POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 5/10
A new Suffolk University poll in Florida shows President Obama barely ahead of Mitt Romney in the presidential race, 46% to 45%. In January, Romney led by seven points.
Said pollster David Paleologos: “Despite locking up the Republican nomination and a strong showing in the Florida Republican primary in January, Romney still has a lot of work to do to win over Florida voters. He would need to repair the fallout of negativity from the Republican primaries by being more likable and offering general-election voters a positive alternative to President Obama.”
Andrew Sullivan: “Today Obama did more than make a logical step. He let go of fear. He is clearly prepared to let the political chips fall as they may.”
Howard Kurtz: “At the risk of resorting to hyperbole, this is a political earthquake that shakes the landscape by putting a divisive culture-war issue front and center. The betting had been that while Biden and others would signal support on a wink-wink basis, Obama would play it safe and take no position until after the election. This was no slip of the tongue; Obama intended to make news when his staff hastily arranged the interview.”
Mark Halperin: “If Republicans try to make a big deal about this, the President’s advisers believe it will distract from the economy fight and hurt the GOP with younger voters. As David Axelrod made clear the other day, the Obamans will fight back on this issue as needed. Romney now has more questions to answer than the President does on these matters, such as about same-sex benefits. There will be micro-targeting to culturally conservative voters in swing states to be sure, but don’t expect this decision to become a major campaign issue.”
David Brody: “Obama has given his liberal base a solid 6 month-energy drink that should last them through the General Election. The question for Romney is what can he say or do with the evangelical/Tea Party base to fire them up for the General? It’s an open question. One thing’s for sure, Obama’s support of same-sex marriage just made the electoral map a little dicier.”
President Obama told ABC News that he supports the legalization of same-sex marriage.
Said Obama: “I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.”
The president stressed that this is his personal position, and that he still supports the concept of states deciding the issue on their own.
Nate Silver notes that of the 27 most moderate Republican senators who served in 2007, at most six will return to the Congress in 2013: John McCain, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Thad Cochran, Lamar Alexander and Charles Grassley.
“The other 21 have been ousted from the Congress in some way. Eight of them retired or have announced plans to do so. One, Craig Thomas of Wyoming, died in office. Another, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, switched parties, then lost the primary election as a Democrat. Nine of them lost the general election as Republicans. And two were defeated in a Republican primary contest, not counting Ms. Murkowski, who lost hers in 2010 but won re-election anyway as a write-in candidate. In total, that’s an attrition rate of 78 percent.”
“You’re gonna be left with a party that is very pure and increasingly inconsequential. And a political system that is increasingly unable to get off the dime.”
— Former Sen. John Danforth (R-MO), in an interview with ThinkProgress, if ideological purges continue in the Republican party.
Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) is up with a new ad for his re-election campaign which doesn’t mention his party affiliation and stresses that he’s “turned out to be unpredictably independent and beholden to no one.”
Jonathan Chait: “The most important and alarming facet of Lugar’s defeat, and a factor whose importance is being overlooked at the moment, is one of the things Mourdock cited against him: Lugar voted to confirm two of Obama’s Supreme Court nominees. Obviously, Lugar would not have chosen to nominate an Elena Kagan or a Sonia Sotomayor. But he was following a longstanding practice of extending presidents wide ideological latitude on their Supreme Court picks. In the absence of corruption, lack of qualifications, or unusual ideological extremism, Democratic presidents have always been allowed to pick liberal justices, and Republican presidents conservative ones. That’s not a law. It’s just a social norm.”
“But the social norms that previously kept the parties from exercising power have fallen one by one. Under Obama’s presidency, Republicans have gone to unprecedented lengths to block completely uncontroversial appointments, paralyzing the government and using the power to paralyze government to nullify duly passed laws. It is bringing on an approaching crisis of American government.”
National Review: “The conventional wisdom about Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential short list, according to a handful of Romney insiders, may be wrong. Instead of picking a straitlaced Midwestern senator such as Ohio’s Rob Portman, or an outspoken northeastern Republican governor such as Chris Christie, there is a chance Romney will tap an evangelical from the South. And the name on the lips of Romney friends and supporters isn’t a rising southern senator or a current Dixie governor. He has been out of office for five years, resides on a beach in the Florida panhandle, and hosts a television show. In other words, Mike Huckabee, the bass-guitar-playing former governor.”
First Read: “Start tuning into Wisconsin if you haven’t been already. We’re about to have a month of a knock-down, drag-out fight in like we’ve never seen. Tens of millions of dollars have already been spent on the June 5th recall election, and millions more will be poured in before it’s all said and done. What’s happening in Wisconsin will highlight the toxicity and levels of anger in the country on both sides.”
“There’s a difference between being evenly divided and polarized. In the modern era (the 19- and 1860s were pretty bad, too), this started with the Bill Clinton impeachment, then Bush v. Gore, increased use of filibusters on both sides, the Tea Party, ideological purges, compromise being a dirty word. It feels like we’re getting to another level of absurdity on polarization. Is there a breaking point? Majorities claim they don’t like it but they keep supporting it, either via their primary votes or, by NOT voting.”
“I give my full support to Mitchell Romney. He has the makings of a great dictator. He is incredibly wealthy, but pays no taxes. And it’s not much of a leap to go from firing people to firing squads, and from putting pets on the top of a car to putting political dissidents on top of them.”
The movie is out on May 16.
Keith Judd, a federal inmate serving time for making threats at the University of Mexico, won 41% of the vote in West Virginia’s Democratic presidential primary, the AP reports.
President Obama won the primary with 59% support.
First Read: “By the way, wonder why Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin says he’s not sure who he’ll vote for this fall in the presidential election? This is why — and why West Virginia will continue to be the butt of jokes by coastal elites.”
A donor to former John Edwards’ 2008 presidential campaign testified that he “steered Barack Obama’s campaign away from considering Edwards as a potential running mate or Cabinet member because of Edwards’ affair with Rielle Hunter,” NBC News report.
Tim Toben “said he called the Obama campaign in June 2008 after Edwards told him that he might be Obama’s running mate. Toben said he warned Obama advisers because he feared that Edwards’ affair would have ‘destroyed’ Democratic chances in the general election.”
“I have a mindset that says bipartisanship ought to consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view.”
— Indiana U.S. Senate nominee Richard Mourdock (R), quoted by Politico.
On the dust jacket of his new book, The Tyranny of Clichés: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas, best-selling conservative author Jonah Goldberg is described as having “twice been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.”
However, Goldberg acknowledged to MSNBC that he “has never been a Pulitzer nominee, but merely one of thousands of entrants.”
“Even as opinion polls show growing approval of same-sex marriage nationally, opposition remains strong in some battleground states, as North Carolina voted to ban gay marriage and Colorado Republicans killed a measure to approve such civil unions,” Bloombergreports.
James Carville: “A long time ago a great three-time governor of Louisiana, Earl Long, said about Jimmie Davis, the two-time not very good governor of Louisiana, ‘You couldn’t wake up Jimmie Davis with an earthquake.'”
“As I go around the country and see various Democrats and talk to them on the phone, honestly I’m beginning to think that we have become the party of Jimmie Davis.”
“My message is simple: WTFU. Translated — wake the you-know-what up, there is an earthquake.”
A new Investors Business Daily/TIPP poll shows President Obama edging Mitt Romney nationally by three points, 46% to 43%.Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics