POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 4/27

Rove’s Forecast Shows Obama Way Ahead

Karl Rove‘s latest electoral vote forecast finds President Obama with 220 votes and another 64 votes which “lean Obama.” Mitt Romney has 93 votes with another 79 which “lean Romney.” The remaining 82 votes are “toss ups.”

Most interesting: Rove lists both South Carolina and Missouri as “toss up” states.

Bonus Quote of the Day

“I’m not going anywhere, don’t worry.”

— New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), quoted by ABC News, when a supporter said, “I really, really hope that you serve your term here.”

How They Got Osama bin Laden

Time has a fascinating look at the White House decisionmaking that led to the death of Osama bin Laden. One of the biggest challenges was confirming that the al Qaeda leader was actually at the Abbottabad compound.

“Most of the actions the CIA could take to increase its confidence about the target would also unavoidably increase the odds that bin Laden or Pakistani intelligence officers would learn that the U.S. had discovered his whereabouts. More-advanced drones could provide better overhead photography of activity in the compound, but what if one crashed, as an RQ-170 did in Iran seven months later? A broadsheet of options included everything from surveilling the neighborhood with a miniaturized UAV that resembled a bird (so convincing that one was attacked by an eagle) to analyzing local sewage for genetic markers.”

John Dingell Learns About Teabagging

One more tidbit from Do Not Ask What Good We Do by Robert Draper, courtesy of theDaily Beast:

“John Dingell is the longest currently-serving member of Congress (and the third longest-serving ever). The acerbic 85-year-old Michigan Democrat had long been contemptuous of Tea Partiers. He found them unruly and difficult to get along with. Dingell tended to refer to them as ‘teabaggers,’ a phrase that has an alternate sexual meaning. This normally wouldn’t have been a problem in the hall of Congress, but when Dingell was booked to appear on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, his staff felt the need to finally warn and educate him. When his chief of staff shared the other meaning of ‘teabagger’ with Dingell, the Congressman went through three different stages of reaction. At first, he said ‘hah,’ then said ‘that’s disgusting,’ and finally the octogenarian congressman reached the plain of acceptance and said, ‘It’s funny and I’m going to keep using it.'”

Too Much Veep Chatter

Stuart Rothenberg notes that all of the talk about Mitt Romney’s running mate “is a lot of wasted, useless, meaningless hot air” but warns that cable television news networks have “4,416 hours to fill from May 1 to the end of October — and they’ll need to fill some of those hours with chatter from people who want to hear themselves talk about running mate selections.”

Lawmaker Says Student Loans Caused “Cancer of Socialism”

At a debate last weekend, Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) equated federal student loan programs with stage three cancer.

Said Aikin: “America has got the equivalent of the stage three cancer of socialism because the federal government is tampering in all kinds of stuff it has no business tampering in. So first, to answer your question precisely, what the Democrats did to the private student loans and take it all over by the government was wrong, it was a lousy bill, and that’s why I voted no. The government needs to get its nose out of the education business.”

See more…

Mourdock Claims Lead in Indiana Primary

Wenzel Strategies poll in Indiana shows Richard Mourdock (R) leading Sen. Richard Lugar (R) in the GOP U.S. Senate primary by five points, 44% to 39%.

The poll was conducted by a Mourdock-supporting group. The primary is on May 8.

Biden Says Romney Would Outsource Foreign Policy

Vice President Joe Biden sharply criticized Mitt Romney in a campaign speech by digging up a Romney quote from 2008, BuzzFeed reports.

Said Romney at the time: “Well, if we want somebody who has a lot of experience in foreign policy, we can simply go to the State Department and pluck out one of the tens of thousands of people who work there… A president is not a foreign policy expert.”

Biden: “In my view, the last thing I think we need is a president who will subcontract our foreign policy to some expert at the State Department.”

McKenna Tells Tracker to “Get a Job”

The Seattle Times notes it’s been “a common practice in politics for years” for trackers to follow politicians trying to get their gaffes recorded “and most politicians have learned to blow off such tracking efforts.”

But Washington gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna (R) “appeared to let it get under his skin” in an encounter earlier this week. McKenna told the tracker — who identified herself as a “youth worker” — wasn’t being “honest” and was trying to “bushwhack” him. Walking away, he said, “You’re just trying to gain a political advantage, sorry. Why don’t you go get a job?”

Of course, the exchange is on video.

See more…

Romney’s Veep Strategy

Mark Halperin: “Commentators are focusing for now on Florida Senate phenom Marco Rubio as a potential vice-presidential prospect… Meanwhile, real pros are gaming out a more relevant question: How can Romney’s team turn Ohio Senator Rob Portman into a “surprise” selection after months of insider consensus that he in the inevitable and smartest pick?”

Obama Maintains Electoral Vote Lead

First Read: “President Obama continues — and has slightly added to — his electoral-vote lead. There are 231 electoral votes in the Democratic column (either in the solid, likely, or lean categories), and there are 197 on the Republican side; 110 electoral votes are toss-up. In our previous NBC News map, which we released in late February, the Democratic advantage was 227-197. The only changes from February until now were that we moved New Hampshire from toss-up to Lean Dem; we moved Indiana from Likely GOP to Lean GOP; and we moved Georgia from Lean GOP to Likely GOP.”

Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball: “Based on our analysis, Obama starts with a presumed base of 247 electoral votes, just 23 short of the magic number of 270 — but not all of them are truly secure. Romney starts with a much firmer but not ironclad 206. The election will be decided mainly in seven states with 85 toss-up votes: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia.”

Voters Say No One Has an Economic Plan

A new Fox News poll finds a majority of Americans — 61% for President Obama and 58% for Mitt Romney — think neither have a plan to fix the economy.

The general election match up shows both men in a dead heat at 46% each.

Quote of the Day

“The hypocrisy of the left that now tried to kill this bill, that says that I should have never signed it, the true hypocrisy is that their one mission in life is to abort children, is to kill children in the womb.”

— Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R), quoted by ABC News, speaking to conservative radio host Tony Perkins about a law he signed to shut down the state’s last abortion-performing clinic.

Obama Kicks Off Campaign

President Obama “will hold his first two major political rallies of the general-election campaign next weekend at colleges in Ohio and Virginia, staking a claim in two of the most closely watched battleground states of the year and continuing his dialogue with student voters, whose energy and enthusiasm were crucial to his victory four years ago,” theWashington Post reports.

Said David Axelrod: “Welcome to the general election.”

The Right Way to Influence a Primary

The Hotline explains why House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) got into trouble with his own party for wading into a primary race between two incumbents, while House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) has been “quietly praised” in his party for doing the same thing.

“Why the difference? Cantor took heat for funneling some cash through the Campaign for Primary Accountability, an organization with the express goal of ousting incumbents in their own primaries. What’s more, Cantor’s actions sharpened the divide between the old bulls on Capitol Hill and the hard-charging freshmen who are wholly uninterested in waiting their turn in the seniority system… Altmire engendered no such good will among fellow Democrats. Hoyer only got involved on Critz’s behalf after Altmire attacked Critz for voting with Democratic leadership on a Republican budget vote… It didn’t help that Altmire had voted against health care and cap and trade legislation, two of the three major Democratic initiatives in the 111th Congress.”

Why Ron Paul Appeals to New England

Charles Mahtesian looks back at Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-TX) performance in the New England states this primary season, noting that Paul “finished second in every state except Massachusetts, nearly won Maine and won about a quarter of the vote in New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island.”

“What explains the unusual regional appeal? Probably a number of factors, beginning with the fact that Paul isn’t perceived as a Southern candidate but rather a national one. The numerous universities and small liberal arts colleges that dot the landscape probably help his cause, given his appeal to the youth vote. So does the fact that New England isn’t as hawkish as other parts of the country. Then there is small town and rural New England — ancestrally Republican, with distinct libertarian coloring and vestiges of skin-flint fiscal conservatism.”

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