POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 6/11
Associated Press: “The nation’s unemployment rate of 8.2 percent may sink President Barack Obama’s re-election bid, but one detail brightens his hopes. About 10 battleground states will decide the election, and seven of them have employment levels that beat the U.S. average.”
In a must-read Washington Post piece, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward look back at Richard Nixon’s presidency and debunk the “often unchallenged” notion “that the coverup was worse than the crime” saying this idea “minimizes the scale and reach of Nixon’s criminal actions.”
“In the course of his five-and-a-half-year presidency, beginning in 1969, Nixon launched and managed five successive and overlapping wars — against the anti-Vietnam War movement, the news media, the Democrats, the justice system and, finally, against history itself. All reflected a mind-set and a pattern of behavior that were uniquely and pervasively Nixon’s: a willingness to disregard the law for political advantage, and a quest for dirt and secrets about his opponents as an organizing principle of his presidency.”
“Long before the Watergate break-in, gumshoeing, burglary, wiretapping and political sabotage had become a way of life in the Nixon White House.”
“Just two years after fending off one of the nation’s toughest Republican challenges to win reelection to a fifth term, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid could find his political fate determined once again by voters in his own Nevada back yard,” the Washington Postreports.
The “soft-spoken, hard-knuckled” Reid is “now activating the vaunted Nevada Democratic machine he has helped build on behalf Rep. Shelley Berkley” in an effort to keep the Democratic majority in the Senate.
The Boston Globe takes a good look at the primary super PAC backing Mitt Romney’s presidential bid.
“No candidate in the 2012 race adapted more swiftly and effectively to the rise of the super PACs in the wake of US Supreme Court and other rulings that effectively removed any barriers to individual and corporate donations to such so-called independent groups. The other GOP contenders’ backers raised not nearly as much, and President Obama, long a harsh critic of super PACs, only recently urged his supporters to get into the game.”
“Romney’s appearances at the fund-raisers offer a compelling case study of just how fuzzy the line between a candidate and the purportedly independent committees backing him has become. Romney says he has carefully adhered to the new rules, which allow candidates to be a ‘featured guest” at fund-raisers.”
Paul Begala: “Negative ads saved Scott Walker’s job. His campaign and its allies blasted labor unions and his opponent. They began in the gutter and wound up in the sewer — even shamefully implying Barrett was somehow responsible for a Milwaukee 2-year-old who had been beaten while Barrett was the city’s mayor. And Walker’s allies were little better. One ad by a Tea Party group attacked ‘labor-union mobs,’ as if the peaceful labor protests of 2012 were somehow different from the spirited but peaceful Tea Party protests of 2010.”
“Just to bust one more myth: all that negativity didn’t discourage voting. Despite a remarkably negative campaign from both sides, turnout was 56 percent — higher even than during the 2010 general election.”
The New York Times profiles Steve Schmidt, who first championed Sarah Palin as Sen. John McCain’s running mate in 2008, a decision which is now “widely viewed as one of the most calamitous political judgments in modern presidential politics. By the time Mr. McCain conceded, Mr. Schmidt himself feared that his role in that campaign would leave an indelible scar on his reputation.”
“But these days, helped in large part by the book and the movie Game Change, particularly the sympathetic portrayal of him in the film by Woody Harrelson, Mr. Schmidt has emerged from that car crash and settled into a lucrative and prominent existence that suggests he is the beneficiary of the kind of political resurrection Mr. Schmidt might have orchestrated for a beleaguered public figure.
Other advisers to Mr. McCain have scurried into obscurity. By contrast, Mr. Schmidt — television commentator and public relations executive, delivering speeches and wisdom on the politics of the day — has a higher profile than ever, and stands as evidence that there may be little cost to being associated with a losing campaign and a disastrous political misjudgment, as Mr. Schmidt now describes the Palin selection.
Mitt Romney held a roundtable discussion at an Iowa restaurant but the Des Moines Register reports that security ushered the owners and staff “to a back portion of the restaurant and they were unable to meet the former Massachusetts governor.”
Said owner Dianne Bauer: “The Secret Service said they would ask to make sure we got to be introduced and get a picture. I don’t care as much about the picture but at least let me meet the guy who I tore my place up for.”
A day after endorsing Mitt Romney, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told CNN it would be an honor to be his running mate.
Said Paul: “A year, year and a half ago, I was a physician in a small town. And it would be a great honor to be considered as a vice president for the Republican Party. I think that would be something that anybody who said otherwise would not be being truthful.”
A new Public Policy Polling survey in Florida finds Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) approval rating has sunk back down to 31%, with 56% of voters disapproving of him.
“One thing that hasn’t done his popularity any favors lately is his push to eliminate some people from the voter rolls. Only 34% of voters approve of that effort to 50% who disagree with it.”
President Obama, “under pressure for the weak economic recovery at home, on Friday attempted to shift the focus to Europe, delivering a to-do list to leaders overseas that emphasized economic growth over cost cutting,” National Journal reports.
Not unlike his message for Republicans in Congress, Obama said European leaders needed to focus on job growth.
Said Obama: “The solutions to these problems are hard but there are solutions.”
House Speaker John Boehner told CNBC that he would move legislation to extend the current tax rates for another year.
The so-called Bush tax cuts were extended once already but are due to expire at the end of the year.
Said Boehner: “The reason this isn’t permanent is that — and only for a year — is that we really do want to fix our tax code, both the corporate code and the personal code, bring down tax rates, get rid of all the excess deductions and credits and all the carve-outs and nonsense that we have in the code today.”
First Read: “If we learned two things last week, it’s 1) that Team Obama was put on the defensive, and 2) that Team Romney has caught up in more ways than one. Indeed, this was the week Romney caught up in fundraising (his campaign and the RNC outraised Obama and the DNC, $76.8 million to $60 million), in some national and battleground state polls… and even on the airwaves (the Romney camp is up in seven states versus the Obama camp’s nine). As the GOP presumptive nominee, there was always a time when Romney was going to catch up; just see where John Kerry was at around this point in 2004. But that time is now.”
The Tampa Bay Times compares Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) to Alabama Gov. George Wallace for trying to purge state voter rolls.
“This June, the governor of another Southern state is challenging the federal government’s authority. Nearly 50 years after Wallace’s showdown, you are standing between Floridians and their right to vote as U.S. citizens. We agree that only citizens should vote, but your approach to cleaning up the voter rolls is fatally flawed. The U.S. Justice Department and county supervisors of election have reached the same conclusion and told you to stop, yet you persist.”
“The presidential campaigns and their allies are zeroing in mainly on nine swing states, bombarding them with commercials in the earliest concentration of advertising in modern politics,” the New York Times reports.
“With so many resources focused on persuading an ever-shrinking pool of swing voters like those here in Nevada, the 2012 election is likely to go down in history as the one in which the most money was spent reaching the fewest people.”
The battleground: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
A new Fox News poll shows President Obama and Mitt Romney deadlocked nationally at 43% each.
A new Monmouth poll shows Obama leading 47% to 46%.
Meanwhile, the Gallup tracking poll shows a remarkably close and stable race with the latest data point putting Romney slightly ahead, 47% to 45%.Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics