August 16, 2010: Former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens Dies in Plane Crash & Robert Gibb’s “Professional Left”

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor / Features Editor at HNN. She has a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & 111TH CONGRESS:

The President signs help for states
White House Photo, Pete Souza, 8/10/10

IN FOCUS: STATS

  • First Lady’s Poll Numbers Drop After Spain Vacation: Michelle Obama may think twice before vacationing in Europe again. While the first lady may have enjoyed her recent luxury trip to the south of Spain with 9-year-old daughter Sasha, it may be the reason her popularity rating has plummeted, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.
    The survey found that just 50 percent of Americans now have a positive opinion of her, compared to the 64 percent who gave her a thumbs up in a similar April 2009 survey. The First Lady’s positive rating is just a few points ahead of her husband’s approval figure, which stands at 46 percent.
    Much of the drop is thought to be down to her five-day shopping and sightseeing tour of Andalucía, from which she returned last Sunday. That foreign fiesta — during which she stayed in a five star Costa del Sol hotel, where rooms cost up to $7,000 a night — provoked considerable anger back home, even though White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the Obamas had paid for all of their personal expenses…. – AOL News, 8-16-10
  • Fox News Poll: Wrong to Pass Legislation in Lame-Duck Session: A Fox News poll released Thursday also found that Republican voters remain much more interested than Democrats in this year’s elections, and GOP candidates continue to have the edge in the generic ballot test.
    By a wide 64-25 percent margin, most voters think it would be inappropriate for “current lawmakers to push through legislation on major issues that likely wouldn’t pass once the new House and Senate members take office.” Most Republicans (77 percent) and independents (68 percent) think it would be wrong, as do a plurality of Democrats (49 percent).
    If the election were held today, 44 percent of voters say they would back the Republican candidate in their congressional district and 37 percent the Democratic candidate. A month ago, the Republican candidate had a slim 4 percentage point edge (41-37 percent, July 13-14). Fox News, 8-12-10
  • Why GOP’s predicted gains in midterm elections might be short-lived: A new poll suggests that the Republican Party is actually viewed less positively than the Democratic Party. That doesn’t mean the GOP won’t make gains in midterm elections. But it does mean Americans will likely give Republicans little time to make an impact…. – CS Monitor, 8-12-10
  • On the Issues, Obama Finds Majority Approval Elusive Scores best on race relations, education: Barack Obama’s 52% approval rating for handling race relations is the only issue among 13 tested in two recent Gallup polls for which the president receives majority-level approval. In fact, a majority disapprove of the job the president is doing on eight of these issues, with his worst scores for his handling of immigration and the federal budget deficit….
    These results are based on a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted July 27-Aug. 1 and a separate Gallup poll conducted Aug. 5-8, which asked Americans to say whether they approve or disapprove of the way the president is dealing with each of several issues. Both polls measured Obama’s handling of the economy, which Americans rated essentially the same in each (39% and 38%, respectively).
    Obama’s generally tepid evaluations on issues are not surprising considering his overall job approval rating has consistently been below 50%…. – Gallop, 8-11-10
  • Unhappy birthday? President Barack Obama spends 49th bday without family, public support wanes: President Obama has made few statements about his birthday. And he doesn’t seem too excited. “I will be 49 this week,” Obama said on Monday, ABC News reported. “I have a lot more gray hair than I did last year.”
    Obama’s poll numbers have slipped to all-time lows. According to a USA/Gallup poll released Tuesday, only 36% backed Obama’s war policies, down from 48% in February…. – NY Daily News, 8-4-10

THE HEADLINES….

  • Obamas make quick trip to promote Gulf Coast: With a quick family trip to the Gulf Coast, President Barack Obama is offering his personal assurance that the region is a safe, clean vacation destination despite the massive oil spill. Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, daughter Sasha and family dog Bo arrived Saturday for a 27-hour stop in the Florida Panhandle. As many residents here had hoped, Obama took Sasha for a swim in the Gulf waters that have absorbed 200 million gallons of oil since an offshore rig exploded in April. The Obamas’ other daughter, Malia, is at summer camp. “Beaches all along the Gulf Coast are clean, they are safe, and they are open for business,” said Obama. The president’s dip happened away from the media. The White House released an official photo, but The Associated Press does not publish such handout images. According to the White House, the Obamas swam off Alligator Point, which is in Saint Andrew Bay, not the Gulf…. – AP, 8-15-10
  • Cornyn: Obama out of touch over N.Y. mosque: A top Republican senator said Sunday that President Obama’s comments about a proposed mosque near New York’s ground zero will escalate into a campaign issue leading into the November midterm elections. Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” said that Mr. Obama’s response to the issue shows he “seems disconnected from mainstream America” and “that’s one of the reasons people are so frustrated.”
    “We all respect the right of anyone to worship according to the dictates of their conscience,” he said. “But I do think it’s unwise . . . to build a mosque at the site where 3,000 Americans lost their lives as a result of a terrorist attack.” Mr. Cornyn added that while the issue “is going to be a local decision,” the “American people will render their verdict.”… – The Washington Times, 8-15-10
  • Administration’s Muddled Response on Mosque Creates New Election Year Debate: The site of a planned mosque is shown two blocks from the World Trade Center, Friday, Aug. 13, 2010 in New York. President Barack Obama on Friday will speak up for religious freedom at a dinner celebrating the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, emphasizing that point just as New York City is immersed in a deeply sensitive debate about whether a mosque should be built near ground zero. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
    President Obama’s seemingly conflicting responses over the construction of a mosque near Ground Zero demonstrate another example of the tone-deaf nature of the White House, politicians on both sides of the aisle are suggesting as the remark raises the prospect of another sticky election issue for lawmakers this November.
    The issue of whether to build the thirteen-story Park 51 mosque and Islamic cultural center in lower Manhattan — two blocks from where the Twin Towers fell — is one that Democrats don’t need on their plates right now as they try to defend their economic policies and the new health care law ahead of what is expected to be pivotal a midterm election. Republicans, however, see the opening and are ready to pounce…. – Fox News, 8-15-10
  • Gruesome Details of Alaska Plane Crash Emerge: Former Sen. Ted Stevens lay dead in the mangled fuselage of the plane. A 13-year-old boy escaped death but watched his father die a few feet away. Medical workers spent the miserable night tending to survivors’ broken bones amid a huge slick of fuel that coated a muddy mountainside. The gruesome details of the plane crash that killed Stevens and four others emerged as investigators tried to figure out how the float plane crashed into a mountain during a fishing trip. Three teenagers and their parents were on the plane, including the former head of NASA… – AOL News, 8-11-10
  • Petraeus Opposes a Rapid Pullout in Afghanistan: Gen. David H. Petraeus, the commander of American and NATO forces, began a campaign on Sunday to convince an increasingly skeptical public that the American-led coalition can still succeed here despite months of setbacks, saying he had not come to Afghanistan to preside over a “graceful exit.”
    In an hourlong interview with The New York Times, the general argued against any precipitous withdrawal of forces in July 2011, the date set by President Obama to begin at least a gradual reduction of the 100,000 troops on the ground. General Petraeus said that it was only in the last few weeks that the war plan had been fine-tuned and given the resources that it required. “For the first time,” he said, “we will have what we have been working to put in place for the last year and a half.”… – NYT, 8-16-10
  • Obama declares Gulf Coast ‘open for business’: President Barack Obama declared Gulf Coast beaches clean, safe and open for business Saturday as he brought his family to the Florida Panhandle and promised residents that the government wouldn’t forget them once efforts to stop the leak are finished.
    On a warm and muggy day, Obama pledged to “keep up our efforts until the environment is cleaned, polluters are held accountable, businesses and communities are made whole, and the people of the Gulf Coast are back on their feet.”
    Obama is in the region for a brief weekend trip with first lady Michelle Obama, daughter Sasha (her sister Malia is at summer camp) and the family dog, Bo. Their 27-hour stop in the Sunshine State is as much a family vacation as it is an attempt by the president to convince Americans that this region, so dependent on tourism revenue, is safe for travel — and that its surf is clean…. – Boston Globe, 8-14-10
  • Obama Enters Debate With Mosque Remarks: Faced with withering Republican criticism of his defense of the right of Muslims to build a community center and mosque near ground zero, President Obama quickly recalibrated his remarks on Saturday, a sign that he has waded into even more treacherous political waters than the White House had at first realized. In brief comments during a family trip to the Gulf of Mexico, Mr. Obama said he was not endorsing the New York project, but simply trying to uphold the broader principle that government should “treat everybody equally,” regardless of religion.
    “I was not commenting, and I will not comment, on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there,” Mr. Obama said. “I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding. That’s what our country is about.”… – NYT, 8-15-10
  • Obama’s Florida trip: With BP oil spill receding, time for a swim?: Obama is feeling pressure to take his shirt off and show the world that the Gulf Coast is safe for swimming after the April 20 BP oil spill…. – CS Monitor, 8-14-10
  • Obama signs $600M border security bill into law: President Barack Obama on Friday signed a bill directing $600 million more to securing the U.S.-Mexico border, a modest election-year victory that underscores his failure so far to deliver an overhaul of immigration law. The new law will pay for the hiring of 1,000 more Border Patrol agents to be deployed at critical areas, as well as more Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. It provides for new communications equipment and greater use of unmanned surveillance drones. The Justice Department gets more money to help catch drug dealers and human traffickers….
    “Our borders are just too vast for us to be able to solve the problem only with fences and border patrols,” the president said then. “It won’t work.”… – AP, 8-13-10
  • Democrat quits NH House over anti-Palin remark: A New Hampshire Democrat has quit the state legislature after cracking a joke on Facebook about Sarah Palin’s death. Rep. Timothy Horrigan of Durham posted a comment Wednesday that a “dead Palin wd be even more dangerous than a live one” and she “is all about her myth & if she was dead she cdn’t commit any more gaffes.” Horrigan apologized Thursday and resigned. He is also discontinuing his re-election campaign…. – AP, 8-12-10
  • Obama gets blasted as ‘worst president’ ever — by Dan Quayle’s son: Well, we wondered who would be the first public figure to call Barack Obama “the worst president in history” — an appellation applied to most White House occupants at one time or another. We just didn’t think it would be Dan Quayle’s son. Ben Quayle, 33, who is seeking the Republican nomination for a U.S. House seat in Arizona, has cut a commercial denouncing Obama, as well as “drug cartels in Mexico” and “tax cartels in D.C.”… – USA Today, 8-12-10
  • Jury in Blagojevich corruption trial only agrees on 2 counts out of 24: Judge says keep deliberating: Elvis look-alike Rod Blagojevich may sooy 12 of deliberations announced they have hit a wall and can agree on only two out of 24 counts against him. That translates to “very good news for the defenn have a message for the jury in his corruption trial: Thank you. Thank you very much. The former Illinois governor was all smiles Thursday as jurors on dase so far,” legal analyst Terry Sullivan told The Associated Press…. – NY Daily News, 8-12-10
  • Sen. Durbin of Ill. has stomach tumor removed: Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois has had a stomach tumor removed and is recovering at the University of Chicago Medical Center… – AP, 8-12-10
  • Judge keeps California gay marriage ruling on hold: The federal judge who last week overturned the state’s gay marriage ban, Proposition 8, agreed to a continued hold on his ruling while foes appeal…. – LAT, 8-13-10
  • Ted Stevens plane crash: why it’s so dangerous to fly in Alaska: The Ted Stevens plane crash points to the challenges of flying in Alaska, where the accident rate is more than two times worse than it is in the US as a whole…. – CS Monitor, 8-12-10
  • Washington vs. Paul Ryan What happens when a politician is more honest than his critics: The immune system of the modern body politic is nothing if not resilient, and this summer all of its antibodies seem to be trained on heretofore little known Congressman Paul Ryan. That makes this a particularly instructive moment, because the attacks on the Wisconsin Republican show how deeply his radical honesty is subverting Washington’s flim-flam—to borrow a phrase. “The flim-flam man” is what Paul Krugman called Mr. Ryan in a New York Times column last week that set a spleen-to- substance record even for him. Amid drive-by attacks on the Congressman’s ethics and integrity, Mr. Krugman savaged Mr. Ryan’s “roadmap”—his detailed, long-range proposal to equalize taxes and the size of government—as “a fraud that makes no useful contribution to the debate over America’s fiscal future.”… – WSJ, 8-12-10
  • Former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens dies in plane crash: A float plane carrying former Sen. Ted Stevens and ex-NASA chief Sean O’Keefe crashed into a remote mountainside in Alaska, killing the longtime senator and four others, authorities said Tuesday. O’Keefe and his teenage son survived the crash with broken bones and other injuries, said former NASA spokesman Glenn Mahone. The O’Keefes spent Monday night on the mountain with several volunteers who discovered the wreckage and tended to the injured until rescuers arrived Tuesday morning…. – AP, 8-10-10
  • Cold night crept by after crash killed Stevens: Former Sen. Ted Stevens lay dead in the mangled fuselage of the plane. A 13-year-old boy escaped death but watched his father die a few feet away. Medical workers spent the miserable night tending to survivors’ broken bones amid a huge slick of fuel that coated a muddy mountainside. The gruesome details of the plane crash that killed Stevens and four others emerged as investigators tried to figure out how the float plane crashed into a mountain during a fishing trip. Three teenagers and their parents were on the plane, including the former head of NASA…. – AP, 8-11-10
  • Robert Gibbs on flak from the left: ‘No inflatable exit’ from his office: At Wednesday’s White House briefing, press secretary Robert Gibbs came prepared to field questions concerning his recent complaint about the ‘professional left.’… – CS Monitor, 8-11-10
  • Gibbs stands by remarks on liberals _ sort of: White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Wednesday he might have said things differently when he lashed out at liberals he called the “professional left” and suggested some of them should be drug tested. But he told his daily White house briefing that he’s certainly not leaving his job over the remark, as at least one Democratic congressman has suggested. And he stuck to his line that President Barack Obama has accomplished or made great strides on key goals and promises despite criticism from some liberals that he has not done enough…. – AP, 8-11-10
  • White House in dispute with ‘professional left’: The White House was on the defensive Tuesday after press secretary Robert Gibbs lashed out at liberals he dubbed the “professional left,” saying some of them should be drug-tested. Gibbs contended that some progressives critical of President Barack Obama wouldn’t be satisfied until the Pentagon was eliminated and Canadian-style health care ushered into the U.S. Some of them wouldn’t even be happy if anti-war congressman Dennis Kucinich were president, according to Gibbs. His comments appeared Tuesday in “The Hill” newspaper…. – AP, 8-10-10
  • White House unloads anger over criticism from ‘professional left’: The White House is simmering with anger at criticism from liberals who say President Obama is more concerned with deal-making than ideological purity. During an interview with The Hill in his West Wing office, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs blasted liberal naysayers, whom he said would never regard anything the president did as good enough.
    “I hear these people saying he’s like George Bush. Those people ought to be drug tested,” Gibbs said. “I mean, it’s crazy.” The press secretary dismissed the “professional left” in terms very similar to those used by their opponents on the ideological right, saying, “They will be satisfied when we have Canadian healthcare and we’ve eliminated the Pentagon. That’s not reality.” Of those who complain that Obama caved to centrists on issues such as healthcare reform, Gibbs said: “They wouldn’t be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president.” – The Hill, 8-10-10
  • Robert Gibbs, putting things a little too plainly: The president has succeeded in passing the bulk of his agenda over the strenuous objections of a resurgent Republican minority. But his critics, particularly those on the left, are still grumbling and unsatisfied. They say the president is not moving fast enough. Some have even compared him to former president George W. Bush.
    That last was enough to send press secretary Robert Gibbs over the edge Tuesday. In a rant that he later described as “inartful,” Gibbs unloaded on what he called the “professional left” and said they were out of touch with reality. “I hear these people saying he’s like George Bush. Those people ought to be drug-tested,” Gibbs told The Hill’s Sam Youngman in an interview. “I mean, it’s crazy.”
    In his apology, Gibbs offered a peek inside the current mental state at the White House: “Day after day, it gets frustrating,” he wrote. – (Gibbs’s comments about the Democratic base) The Hill InterviewWaPo, 8-11-10
  • Gibbs condemns criticism from ‘professional left’: Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) says Gibbs should resign. “This is not the first time that Mr. Gibbs has made untoward and inflammatory comments and I certainly hope that people in the White House don’t share his view that the left is unimportant to the president,” he said. “I understand him having some loyalty to the president who employs him, but I think he’s walking over the line.”… White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton told reporters, “I don’t think there’s any danger of that happening.”…. – WaPo, 8-11-10
  • Seeking Prompt Hearing, Rangel Vows to Stay Put: Facing serious accusations of violating House rules, Representative Charles B. Rangel offered an extended defense of his conduct on the House floor on Tuesday. He demanded a prompt ethics committee hearing and vowed to remain in office
    “I am not going away,” said Mr. Rangel, who asserted his right to take the floor between votes on other issues and drew applause from some Democratic colleagues when he pledged to fight on. “I am here.”… “I’m 80 years old,” Mr. Rangel said, arguing that his constituents deserved to know whether he had done anything wrong. “I don’t want to die before the hearing.” At another point, he said, “Don’t leave me swinging in the wind until November.”… – NYT, 8-11-10
  • House approves jobs bill: Do states deserve $26 billion more stimulus?: The House of Representatives cut short its August recess to return to Washington and pass a state jobs bill Tuesday. Supporters say the bill is much-needed additional stimulus; detractors argue that it has too little money to really make a dent in states’ budget problems. CS Monitor, 8-10-10
  • Rangel: ‘Don’t leave me swinging in the wind’: A combative Rep. Charles Rangel told the House on Tuesday he’s not resigning despite 13 charges of wrongdoing and demanded the ethics committee not leave him “swinging in the wind.” Rangel, who is 80, spoke without notes in an extraordinary, often emotional 37-minute speech that defied his lawyers’ advice to keep quiet about his case. The New York Democrat and 40-year House veteran had a sharp message in dismissing fellow Democrats who, worried about election losses, want him to quit: “If I can’t get my dignity back here, then fire your best shot in getting rid of me through expulsion.”… – AP, 8-10-10
  • Why Obama is not first ‘imposter’ president and won’t be the last: A recent CNN poll revealed that one out of four Americans doubt that President Obama is a citizen. Many are “birthers” who believe he is an illegitimate president because he wasn’t born in this country. But historians say Americans have long accused their presidents of being illegitimate officeholders for all sorts of dark, and bizarre, reasons…. – CNN, 8-9-10
  • Obama on the road to promote higher-ed, raise cash: President Barack Obama’s late-summer dash for campaign cash is picking up with two high-dollar fundraisers in Texas for the Democratic Party. His other business Monday will be a speech underscoring his commitment to higher education, although no new policy announcements are expected. From Washington to New York City to Atlanta to Chicago, Obama has headlined events to raise millions of dollars in recent days for his party. The push comes as looming midterm congressional elections in November will determine whether his party can maintain its grip on power in the House and the Senate…. – AP, 8-9-10
  • House ethics panel outlines charges against Waters: The House ethics committee on Monday announced three counts of alleged ethics violations against California Democrat Maxine Waters, including a charge that she requested federal help for a bank where her husband owned stock and had served on its board. Waters, a 10-term representative from Los Angeles, has denied any wrongdoing and had urged the committee to come forth with details of the charges so that she can defend herself in a trial expected to take place this fall. That trial would be the second handled by the ethics committee this fall. Another senior Democrat, former Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel, faces 13 counts, including failing to disclose assets and income and delayed payment of federal taxes. With the election just three months away, Republicans have pounced on the two cases as indications of Democrats failing to live up to promises to end corruption in Washington…. – AP, 8-9-10
  • BP pays three billion dollars into oil spill fund: BP said Monday it had made its initial deposit of 3.0 billion dollars into a 20-billion-dollar US-managed fund to compensate victims of the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill. “The purpose of the escrow account was to assure those adversely affected by the spill that we indeed intend to stand behind our commitment to them and to the American taxpayers,” BP’s incoming chief executive Bob Dudley said in a statement. “Establishing this trust and making the initial deposit ahead of schedule further demonstrates our commitment to making it right in the Gulf Coast,” he said. President Barack Obama’s administration earned commitments from BP to pay into the account in mid-June, nearly two months after the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded April 20, killing 11 workers and triggering what has become the world’s largest unintentional oil spill…. – AFP, 8-9-10
  • Making a Supreme Court Case for Gay Marriage: Attorney David Boies knows what it’s like to argue a historic case before the U.S. Supreme Court, and he knows what it’s like to lose. A decade ago, he squared off against Republican stalwart Theodore Olson before the Justices in Bush v. Gore, the case that narrowly decided the 2000 presidential election in Bush’s favor and quickly earned a place in the minds of some legal scholars as one of the high court’s most nakedly partisan decisions of all time. Now, thanks to last week’s ruling in favor of gay marriage before a federal judge in California, Boies and Olson are working together on a case many feel is as important — and no less political — than Bush v. Gore, and one that is on a collision course with a court that has grown only more conservative over the intervening 10 years.
    If the Supreme Court decides to hear their case, Boies and Olson must persuade at least five of its Justices that the decision laid down last week in San Francisco presents the basis for a decision both sides say would be a landmark ruling on one of the fundamental rights in American jurisprudence: the right to marriage. As he awaited the California decision earlier this year, Boies told TIME that no matter what the law says, Justices bring their own perspectives to play as they confront cases that deal with vital questions of public life. “There isn’t any doubt,” Boies said, “that Justices’ private views play a role in how these cases are decided.”… – Time, 8-9-10

ELECTIONS 2010, 2012….

  • USA TODAY’s interactive political map – Election 2010
  • Bill Clinton back on the campaign trail stumping for others: Former President Bill Clinton hits the campaign trail Monday with three rallies for Rep. Kendrick Meek as the latter makes a bid for Florida’s Democratic Senate nomination. Last month, CNN learned that President Barack Obama’s aides were putting together an aggressive schedule to deploy Clinton at campaign and fundraising events in key states around the country in the weeks ahead. According to Democratic officials familiar with the plans, the White House specifically wants to use Clinton in key swing states where Obama is not particularly popular, such as Arkansas and Kentucky…. – CNN, 8-16-10
  • Desperate Democrats pin their hopes on scary Republicans: Democrats have no illusions about what they’re up against this fall: a terrible economic climate, a sour electorate and a sizable enthusiasm gap. There’s little that President Obama and other Democrats can do between now and November to change the economy’s trajectory, other than hope for better job numbers in September and October — a dubious proposition given assessments about the sluggishness of the recovery.
    Absent economic changes, the public’s mood isn’t likely to brighten much over the next few months. The latest NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll found that almost two-thirds of Americans believe that the economy has not hit bottom. Gallup found that 58 percent say the economy, jobs and unemployment are the major problems facing the country. No other issues come close…. – WaPo, 8-14-10
  • Dem. Party ad targets Toomey in Pa. Senate race: The first negative TV ad of the general election campaign against Pennsylvania Senate candidate Pat Toomey is going on the air. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee said the ad begins airing Friday and portrays the Republican as a champion of Wall Street and the financial instruments that toppled some financial institutions. Toomey is in a close race against Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak. They are seeking the seat held by Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter…. – AP, 8-14-10
  • Pelosi stumps for Democrats as GOP fires away: The big political bull’s-eye on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s back isn’t keeping her from campaigning for Democratic candidates in several states, even if she avoids some of the most conservative regions. Pelosi will attend fundraisers this month in Houston and Dallas, plus make a joint appearance Aug. 16 with President Barack Obama in Los Angeles. She recently headlined a fundraiser in Santa Fe for New Mexico’s three House Democrats, two of whom face tough Republican challengers who criticize their ties to the speaker. That Aug. 3 event underscored the double-edged nature of Pelosi visit. No Democrat except Obama raises more money, say party officials, who credit Pelosi with pulling in $189 million since 2003. But she also is the GOP’s favorite target this year, eclipsing even the president in the guilt-by- association tactic that Republicans are using in dozens of races…. – AP, 8-13-10
  • Longshot US Senate candidate from SC indicted: Longshot Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alvin Greene was indicted Friday on two charges, including a felony charge of showing pornography to a teenage student in a South Carolina college computer lab. Greene surprised the party establishment with his primary victory in June. His arrest in November was first reported by The Associated Press the day after he won the nomination. Authorities said he approached a student in a University of South Carolina computer lab, showed her obscene photos online, then talked about going to her dorm room. A Richland County grand jury indicted Greene, 32, for disseminating, procuring or promoting obscenity — a felony — as well as a misdemeanor charge of communicating obscene materials to a person without consent…. – AP, 8-13-10
  • Ben Quayle’s new ad: Obama worst president ever: The son of former Vice President Dan Quayle unveiled a TV campaign ad Wednesday in his bid for Congress in which he calls President Barack Obama “the worst president in history” and tells Arizona voters that he wants to “knock the hell” out of Washington.
    Ben Quayle’s provocative ad, aimed at voters in Arizona’s 3rd Congressional District ahead of the Aug. 24 GOP primary, was released amid allegations that he posted items under an alias for a racy social website a few years ago. In the campaign ad, the 33-year-old Quayle faces the camera directly and begins by saying, “Barack Obama is the worst president in history.” Quayle’s generation will “inherit a weakened country,” he says. He goes on to implore voters to send him to Congress: “I love Arizona. I was raised right. Somebody has to go to Washington and knock the hell out of the place.”…. – AP, 8-12-10
  • For Some Democrats, Clinton Is Campaigner-In-Chief: Former President Bill Clinton has done a lot more this summer than watch his daughter get married. He’s been busy raising money for Democratic candidates, recording robocalls and radio ads, and appearing at campaign rallies. In Colorado, that campaigning rekindled an old rivalry: In the state’s Democratic Senate race, President Obama endorsed the incumbent senator, Michael Bennet, early on, while Clinton backed Democratic challenger Andrew Romanoff, who lost in Tuesday’s voting. That split was unusual. For the most part, the two presidents have found themselves in the same camp. But in some parts of the country, Clinton is proving to be a more popular campaigner than Obama…. – NPR, 8-11-10
  • Primary winners highlight political inexperience: All hail inexperience — the less familiarity with politics the better, no matter the party or state. “The support of the voters of Connecticut isn’t bestowed by the establishment or the pundits or the media. It isn’t a birthright,” former World Wrestling Entertainment executive Linda McMahon said after winning the GOP senatorial nomination in her first run for office.
    Two mountain ranges away, appointed Sen. Michael Bennett of Colorado, tried to express the same sentiment after dispatching his rival, a former state house speaker. “This election is the first time my name has ever been on the ballot,” said Bennett, who enjoyed President Barrack Obama’s support in the bitter Democratic primary…. – AP, 8-11-10
  • Incumbent Backed by Obama Wins Colorado Primary: The predictions of doom for incumbents and establishment candidates this campaign season are proving to be more complex in the real world. On Tuesday, Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado, a Democrat who had hitched his star to the fortunes of President Obama, survived a bitter primary challenge.
    But in this state’s Republican primary, a Tea Party-backed insurgent, Ken Buck, upended the candidate endorsed by Washington Republicans, Jane Norton, a former lieutenant governor.
    The two victories suggested that the anticipated wrath of the American voter might not be quite ready to sweep away all before its path — but the tide is still strong…. – NYT, 8-11-10
  • Ex-senator earns comeback bid in Minnesota: With ex-Sen. Mark Dayton’s wee-hours win in Minnesota’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, we can declare a trend: In this week’s big primary races, Democrats tended to stick with establishment candidates while Republicans preferred the insurgents…. – USA Today, 8-11-10
  • Clinton stumps for Dem in close Senate race in Pa.: Former President Bill Clinton characterized Pennsylvania’s close and competitive U.S. Senate race on Tuesday as a choice between disastrous Reagan-Bush economic policies and the ability of Democrats to fix the damage they inflicted….
    “You ought to say to people, ‘Sestak’s the best candidate and give this deal two more years,’” Clinton told the crowd. “We were in a deep hole, a year and a half wasn’t enough to dig us out of it.”… – AP, 8-10-10
  • Michael Bennet faces insurgent uprising in Colorado Senate primary: Polls show both establishment candidates in the Colorado Senate race – Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet and Republican Jane Norton – trailing opponents ahead of Tuesday’s primary….. – CS Monitor, 8-10-10
  • In Connecticut, McMahon Poised to Win Intrigue-Filled Primary: With one day to go before the Connecticut Republican Senate primary, former WWE CEO Linda McMahon leads former Congressman Rob Simmons handily enough in polls that it appears she’ll win without much trouble… – The Atlantic, 8-9-10

POLITICAL QUOTES

  • Weekly Address: President Obama Promises to Protect Social Security from Republican Plans to Privatize It: Remarks of President Barack Obama As Prepared for Delivery August 14, 2010 Washington, DC: …A few years ago, we had a debate about privatizing Social Security. And I’d have thought that debate would’ve been put to rest once and for all by the financial crisis we’ve just experienced. I’d have thought, after being reminded how quickly the stock market can tumble, after seeing the wealth people worked a lifetime to earn wiped out in a matter of days, that no one would want to place bets with Social Security on Wall Street; that everyone would understand why we need to be prudent about investing the retirement money of tens of millions of Americans.
    But some Republican leaders in Congress don’t seem to have learned any lessons from the past few years. They’re pushing to make privatizing Social Security a key part of their legislative agenda if they win a majority in Congress this fall. It’s right up there on their to-do list with repealing some of the Medicare benefits and reforms that are adding at least a dozen years to the fiscal health of Medicare – the single longest extension in history.
    That agenda is wrong for seniors, it’s wrong for America, and I won’t let it happen. Not while I’m President. I’ll fight with everything I’ve got to stop those who would gamble your Social Security on Wall Street. Because you shouldn’t be worried that a sudden downturn in the stock market will put all you’ve worked so hard for – all you’ve earned – at risk. You should have the peace of mind of knowing that after meeting your responsibilities and paying into the system all your lives, you’ll get the benefits you deserve.
    Seventy-five years ago today, Franklin Roosevelt made a promise. He promised that from that day forward, we’d offer – quote – “some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against poverty-stricken old age.” That’s a promise each generation of Americans has kept. And it’s a promise America will continue to keep so long as I have the honor of serving as President. – WH, 8-14-10
  • Obama spokesman: No need to ‘turn back’ on ending combat mission in Iraq: Let me give you a quick readout of the president’s meeting this morning with his national security team. They met today, as you know, to discuss Iraq. The president heard directly from General (Ray) Odierno who said that we were on target to complete our drawdown by the end of August. Already we have removed over 80,000 troops from Iraq since President Obama took office.
    General Odierno also reported that the security situation has retained the significant improvements made over the last couple of years and that Iraqi security forces are fully prepared to be in the lead when we end their combat mission later this month.
    The president also received an update from Vice President Biden and Ambassador Hill on our efforts to support Iraq’s leaders as they form a new government and to transition to civilian lead within Iraq…. – USA Today, 8-11-10
  • Reagan insider: ‘GOP destroyed U.S. economy’ Commentary: How: Gold. Tax cuts. Debts. Wars. Fat Cats. Class gap. No fiscal discipline: “How my G.O.P. destroyed the U.S. economy.” Yes, that is exactly what David Stockman, President Ronald Reagan’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote in a recent New York Times op-ed piece, “Four Deformations of the Apocalypse.” Get it? Not “destroying.” The GOP has already “destroyed” the U.S. economy, setting up an “American Apocalypse.”… – CBS News, 8-10-10
  • Obama stresses education Perry greets commander in chief at airport and delivers letter on security along border: President Barack Obama mocked Republicans as devoid of new economic ideas at a Democratic fundraiser Monday, then pounded his message that education “is the economic issue of our time” before a cheering crowd at the University of Texas.
    “I mean, it would be one thing if having run the economy into the ground, having taken record surpluses and turned them into record deficits, if having presided over the meltdown of our financial system, that they had gone off into the desert for a while and reflected and said, ‘Boy, we really screwed up,’” Obama said at the Democratic National Committee fundraiser.
    “But that’s not what’s happening. Instead, they are trotting out the exact same ideas that got us into this mess in the first place. Their big economic plan is to renew the tax cuts that helped to turn surpluses into deficits – tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans,” Obama said. “And once you get past that, they don’t have another new idea.”…
    “Michelle and I – we had big loans to pay off when we graduated – and I remember what that felt like. That’s why I’m absolutely committed to making sure that here in America, nobody is denied a college education, nobody is denied a chance to pursue their dreams, nobody is denied a chance to make the most of their lives just because they can’t afford it,” Obama said. “We are a better country than that, and we need to act like we’re a better country than that.”…. – Houston Chronicle, 8-10-10
  • Levi Johnston to run for mayor of Wasilla in reality-show pitch: Levi Johnston, Sarah Palin’s on-again, off-again possible son-in-law, is shooting the pilot for a proposed reality show in which he runs for the former Alaska governor’s old job as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, Variety reports.
    “It’s hard to figure me out,” Levi tells Variety. “You’ve got to follow me around. I’m very different. I lead a crazy life. But it will basically be both worlds, my life in Hollywood and back home, the real country boy that I am.”
    Variety says the project, being pitched by Stone and Co., is titled “Loving Levi: The Road to the Mayor’s Office.”
    Johnston admits he was initially lukewarm about the idea, as pitched by the production company, but now says of his political prospects: “I think there’s a possibility we can make it happen.”… – USA Today, 8-10-10
  • Boehner Targets ‘Anchor Babies,’ McConnell Highlights ‘Birth Tourism’: House Minority Leader John Boehner entered the 14th Amendment fray Sunday, telling “Meet the Press” Sunday that granting automatic citizenship to babies born in the U.S. is “an incentive for illegal immigrants to come here.” He did not say whether he would back a change, but argued birthright citizenship draws illegal immigrants to the country and burdens schools… – The Washington Independent, 8-9-10

HISTORIANS & ANALYSTS’ COMMENTS

  • Julian E. Zelizer: It’s Obama’s White House, but it’s still Bush’s world: When conservatives brand President Obama a socialist or a foreigner, his aides laugh it off. When critics disparage him as arrogant or aloof, they roll their eyes. But if liberals dare compare Obama to his predecessor in the Oval Office, the gloves come off….
    In a host of arenas, Obama is holding on to the Bush administration’s policies and practices, even some that he decried during his presidential campaign and vowed to undo. From the wars we fight to the oil we drill for, we’re still living in the Bush era — like it or not.
    First, consider the strengthening of presidential power. Every president since Richard Nixon has fought to restore the authority of the executive branch that was diminished as a result of Watergate. No chief executive was as successful as Bush, especially since he had the help of Vice President Dick Cheney, who had dedicated much of his career to criticizing the 1970s reforms that he thought had emasculated the White House. Bush relied on signing statements and executive orders to implement initiatives such as warrantless wiretapping without having to get approval from Congress.
    Obama has not done much to reverse the trend…. – WaPo, 8-12-10
  • KARL ROVE: The Blame Bush Strategy Won’t Work Polls reveal voters are receptive to GOP ideas: To save themselves in the midterm elections, Democrats are counting on selling two themes: The state of the economy is all George W. Bush’s fault, and Republican policies will take us backwards. President Obama relished going to Texas this week to blame his predecessor for the current bad economy.
    Nice try, but it won’t work. Don’t take my word. This is what Mr. Obama’s pollster, Joel Benenson, has found. The Benenson Strategy Group wasn’t exactly quite this blunt in its report for the “Third Way,” a centrist Democratic organization. But its data was.
    In its poll released in July, Benenson asked, “Generally speaking, who is more responsible for the recent economic recession—President Barack Obama or President George W. Bush?” The answer was Mr. Bush 53%, Mr. Obama 26%, and “Don’t know” 21%…. – WSJ, 8-12-10
  • U.S. House Set to Pass State Aid as Lawmakers Return From Break: The vote is an opportunity for Democrats to say “Look, we stepped up to the plate. We interrupted our campaign to come back to Washington just for one vote,” said Ross Baker, a professor of political science at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey…. – Bloomberg, 8-10-10
  • David Crockett: Why Obama is not first ‘imposter’ president and won’t be the last: “Heavens, where do I start?” says David Crockett, an associate professor of political science at Trinity University in Texas. “No one wants to admit that they got spanked in an election contest. It’s always nicer to think the opponent somehow cheated the system. So yes — Obama wasn’t born here, Bush stole the election, Clinton won only because Ross Perot screwed up Bush’s [the elder’s] chances, Bush the elder won only because he demagogued Willie Horton. … I could go back further.” – CNN, 8-9-10
  • Thomas Alan Schwartz: Why Obama is not first ‘imposter’ president and won’t be the last: You can go back to the 19th century, where calling a president illegitimate was a common — and often nasty — practice, says Thomas Alan Schwartz, a presidential historian at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. Though questioning a president’s legitimacy is common, it can turn dangerous, Schwartz says. “On the extreme side, it encourages nut cases to take the law in their own hand.”…
    “Nixon didn’t challenge the election of 1960, though he had a very good case,” says Schwartz, the Vanderbilt University historian. Schwartz says Nixon didn’t protest because he didn’t want to spark a political crisis during the Cold War…. – CNN, 8-9-10
  • Randall Miller: Why Obama is not first ‘imposter’ president and won’t be the last: Andrew Johnson, Abraham Lincoln’s successor, was deemed unqualified because of his personality and his policies, says Randall Miller, a history professor at St. Joseph’s University in Pennsylvania… “Johnson took everything personal,” Miller says. “He would respond to hecklers. He became engaged in these back- and-forth shouting matches, and that contributed to the idea that he was illegitimate.”…
    The Internet and the 24-hours news cycle feed into claims of presidential illegitimacy, says Randall Miller, a history professor at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. “The charges against a president are so constant and pervasive,” he says. “You just pound away, and the capacity for people to step back and ask if this makes sense is almost gone.”
    “It’s in our political DNA to want to believe in conspiracy theories,” he says. “That contributes to the mind-set that people in power are illegitimate.” Our love of Oval Office conspiracies and illegitimate presidents covers up a deeper fear — of change, he says. “As life becomes more complicated and you feel alienated, you look for things to make sense out of a world that’s a swirl,” Miller says. “You can comprehend these simpler explanations.”… – CNN, 8-9-10
  • Kevin Gutzman: Why Obama is not first ‘imposter’ president and won’t be the last: “It goes back to the assassination of John Kennedy and people’s feelings that they weren’t getting the straight story about really happened,” says Kevin Gutzman, a history professor at Western Connecticut State University. “People were predisposed to think of conspiracy at the highest levels.”… – CNN, 8-9-10
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Political Headlines: Robert Gibbs & The “Profession Left” Controversy

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & 111TH CONGRESS:

 

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs briefs reporters at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 11.

Charles Dharapak/AP

  • Robert Gibbs on flak from the left: ‘No inflatable exit’ from his office: At Wednesday’s White House briefing, press secretary Robert Gibbs came prepared to field questions concerning his recent complaint about the ‘professional left.’… – CS Monitor, 8-11-10
  • Gibbs stands by remarks on liberals _ sort of: White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Wednesday he might have said things differently when he lashed out at liberals he called the “professional left” and suggested some of them should be drug tested. But he told his daily White house briefing that he’s certainly not leaving his job over the remark, as at least one Democratic congressman has suggested. And he stuck to his line that President Barack Obama has accomplished or made great strides on key goals and promises despite criticism from some liberals that he has not done enough…. – AP, 8-11-10
  • White House in dispute with ‘professional left’: The White House was on the defensive Tuesday after press secretary Robert Gibbs lashed out at liberals he dubbed the “professional left,” saying some of them should be drug-tested. Gibbs contended that some progressives critical of President Barack Obama wouldn’t be satisfied until the Pentagon was eliminated and Canadian-style health care ushered into the U.S. Some of them wouldn’t even be happy if anti-war congressman Dennis Kucinich were president, according to Gibbs. His comments appeared Tuesday in “The Hill” newspaper…. – AP, 8-10-10
  • White House unloads anger over criticism from ‘professional left’: The White House is simmering with anger at criticism from liberals who say President Obama is more concerned with deal-making than ideological purity. During an interview with The Hill in his West Wing office, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs blasted liberal naysayers, whom he said would never regard anything the president did as good enough.
    “I hear these people saying he’s like George Bush. Those people ought to be drug tested,” Gibbs said. “I mean, it’s crazy.” The press secretary dismissed the “professional left” in terms very similar to those used by their opponents on the ideological right, saying, “They will be satisfied when we have Canadian healthcare and we’ve eliminated the Pentagon. That’s not reality.” Of those who complain that Obama caved to centrists on issues such as healthcare reform, Gibbs said: “They wouldn’t be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president.” – The Hill, 8-10-10
  • Robert Gibbs, putting things a little too plainly: The president has succeeded in passing the bulk of his agenda over the strenuous objections of a resurgent Republican minority. But his critics, particularly those on the left, are still grumbling and unsatisfied. They say the president is not moving fast enough. Some have even compared him to former president George W. Bush.
    That last was enough to send press secretary Robert Gibbs over the edge Tuesday. In a rant that he later described as “inartful,” Gibbs unloaded on what he called the “professional left” and said they were out of touch with reality. “I hear these people saying he’s like George Bush. Those people ought to be drug-tested,” Gibbs told The Hill’s Sam Youngman in an interview. “I mean, it’s crazy.”
    In his apology, Gibbs offered a peek inside the current mental state at the White House: “Day after day, it gets frustrating,” he wrote. – (Gibbs’s comments about the Democratic base) The Hill InterviewWaPo, 8-11-10
  • Gibbs condemns criticism from ‘professional left’: Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) says Gibbs should resign. “This is not the first time that Mr. Gibbs has made untoward and inflammatory comments and I certainly hope that people in the White House don’t share his view that the left is unimportant to the president,” he said. “I understand him having some loyalty to the president who employs him, but I think he’s walking over the line.”… White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton told reporters, “I don’t think there’s any danger of that happening.”…. – WaPo, 8-11-10

Congress Passes Financial Overhaul & Obama’s Maine Vacation

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor / Features Editor at HNN. She has a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & 111TH CONGRESS:

The President speaks on the news from the Gulf

White House Photo, Lawrence Jackson, 7/16/10

IN FOCUS: STATS

  • Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 – Full text of the bill
  • Senate Vote 208 – Passes Financial Regulation Bill – NYT, 7-16-10
  • Senate Vote 206 – Final Senate Hurdle for Financial Regulation Bill – NYT, 7-15-10
  • Obama must listen to Bill Clinton to get re-elected: The news that Barack Obama is behind Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee in a new national opinion poll and even with Sarah Palin will surely give the White House much food for thought. How does President Huckabee sound to you? Or President Palin? If the election were held today they seem at least as likely as Obama to win. It signals a major reversal for the Democratic Party in the midterm election for one reason only — they are unable to get their message out starting at the top. In the era of the one-word sound bites, Republicans are outmaneuvering Obama and his fellow Democrats in the all- important message stakes…. – Irish Central, 7-18-10
  • Americans Disapproving Obama May Enable Republicans: Americans disapprove of U.S. President Barack Obama’s handling of almost every major issue and are deeply pessimistic about the nation’s direction, offering a bullish environment for Republicans in the November congressional elections. A majority or plurality disapproves of Obama’s management of the economy, health care, the budget deficit, the overhaul of financial market regulations and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a Bloomberg National Poll conducted July 9- 12. In addition, almost 6 in 10 respondents say the war in Afghanistan is a lost cause. The Senate is scheduled to begin voting on the financial regulation bill today. Almost two-thirds say they feel the nation is headed in the wrong direction, an even more sour assessment than in March when 58 percent felt that way. Two-thirds of independent voters are pessimistic, while just 56 percent of Democrats offer a vote of confidence…. – Bloomberg, 7-15-10
  • Harry Reid Jumps Out to a Lead Over Sharron Angle in New Nevada Senate Poll: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has regained a solid lead over his Republican opponent Sharron Angle in the Nevada Senate race, a new poll shows, after weeks of relentlessly portraying Angle as too extreme. Reid leads Angle 44 percent to 37 percent in the new Mason-Dixon poll, conducted for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Ten percent were undecided, and 5 percent chose “none of these candidates.”… – CBS News, 7-16-10
  • Obama White House tries to turn around bad poll numbers: The polls aren’t looking good for President Obama. ABC News says 51% would prefer to see a Republican Congress elected in November, as a check on Obama. A CBS News poll says only 13% of Americans say Obama’s economic plan has helped them personally…. – USA Today, 7-14-10
  • VP Favorable Ratings: Gore Down; Cheney, Biden Flat Americans more negative than positive toward Gore, Cheney: Americans’ current views of former Vice President Al Gore have become significantly more negative compared with three years ago, and are among the worst for him in more than a decade. The July 8-11 Gallup poll, finding 44% of Americans viewing Gore favorably and 49% unfavorably, was conducted after the announcement that he and his wife were separating, and amid a police investigation into allegations that he committed sexual assault in 2006. Gallup last measured Gore’s image in October 2007, after he was named winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, when 58% of Americans had a favorable view of him. All three party groups are less favorable toward Gore now compared with 2007, though his rating has declined more among Republicans (from 32% to 16%) and independents (from 57% to 43%) than among Democrats (from 79% to 72%)… – Gallop.com, 7-14-10

THE HEADLINES….

  • Obama, Republicans get ready for new Wall Street battle: We’ve long had the political debate over the effectiveness of the stimulus bill; then this year came the battle over the impact of new health care law. Get ready for the political fight over the value of new Wall Street regulations. President Obama is set to sign the financial regulation bill next week, and he and the Republicans have started an argument that will last until the Nov. 2 congressional elections and beyond. The law will protect consumers, stop the “shadowy deals” that led to the financial crisis of 2008, and keep taxpayers from being “on the hook for Wall Street’s mistakes,” Obama said last evening…. – USA Today, 7-17-10
  • Obama chides Republicans for thwarting jobless extension: President Barack Obama stepped up criticism of Republicans Saturday for blocking jobless aid, hammering home a Democratic election year attack line that casts the opposition as the party of the rich.
    “Too often, the Republican leadership in the United States Senate chooses to filibuster our recovery and obstruct our progress. And that has very real consequences,” Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address. Senate Republicans have used the filibuster, a procedural hurdle demanding 60 votes in the 100-member chamber, to block at least three Democratic initiatives to extend unemployment insurance. Republicans cite the need to curb government spending amid a record budget deficit.
    “Think about what these stalling tactics mean for the millions of Americans who’ve lost their jobs since the recession began. Over the past several weeks, more than two million of them have seen their unemployment insurance expire,” the president said…. – LAT, 7-17-10
  • White House Memo Shifting Politics in Presidents’ Vacations: It has been 100 years, the local newspaper reports, since a sitting president chose this picturesque seaside village as his vacation spot. When William Howard Taft arrived in July 1910, he sprained his ankle playing golf, the captain of his yacht got “a terrible sunburn” and the townsfolk made such a ruckus about who would entertain him that Mr. Taft decided to give a speech from the bandstand on the village green. President Obama faces pressures of a different sort. Mr. Obama arrived here Friday for a summer weekend getaway with his wife, Michelle, and their daughters, Malia, 12, and Sasha, 9 — a precursor to a longer family vacation they are planning next month on Martha’s Vineyard. But what sounds like a much-needed family escape from the literal and political heat of Washington to some sounds like hypocrisy to others, given recent statements by both the president and first lady urging Americans to spend their vacation time and money along the shores of the oil-stricken Gulf of Mexico…. – NYT, 7-16-10
  • Senators Look for BP-Lockerbie Link: Just as BP stopped oil from flowing into the Gulf of Mexico, the company faces unwelcome attention from the U.S. Congress on another issue: whether it sought the release of convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi to help get a $900 million exploration agreement with Libya off the ground. Soon after his release last year, BP acknowledged that it urged the British government to sign a prisoner transfer agreement with Libya, but stressed it did not specify al-Megrahi’s case. It reiterated that stance this week when four U.S. Democratic senators asked the State Department to investigate whether there was a quid pro quo for the Lockerbie bomber’s release…. – Fox News, 7-17-10
  • West Virginia Governor Picks Ex-General Counsel to Succeed Byrd: West Virginia’s governor, Joe Manchin III, announced on Friday that he had chosen Carte P. Goodwin, his former general counsel, to temporarily fill the Senate seat long held by Robert C. Byrd. Mr. Goodwin, 36, will serve until a special election is held, which will probably be later this year. Mr. Manchin has expressed interest in being a candidate in that race. At an event announcing his appointment in Charleston, Mr. Goodwin said it would be impossible to fill the shoes of Mr. Byrd, a Democrat who died last month after serving more than a half-century in the Senate…. – NYT, 7-17-10
  • Financial Overhaul Signals Shift on Deregulation: Congress approved a sweeping expansion of federal financial regulation on Thursday, reflecting a renewed mistrust of financial markets after decades in which Washington stood back from Wall Street with wide-eyed admiration. The bill, heavily promoted by President Obama and Congressional Democrats as a response to the 2008 financial crisis, cleared the Senate by a vote of 60 to 39, largely along party lines, after weeks of wrangling that allowed Democrats to pick up the three Republican votes to ensure passage. The vote was the culmination of nearly two years of fierce lobbying and intense debate over the appropriate response to the financial excesses that dragged the nation into the worst recession since the Great Depression…. – NYT, 7-16-10
  • Congress acts, but bank bill has work ahead: In the end, it’s only a beginning. The far-reaching new banking and consumer protection bill awaiting President Barack Obama’s signature now shifts from the politicians to the technocrats. The legislation gives regulators latitude and time to come up with new rules, requires scores of studies and, in some instances, depends on international agreements falling into place. For Wall Street, the next phase represents continuing uncertainty. It also offers banks and other financial institutions yet another opportunity to influence and shape the rules that govern their businesses…. – AP, 7-16-10
  • Obama Pushes Agenda, Despite Political Risks: If passage of the financial regulatory overhaul on Thursday proves anything about President Obama, it is this: He knows how to push big bills through a balky Congress. But Mr. Obama’s legislative success poses a paradox: while he may be winning on Capitol Hill, he is losing with voters at a time of economic distress, and soon may be forced to scale back his ambitions. The financial regulatory bill is the final piece of a legislative hat trick that also included the stimulus bill and the landmark new health care law. Over the last 18 months, Mr. Obama and the Democratic Congress have made considerable inroads in passing what could be the most ambitious agenda in decades… – NYT, 7-16-10
  • Ex-Manchin Aide Tapped For Byrd Seat, W.Va. Gov. Picks Former Aide Carte Goodwin To Fill Byrd’s US Senate Seat: Gov. Joe Manchin is tapping former chief counsel Carte Goodwin, a member of a prominent West Virginia family, to succeed the late U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, Democratic officials told The Associated Press on Friday. Manchin is scheduled to present his appointee at a Friday afternoon press conference at the Capitol.
    The 36-year-old Goodwin, a Charleston lawyer, would hold the seat until November. That’s when the governor wants general election voters to decide who will serve the final two years of Byrd’s term. The Legislature has begun a special session to consider a proposal from Manchin to allow for a fall vote…. – AP, 7-16-10
  • Financial reform bill another win for Obama, but will the public care?: Following the Recovery Act and health-care reform, the newly approved financial reform bill shows that President Obama is adept at getting his agenda through Congress. But the American public cares about one thing right now: the economy…. – CS Monitor, 7-16-10
  • Pelosi plays down tensions between White House, Democratic lawmakers: At her weekly news briefing Thursday, less than 48 hours after she and other House Democrats criticized Obama’s political operation at a private caucus meeting, she said she and her fellow leaders visited the White House on Wednesday to smooth over the tension and discuss the legislative agenda.
    “We had a very positive meeting with the president yesterday,” Pelosi said. “Our major focus was on jobs. . . . There is absolutely no reason to think that the White House has been anything but cooperative with us in terms of our political efforts to retain control of Congress.”
    The current flare-up was sparked by White House press secretary Robert Gibbs’s public comments over the weekend that the House majority was in doubt and that it would take “strong campaigns by Democrats” to avert dramatic losses. WaPo, 7-15-10
  • Obama to share electric vision at Holland stop Other agencies less optimistic on costs: President Barack Obama will hail a vision of low-cost, high-powered electric vehicles in Michigan today that other government agencies have suggested is overly optimistic, especially in its estimates of how much the cost of batteries can be reduced. The president’s trip to the groundbreaking for a battery plant in Holland will highlight the more than $5 billion the administration has committed toward boosting electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. White House officials said Wednesday that the programs would help lower the cost of some batteries by 70% and provide enough components to build 500,000 electric-drive vehicles a year in the U.S. by 2015…. – Detroit Free Press, 7-15-10
  • AZ immigration law gets first major court hearing: A federal judge is scheduled to hear arguments Thursday over whether Arizona’s new immigration crackdown should take effect later this month, marking the first major hearing in one of seven challenges to the strict law. U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton also will consider arguments over Gov. Jan Brewer’s request to dismiss the challenge filed by Phoenix police Officer David Salgado and the statewide nonprofit group Chicanos Por La Causa…. – AP, 7-15-10
  • Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston reunite: What it means for Sarah Palin: Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston – former boyfriend and father of her son – have reconciled and could be married in six weeks. Politically speaking, is this good for Sarah Palin or Roger Clinton redux?… – CS Monitor, 7-15-10
  • Obama enlists Bill Clinton’s aid on economy: U.S. President Barack Obama sought on Wednesday to lift sagging confidence in his economic stewardship by enlisting the help of predecessor Bill Clinton, as a leading business group issued a scathing critique of the administration’s policies… – Reuters, 7-14-10
  • Major banking bill faces final vote this week: President Barack Obama on Tuesday secured the 60 votes he needs in the Senate to pass a sweeping overhaul of financial regulations, all but ensuring that he soon will sign into law one of the top initiatives of his presidency. With the votes in hand to overcome Republican delaying tactics, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Tuesday took steps to end debate on the bill Thursday, setting the stage for final passage perhaps later in the day. The House already has passed the bill.
    “This reform is good for families, it is good for businesses, it’s good for the entire economy,” Obama said as he prodded the Senate to act quickly…. – AP, 7-14-10
  • White House Official: Recovery Act Has Created 3 Mln Jobs: The Obama administration’s stimulus push has saved or created about 3 million jobs and is on track to save an additional 500,000 by the end of the year, according to a new report by President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers…. – WSJ, 7-14-10
  • For Obama, more on legislative priorities: President Barack Obama is discussing legislative priorities with Democratic congressional leaders for a second day Wednesday. The president met with the Senate Democratic leadership on Tuesday. On Wednesday it’s the House Democrats’ turn. Obama is getting the meetings in before Congress takes its August break…. – AP, 7-14-10
  • Sarah Palin rebuts NAACP charge of Tea Party racism: Using her favored and unorthodox means of communicating with nearly 2 million followers via her Facebook page, Sarah Palin Tuesday night expressed sadness over an as yet unpublished NAACP convention resolution accusing Tea Party activists of tolerating racist elements in their midst. The former Republican governor of Alaska, who appears to be positioning herself for a possible run at the 2012 GOP presidential nomination using the disgruntled Tea Party’s concerns over expanding and fiscally irresponsible government as a major portion of her base, said:
    I am saddened by the NAACP’s claim that patriotic Americans who stand up for the United States of America’s Constitutional rights are somehow “racists.” The charge that Tea Party Americans judge people by the color of their skin is false, appalling and is a regressive and diversionary tactic to change the subject at hand. – 7-14-10
  • As NAACP aims to stay in national debate, charge of tea party racism draws fire: One thing is clear as the NAACP gathers this week for its 101st annual meeting: The civil rights organization is intent on being seen as still relevant. Even former Alaska governor Sarah Palin sent out a Twitter message and posted a statement on her Facebook page, helping to make the NAACP convention a hot topic on conservative Web sites. She condemned the organization’s passage of a resolution denouncing what it called “racist elements” within the “tea party” movement…. – WaPo, 7-14-10
  • Pelosi, White House Feud Over Gibbs’ House Prediction: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the driving force behind the Obama agenda in Congress, sharply criticized White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs during a closed-door House Democratic caucus meeting late Tuesday, according to Democratic sources.
    Pelosi, irked since Sunday by what she and other top Democrats considered Gibbs’ careless and dismissive comments that Democrats could lose their House majority this November, upbraided a top White House aide as she knocked Gibbs’ unwelcome handicapping of House races.
    “How could he [Gibbs] know what’s going on in our districts?” Pelosi said, according to Democrats who attended the meeting. “Some may weigh his words more closely than others. We have made our disagreements known to the White House.”… – Fox News, 7-14-10
  • Obama To Nominate Former Clinton Official To Head OMB: President Barack Obama plans to nominate a former Clinton administration official to head the Office of Management and Budget, which is grappling with how to best reduce a $1.4 trillion deficit while the economy is on shaky ground. Obama will nominate Jacob Lew, who ran OMB from 1998 to 2001 under former President Bill Clinton… WSJ, 7-13-10
  • Nelson ensures 60 votes for bank regulation bill: All but clearing the way for passage of financial regulations, conservative Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska said Tuesday he will vote for the sweeping overhaul of banking. His support ensures the legislation now has 60 votes to clear the Senate and land on President Barack Obama’s desk for his signature. The House passed the bill last month.
    “This reform is good for families, it is good for businesses , it’s good for the entire economy,” Obama said as he announced his nomination of Jacob Lew to be the new director of the White House budget office…. – AP, 7-13-10
  • Senior Republican wins weeklong delay on Kagan: The Senate Judiciary Committee postponed scheduled action Tuesday to send Elena Kagan’s Supreme Court nomination to the full Senate for confirmation, setting a panel vote for next week.
    Republicans insisted on the delay, saying they needed more time to review Kagan’s written answers to questions they posed to her after her confirmation hearings, and to inquire still further into how she would behave as a justice…. – AP, 7-13-10
  • NAACP to vote on controversial resolution condemning ‘tea party’ supporters: Members of the NAACP will vote Tuesday on a resolution that condemns what the group calls “explicitly racist behavior” by supporters of the “tea party.” The resolution, which is expected to pass, pits the civil rights group against the conservative grass-roots movement, which has repeatedly denied allegations of racism…. – WaPo, 7-13-10
  • Obama looks to Bush’s worldwide strategy on AIDS: President Barack Obama is trying to bring home some of the much-lauded strategies his predecessor used to fight AIDS around the world. The national strategy for combatting HIV and AIDS the Obama administration released Tuesday credits the Bush-era international campaign against AIDS for setting clear targets and ensuring a variety of agencies and groups worked together smoothly to achieve them…. – AP, 7-13-10

ELECTIONS 2010, 2012….

  • Surprise SC Senate candidate makes first speech: In his first campaign appearance, South Carolina’s surprising U.S. Senate candidate Alvin Greene avoided any major gaffes Sunday as he hit his three major themes of jobs, education and justice. The speech started off with a joke and ended with Greene timidly waving, a shy smile spreading across his face as he got a standing ovation before a friendly audience in his hometown of Manning. Greene’s 6 1/2 minute speech at the local NAAP’s monthly meeting was mostly serious. Left out was any mention of his suggestion earlier this month that creating a line of action figures modeled after him could give South Carolinians jobs. In their place came platitudes familiar to anyone who has heard a stump speech.
    “Let’s get South Carolina and America back to work and let’s move South Carolina forward,” said Greene, one of about a dozen lines that got applause from the several hundred folks crammed into a sweltering junior high gymnasium…. – AP, 7-19-10
  • Obama foes Romney, Palin start to mix it up a little bit: President Obama and House Democrats have had their differences lately, but so have some of the Republicans who would like to replace Obama.
    An anonymous adviser to Mitt Romney went after Sarah Palin this week, telling Time magazine’s Mark Halperin that the ex-Alaska governor is “not a serious human being.” Another nameless Romney aide added about Palin: “If she’s standing up there in a debate and the answers are more than 15 seconds long, she’s in trouble.” Ouch!
    Politico ran those quotes by an equally anonymous Palin aide, who said the former Massachusetts governor’s team is violating Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican. “You’d think we’d all be working together toward a common goal — that being 2010 — and that should be the focus right now,” the aide said. “Those who try to claim the mantle of Reagan would be good to follow one of his most sacred tenets.”… – USA Today, 7-16-10
  • Can Republicans take back the Senate?: The kerfuffle caused by White House press secretary Robert Gibbs’ acknowledgment that there are enough seats in play to flip control of the House this fall has eclipsed another interesting political debate: Could Republicans win the Senate majority too? The answer? Yes — but it remains a significantly longer shot than the GOP taking over the House. Senate Republicans need a net gain of 10 seats, which, if history is any guide, will be difficult. The last time one party made double digit seat gains was in 1980 when Republicans defeated nine incumbents and won three more Democratic open seats for a 12-seat pickup. (Thank you Ronald Reagan!) Still, if the last few elections have taught us anything, it’s that history isn’t always determinative… – WaPo, 7-16-10
  • Palin’s Ground Game Spurs Campaign Buzz: Through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has burst back into the political spotlight this month, while her family life has once again become part of the broader American conversation. But it is Ms. Palin’s groundwork on behalf of candidates across the country, along with her continued fund-raising abilities, that has Republican leaders and political strategists wondering whether she is gearing up for a presidential bid in 2012. Ms. Palin’s intentions remain unclear, and unstated. She declined to comment through her political-action committee.
    But her influence is undeniable: On Sunday, SarahPAC disclosed contributions of at least $87,500 to Republican candidates she has endorsed, and a tantalizing $210,000 she has spent on consultants of her own. Ms. Palin also appears to have honed her pitch. Last week, SarahPAC posted a “Mama Grizzlies” video online aimed at reaching out to women voters. In the clip, women carried signs such as “I am not the ‘Angry Mob.’ I am an angry tax-bled ‘Hockey Mom.’ ” Political experts said the video—with its high production values…. – WSJ, 7-17-10
  • GOP Candidates Seize Funding Edge: Republican candidates for Congress have seized the fund-raising lead from Democrats in the closest House and Senate races. Republicans in a dozen of the closest Senate contests claimed 58% of the nearly $50 million in total contributions during the three-month period that ended June 30, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of financial reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. That is a change from the first fund-raising period of the year when Democrats brought in a slight majority of contributions in those races…. – WSJ, 7-17-10
  • Is Jim DeMint an Ace in the Hole for Barack Obama?: South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint , who once proclaimed that he’d rather have “30 Republicans in the Senate who believe in principles of freedom than 60 who don’t believe in anything,” continues to endorse Senate candidates and give leaders in his own party migraine headaches. But one politician must be smiling from ear to ear when he follows DeMint’s antics: President Barack Obama . That’s because, more than Florida’s Marco Rubio, Kentucky’s Rand Paul or Colorado’s Ken Buck — all endorsed by DeMint in GOP Senate primaries against the wishes of party strategists and insiders — the president stands to benefit the most, long term, from DeMint’s rhetoric and actions leading up to the 2010 midterm elections…. – Roll Call, 7-15-10
  • Outsider Wins Alabama GOP Gov Nomination: Self-described outsider Robert Bentley won Alabama’s Republican nomination for governor Tuesday night over establishment candidate Bradley Byrne with a strong showing in rural areas.
    In the unofficial count, Bentley had 56 percent of the vote to Byrne’s 44 percent with 83 percent of the precincts reporting. Bryne ran strong in the state’s four big counties, but Bentley outperformed Byrne in small counties, including areas where Tim James and Roy Moore did well when they ran third and fourth in the June 1 Republican primary…. – AP, 7-14-10

POLITICAL QUOTES

  • Biden: Afghan withdrawal may start with ‘a couple of thousand troops’: As few as “a couple of thousand” U.S. troops may leave Afghanistan in the first phase of withdrawing forces from there beginning a year from now, Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview broadcast Sunday. “It could be as few as a couple of thousand troops; it could be more,” Biden told ABC’s “This Week.” Asked about a book that quotes him as saying the troop withdrawal would start with “a whole lot of people” leaving Afghanistan, Biden confirmed the comment but said he was responding to an assertion that there might be no withdrawal at all at that time. “I did say it,” Biden acknowledged, calling the July 2011 withdrawal date “the beginning of a transition” based on the ability of Afghanistan forces to provide security around the country…. – CNN, 7-18-10
  • Vice President Joe Biden defends Tea Party against ‘racist’ claims: Tea Partiers have gotten some support from an unlikely source — the Vice President of the United States. VP Joe Biden told ABC News’ Jake Tapper on Sunday that he doesn’t think the ultra-conservative group is “racist.”
    “I wouldn’t characterize the Tea Party as racist,” he said on Sunday’s “This Week.” But “there are individuals who are either members of or on the periphery of some of their things, their — their protests — that have expressed really unfortunate comments.”
    The remarks come on the heels of the NAACP’s move last week to demand that Tea Party leaders “repudiate it’s racist elements.”
    Sarah Palin was quick to defend the group.
    “I am saddened by the NAACP’s claim that patriotic Americans who stand up for the United States of America’s Constitutional rights are somehow ‘racists,’” she said via Facebook…. – NY Daily News, 7-18-10
  • Weekly Address: President Obama Says GOP Senate Leadership Choosing to “Filibuster Our Recovery and Obstruct Our Progress”
    Remarks of President Barack Obama Weekly Address The White House July 17, 2010:
    Now in the past, Presidents and Congresses of both parties have treated unemployment insurance for what it is – an emergency expenditure. That’s because an economic disaster can devastate families and communities just as surely as a flood or tornado.
    Suddenly, Republican leaders want to change that. They say we shouldn’t provide unemployment insurance because it costs money. So after years of championing policies that turned a record surplus into a massive deficit, including a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans, they’ve finally decided to make their stand on the backs of the unemployed. They’ve got no problem spending money on tax breaks for folks at the top who don’t need them and didn’t even ask for them; but they object to helping folks laid off in this recession who really do need help. And every day this goes on, another 50,000 Americans lose that badly needed lifeline.
    Well, I think these Senators are wrong. We can’t afford to go back to the same misguided policies that led us into this mess. We need to move forward with the policies that are leading us out of this mess.
    The fact is, most economists agree that extending unemployment insurance is one of the single most cost-effective ways to help jumpstart the economy. It puts money into the pockets of folks who not only need it most, but who also are most likely to spend it quickly. That boosts local economies. And that means jobs.
    Increasing loans to small business. Renewing unemployment insurance. These steps aren’t just the right thing to do for those hardest hit by the recession – they’re the right thing to do for all of us. And I’m calling on Congress once more to take these steps on behalf of America’s workers, and families, and small business owners – the people we were sent here to serve.
    Because when storms strike Main Street, we don’t play politics with emergency aid. We don’t desert our fellow Americans when they fall on hard times. We come together. We do what we can to help. We rebuild stronger, and we move forward. That’s what we’re doing today. And I’m absolutely convinced that’s how we’re going to come through this storm to better days ahead. – WH, 7-17-10
  • Obama: GOP blocking unemployed, small business aid: President Barack Obama says Senate Republicans are playing politics with bills that would extend benefits to the unemployed and increase lending to small businesses. Striking a deeply partisan tone in his weekly radio and online address, Obama said the GOP leadership has chosen to “filibuster our recovery and obstruct our progress” by blocking votes on agenda items the president says would breath life into the economic recovery.
    “These steps aren’t just the right thing to do for those hardest hit by the recession,” Obama said. “They’re the right thing to do for all of us.” The address was recorded at the White House before Obama flew to Maine on Friday for a weekend family vacation… – AP, 7-17-10
  • Wall Street Reform: Final Votes Approach: Remarks by the President in Selection of Jack Lew to be Director of OMB: Before I begin, I just want to note a breakthrough that we’ve had on our efforts to pass the most comprehensive reform of Wall Street since the Great Depression. Three Republican senators have put politics and partisanship aside to support this reform, and I’m grateful for their decision, as well as all the Democrats who’ve worked so hard to make this reform a reality, particularly Chairman Dodd and Chairman Barney Frank.
    What members of both parties realize is that we can’t allow a financial crisis like this one that we just went through to happen again. This reform will prevent that from happening. It will prevent a financial crisis like this from happening again, by protecting consumers against the unfair practices of credit card companies and mortgage lenders. It will ensure that taxpayers are never again on the hook for Wall Street’s mistakes. And it will end an era of irresponsibility that led to the loss of 8 million jobs and trillions of dollars of wealth.
    Now, as we finish our work on Wall Street reform, we’re also mindful that we’ve got significant work to do when it comes to reforming our government and reducing our deficit.
    This reform is good for families. It’s good for businesses. It’s good for the entire economy. And I urge the Senate to act quickly so that I can sign it into law next week….. – WH, 7-13-10

HISTORIANS & ANALYSTS’ COMMENTS

  • Julian E. Zelizer: Why Obama’s poll numbers have sunk: President Obama’s supporters have been frustrated about the apparent paradox of this administration. With the recent passage of historic financial regulation legislation, many Democrats are having trouble grasping why his approval ratings still lag and why Democrats might lose control of the House in the fall elections. Supporters say the economic stimulus bill, education and health care reform, and now financial reform, should have Americans looking at the White House with the same admiration they had for President Roosevelt in the 1930s or President Johnson at the height of his success in 1964 and 1965. But according to a recent CBS News poll, just 40 percent of those polled approved of how the president was handling the economy. This was a drop of five percentage points since June….
    Rather than complain about what the public thinks or dismiss liberals as unrealistic, Obama would do better to be more responsive to public concerns, with joblessness at the top of his list. The president must give serious consideration to another stimulus package, and be willing to spend the kind of political capital that he used in pushing for health care and financial regulation. He must also be willing to look at some of the shortcomings of the first bill, such as insufficient funds for public works projects and for assistance to the states. – CNN, 7-19-10
  • Analysis: Dems enacted much of Obama’s agenda: Far-reaching legislation aimed at reining in Wall Street marks the latest and likely the last major achievement by President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress, an 18-month partnership that strove simultaneously to fix a battered economy and enact sweeping changes to health care, education and more. Whatever the longer term impact — the most far-reaching changes in the health care legislation won’t start until 2014 — the immediate aftermath is unemployment that scrapes double digits and deficits far deeper than Obama and his allies inherited in January 2009. The Republicans who worked ceaselessly to thwart the president’s agenda are emboldened, while Democrats who voted it into law brace for majority-threatening election losses…. – AP, 7-17-10
  • Julian E. Zelizer: Professor of History and Public Affairs, Princeton Gulf oil spill containment: Obama’s Katrina or turning point toward reelection?: When President Clinton responded to the Oklahoma City bombing, he did so forcefully, with an expansive legislative agenda to strengthen the nation’s ability to fight against domestic terrorism. Just because the Gulf Oil spill might finally have reached a turning point, there is no way to see victory for the administration. It is clear that administration policies allowed for this kind of off-shore drilling to take place, despite great doubts and concerns, and there is evidence the administration is still authorizing risky drilling to occur (see offshore drilling). The response has not been forceful and a huge amount of environmental damage has been caused as a result of this — damage that won’t be repaired…. – Politico, 7-16-10
  • DANIEL HENNINGER: Berwick: Bigger Than Kagan: If the American people want the health-care world Dr. Berwick wishes to give them, that’s their choice. But they must be given that choice…. – WSJ, 7-14-10
  • Allan Lichtman: Scholar’s “13 Keys” Predict Another Obama Win: Although the next presidential election is 28 months away, President Barack Obama’s reelection in 2012 is nearly guaranteed despite former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s prediction that Obama has only a 20 percent chance, according to American University Professor Allan Lichtman. Lichtman’s “13 Keys” system predicts the outcome of the popular vote based on the performance of the party and not the use of candidate preference polls, campaign tactics, or events…. – American University, 7-14-10
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