POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 6/26
President Obama “tried to tweak Bostonians tonight as he thanked the Red Sox for trading Kevin Youkilis to his hometown Chicago White Sox, but instead he triggered a chorus of boos from fans still a bit raw over the deal,” the Boston Globe reports.
Said Obama: “Finally, Boston I just want to say — thank-you for Youkilis.”
As boos swelled up, Obama chuckled adding, “I’m just saying, he had to change the color of his socks… I didn’t anticipate boos out of here.”
The House is scheduled to vote on recommendations that Attorney General Eric Holder be held in contempt of Congress on Thursday, the Washington Post reports.
“Republican leaders plan to bring the issue to the floor on Thursday, meaning lawmakers likely will vote on contempt charges on the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court is slated to announce its ruling on the constitutionality of the 2010 health-care reform law. The timing likely deprives advocates for contempt charges of the big headlines they might have received if the vote were held another day this week.”
“Pro-Second Amendment? The Castle Doctrine, it’s done. First pro-life legislation — abortion facility regulations — in 22 years, done. Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”
— Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R), quoted by Politics PA, citing a voter ID law as an accomplishment which critics claim was never about preventing fraud.
Although Mitt Romney released a statement earlier stressing the right of states to enact immigration policies, he never commented directly on the Supreme Court decision gutting large parts of Arizona’s controversial immigration law.
Politico has a remarkable exchange with traveling spokesman Rick Gorka, in which he did everything he could to avoid answering despite being asked 20 times.
Daily Beast: “Clinton predicted that if the law is declared unconstitutional, Republicans will suffer a backlash when millions of Americans calculate what they have lost. Before the Affordable Care Act passed, two thirds of all the applications for bankruptcy were because of health-care emergencies, a consequence likely to return if health care inflation again rises precipitously.”
Former Secretary of State Bruce McPherson is the latest prominent Republican to switch parties in California. He changed his voter registration last week from Republican to “no party preference.”
George Skelton: “It’s impossible to assess any grand, overarching meaning in all this — except that in each case the politician felt that the Republican label was an albatross. The candidates’ actions may have been self-serving, but it’s an ugly mark on the GOP that they felt better served not being burdened by the party.”
A new American Research Group poll in New Hampshire shows President Obama with a solid lead over Mitt Romney, 51% to 43%.
Jim Geraghty looks at the Obama campaign spending reports and finds online advertising and other web-related efforts are the largest expenditures to date.
“Ironically, in an era of e-mail, postage was one of the campaign’s largest expenditures, totaling more than $14.7 million.”
Also interesting: “The Obama campaign appears to run on pizza: $2,084.37 went to Domino’s Pizza, $1,774.78 went to Pizzanno’s Pizza, $1,167.45 went to Papa John’s, $834.03 went to Pizza Hut, and $362 went to Little Caesars. (One hopes Michelle Obama won’t find out that some Obama campaign staffer in Winston-Salem, N.C., spent $239.39 at Krispy Kreme.)”
The Supreme Court reaffirmed its 2-year-old decision allowing corporations to spend freely to influence elections, the New York Times reports.
“By a 5-4 vote, the court’s conservative justices said the decision in the Citizens United case in 2010 applies to state campaign finance laws and guarantees corporate and labor union interests the right to spend freely to advocate for or against candidates for state and local offices.”
Rick Pildes: “That outcome comes as no surprise to those of us who believe Citizens United reflected powerfully held philosophical and constitutional convictions, whether we agree with those convictions or not. But it should put the final nail in the coffin of theories that assert the Court could have decided Citizens United only ‘by mistake’… The American public might not believe in unlimited corporate speech rights in elections, but the Court’s majority does – and no amount of public backlash is going to cause this Court to back down.”
First Read: “So when you step back and think about it, June has been a crazy month. It started with the monthly jobs report showing that just 69,000 jobs were created in May; then came the drumbeat of bad and uncertain news on the economy, both domestically and in Europe; then there was Wisconsin; then President Obama’s immigration announcement; and now we’re about to get the big SCOTUS health-care ruling (as well as the immigration one).”
“Yet despite it all, the Obama-Romney race has remained incredibly stable. Look no farther than the recent Pew poll and AP national poll showing Obama narrowly leading Romney (50%-46% and 47%-44%, respectively) — which is essentially where this race was after the former Massachusetts governor became the presumptive GOP nominee back in April.”
“What explains this stability, even if much of the media perception has been that Romney has the momentum while Obama is struggling? For starters, you could argue that given this nation’s political polarization, this tight race has always been locked in and perhaps is even more locked in than anyone appreciates. Then there’s the “demographics is destiny” argument that feeds the polarization; and finally, don’t overlook the Obama campaign’s heavy anti-Romney TV blitz have contributed to the stability. Bottom line: It’s probably a little of all three.”
The Supreme Court’s ruling on President Obama’s health care law will be released on Thursday.
It’s expected that Chief Justice John Roberts will write the opinion. Sarah Kliff notes court watchers “expect that Chief Justice John Roberts will author the opinion, after seeing Justice Anthony Kennedy write the opinion in the Arizona immigration case. The justices tend to split up the workload each term, especially when it comes to high-profile and complicated rulings.”
The Supreme Court gutted the majority of Arizona’s controversial immigration law today, leaving in place only the “show your papers” provision that says police officers may check the status of those they stop, the Arizona Republic reports.
Interestingly, Mitt Romney is in Arizona today for a fundraiser. The decision seriously complicates his efforts to reach out to Latino voters.
Mark Halperin: “At first blush, there isn’t a lot in the Supreme Court immigration decision that is good politically for Mitt Romney. It is a muddy ruling that doesn’t really let him make hay. On the other hand, the mixed decision means this case isn’t likely to dominate the news beyond today’s cycle, letting Romney go back to the economy and — later in the week — health care, where he is on stronger footing.”
The South Carolina House Ethics Committee will start a hearing to determine if Gov. Nikki Haley (R) illegally lobbied for her employers while she was a lawmaker, McClatchy reports.
It is the first time a governor has been investigated by the committee.
First Read: “Ever since the Obama campaign began its Bain hit, there has been near universal agreement among elites that the hits were either “not working,” or “unfair,” or both. But as we’ve said before and we’ll say again: The Bain attacks aren’t meant to sway folks in NY and DC, but folks in three crucial battleground states: Ohio, Iowa, and Wisconsin. The whole point of this campaign by the Obama folks is to paint Romney as an out-of-touch Wall Street CEO…”
“And while the Romney campaign has comforted itself with the criticism of the Obama attacks by other Democrats (Booker, Rendell etc.), the campaign has done little to fix the larger image issue. So far, the Romney campaign has made this argument: Any attack on Bain is an attack on America’s free enterprise system. But how does it explain that Bain and its partners often made money, even if the firms they took over went belly up? And how do they now explain this Milken association? Does it keep using the “free enterprise” line? Or does it need to do something else?”
Wall Street Journal: “Once again, the Obama high command is making a big bet on their ground operation. The aim is to flood the zone: open up offices in battleground states, call undecided voters, and swarm the shopping malls to register as many people as possible. In this way, Democrats hope to neutralize the Republican super PAC advantage by out-registering and out-working the GOP on the streets.”
A new Deseret News/KSL-TV poll finds Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) leads challenger Dan Liljenquist (R) in the Republican U.S. Senate primary, 60% to 32%.
Paul Begala: “Let’s posit that the point of politics is to get more votes than the other side — so everything a politician does is by definition political. Shocking. But there is, frequently, also an element of principle, a dash of ideology, and maybe even a hint of idealism. To analyze every act in terms of motive, and to reduce every motive to its basest level, is just dumb.”
“You can drive yourself crazy trying to peer into a person’s soul–or you can do the sensible thing: ask not what inner motives drive a politician’s policy choices but instead whether those choices are good for the country. ”
At least 34 members of Congress “took steps to recast their financial portfolios during the financial crisis” after phone calls or meetings with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson; his successor, Timothy Geithner; or Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, theWashington Post reports.
“The lawmakers, many of whom held leadership positions and committee chairmanships in the House and Senate, changed portions of their portfolios a total of 166 times within two business days of speaking or meeting with the administration officials. The party affiliation of the lawmakers was about evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, 19 to 15.”
A new Associated Press-GfK poll finds half of Americans say it won’t matter much whether President Obama or Mitt Romney wins the presidential election “even though the presidential candidates have staked their chances on which would be better at fixing the economic mess.”
“People are especially pessimistic about the future president’s influence over jobs… Asked how much impact the November winner will have on unemployment, 6 in 10 gave answers ranging from slim to none.”
Meanwhile, a majority of those surveyed — 55% — say the winner will have from “just some impact” to “no impact” on the nation’s huge budget deficits.Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics