s about rebuilding our manufacturing muscle in this country, and the prospects for job creation. I think he’s best positioned by virtue of his own background training to be able to provide that leadership.”

That said, Jeff Greenfield is convinced Huntsman will leave the Republican party.

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Profile of a Do Nothing Congress

Jon Karl reviews Do Not Ask What Good We Do by Robert Draper.

“Mr. Draper embedded himself in the House in 2011, getting to know the key players — newcomers and old-timers alike. In his group portrait, he doesn’t make any sweeping judgments about who is to blame for the failure of this Congress to address the country’s long-term problems. But his refreshingly balanced account captures the drama of one of Congress’s most combative and maddeningly frustrating years in memory.”


Playing Hardball as Hard as Hillary

John Heilemann profiles U.N. ambassador Susan Rice and wonders if she might take the top foreign policy post in an Obama second term.

“Whatever ultimately transpires with Iran and Syria, Rice’s U.N. tenure is already seen in the administration — and particularly by the guy behind the big desk in the Oval Office — as having been a success.. along with [national security adviser Tom] Donilon and John Kerry, she is considered the likeliest successor to Clinton should Obama win reelection.”


The Bush Program, Just Updated

RNC spokeswoman Alexandra Franceschi told The Fernando Espuelas Show that the Republican party’s economic platform in 2012 is going to be the same as it was during the Bush years, “just updated.”

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Quinn Remains Heavy Favorite for New York City Mayor

A new NY1/Marist College poll finds New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D) breaking away from the Democratic pack of mayoral candidates.

Quinn leads with 32%, a full 20 points ahead of her nearest rival, former City Comptroller Bill Thompson (D).

Meanwhile, Republicans are trying to convince police commissioner Ray Kelly to run.


McCain Courts Bloomberg for Romney

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is tried to convince New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to support Mitt Romney’s bid for president in a meeting yesterday, the New York Post reports.

Said McCain: “I just came in to pay my respects to the mayor. He and I are old friends from many years back. I told him that I just spent last weekend with Romney and I thought that Romney was on message . . . and tried to convince the mayor that we’ve got a winning campaign.”

Maggie Haberman: “Bloomberg, having decided against a run himself, could end up making his voice heard with an endorsement, and he’s made clear privately to many people he doesn’t think highly of the job President Obama has done.”


Edwards Trials Opens with Sex

Barely an hour into the first day of testimony in the John Edwards criminal trial, “sex and conniving had already surfaced” when defense lawyers had asked permission to mention in their opening statement a one-night stand that former aide Andrew Young, a married father of three, had with a co-worker in 2007, the Raleigh News and Observer reports.

Young wrote a tell all book about the Edwards scandal and is a key witness for the prosecution.

However, in a packed courtroom, the judge “muzzled any unprompted mentioning of Young’s alleged sexual liaison.”


Obama Leads in New Hampshire

A new WMUR/University of New Hampshire poll finds President Obama leading Mitt Romney in the Granite state by nine points, 51% to 42%.

First Read: “Much of the southern part of the state is essentially a suburb of Boston. And what these poll numbers suggest is that Republicans are struggling in the ‘burbs. So if Romney’s down in New Hampshire, that also means he’s trailing in Northern Virginia and the Philly suburbs.”

Dartmouth poll last week showed Romney with a two point lead.


Veep Home State Impact is Overrated

Nate Silver looks the impact of a vice presidential nominee’s home state on the ticket’s ultimate success and finds it is “is normally quite modest — perhaps two or three percentage points on average, if a little more in some cases and a little less in others. To be sure, two or three percentage points in the right swing state is not trivial, but it is probably not enough to outweigh the other strengths and weaknesses that a vice presidential candidate could potentially impart onto the ticket.”

“Indeed, presidential campaigns in recent years have largely abided by this principle, with recent vice presidential nominees hailing from states like Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, New York and Wyoming that did not figure to be competitive.”


Haley’s Dismal Approval Rating Improves Slightly

A new Winthrop poll in South Carolina finds Gov. Nikki Haley’s (R) approval rating “is on the mend — but it’s still not good.”

Key findings: Nearly 38% of registered voters said they approved of Haley’s job performance. In December it was just 35%.

Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics

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