POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 9/25
Mitt Romney’s campaign “may be struggling, but his transition operation is moving full steam ahead,” Politico reports. (Are they designing windows that open for Air Force 1? fvm)
“The transition effort — while necessary and appropriate for a GOP nominee so close to the election — is a jarring contrast to a campaign that appears on the ropes to many Republican strategists. Receiving no bump from the Tampa convention, Romney is plowing ahead with a methodical approach to staffing his would-be administration, despite the fact that his campaign is said by some to need a radical makeover.”
Glenn Reynolds interviews Dr. Jill Stein, Green Party candidate for president.
“Even Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson — in no danger of overexposure — is drawing much more press attention than she is. Stein puts that down to fear that if she got more attention, her candidacy would pull votes from the clear favorite in the race for many in the press, President Obama.”
Florida state Rep. Mike Horner (R) ended his re-election campaign “after being named as a client in a racketeering and prostitution case,” the Orlando Sentinel reports.
Said Horner: “I deeply regret decisions I made that are causing my family unjustifiable pain and embarrassment… My family still deserves better from me, as do all my friends, supporters and constituents.”
A new USA Today/Gallup poll finds that voters in 12 key swing states trust President Obama over Mitt Romney to address issues facing the Medicare system, 50% to 44%.
Obama holds a slightly larger advantage on this issue among voters nationally, 51% to 43%.
The Los Angeles Times reports Mitt Romney spoke about the concern he had for his wife when her plane had to make an emergency landing Friday because of an electrical malfunction.
Said Romney: “I appreciate the fact that she is on the ground, safe and sound. And I don’t think she knows just how worried some of us were. When you have a fire in an aircraft, there’s no place to go, exactly, there’s no — and you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem. So it’s very dangerous. And she was choking and rubbing her eyes. Fortunately, there was enough oxygen for the pilot and copilot to make a safe landing in Denver. But she’s safe and sound.”
Peter Beinart: “The more honest discussions take place behind closed doors, in the innumerable private fundraisers that Romney and Obama do with their big givers. Honesty, in fact, is part of what those donors are paying for. No one shells out $50,000 to listen to the same platitudes that Joe and Mary Six-Pack hear at a 5,000-person rally in Akron, Ohio. In the “skybox” society (in Michael Sandel’s parlance) in which we live, the super-rich don’t simply stand in different lines at the airport; they experience a different presidential campaign.”
Nate Silver finds that of the 19 presidential candidates who led at this stage of the race since 1936, 18 won the popular vote (Thomas E. Dewey in 1948 is the exception), and 17 won the Electoral College (Al Gore lost it in 2000, along with Mr. Dewey).”
Also important: “There has not been any tendency, at least at this stage of the race, for the contest to break toward the challenging candidate. Instead, it’s actually the incumbent-party candidate who has gained ground on average since 1936. On average, the incumbent candidate added 4.6 percentage points between the late September polls and his actual Election Day result, whereas the challenger gained 2.5 percentage points.”
Here are the today’s swing state polls, updated as needed throughout the day:
Colorado: Obama 51%, Romney 45% (Public Policy Polling)
Florida: Obama 50%, Romney 45% (American Research Group)
Iowa: Obama 51%, Romney 44% (American Research Group)
Michigan: Obama 54%, Romney 42% (Rasmussen)
North Carolina: Obama 49%, Romney 45% (Civitas)
Nevada: Obama 51%, Romney 44% (American Research Group)
Wisconsin: Obama 53%, Romney 41% (We Ask America)
Now out for the Kindle: Oops! (A Diary from the 2012 Campaign Trail) by Jay Root.
How Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) immortalized himself as what CNN commentator James Carville called “the worst presidential ‘campaign-slash-candidate’ in American history.”
Linda McMahon (R) has not only buried Rep. Chris Murphy (D) in a blizzard of advertising in their U.S. Senate race, “but for weeks she was getting a better deal on her commercials than her more poorly funded rival,” the Stamford Advocate reports.
“McMahon enjoyed a lower rate because many of the contracts with the state’s four major networks were signed as early as the end of April… The early contracts appear to have saved McMahon tens of thousands of dollars up until Sept. 6, when the 60-day period before the election triggered federal requirements of equal billing and availability of broadcast slots.”
Examples: “One recent billing report filed by WFSB, the CBS affiliate on Channel 3, showed that Murphy was charged $900 for a 30-second ad on its evening Eyewitness News. McMahon was charged $40 for a similar spot. A 30-second spot on “Sunday Morning” cost Murphy $800, while McMahon had to pay only $85.”
The first presidential debate is in just nine days.
Rick Klein notes Mitt Romney is under pressure to deliver, “particularly the first encounter Oct. 3 in Denver. His campaign needs to create major moments to change the trajectory of the race, and no opportunity is as ready-made for that as much as the first debate. Romney can make his case on the economy face-to-face with the president.”
Just published: Future Perfect: The Case For Progress In A Networked Age by Steven Johnson.
Wall Street Journal: “Mr. Johnson envisions a new political movement that embraces the potential of peer networks to improve government, medicine, education and journalism, among much else. He distinguishes ‘peer progressives’ from both libertarians and liberals. The former have too much faith in markets and too little in government, he says, and the latter vice versa. Peer progressives, though, believe that good can be accomplished by all organizations, in any combination, if they harness the power of peer networks.”
Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), who left office nearly two years ago, launches a think tank this week at the University of Southern California called the Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy, the AP reports.
It marks “a sudden public re-emergence” for Schwarzenegger. His new book, Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story, is out next month, he has “a couple of new movies in post-production and a forthcoming appearance scheduled for CBS’ 60 Minutes.”
Though Democrats often hit Mitt Romney for having an offshore bank account in the Cayman Islands, BuzzFeed finds a 2010 video of running mate Paul Ryan calling the Cayman Islands “the place you hide your money” while making the case for changing the corporate income tax.
The New Yorker asks Mitt Romney if it was possible to run the government the way you would run a business.
Said Romney: “The private sector is less forgiving. If you make serious mistakes in the private sector, you’ll lose your job, or, if you’re in a position of responsibility, you might lose other people’s jobs. In politics, politicians make mistakes all the time and blame their opposition, or borrow more money, or raise taxes to pay for their mistake. In the business world, the ability to speak fast and convincingly is of very little value. I remember the first time I met Jack Welch. I expected him to be a super-salesman. Instead, he spoke quietly, somewhat haltingly, but brilliantly. Stuff matters a lot more than fluff in the private sector.”
It’s a subject we tackle at length in You Won – Now What?
First Read: “The Romney camp’s timing was smart — on its worst week of the campaign,dump all the bad news you can to get everything out of the way. But the campaign also didn’t answer all the questions about Romney’s past tax returns; the only way to do that would be to release the actual returns, not a short summary. But here’s the bottom line about the tax-return issue: The Obama campaign succeeded in making it a talking point and attack (just see its new TV ad), and the Romney camp seems to have succeeded in its goal to not release the actual returns prior to 2010.”
The Week has four takeaways on what Romney’s tax returns tell us about him.
Out this week: Listening In: The Secret White House Recordings of John F. Kennedy, complete with audio recordings.
ABC News: “The records offer a trove of first-hand material for historians focused on some of the most turbulent days of the Kennedy presidency. Starting in July 1962, Kennedy had a sophisticated taping system installed in the Oval Office and Cabinet Room at the White House, presumably to record history for future use in memoirs. The resulting 248 hours of meetings, plus 17-plus hours of phone conversations and private presidential reflections, were probably never listened to by Kennedy himself before his assassination in November 1963.”
Amy Walter talks off-the-record to a handful of Democratic and Republican political operatives who agree that Wisconsin, Nevada, and Ohio “are the toughest states for Romney to win. If he loses all three he can’t win. Even if he swept all the other toss up states he’d end up with just 267 to Obama’s 271.”
Florida, Colorado, and New Hampshire are the best opportunities for Romney and though recent polling has Obama up in Virginia, “operatives on both sides think the state is much more competitive than that.”
First Read: “Right now, you could argue that Obama is in a stronger position in North Carolina (his most challenging battleground state) than Romney is in Ohio (a state that EVERY victorious Republican presidential nominee has won).”
In a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel interview, Rep. Paul Ryan slapped back at conservative critics who say the Romney campaign has been vague and timid.
Said Ryan: “A, we still have a ways to go. We still have a lot left that we’re planning on doing. B, I think that’s just what conservatives do by nature. I think that’s just the nature of conservative punditry is to do that – to kind of complain – about any imperfection they might see.”
The Week looks at Romney’s five toughest Republican critics.Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics