POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 2/8

Americans Confused About the NRA

A new Quinnipac poll finds that an astonishing 92% of Americans, including 89% of Republicans, support requiring a background check for all would be gun buyers. Fifty-six percent support banning assault weapons and high capacity magazine clips.

That said, Americans also say they think the National Rifle Association better represents their views than President Obama, 46% to 43%.

Greg Sargent: “Okay, so nine in 10 Americans support universal background checks, and solid majorities back the assault ban, both of which are opposed by the NRA and regularly characterized as gun-grabbing tyranny — yet people think the NRA better represents their views. There’s been a lot of chortling on the right about the NRA’s favorability ratings, but this poll makes it plain: People don’t have any idea what the NRA really stands for.”

Congressman Fires Spokesman for Tweet

Rep. Raul Labrador’s (R-ID) fired his spokesman after he mistakenly tweeted in the name of his boss about his admiration for two actresses pole dancing in a Super Bowl ad, theIdaho Statesman reports.

The tweet, “Me likey Broke Girls,” was deleted after 14 seconds but is archived on a website that collects deleted tweets from politicians.

See more…

Obama Will Head to North Carolina After SOTU

Sources tell WLOS-TV that the White House is in the planning stages for a day-trip by President Obama to Asheville, North Carolina the day after his State of the Union Address

Dick Morris Makes Another Prediction

Dick Morris told Piers Morgan that he “absolutely believed” Mitt Romney would beat President Obama in last year’s presidential election.

Said Morris: “I absolutely believed it and so did a lot of people.”

Morris also made another prediction: “The Republican Party has to change in fundamental ways, otherwise it will never win another election.”

New York Times: Dick Morris and Fox News part ways.

Tweet of the Day

Donald J. Trump  @realDonaldTrump

Why are people giving money to Karl Rove when he just wasted $400M without any victories? Use your head.

Obama Says Pelosi Will Be Speaker Again

Following reports that he plans an aggressive campaign schedule in the midterm elections, President Obama predicted that if Democrats pursue an ambitious agenda, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will soon have the speaker’s gavel back, the Washington Postreports.

Said Obama: “It won’t be smooth, it won’t be simple, there will be frustrations, there will be times when you guys will be mad at me, and I’ll occasionally read about it. I would expect that Nancy Pelosi is going to be speaker again pretty soon.”

Braley Will Run for Harkin’s Seat

Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) intends to run for the U.S. Senate seat that fellow Democrat Tom Harkin will leave open in 2014, his advisers told The Des Moines Register.

Braley also sent out the news in an email to supporters this morning saying he’s “ready to go.”

Iowa Lawmaker Seeks to Define Abortion as Murder

Iowa State Rep. Rob Bacon (R) and eight of his colleagues introduced legislation to alter the definition of a person in murder cases to “an individual human being, without regard to age of development, from the moment of conception, when a zygote is formed, until natural death,” the Ames Tribune reports.

“Those charged with murder, under the bill, would include a mother who takes abortion-inducing drugs or a doctor who performs an abortion. It also grants no exceptions for rape, incest or to protect the life of the mother.”

Christie Gets Testy About His Weight

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) took on a former White House doctor who said he was at risk of dying in office because of his weight, calling her a “hack” and telling her to “shut up” unless she examines him, ABC News reports.

Said Christie: “If she wants to get on a plane and come here to New Jersey and asks me if she wants to examine me and review my medical history, I’ll have a conversation with her about that. Until that time she should shut up.”

First Read: “This is about Christie trying to confront, on his terms, what would be one of his biggest obstacles if he launches a presidential bid in 2016. He knows this is a hurdle; he knows it’s not an insignificant one. The biggest thing is he has changed his tone on this, becoming much more open about it, even hinting that he’s on a program and that people would notice if it’s working relatively soon. As late as last year, Christie’s standard response was essentially: my weight is my business, period. Not anymore. If you needed a hint that Christie is trying to get it together to run for president, this is it.”

Jeb Bush Tries to Buy a Baseball Team

The Miami Herald reports that Jeb Bush was rebuffed in an offer to buy the Miami Marlins baseball team during the offseason.

First Read: “Just asking… but doesn’t the fact… send a signal he’s not all that interested in running for president? Trying to buy a baseball team doesn’t exactly say your focus is prepping for a presidential run.”

Drones in the Spotlight

President Obama’s pick to head the CIA, John Brennan, heads to the Senate today for a likely contentious confirmation hearing before the Intelligence Committee.

First Read: “Brennan is certainly going to get tough questions, especially from Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden, but what could be more remarkable is we’re likely to learn more about America’s drone war in a public setting than we ever have before. It may be technically a confirmation hearing for Brennan, but he will also be up there defending America’s drone program, as someone who’s worked in both of the last two administrations, for both a Democrat and a Republican.”

“Contention aside, it’s likely Brennan will be confirmed. But the White House, by saying last night it would brief Congress on the classified legal justifications of the targeted killing of Americans, made a decision not to have a confrontation — mostly with Democrats.”

Obama Plans Aggressive Midterm Schedule

The New York Times reports that President Obama is already planning to return to the campaign trail, agreeing to hold at least 14 fundraisers this year, a move a Democratic official characterizes as an “aggressive schedule.”

Obama Close to Picking Commerce Secretary

The Atlantic Wire reports that President Obama is “close to choosing” Chicago billionaire Penny Pritzker as America’s next Secretary of Commerce.

“There’s only one problem. She and her secretive family have been caught up in some pretty dodgy commercial ventures including but not limited to dodging taxes and running a bank that specialized in subprime mortgages.”

Democrats Unlikely to Take Back House in 2014

Alan Abramowitz unveils his first 2014 midterm election forecast:

“The results of the midterm forecasting model indicate that while Democrats have a real chance to buck the normal pattern of midterm elections and gain seats in the House of Representatives, they are unlikely to pick up the 17 seats that they would need to regain control of the chamber. That outcome would require a wave election like 2006 or 2010. But the 2014 midterm election is unlikely to be a wave election. It is much more likely to be a status quo election for the House of Representatives with one party or the other making a small gain and Republicans holding onto their majority.”

“Barring the emergence of a major national issue that results in a substantial advantage for one party or the other on the generic ballot, the seat swing in the 2014 House elections is likely to be fairly small. Nevertheless, the pattern of out-party gains in midterm elections is strong enough that, like Newt Gingrich in 1998, John Boehner may find his speakership in jeopardy if Democrats make even modest gains in the House elections.”

Brown Says His Political Career Isn’t Over

Former Sen. Scott Brown (R) wouldn’t say whether he’s considering a run for Massachusetts governor in 2014, but he suggested in an interview that his political days aren’t quite over, Politico reports.

Said Brown: “I’m not dead.”

He also explained why he’s not running in the upcoming Senate special election: “People forget I did a state Senate run, then the special, then the general, then it was a special, and then I would have won that, then a general again. It’s too much.”

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