POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 5/8

What is Obama’s Position on Gay Marriage?

Josh Marshall: “I’m not sure if we’ll ever find out — because the insider accounts are at least as likely to be spun as not. But I’m curious whether today’s remarks by Joe Biden on marriage equality are another example of Biden’s off-the-cuff indiscipline or something more like the White House trying to moon walk the President’s position on the issue, i.e., nudge and ease the president’s position forward while seeming to walk it back, so we’ll wake up one day and it will simply be different without ever being able to point to a day when it changed.”

Dana Millbank: “Whatever Obama’s public position, there was little doubt in the briefing room Monday that the president supports gay marriage and that he would go public with this position after Election Day, when he no longer need fear losing independent voters. Carney, who had the unenviable position of trying to convince the press corps otherwise, arrived 35 minutes late for the job and found a feisty audience.”

 

Greece Faces Political Chaos

“Greece teetered on the verge of political chaos on Monday, with few signs that any party could form a governing coalition and the prospect of the nation leaving the euro zone looming increasingly large,” the New York Times reports.

“Just a day after coming in a weak first in its worst showing ever in national elections, the center-right New Democracy party quickly announced on Monday that it had failed to form a governing majority. While a left-wing anti-austerity party that placed second will now have a chance to form a coalition, many analysts say Greece is unlikely to emerge from its current crisis with a government either capable or willing to carry out the strict budget-cutting mandates of its foreign lenders.”

 

Obama Up with $25 Million Ad Buy

David Axelrod said President Obama’s re-election will spend $25 million on swing-state ads this month, according to NBC News.

The ad is a positive one and Axelrod claimed that the sum spent on this ad would be more than Mitt Romney spent on positive ads through the entire GOP primary.

Said Axelrod: “I believe that by the end of this week — certainly by the end of next — we will have spent more money offering people a positive vision for the future, talking about the president’s record and the nation’s record under his leadership and where we’re going than Gov. Romney has in his entire campaign and there’s a reason for that.”

 

Romney’s Ron Paul Problem

Ron Paul’s strategy of organizing and working arcane delegate selection rules began to pay off over the weekend.

Christian Science Monitor: “And that could mean big trouble for Mitt Romney and his plans to smoothly pivot to a campaign aimed solely at incumbentPresident Obama. Yes, Mr. Romney is still the presumptive nominee. It’s highly unlikely Paul will be able to deny the former Massachusetts governor the prize he’s sought for so long. But Paul’s forces aren’t lining up and saluting a Romney victory. When they show up in Tampa in August they may be strong enough, and prepared enough, to throw the convention floor into embarrassing disarray.”

 

Bruning Leads GOP Primary in Nebraska

A new We Ask America poll in Nebraska finds Jon Bruning (R) way ahead in the Republican U.S. Senate primary with 42%, followed by Deb Fischer (R) at 26% and Don Stenberg (R) at 23%.

The winner will likely face off against former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D).

 

RINO and DINO Hunting

John Avlon: “RINO hunting has long been a problem inside the Republican Party, through groups like the Club for Growth–which has dumped $1.4 million against Lugar. They target congressman and senators they label “Republicans in Name Only”and justification is always a defense of fiscal discipline. But peel back the bumper sticker and there is a social conservative litmus test at work as well. Good luck naming a libertarian pro-choicer who has been supported by these forces. Or finding the organized outrage direct at notorious pork barrelers like Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi. Their bottom line is party line.”

“What new is that DINO hunting is starting to catch on in Democratic circles. This particular purification purge is still emerging–Democrats are amateurs compared to Republicans when it comes to taking down their own, as evidenced by the asymmetric polarization afflicting the right side of Congress. But just last month, the DINO hunters claimed two kills, knocking off a pair centrist Democrats from the swing state of Pennsylvania, Reps. Jason Altmire and Tim Holden.”

 

Insiders Say Christie Would Accept Veep Offer

New Jersey political insiders tell National Review that Gov. Chris Christie (R) would gladly accept the vice-presidential nomination, should Mitt Romney offer it.

Said one top lawmaker: “Christie is open to it, his family’s comfortable with it, and he’s been vetted before. He isn’t going to campaign for it, but it’s no secret that he would relish the opportunity to play at that level.”

However, another insider says the worry is he may steal Romney’s spotlight: “It’s like asking Joe DiMaggio if he wants to play alongside Mickey Mantle.”

 

Clinton Again Says She’s Not Going to Run

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a town hall in India that she has no desire to make another run for the White House, the AP reports.

Said Clinton: “I would like to come back to India and just wander around without the streets being closed. I just want to get back to taking some deep breaths, feeling that there are other ways i can continue to serve.”

 

Putting the Economy in Context

Greg Sargent: “Watch the new Obama campaign ad touting his record that’s set to air in nine swing states, and you’ll notice something interesting: At least 15 seconds of the 60-second spot — one fourth of it — are devoted to dramatizing events that took place before he took office.”

The ad is clearly part of an attempt to reframe the election and is on the air in nine key states — Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. These states are the first indication of where the Obama campaign thinks the election might be won or lost.

 

Why the Obama Team is Confident of Beating Romney

Mark Halperin: “First, in the view of the Obamans, Romney is still a weak candidate. His stump skills continue to be uneven at best, with speeches plagued by awkward jargon and passionless rhetoric. They believe his tenure as head of Bain Capital and his term as governor of Massachusetts conceal vulnerabilities yet to be unveiled…”

“Second, they maintain, their research suggests Romney has exactly one rhetorical path to victory, as a can-do businessman able to fix what’s broken. Chicago intends to focus as much of its formidable firepower as necessary to dismantle Romney on that front, and prevent the election from becoming a referendum on the President’s economic tenure.”

“Third, the Obama team argues, Romney has taken many positions to the right of public opinion. The President’s team plans to throw two years’ worth of provocative statements in Romney’s face, using sophisticated micro targeting to impacted demographics…”

“Fourth and finally, presidential politics, in the end, is all about the Electoral College. The Obama campaign’s analysis, matching recent media number crunching, indicates Romney has a paper-thin margin of error to get to the magical 270.”

 

Bonus Quote of the Day

“I have, some would say, better experience than Barack Obama had when he was a senator and ran.”

– Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), quoted by NBC News, making the case for potentially being chosen as Mitt Romney’s running mate.

 

Obama Has Edge in a Close Race

With new polls showing a close presidential race — both nationally and in the swing states – First Read points out how “far ahead the Obama campaign is of the Romney campaign when it comes to organizing on the ground.”

“It’s not even close on this front; It’s amazing how in just eight short years, the Republicans have allowed one of their great strengths from 2004 (field organizing) to simply disappear. If a close election is decided on mechanics: advantage Obama. By the way, with all this back-n-forth on crowd sizes — it’s fair to say Obama ’08 would have out-drawn Obama ’12 in both cities. But the problem for the GOP is that Obama ’12 still outdraws Romney ’12… and by a LOT. Will Romney address a crowd as large as Obama did on Saturday before Tampa?”

Boston Globe: “The presidential election is six months away but Democrats have already poured almost $25 million into key states where the get-out-the-vote ground game could tip the Electoral College in a potentially tight contest. Republicans say they will follow suit in the run-up to the election, but so far have sent just over $1 million to state parties.”

 

Obama Re-Frames the Election

First Read: “There were two things that stood out to us that the president tried to do in his stump speech during his official campaign kickoff events in Ohio and Virginia: (1) His attempt to answer – or re-frame — the question, ‘Are you better off than four years ago?’ The Obama campaign knows that is a powerful question and a powerful argument against their campaign with a sluggish economy and they tried to pre-but it by asking, instead, “Will we BE better off” years down the road? It was the most important thing he tried to do — and the first POSITIVE campaign ad from the campaign doubles down on this; and (2) He tried to paint Romney as an empty vessel, an unknown, just an investor, who will acquiesce and go along with whatever congressional Republicans will want to do.”

Romney Has Edge in New National Poll

A new Politico/George Washington University poll shows Mitt Romney leading President Obama in a head to head match up, 48% to 47%.

In the generic congressional ballot, Republicans hold a slight edge 45% to 43%.

 

King Warns Two Major Parties

The New York Times reports former Maine Gov. Angus King (I) has a warning for the national political parties that may flood his state with negative ads to derail his independent candidacy for the Senate: “I will take note of how I am treated in this campaign.”

“That is not an idle threat from some quixotic candidate for the seat being vacated by Maine’s famously moderate Republican, Olympia J. Snowe. It is a warning from the front-runner, a two-term independent governor who, because he refuses to say whom he would support for majority leader next year, may well decide which party controls an evenly divided Senate.”

 

Quote of the Day

“Would you pick me? I am so much my own agent, it would be — it’s inconceivable.”

– Newt Gingrich, quoted by CBS News, on being Mitt Romney’s running mate.

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

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