POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 5/2

Obama Has Edge in North Carolina

A new SurveyUSA poll in North Carolina finds President Obama leading Mitt Romney by four points, 47% to 43%.

 

Obama Speaks from Afghanistan

“Speaking from a military base near Kabul after a brief, surprise night visit to Afghanistan on the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death, President Obama said that “we have a clear path to fulfill our mission in Afghanistan,” the New York Times reports.

Said Obama: “The goal that I set, to defeat Al Qaeda and deny it the chance to rebuild, is now within our reach.”

Mark Halperin: “There are are lot of substantive questions begged by the President’s speech and the agreement, especially the extent to which Karzai will be a reliable partner. But the politics of what was announced is wicked smart, and almost certainly gets Obama through November without Afghanistan being a political liability for him.”

 

Tester Grabs Lead in Re-Election Race

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Montana finds Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) now leads Rep. Denny Rehberg (R) in the U.S. Senate race by five points, 48% to 43%.

 

Gay Romney Spokesman Resigns

Jennifer Rubin: “Richard Grenell, the openly gay spokesman recently hired to sharpen the foreign policy message of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, has resigned in the wake of a full-court press by anti-gay conservatives.”

“According to sources familiar with the situation, Grenell decided to resign after being kept under wraps during a time when national security issues, including the president’s ad concerning Osama bin Laden, had emerged front and center in the campaign.”

 

Maybe the Pizza Was Too Heavy?

Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani visited a New York City firehouse with each man carrying three boxes of pizza as “a gaggle of photographers, cordoned off at a safe distance, snapped away.”

Moments later, and likely thinking the press pool was out of sight, New York magazinecaught Romney and Giuliani unloading “all six pizzas into the arms of an aide.”

 

Obama Leads in Virginia

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Virginia finds President Obama leading Mitt Romney by eight points, 51% to 43%.

Key findings: “Obama’s winning 57-33 with voters under 30, which is not unusual. But he’s also up 56-37 with voters between 30 and 45 which suggests the GOP has a problem in Virginia not just with the very young but also with the somewhat young. That generational gap speaks to the days of Virginia as a solid red state in Presidential elections probably being over.”

 

No More Positive Ads from Obama

With President Obama’s latest ad combining a positive message about the president with an attack on Mitt Romney, Chris Cillizza warns not to expect any more positive spots this cycle from the Obama reelection campaign.

“Obama is in a somewhat similar — albeit it slightly stronger — position that Bush found himself at this time in 2004. The struggling economy has dragged down the current incumbent’s numbers and two of his main legislative achievements — health care and the economic stimulus — are not popular with the American public… And, like Bush, Obama is a known commodity for voters while his opponents is not. And therein lies the opportunity for the incumbent… The best way to frame that devil you know/devil you don’t know line of attack is through a sustained campaign of negative ads in swing states.”

 

Supreme Court Favorability Reaches New Low

A new Pew Research poll finds public assessments of the Supreme Court have reached a quarter-century low with 52% offering a favorable opinion.

“Unlike evaluations over much of the past decade, there is very little partisan divide. The court receives relatively low favorable ratings from Republicans, Democrats and independents alike.”

 

Did Politicians Used To Be More Ruthless?

Walter Shapiro has an interesting takeaway after reading Passage of Power that relates to modern day politics:

“Maybe the difference reflects the bubble wrap surrounding the modern White House, but reading Caro I got the sense that internal Washington battles were more vicious during the 1960s. I am not talking about congressional gridlock and the lack of bipartisanship in 21st-century Washington, but rather the ability to intimidate others — often those in your own party or administration — to get your way. Among contemporary politicians, by the standards set by Johnson and Robert Kennedy (who earned the description ‘ruthless’), only Vice President Dick Cheney seemed a throwback to an earlier era in his ability to use a shiv.”

 

Lawmaker Says Obama Was Elected Because He Was Black

Speaking at a town hall meeting, Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) suggested President Obama was only elected president because he’s an African-American.

Said Walsh: “He’s our first African-American president. The country voted for him because of that. It made us feel good about ourself. I’ve said it before, it helped that John McCain was about 142 years old. It helped that the economy was tanking. A lot of these things helped. But he never would have gotten there without his historic nature.”

 

Bringing Back the Bush Gang?

Ezra Klein: “The Bush economy is one of the worst on record… Given all that, you’d think Republicans would be running from anything or anyone who even vaguely reminded Americans of our 43rd president. In fact, the GOP seems eager to get the old gang back together.”

“Last week, when CNN asked House Speaker John Boehner whom Mitt Romney, the likely GOP presidential nominee, should choose as his vice presidential running mate, he named Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Daniels and Portman served as budget directors in the Bush White House… Meanwhile, Romney’s campaign staff is thick with Bush administration veterans.”

 

It’s Going to Get Worse

Politico: “Think Congress is a big, dysfunctional, polarized mess? Just wait: It’s going to get worse.”

“The House is certainly the most extreme illustration of what’s to come. Moderate Republicans are basically extinct. Conservative Democrats, who not long ago accounted for more than a quarter of the party in the House, are getting wiped away, too — and will likely number a little more than a dozen after November.”

“The Senate, once the chamber of deliberation and reason, is getting its own extreme makeover. Moderates such as Maine Republican Olympia Snowe and Democrat Ben Nelson are bolting an institution that barely resembles the one they entered as idealistic deal makers.”

 

Quote of the Day

“Well, what the hell’s the presidency for?”

– Lyndon Johnson, quoted in Robert Caro’s Passage of Power just four days after becoming president, pushing back against advice from “wise, practical people” who said a president should not spend time on lost causes, no matter how worthy.

 

Walker Raises Massive Amount

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) “raised an unprecedented $13.2 million over three months to fight off the recall bid against him, outdistancing his Democratic challengers and driving home the challenge they will have in beating the Republican incumbent,” theMilwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.

“Crisscrossing the country on fundraising trips, Walker has raised more than $25 million since January 2011 and has $4.9 million in cash on hand – numbers unlike any that have been seen for a political candidate in Wisconsin. Two-thirds of Walker’s money came from out of state.”

 

Has Lugar Already Lost?

A PAC supporting Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) in his GOP primary has pulled its ads, NBC News reports.

Said a spokesman: “We’ve decied to let this race play out.”

“Republican thinking is that they are coming to grips with the idea that state Treasurer Richard Mourdock is the very likely nominee, and the party now doesn’t want to damage him. Strategists say Lugar didn’t started campaigning in earnest until too late and waited too long to define Mourdock. They didn’t know what to do with him.”

Nate Silver: “If Mr. Lugar loses, it should increase Democrats’ odds of picking up the Senate seat in November.”

 

Romney Disagreed on Osama bin Laden

First Read points out the minute Mitt Romney said “Jimmy Carter” when trying to make the point that he too would have issued orders to go after Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, “the Obama campaign may have gotten what they wanted: an opening to bring up what Romney said four years ago.”

What Romney said: “It’s not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person… It’s more than Osama bin Laden.”

Also: “I do not concur in the words of Barack Obama in a plan to enter an ally of ours… I don’t think those kinds of comments help in this effort to draw more friends to our effort.”

“Obama might have been smirking because he knows this is a political fight he’ll win and he’s more than happy to have it front and center. One thing is certain, the bin Laden back and forth pretty much ensures this will be the BIG story of the week (until the jobs report).”

 

EPA Official Forced Out Over Crucifixion Remarks

A senior Environmental Protection Agency official was forced to resign after a two year old video emerged showing him describe the EPA’s “crucifixion philosophy,” the New York Times reports.

Al Armendariz told an audience that in the Middle Ages the Romans conquered a village by taking “the first five guys they saw and they’d crucify them.” He pointed out that the EPA, similarly, makes “examples out of people who are not complying with the law… you make examples out of them, use it as a deterrent method.”

 

EPA Official Forced Out Over Crucifixion Remarks

A senior Environmental Protection Agency official was forced to resign after a two year old video emerged showing him describe the EPA’s “crucifixion philosophy,” the New York Times reports.

Al Armendariz told an audience that in the Middle Ages the Romans conquered a village by taking “the first five guys they saw and they’d crucify them.” He pointed out that the EPA, similarly, makes “examples out of people who are not complying with the law… you make examples out of them, use it as a deterrent method.”

 

Rubio Admits Mistake with GOP Credit Card

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) went great lengths in an interview on Fox News to address controversies as a state lawmaker in Florida, including whether he used a card issued by the Florida Republican party to pay for personal expenses.

Said Rubio: “The point is that, if I had to do it again, I’d be a lot more careful. And I am because, in politics, perception is often reality. But it’s important people understand: I did not bill personal expenses to the Republican Party of Florida. The Republican Party of Florida never paid my personal expenses. Never. I paid them directly to American Express, in the month that I would get those statements.”

NBC News: “More importantly, though, the appearance reflects an affirmative effort by Rubio to address some of the issues in his own background — issues that could ensnare the Romney campaign if the Florida senator were tapped as Romney’s running mate. “

 

Manchin Headed for Landslide Win in West Virginia

A new RL Repass poll in West Virginia finds Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) crushing challenger John Raese (R) in the U.S. Senate race, 74% to 22%.

Likewise, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) has a big lead over challenger Bill Maloney (R), 60% to 32%.

 

Swiss Bank Account

President Obama’s re-election campaign is up with a new ad in Virginia, Ohio and Iowa trying to define Mitt Romney.

Tagline: “It’s just what you’d expect from a guy who had a Swiss bank account.”

 

Pet Lovers for Obama

Washington Post: “President Obama has unleashed a particularly unusual fundraiser for his 2012 campaign… The unlikely pitchman is Bo, the White House family pet, who may well be the first ‘first dog’ to emerge as a central player in a presidential reelection campaign.”

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

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