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Morning Fix: The White House's Recruiting Struggles



North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak. Photos by Chuck Burton of AP, Bloomberg News, M.Spencer Green opf AP and George Widman of AP

The White House's vaunted political operation has struggled in the early months of the 2010 cycle to convince coveted candidates to make runs for the Senate and to clear out contested primaries for vulnerable incumbents.

The decision on Wednesday by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan not to run for the Senate came after a strong recruitment push by the White House that included a sitdown last month with President Obama, chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett.

Emanuel was even quoted as saying that Madigan was the "800-pound gorilla" in the race and the "most popular figure in the state of Illinois."

Madigan's no-go comes roughly two months after North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper resisted a personal plea from the president to make a race against Sen. Richard Burr in 2010. Since Cooper's decision, Democrats have struggled to find a credible candidate against Burr.

The White House also has been unable to clear Senate primaries for their preferred candidates in two instances: New York and Pennsylvania.

In New York, the White House looked to have scored a victory when Rep. Steve Israel announced he would not take on appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in next year's primary after receiving a call from Obama asking him to stay out.

But, Rep. Carolyn Maloney stepped into void created by Israel's departure and has already brought on Democratic consultants to guide her run for the Senate.

And, in Pennsylvania, the White House's endorsement of party-switching Sen. Arlen Specter has done little to dissuade Rep. Joe Sestak from a near certain primary challenge.

"From the outside, it just looks half-hearted," said one senior Democratic strategist of the White House recruiting efforts to date.

Another party elder, granted anonymity to speak freely, said that the White House was "doing fine" on the political side of the ledger but added: "Clearly it's not their first priority like it was with George Bush."

In the Obama White House's defense, recruiting is a fickle mistress as it depends heavily on factors outside of any administration's control: the candidate's own vision for his or her political future, family considerations and the political climate.

Madigan, for example, clearly prefers being governor to serving in the Senate and likely only considered the Senate contest due to urgings from the White House and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Still, the White House receives plaudits when a candidate decides to run at the urging of senior administration officials so they have to weather the consequences when candidates say no as well.

The 2010 cycle is still in its early stages. And, there remains a possibility that neither Maloney nor Sestak will ultimately pull the trigger on their respective races. If that happens, the political power of the White House could look drastically different.

For the moment, however, the team that beat Hillary Clinton in a primary and then overwhelmingly elected the nation's first black president last year hasn't been able to recreate that magic in downballot contests.

Whether that's the result of disinterest, bad luck or intangibles remains to be seen.

Thursday's Fix Picks: Why is Josh Ritter not more famous?

1. A climate deal reached (in Italy).
2. Who wants Sarah Palin to campaign for them?
3. Doug Hampton calls for John Ensign's resignation.
4. Blagojevich chief of staff will cooperate with federal probe.
5. The Google operating system.

Conway Rakes It In: Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway (D) laid down a major marker in his Senate primary fight against Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo (D) by raising better than $1.3 million between April 1 and June 30 -- the largest take for a Democratic Senate candidate in the history of the Bluegrass State. "The fact that so many were so generous to our campaign in these early stages gives us incredible momentum," said Conway in a release touting the numbers. Mongiardo has yet to release his second quarter numbers but he raised $430,000 in the first three months of the year. For Republicans, all eyes are on Sen. Jim Bunning whose anemic fundraising to date has stoked retirement rumors. Bunning has yet to report how much he raised in the second quarter. Secretary of State Trey Grayson (R), who formed an exploratory committee to raise money for a potential race, showed more than $600,000 raised in the second quarter.

Must-See TV: Jon Ralston, Fix friend and the king of Nevada politics, sat down on Wednesday with Doug Hampton, whose wife had an affair with Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.). Among the revelations from the interview: Ensign pursued les liaison dangereuse even after people like Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn (R) urged him to end it, and that Ensign paid Cynthia Hampton more than $25,000 in severance when she left his employ. Ruh roh.

Trumka Announces: AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Richard Trumka will formally enter the race to succeed John Sweeney as president of the organization this morning at the University of the District of Columbia. Trumka is almost certain to be unopposed in his bid for the organization's presidency; the AFL-CIO will convene its convention from Sept. 13-17 in Pittsburgh.

It's Crowley's Party: New York Rep. Joe Crowley (D) is letting his rocker alter ego out tonight for a good cause -- his political action committee. Crowley -- along with dozens of Democratic lobbyist and consultant types including Jack Quinn, Ali Lapp and Cory Alexander -- is hosting a fundraiser concert for his JOE PAC (Jobs, Opportunity and Employment) at the Recording Industry Association of America. Rep. Anthony Weiner -- the next, next mayor of New York City? -- will emcee the event. Hosts for the fundraiser were required to raise or donate $1,000 but you can get into the show for a mere $100. Need a taste of Rocker Joe? Check out this clip where Crowley plays "Pink Cadillac" alongside Nils Lofgren and Skunk Baxter.

Click It!: The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is wasting no time in trying to discredit the idea that Rep. Mark Kirk, who made clear Wednesday he is running for the Senate, is not as moderate as people think. "Kirk wants you to think he is a moderate," says the narrator in a new web ad set to launch later today. "But his record proves otherwise." The ad goes on to allege that Kirk "opposed Obama's plans to fix the economy at every turn" and "helped us get into this mess" by voting to ship jobs overseas. The ad ends with a picture of former president George W. Bush with his arm draped around Kirk. Senate Democrats clearly believe that Bush will be an anchor for Republican candidates in 2010 as they have launched similar attacks against Rep. Roy Blunt (Mo.) as well as former Reps. Rob Portman (Ohio) and Rob Simmons (Conn.).

Herseth, Out: Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin surprised the political world -- most especially the Fix -- earlier this week with her announcement that she would not run for the open South Dakota governorship in 2010. "I'm excited to announce that I'll be running for reelection to continue serving as South Dakota's independent voice in the House of Representatives," Herseth wrote in an e-mail to supporters. Family considerations also clearly played a part in her decision; Herseth and her husband, former Texas congressman Max Sandlin, had a son in December 2008. Without Herseth, who is a well known name in South Dakota (her grandfather was governor and her father was a longtime legislator) and a rising star nationally, on the ballot Democrats will struggle to compete for the seat being vacated by Gov. Mike Rounds (R) after two terms.

Say What?: "The confusion in the line of succession cannot and must not continue." -- New York Gov. David Paterson (D) announcing his appointment of Richard Ravitch as lieutenant governor, a move that may or may not be legal.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 9, 2009; 5:35 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Comments

Two clarifications about current NY congressional politics,

1. President Clinton's fundraisers for Congressional supporters of HRC.

There has been some buzz about Carolyn Maloney's announcement that President Clinton will be doing a fundraiser with her later in July, and her attempt to portray it as an endorsement of her Senatorial ambitions.

NO WAY!

The fundraiser was scheduled months ago and is one of many Bill Clinton promised to do for those in Congress who supported HRC's presidential campaign. This was reiterated by a Clinton spokesperson immediately following Maloney's announcement so that there would be no confusion. Nonetheless, some have believed Maloney, which would not be correct.

Many of us remember the overflowing crowd at a fundraiser President Clinton held for Kirsten several months ago. Lots of money was raised and he spoke warmly of her appointment, his approval of her as successor to Hillary, and his confidence in her success as Senator representing New York for many years to come.

This is anything but an IOU and Maloney would be foolish to suggest otherwise.

2. Should Maloney primary Senator Gillibrand?

Many were furious at efforts to force Hillary from the Presidential primaries.

However, the presidential analogy is inexact. At the end of the process, one of them would return to the Senate with no loss of status or position. Here Congresswoman Maloney gives up her seat with its seniority and influential committees which are very important to New York.

Furthermore, it is worth questioning why, after she campaigned vigorously for the appointment which she did not get, Maloney is now prepared to go after another highly competent, effective and progressive woman rather than continue her work in the House.

Given New York's propensity to elect Republicans after nasty Democratic primaries, Congresswoman Maloney's willingess to endanger the 60 vote Democratic majority in the US Senate can be seen as irresponsible and selfish. Foolish as well as she will be remembered as a Jacob Javits style spoiler rather than for her many accomplishments in the House.

This, in my opinion, is not good for New York.

Posted by: rrlieberma1 | July 10, 2009 2:21 AM | Report abuse

Kiane wrote:

Lisa M. is the worst thing that could happen to Illinois. Blogo was a moron, But he warned if he left taxes would double. 1st thing Quinn wants is a 50% hike in income taxes.

My Comment: Blago came in and pretty much decimated the State economy and left Quinn in the situation where the taxes had to be raised to provide the basic services. One of the problems are the "gifts" haned out by Blago-- like Free Public Transportation for Seniors. Sounds like a great idea, but it suddenly caused a major cash short fall. Was Blago right about raising taxes? Sure, because he had created a situation where it was the only option.

Lisa M. is clean and smart and not really tied into any Machines. (Notwithstanding who her father is). Its too bad that she won't be the Governor for another 5 years or so.

Posted by: dcraven925 | July 10, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Lisa M. is the worst thing that could happen to Illinois. Blogo was a moron, But he warned if he left taxes would double. 1st thing Quinn wants is a 50% hike in income taxes. I'm lucky I don't live there anymore after over 40 years, but my family does. To elect Daddies little machine girl Lisa into the governors office would take Illinois the rest of the way down the tubes. I love Illinois, it's time to kick them all out and start over. NO RELATIVES... Think about it, if Rohm thinks someone is great... ?

Posted by: kianie | July 9, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1 wrote:
Perhaps a local can correct me if I'm wrong; my understanding is that Quinn & Blago were not buddy-buddy - that in IL you don't run as a batman and robin team, but as seperate candidates.

My Comment:
Not only were they not Buddy Buddy, they were political enemies of the highest order. You don't run as a team in Illinois in the primary, but you do in the general election. Quinn has always been a GooGoo (Good Government) and Blago has always, well, been Blago. The reports are that Blago and Quinn had not even spoken for more than a year when Blago's troubles arose. Quinn's a real well meaning guy that has always actually looked out for the ordinary citizen and not the large corporation -- and that's why he was relegated to the office of Lt. Gov.

Posted by: dcraven925 | July 9, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

jebbie bush, about obama.

He believes that through collective action, through government, you can solve more problems.”

uh, duh.

==

So what does Jebby believe? That we should liberate the unfettered malice of the glorious induhvidual?

Probably thinks the Emancipation Proclamation and child labor laws are "market distortions."

Remind me again, why should we listen to these guys?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 9, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

jebbie bush, about obama.

He believes that through collective action, through government, you can solve more problems.”

uh, duh.

Posted by: drindl | July 9, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Apparently so is prosperity, ingenuity, integrity, experience, American sovereignty and intelligence. you know, all those Republican values.

==

Unless we generously allow "arrogant exceptionalism" to mean "soverignty," none of those are remotely Republican values.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 9, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Reagan's dead. So are his applause lines. Grow up.

Posted by: chrisuxcox

Apparently so is prosperity, ingenuity, integrity, experience, American sovereignty and intelligence. you know, all those Republican values.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 9, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

crush on america's queen of clowns.

Posted by: drivl

But we hardly know you. I suspect never been kissed.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 9, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

mnteng writes
"Actually, Gov/Lt Gov from different parties can't occur anymore in IL since they rewrote the constitution in 1970 to prevent that (right after the Ogilvie/Simon combo). I'm pretty sure it's a joint ticket now for the general, though I think it is separate primaries."


Thanks for that clarification.


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 9, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

'america's sweetheart? LOl. poor zouky and jaked, lonely losers with a crush on america's queen of clowns.

Posted by: drindl | July 9, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

yeah, that's great. 8 year olds busting up concrete all day!

Republican's idea of Heaven!

==

Well if that's what the marketplace decides, how can it be wrong?

The marketplace CAN'T be wrong it's literally IMPOSSIBLE.

If the marketplace decides that children shall lose fingers as they generate wealth, who are we to second-guess it? I think people who second-guess the marketplace should be put to work generating wealth too!

(/sarcasm)

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 9, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Why are the Dems worried about the quality of their candidates? They just put forward Al Franken, and he was elected Senator of Minnesota. Yes, that Al Franken.

I'm sure he's a fine man and of fine intellect, but he certainly hadn't built a strong resume (IMO) to suggest that he should be a Senator. But a Senator he is now.

This feels like worrying for worrying's sake. On both sides. We really don't know who is going to click with the electorate when it comes time to vote.

Posted by: grounder | July 9, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

'Thursday Fix Picks: 3. Doug Hampton calls for John Ensign's resignation'.

Chris,

PLEASE reassure me that--after surviving the Sanford, Michael Jackson, and Palin soap operas--we're not about to descend once again into the Ensign saga.

I noticed MSNBC led with the '[Sen. Tom] Coburn-connection' to Ensign. I quite realise that there's an ethical element to the story, but there's a larger element of prurience.

Remember the endless nonsense about Rep. Gary 'condom' Condit just before Sept. 11th? Do we need another wake-up call to remind the media that the 'silly season' still has plenty of substantive, newsworthy stories going on?

Posted by: sverigegrabb | July 9, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

yeah, that's great. 8 year olds busting up concrete all day!

Republican's idea of Heaven!

Posted by: drindl | July 9, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

king_of_zouk posts July 9, 2009 10:22 AM
"..Meanwhile America's sweetheart is caught in coveralls pulling up smelly fish..."

Yeah, did you notice how sweetheart had perfect makeup, no fish gut splatter on her waders. In fact the waders looked brand new.

It was another cutesy publicity stunt.

She's going to rake in $MILLION$ being cute!

Posted by: knjincvc | July 9, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Very simple. not the role of government. Eliminate government, eliminate the problem.

==

Reagan's dead. So are his applause lines. Grow up.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 9, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Somalia's economic miracle, full employment, occurred because the government disappeared.

Even eight year olds are making money.
They bust up the concrete infrastructure to get at the rebar to sell. Free markets have no rules, that is why they put everyone to work.


Posted by: shrink2 | July 9, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

So who knows how to create long lasting, living wage jobs for American workers?

Neither political party, that is for sure.

>>>>>>>>>>>>

Very simple. not the role of government. Eliminate government, eliminate the problem.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 9, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

WOW I BET HE WAS SELLING OUT AMERICA

Posted by: chrisuxcox

no too late for that. Must have been Honduras this time.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 9, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

"Still, continuing claims rose to 6.88 million, a jump of 159,000 and the highest on records dating from 1967. Analysts had expected 6.71 million continuing claims."

Freud said meaning in life derives from love and work. I agree.

You show me a country with high unemployment and you show me a country full of miserable, angry and easily misled people. Combustible people.

So who knows how to create long lasting, living wage jobs for American workers?

Neither political party, that is for sure.

Republicans are irrelevant. They are, simply because they have no idea(s). But are the Democrats irrelevant too? I don't see anything happening that is going to put people who want to and who need to work back in charge of their lives.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 9, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

What has not been reported is that Obama, leaving his advisers behind, held lengthy private conversations with Chavez where only an interpreter was present.` ((SOURCE: americasright.com))

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate

==

WOW I BET HE WAS SELLING OUT AMERICA

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 9, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

He is a compulsive liar, as crazy as scrivener, and as unemployable as a rabid skunk. You'd be best off ignoring him like eveyone else does.

==

That's what the PgUp key is for

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 9, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

MEanwhile, back on the Lib ethics committee:

In the snow-covered parking lot of a McDonald's in Detroit two years ago, City Council member Monica Conyers met with a waste-management consultant who slipped her an envelope stuffed with as much as $3,000 in cash. The under-the-table payment, made shortly after she cast the swing vote on a $1 billion city sludge deal, drove Conyers's guilty plea to a bribery ..

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 9, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Oh my god, having conversations with world leaders! Oh no! What a tragedy! That's not presidents do, they cut brush!

Posted by: drindl | July 9, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

The smear that is a Lib:

"But now it appears that "

"would not deny"

" seemed to concede"

"seemed to be pegging"

drivl, you are a bottom feeding disgusting turd.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 9, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

One question - What makes the Rethugklans so damn paranoid?

You are the most bulliest scariest bunch of kooks?

You want to fight everyone - Yes you are in the bible...

That part in revelation: When the beast falls from above do not follow those who claimed to be my worshippers! FORE THEY ARE NOT!

IF YOU READ THE BOOK YOURSELF INSTEAD OF HAVING A SIMPLE MAN (WHO LOVE ALTER BOYS) THEN YOU'RE UNDERSTAND

Posted by: danson1 | July 9, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Obama and Chavez at the hemispheric conference in April in Trinidad.

According to eyewitness sources, under the apparently blind eye of the global media, the two leaders had lengthy conversations. The media covered the friendly photo of the initial handshake between the two leaders, then made much ado about an apparently-impertinent Chavez handing Obama a book in Spanish by Eduardo Galleano.

What has not been reported is that Obama, leaving his advisers behind, held lengthy private conversations with Chavez where only an interpreter was present.` ((SOURCE: americasright.com))

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | July 9, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Letters by the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and other members of the panel say CIA Director Leon Panetta told Congress last month that senior CIA officials have concealed significant actions and misled lawmakers repeatedly since 2001.

Exactly what actions Panetta disclosed to the House Intelligence Committee on June 24 is unclear, but committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, said the CIA outright lied in one case.

"These notifications have led me to conclude that this committee has been misled, has not been provided full and complete notifications, and (in at least one case) was affirmatively lied to," Reyes wrote to Michigan Rep. Peter Hoekstra, the committee's senior Republican. A copy of his letter was obtained by The Associated Press.

Posted by: drindl | July 9, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin -- biggest joke of the century.

And more republican skullduggery--now we find out Coburn urged Ensign to pay off to his paramour.

I'm a little curious why this is not getting more attention. We've known since last month that Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) admitted to an affair with a former senate staffer and claimed that the woman's husband had tried to extort money from him to keep the affair secret. That we know about.

But now it appears that Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) may have urged Ensign to pay the woman and her husband off to literally and figuratively get out of town.

As Zack Roth explains here, this is the claim made last night by Doug Hampton, the cuckolded husband. Yesterday and earlier today Coburn and his representatives would not deny the claim and actually seemed to concede that he had urged Ensign to pay the Hamptons money. To the Politico, Coburn's spokesman John Hart "categorically" denied Hampton's claim but seemed to be pegging the denial to the dollar amount not to the general issue of advising him to pay money. (See the quotes in Zack's post and judge for yourself whether it amounted to an admission.) In one extra piece of humor, Hampton refers to the money as 'restitution.'

But now -- just since I started writing this post -- Coburn has come out with a new line entirely. Now he's categorically denying urging Ensign to pay any money at all. And now -- and here's the kicker -- Coburn is saying that he won't answer questions about this from the Ethics Committee or anyone else.

Posted by: drindl | July 9, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Strange drivl. I understood her perfectly. as did most humans with a brain.

""Reporters had already written their stories on Palin's press conference -- "rambling!" "incoherent!" -- before she even stepped to the podium.

Whatever you think of Palin, her argument for resigning was the opposite of "rambling" and "incoherent."

Palin's basketball analogy couldn't have been clearer, even to prissy liberal pundits who get uncomfortable when the subject turns to sports: She decided to destroy the other team's game plan, which has been to obsessively focus on her, by resigning.

This is particularly apt here -- she's passing the ball to a fantastic right-wing lieutenant governor, who shares her principles but doesn't set off the left's neuroses.

This is better for him, better for the state, better for the conservative program and better for Palin personally, whose family is sick of all the crap. Now she can make a lot of money and promote conservatism on a national stage.

It certainly won't be held against Palin by people who don't already loathe her. (On the other hand, her approval ratings among people who think she's worse than Hitler are down to 48 percent.)

With the left frenetically filing ethics complaint after ethics complaint against Palin, costing her state millions of dollars and her personally half a million dollars, citizens of Alaska must be asking, "Can we please have our state back?"

But to read the news reports -- which actually were rambling and incoherent -- you would think Palin was speaking in tongues.""

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 9, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I can guarantee you, shrink, that zouk has never been near the military. How could he when he hasn't stepped away from his keyboard for at least 3 years? He's been here on this blog every day all day long all that time.

Check in from time to time - he's always here.

He is a compulsive liar, as crazy as scrivener, and as unemployable as a rabid skunk. You'd be best off ignoring him like eveyone else does.

Posted by: drindl | July 9, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

"Once you understand that Palin's only actual message is the importance of loving and understanding Palin, it becomes easier to understand why she quit. The more Palin tries to explain herself, the more we all fail to get her. Every time she goes off script, she makes less sense. No wonder she didn't want to do debate prep or be coached by the McCain communications team. Instead of thanking those who packaged, explained, and spun her, Palin resents them. And because she believes she has been crystal clear all along, she's come to resent us, too. The enduring political lesson of Sarah Palin may simply be that for most of her political career she's been lost in translation, without fully appreciating that only in translation was she ever, briefly found."

Posted by: drindl | July 9, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

koz, in between all the insults, there is just someting I wanted to tell you.

All the marines I know would agree, alive or dead, there is no such thing as a "former marine".

You know what, I have never met a marine that I did not admire and respect and as a result of my work, I have met quite a few (like everyone else, sometimes they hurt really bad and do not know what to do about it). They are special people.

It does not matter that I don't agree with a lot of their political positions, but as human beings, by and large, they are exemplary.

I just did a major addition and renovation on my house in the country. The general contractor is a marine veteran of Desert Storm. I tell you what, he is going to have a hard time making it as a builder. This guy is incapable of lying. His "word" and by extension, his reputation seemed a lot more important to him than fleecing me.

When I asked him about things he did not know much about, he said, "I don't know, but I will find out." Heretofore, I had never met a builder who was not a professional confabulator.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 9, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Mr banana republic now has 34 Czars. none of them have been approved by the Senate or gone through any qualifying rubric. Reagan had 3, clinton 9 and Bush 12. why is Barry so enamored with Soviet style governing? how many staff do these czars have? How much is this costing us. why are the Libs so clueless that they have to add on so much overhead to every little thing they do?

Perhaps if the president or any of his cabinet actually knew what they were doing..... but then again biden admitted they have not a single idea.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 9, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

THE INCOHERENCY THAT IS PALIN:

"Had Palin simply quit without giving a press conference, there might have been a lesson in this exercise. Feminists would be free to say there are double standards for women, and conservatives could argue she was too visionary for her time. But Palin's act of explaining her resignation to us in a torrent of unconnected sentence fragments left everyone wondering, What was the point of Sarah Palin? If she cannot even communicate a simple idea ("I'm quitting because …"), why should we care that she's quitting?"

Posted by: drindl | July 9, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

king_of_zouk was in Iraq? That explains why we lost.

Posted by: obrier2 | July 9, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

What's the point of running for a political body (the Senate) who's sole purpose, besides obstructing everything people actually want, is to protect the well-heeled and the self-interested. The only truly crazy ones are those who actually want to get in there.

Posted by: jpsbr2002 | July 9, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse


Is First Lady Michelle Obama sporting a taste for ultra-expensive fashion pieces, or is she cementing her status as a savvy shopper?

Back in April she wore a pair of $540 Lanvin sneakers at a Washington food bank. Earlier this week (while strolling the wooded landscape outside of Moscow), she carried a sexy black clutch, which Italian luxury house VBH boasts is their shiny black alligator manila bag – with a retail sticker price of $5,950.

And why isn't she Proud of Her Country?

Posted by: FraudObama | July 9, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

bsimon:

Actually, Gov/Lt Gov from different parties can't occur anymore in IL since they rewrote the constitution in 1970 to prevent that (right after the Ogilvie/Simon combo). I'm pretty sure it's a joint ticket now for the general, though I think it is separate primaries.

Posted by: mnteng | July 9, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

@bsimon - My understanding is that Quinn and Blago... haven't spoken in years. However, Quinn did run on the same ticket and I'm sure there's plenty of fodder from his campaign for Lt.Gov. to be used. Regarding polling (sorry, almost wrote pulling which means something ENTIRELY different)--there was a brilliant column by Michael Kinsley in last Sunday's Post. There's nothing better than building someone up just to tear him or her down. If you think politics is nasty here, you should see what the British papers do to every coach of the national football team.

BB

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/02/AR2009070202686.html

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 9, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

His Life
Born in a hospital in Kenya or Hawaii, Barack would learn to use multiple names and identities from an early age. Traveling from country to country, the young Obama or Soetoro, would quickly become adept at blending in from one milieu to another. This skill would be crucial in his political career, allowing Obama to instantly invent new biographies and win the trust of his audience. If there is one thing his biographers agree on, it’s that he had a genuine gift for sensing what his audience wanted to hear. Unfortunately like most con artists, he lacked the same ability for long term financial planning, that he did for short term schemes to extract money from an increasingly gullible American public.

There is no denying that Obama cheerfully used fraud and strong arm tactics throughout his political career, but the chief weapon in his arsenal was flattery. Many of his supporters remember the special feeling of being made to feel that he was their friend. As one former aide wrote, “He taught us to laugh, he made us believe, and then he took all our money”.

This conflicted legacy helps explain Barack Obama’s popularity, even after his corruption and abuses of power destroyed the United States government, ending the era of the United States for good-- he was ranked 4th on the prestigious Dow Jones’ “Most Likable Celebrities in North America in 2019” index (Holo-Link).

It helped that Obama left the White House voluntarily after learning that there would be no more money left for his trips abroad, and that due to the failure of the Federal Reserve and the secession of 23 states from the Union, no national budget would be possible. He did of course leave with everything of value in the White House that his family and associates could grab or pry out of the walls, but by then most Americans were too busy dealing with the problems of the Great Partition to notice. Even the farewell party that burned down most of the White House seemed a small thing in the wake of the Detroit Food Riots or the discovery of the Red River Gulag (Holo-Link).

Still his popularity afterward enabled Obama to begin several successful careers in the entertainment industry, including a long-running stint on the soap opera General Hospital, his own line of shammy infomercials and a music career with such nostalgia singles as, “Where’s Da Money”, “Where All Da Money Go” and “What Happen to All Da Money?”

Even today viewers watching old fashioned television can still catch commercials of Obama in his older years, holding up a shammy cloth, dipping it in a spilled pool of olive oil and telling the audience to have faith that the mess would be gone. Even his famous tagline, “At a price that won’t bankrupt you, unlike me” was meant to be a good humored reference to his controversial two and a half terms in office.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 9, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

It's simple. The White House wants you to run because they want as large a majority as possible in the Senate. There are only a couple of seats left that are not either A) held by a popular Republican or B) in a state so red as to be unwinnable. The people they are asking are well aware that if they lose the race they are unemployed whereas Obama still has a job until at least 2012 and after that a very lucrative series of book deals and speaking engagements. Meanwhile, the prospective candidate is looking at a life in private practice for a while if they lose (in other words, they will actually have to work for a living - ugh!) So to run you have to 1) really want to be a senator and 2) be really confident you will win. 2010 is a long way away and there is no guarantee Obama will still be popular and that the public will not have started blaming Democrats in general if the economy is still sour. That is a tall sales order.

Posted by: caribis | July 9, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

He was the first black President of the United States, and he also became its last President when in 2019, after his term in office had been extended indefinitely by HR:0666 or “The Hope and Faith in Obama’s Everlasting Presidency Act” (Holo-Link), he was forced to leave office because the government had run out of money to pay for itself.

Though he lived a very public life, few could agree on even the basic facts of his life, such as where he was born, who his father was, or what his real name was, or even what race and gender he was. For a man who spent most of his life before the camera, his death leaves us with few answers about who Barack Obama (Holo-Link) really was. Obama himself did not help matters by using multiple names, multiple birthplaces and even passports.

The bestselling Presidential biographies of Obama, from Edmund Morris’ “America’s Greatest Con-Man” to Michael Beschloss’ “Obama: Citizen of the World” cover the range of opinions on Obama’s presidency. And long after the fall of the United States, there is still no real consensus by former Americans on who Obama really was.

Yet to many Barack Obama represents a nostalgic time in history, the last years when such diverse nations as the Confederate States of California (Holo-Link), the Republic of New Hampshire, the People’s Republic of Minnesota, the Empire of Texas, El Reino de Aztlan and the Arch-Duchy of Upper New York were all part of one single nation that stretched from coast to coast.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 9, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD:

"Joe Sixpack"? Really? I guess I live in a different universe than you -- USNA grads who get Ph.D.s at Harvard and become vice admirals aren't common in my neck of the woods.

And I second dcraven925's comments about Madigan, though I suspect Mark Kirk will be a formidable opponent for whichever D wins the primary, unlike the two Rs that ran for IL Senate against BHO (Jack Ryan and Alan Keyes) or whats-his-name that ran against Durbin last year.

Posted by: mnteng | July 9, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

"I think Quinn will not have an easy time of it given that he can be tied to Blogo and is not an incumbent by election."

Perhaps a local can correct me if I'm wrong; my understanding is that Quinn & Blago were not buddy-buddy - that in IL you don't run as a batman and robin team, but as seperate candidates. As mnteng notes, this can sometimes produce a Gov/Lt Gov from different parties.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 9, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

drindl, I'm sure this features in Voinovich's decision not to run, too. Used to be that Seniority got you a little respect in your party, but Specter, Snowe, Voinovich and Collins are pushed to the margins and told they aren't TRUE Republicans.

What can you say about a party that would rather lose seats than listen to a minority voice in their own party?
They're going to lose seats.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | July 9, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

nor do conservatives run incompetent yahoos for important offices

Posted by: chrisuxcox

Indeed, that is what the Libs just did. The disaster is just beginning unless the people wake up and force change from the change.

did you think change meant you would lose your job?

Did you thknk change meant we would be fired on by Korea?

did you think change meant we would apologize for being us

try this on : UNCHANGE

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 9, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Palin endorsements? New Jersey Republicans run screaming while fellow secessionist Rick Perry welcomes her endorsement. Probably only the reddest states' candidates will want to be associated with Her Ignorance.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 9, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

FarlingtonBlade writes
"Obama's approval rating has proved surprisingly resilient."

The reporting we're seeing this week - the Ohio poll in particular - is likely driven by a media desire to be the first to report on a fall from the heights. Its summer, news is slow these days & reporters are scrambling for a story. Touting a change in polling numbers is far easier than digging into the CIA story, explaining the intricacies of the health care debate, etc. The last two weeks were Ensign, Sanford & Palin, this week is Obama approval ratings, next week will be something different and equally unimportant.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 9, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

@dcraven925 - Well put. She might not be saying "NO", she might be saying "NOT YET". I was offered my current job 3 years before I took it. In the intervening three years, the factors that made DC a bad choice had changed and it became a good choice. Still, I think Quinn will not have an easy time of it given that he can be tied to Blogo and is not an incumbent by election.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 9, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD wrote:
The Illinois seat is not so certain, though and I do think the administration pushed a lot harder to get Madigan to run. I'm guessing she is staying out in order to run for Governor. I think she is more suited for an executive role anyways. But given the antics of Blagojevich and Burris, the voters might be ready to try a Republican out for a statewide seat.

My comment:
Madigan has expressly said that she's also not running for Governor. She's running for election as AG. As for the State, the voter's aren't ready for a Republican for statewide office. Remember that the last Republican Governor of Illinois was sent to prison after leaving office and Blago was always considered to be a "maverick" outside of the mainstream democratic party. As for Burris, he's a goner in the Democratic Primary. The only question is to whom. Mark Kirk may look appealing, but I just don't see him winning statewide.

Posted by: dcraven925 | July 9, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

But now I am 53, and that was a long, long time ago. As the GOP has become more doggedly conservative, Illinois has become more Democratic.

==

You insult the good name of authentic conservatism. The GOP isn't conservative, it's nutty. Conservatives don't make a religion out of finance, and conservatives don't make war on ideas, nor do conservatives run incompetent yahoos for important offices

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 9, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

The Lisa Madigan issue is far more complex. She not only turned down running for the Senate, she also turned down running for Governor. She has two very young children and has decided, at least for now, that she doesn't want a higher profile job than Illinois AG. Durbin's seat is up for election in 5 years and Quinn would likely not serve more than one term as Governor. Madigan's just a little over 40. She can wait the 4 years. This isn't a "rebuff" to Obama, its someone making sure that she is truly ready (and more importantly that her family is truly ready) before entering National Politics. And that's something that a lot of Politico's could learn from.

Posted by: dcraven925 | July 9, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure if the White House pressure is equal in all cases. With Pennsylvania, its most likely that a Democrat ends up with the seat whether it be Arlen Specter or Joe Sixpack. Obama's official position is that he is supporting Specter, but I can't see how Specter would be preferable to Sixpack when it comes to supporting his agenda.

The same thing is true in New York. The seat stays blue no matter what, so it doesn't matter so much who holds it. Also, it might be preferable to Obama to have a Manhattan based Senator like Maloney than an upstater like Gillebrand. (although Gillebrand has been voting a lot more liberal than her past record might have suggested)

The Illinois seat is not so certain, though and I do think the administration pushed a lot harder to get Madigan to run. I'm guessing she is staying out in order to run for Governor. I think she is more suited for an executive role anyways. But given the antics of Blagojevich and Burris, the voters might be ready to try a Republican out for a statewide seat.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 9, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

@drindl - Then how do you explain Charlie Crist? Particularly if he defeats Rubio. In VA, McDonnell is tacking to the center as if he had a nor'easter behind him.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 9, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

@bisom - Eggsactly. I'd never heard about this new metric until recently. Clearly, there has been a Google bombing as Rasmussen is something like the top 5 hits for Obama approval.

In truth, Obama's approval rating has proved surprisingly resilient. Reagan dropped to the mid-30s during the early 80s recession and the mid-term 1982 elections were a disaster. I anticipate Obama dropping below 50% as the recession drags on and this could be a tough mid-term election. The timing of the recovery and its strength will be everything.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 9, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Quick, I am doing a crossword puzzle. what is a four letter word starting with H for exteme distaste, loathing, spreading of wickedness?


Oh wait I just figured it out - Huff.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 9, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Coleman won't be running for gov after all:

The numbers: Coleman's favorable rating is only 38%, with 52% viewing him unfavorably.

Posted by: drindl | July 9, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse


The enemy's ideology drew him to attack American forces in Iraq with the intention to force an American loss. The more the mainstream media and Democrats celebrated each thousand American deaths, the more terrorists from all over the globe flocked to Iraq. Each worked with the other to further their own set of agendas and ideologies; one for political power and the other for twisted religious ideology. While doing so, we destroyed the enemy and their leaders, most going completely unreported. It was brilliant. So much so that they still haven't figured it out because they simply do not have the ability to do so. The domestic opposition did however have the ability to take credit for W's win last week, celebrating Iraqi victory over terrorism.


That is why I want to thank George W Bush and the military leaders who finally, finally after all the lost friends, lost Marines, lost three thousand plus Americans, had the courage and temerity to close with and engage this new enemy and defeat them in so many ways, crippling them to the point of near extinction. You also taught our new president how to authorize a surge like the one now taking place in Afghanistan. Leftist pettiness would never allow them to call it that, but that is exactly what it is patterned after, General Petraeus.


Thank you President Bush. I know it doesn't mean much coming from some former Marine in Missouri but I appreciate what you did and I'll never forget it.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/07/why_im_thankful_for_george_w_b.html

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 9, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

This bit about Maloney, the NY Senate seat and Obama doesn't make a lot of sense. That is a pretty safe seat for almost any Democrat in the forseeable future. Whether its Gillibrand or Maloney on the ballot next time, this has zero bearing on Obama's ability to move a legislative agenda forward.

Which leaves us with Pennsylvania. I think the idea that the White House has somehow failed by not manipulating a single state's Senate primary field is ridiculous. If I lived in PA, I would want the White House to stay out of it, which they apparently have.

Posted by: JacksonLanders | July 9, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

margaret, moderation is dead in that party. eventually you will see snowe and collins driven out as well.

Posted by: drindl | July 9, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Farlington Blade, to followup on polling, here're the overall approval ratings from the June Wapost/ABC poll (used for convenience; though they're out of date):


6/21/09
approve: 65
strong: 36
somewhat: 29
dispprove: 31
somewhat: 10
strongly: 22
no opinion: 4

More recent polls show fewer people approving strongly and more people disapproving strongly, giving 'FraudObama' a comforting feeling.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 9, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

George W Bush was that leader -- but how was he going to defeat these guys?


General Tommy Franks told us precisely how on Day One of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Few caught it. It was so very simple and so very brilliant and almost everyone thought it only applied to one objective; overthrowing Saddam Hussein. Remember what he said?


"We will close with and engage the enemy at a time and place of our choosing."


It was genius and anyone in the United States who thought it only meant Saddam Hussein were rope-a-doped along with the new enemy. The American rope-a-dopers whose occupation it was to destroy George W Bush, unknowingly helped severely weaken the most difficult enemy faced by any state or alliance in human history.


Now how did we win and cripple for life this new enemy? Using their ideology against them, we lured them into a location in which we could engage them using our superior capabilities on a battlefield with which we were quite familiar. This enemy is a worldwide cancer and occupies not merely Afghanistan (an extremely difficult theater to say the least) but also the entire globe. It would have been impossible to go to several nations, cross their sovereign borders, find the terrorist hideouts then close with and engage them.


Imagine the worldwide hair lighting on fire had that happened. It was bad enough when yellow cake was hidden by glasses of mint tea in Niger from one of the Bush hating torches. Barney Frank would have gone straight, found his false teeth, worn them and lit his hair on fire if we invaded several nations. We didn't. We drew them into Iraq and we killed them there. Simple and genius.


Even Barack Obama admitted it -- and as usual, was clueless when he did so. Remember his pre-election interview on Fox News with Bill O'Reilly? Bill asked him if George W Bush was right about the surge and defeating al Qaeda in Iraq. Remember what Obama said?


"Before Bush invaded, there was no al Qaeda in Iraq."


You got it Sun Tzu, er, I mean Mr. President. The strategery worked as planned, just like Tommy Franks said it would "at a time and place of OUR choosing."

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 9, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Unusual changes in weather patterns, more proof of global climate change, sometimes incorrectly referred to by the ignorant and the Exxon Wh*res.

Posted by: drindl | July 9, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

@mark-in-austin,
Sestak is going to do great things for the Democrats -- and one of them will be keeping Specter's toes on the line for the next year and a half. Specter's got a big ego (even more than most people on the Hill) and if he is too independent of his new party, the Democratic base (we have one, too) will fall-in behind Sestak.

Sestak isn't well-known statewide (a little like Toomey WHO?) and that would work against him in a statewide campaign. Better to build his reputation over the next 6 years and ride out Specter's Victory Lap. Arlen is very popular in PA -- he has long attracted cross-over voters who think outside of party.

I like Specter. I don't always agree with him, and I'm not sure he can make-himself over into a good Democrat. But I think he really puts his heart into his job, I think he's intelligent, I think he is honest and he has a lot of experience that he can do good work with. I think at his age he could have chosen to stay in his party and fight for moderation -- he was in the position to do that. But then Tom Ridge sees it as a loser, too, and they have a better idea of what is going on in their own party.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | July 9, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse


Obama’s socialist backing goes back at least to 1996, when he received the endorsement of the Chicago branch of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) for an Illinois state senate seat. Later, the Chicago DSA newsletter reported that Obama, as a state senator, showed up to eulogize Saul Mendelson, one of the “champions” of “Chicago’s democratic left” and a long-time socialist activist. Obama’s stint as a “community organizer” in Chicago has gotten some attention, but his relationship with the DSA socialists, who groomed and backed him, has been generally ignored.

Posted by: FraudObama | July 9, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Chicago has its coolest
July 8 in 118 years
Chicago Tribune, by Tom Skilling

For the 12th time this meteorological summer (since June 1), daytime highs failed to reach 70 degrees Wednesday. Only one other year in the past half century has hosted so many sub-70-degree days up to this point in a summer season -- 1969, when 14 such days occurred.

More global warming.

Hahahahahahahahahahaha

Libs have gone round the bend. they cut missile defense while Korea is firing at us and spend money on global warming while everywhere is cooling. Call it Lib logic. Call it ruin.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 9, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

White House spells Obama's name wrong

Someone might want to look into whether an impostor took President Obama's place during his trip to Russia.

In a release touting an agreement between Obama and President Dmitry Medvedev over how to craft a follow-up to the START arms reduction treaty, the White House claimed the document had been signed by one "Barak Obama."

Maybe they should just stick with "Barry" or whoever he is.

Posted by: FraudObama | July 9, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Farlington Blade writes
"@Fraud - Invented statistics are meaningless. He's at about 60%."


'blade- the original post only references 'strong' feelings: strong approval vs strong disapproval. Overall approval is ignored, which is more convenient to the argument being made.

.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 9, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

The Obama administration's latest lame excuse for its failed stimulus spending plan is that it underestimated the severity of the recession. "We misread how bad the economy was," Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said Sunday(Snip) The White House has been coming up with a lot of half-baked reasons why the president's massive $800 billion plan has not made a dent in the mushrooming unemployment rate, but this was a beaut.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 9, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Let's play how weak can you be. current champion Jimmy Carter has the newcomer hot on his heels.

Russia is no longer our belligerent enemy. Whether the Russian Bear has 2,200 nuclear warheads or "just" 1,675 is a comparatively minor detail. In contrast, Iran's possession of even one nuclear warhead on a long-range missile is all-important to us and our European allies. We must have a missile defense system in place to defend against nuclear blackmail. That is why President Bush planned the missile defense facility for Eastern Europe, which Obama now seems willing to entertain stopping in return for soothing promises from Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

The Russians oppose our missile defense plan in Eastern Europe, but with no good reason, since it will have zero effect on their ability to defend themselves. Obama and the Russians have agreed to disagree on missile defense, for now. But Obama's comments yesterday, combined with his strident opposition to missile defense during his 2008 election campaign, provide ample reason to fear that he will make the system a bargaining chip when the topic next surfaces later this year. This must not happen. America's safety cannot be traded for arms reduction, concessions on the status of the former Soviet republics, or even Russian cooperation on Iran.!

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 9, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

It's been said before, and is already coming to fruition:

The politics of personal destruction inflicted on non-liberals by the MSM, and a woefully uncivil constituency, can only result in the death of talent in Washington.

Nobody of genuine talent and ethics (like Lisa Madigan) will consider serving a cruel and ungrateful public that entertains itself at the expense of families and children of candidates.

Liberals, and sadly the rest of the nation, will get precisely what liberals deserve. Zero talent, zero vision, zero honor, zero dedication to anything except self enrichment.

Posted by: EcoAZ1 | July 9, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

spent over $150,000 on travel costs during the first half of the 2009 fiscal year.

Posted by: drivl


doesn't even cover banana despots date night.

I love how Libs think 10 billion in savings equals 2 trillion in spending. not really math whizzes are they?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 9, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

margaretmeyers:

Abner Mikva! Good one -- though I have to admit he's only part of IL political lore to me. The novelty of Mikva being Jewish is kind of ironic now considering the significant Jewish populations on the North Side nowadays.

1969 was apparently an interesting time in IL. Paul Simon was Lt. Gov. for Ogilvie, the last time IL had Gov/Lt Gov from different parties. Back in those days, I don't think the Ds bothered to run candidates in our district (IL-14/13) for many years. Now there's a challenge every election, though Biggert is moderate enough to win pretty handily.

Posted by: mnteng | July 9, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

more republican idiocy:

On June 25, the Arizona Senate’s Retirement and Rural Development Committee discussed the prospects for uranium mining in the state. During the hearing, State Senator Sylvia Allen (R), the vice chairman of the committee, argued in favor of mining by saying that the earth “has been here 6,000 years, long before anybody had environmental laws, and somehow it hasn’t been done away with.” “We need to get the uranium here in Arizona, so this state can get the money from it,” argued Allen

Posted by: drindl | July 9, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Tax and spend republicans:

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) has tried to portray himself as an upstanding lawmaker dedicated to fiscal restraint. He has frequently criticized “wasteful spending” in the federal government and even called President Obama’s spending plans “reckless.”

Last month, Politico published a chart illustrating the transportation costs from the offices of all 100 U.S. Senators. Topping off the list was Cornyn, who has spent over $150,000 on travel costs during the first half of the 2009 fiscal year.

Posted by: drindl | July 9, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

More R racism:

Last week, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) claimed that Judge Sotomayor may not be fit for the Supreme Court because she served on the board of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (now known as “LatinoJustice PRLDEF”), a highly regarded civil rights organization. On Monday, a group of 25 leading Latino organizations, including the Hispanic National Bar Association, the National Council of La Raza, and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, sent a letter to Sessions slamming his questionable attacks on LatinoJustice PRLDEF:

LatinoJustice PRLDEF is a strong and vibrant institution and its work serves not only the Latino community, but the nation as a whole because it advances the basic American principles of equal opportunity and equal access to justice for all in our society. While we each have the right to disagree on specific issues, LatinoJustice PRLDEF’s body of work deserves our respect and yours. Attacks on Latino advocacy and civil rights organizations are not new – we have seen figures in the media mischaracterize and slander our good works, using provocative terms that fan the flames of ethnic animosity. We expect and are entitled to better from a sitting member of the United States Senate.

Sadly, however, Sessions has a long history of these kinds of attacks. Indeed, his own nomination to the federal bench was rejected by the Senate in 1986 because of Sessions’ record of bringing racially-motivated prosecutions, belittling African-American attorneys, and describing the NAACP as an “un-American” and “Communist-inspired” organization that “forced civil rights down the throats of people.” Twenty-three years later, Sessions hasn’t changed one bit.

Posted by: drindl | July 9, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

thumbs down on palin"

RNC Chairman Michael Steele has been sending mixed messages on Sarah Palin in recent days. On Tuesday, he said that he believed 2012 was “off the table” for Palin. He then backtracked and said he meant that talking about 2012 was off the table, adding that he welcomed Palin’s presence. But yesterday at a state GOP event in Indiana, Steele summarily dismissed not only Palin, but also Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC) and Sen. John Ensign (R-NV):

Steele on Wednesday brushed off the recent incidents as “old news, old school.”

“That’s not the generation of candidates I’m trying to groom, he said.

Posted by: drindl | July 9, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

More R racism:

'Yesterday, a number of blogs reported that right-wing Rep. Steve King (R-IA) was the lone dissenter on a House vote to acknowledge the role that slave labor had in constructing the U.S. Capitol. The resolution would merely authorize the placement of a marker inside the new Capitol Visitor Center to acknowledge the work of slaves.'

Posted by: drindl | July 9, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

We should find it refreshing when a politician is willing to step down from one job before seeking another. I know I admired Bob Dole when he not only relinquished his position as Senate Majority Leader but actually resigned from the U.S. Senate before seeking the presidency. By contrast, Barack Obama served in the United States Senate for about five minutes before announcing his intention to run for president. He then proceeded to draw a paycheck from the taxpayers while doing virtually nothing in Washington connected to his real job.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 9, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 30% of the nation's voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-eight percent (38%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of –8. The President’s Approval Index rating has fallen six points since release of a disappointing jobs report last week (see trends).

Thirty-nine percent (39%) now give the President good or excellent marks for handling the economy while 43% say he is doing a poor job


I must assume that basement dwelling moonbats are inventing their own facts again.


http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 9, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Emanuel was Clinton's guy.

Posted by: drindl | July 9, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Emanuel wasn't part of Obama team that defeated Clinton. He was on Clinton's team, wasn't he ? Subrosa, of course.

Posted by: mihalovitch | July 9, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Emanuel wasn't part of Obama team that defeated Clinton. He was on Clinton's team, wasn't he ? Subrosa, of course.

Posted by: mihalovitch | July 9, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

@Fraud - Invented statistics are meaningless. He's at about 60%.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 9, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Over the past week, Obama also came out in support of an anti-American Honduran leader seeking to extend his term of office beyond constitutional limits. The administration sided against the Honduran Supreme Court, Congress and Attorney General, suspended aid, and supported OAS action against the country. The administration now appears to be backing off—because the Honduran people stood up.

Obama has set a series of false notes in foreign policy by standing silently for a week as huge crowds in Iran courageously protested a stolen election and failing to support Honduras against a Chavez-like attempt to avoid the rules of a democracy. He has not even been consistent: in the first case, he feared being characterized as the Wild “Meddling” West; in the second, he had no compunctions against major meddling.

In another sense, however, he was consistent. In both cases he failed to support the people who were standing up, which makes his rhetoric in Russia still another false note.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 9, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

In a potentially alarming trend for the White House, independent voters are deserting President Barack Obama nationally and especially in key swing states, recent polls suggest. Obama’s job approval rating hit a — still healthy — low of 56 percent in the Gallup Poll on Wednesday. And pollsters are debating whether Obama’s expansive and expensive policy proposals or the ground-level realities of a still-faltering economy are driving the falling numbers.


Only direction is down.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 9, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Kristen Gillibrand is not going to win a Senate seat in New York. Once Maloney is fully in the race and the WH sees how much more support she garners than Gillibrand, they will back Maloney.

Gillibrand's only real supporter is Governor Paterson, whom we did not elect, and who is about as popular in NY as West Nile virus. He will be defeated by the first Dem who steps up to the plate -- probably Cuomo - and Maloney will be our senator.

Posted by: drindl | July 9, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

You must watch this video of his former chief of staff. This is not only slimy behavior but an example of terrible judgment by two US Senators. While the slimy behavior is despicable it is the judgment that disqualifies them from office. The behavior by Ensign shows he considers himself as above the same morality that governs the rest of us. Colburn shows that he thinks a money can take care of any transgression. Neither are fit to hold office. I can't wait until today's show is posted.

Posted by: bradcpa | July 9, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse


MINUS EIGHT

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 30% of the nation's voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-eight percent (38%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of –8. The President’s Approval Index rating has fallen six points since release of a disappointing jobs report last week.

Posted by: FraudObama | July 9, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin:
Sestak needs to get some more name recognition before the race will get interesting. Political junkies and residents of PA-7 probably know of him, but around here, nobody cares right now. Also, seeing how much influence Fast Eddie still has will be interesting. I think he views himself as a bit of a king-maker, but this budget battle (and our $1 billion deficit) will probably leave him a bit bloodied. I'm also interested in seeing how much BHO will campaign/fund raise for Specter.

Posted by: mnteng | July 9, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

More Bad News for Democrats, eh, CC?

Posted by: drindl | July 9, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Ack. "Liaison" in French is feminine, not masculine. "La liaison dangereuse" please.


Posted by: mnteng | July 9, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I'd run from the Senate not for it.

Posted by: affirmativeactionpresident | July 9, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Mnteng, a fellow traveler!

That dichotomy between the Cook County Democrats and the Downstate Republicans kept things interesting in Illinois -- and I think it worked well for us.
Paul Simon was a turning point for Illinois, but I'm also going to put forward Abner Mikva's election in 1969-- a Democrat to represent the North Shore? And liberal? And Jewish? it was a big moment... but then you were just a tot. All of my Evanston HS friends campaigned for Mikva. I worked on the Ford-Dole campaign in 1976, but Phyllis Shlafly DROVE me into the arms of NOW and I have never looked back.

My mother was born in Uniontown (her father was with Mine Safety Appliance from Year One), so heck yes I've been to Pennsyltucky. The kids and I were at Fallingwater just last summer; we also hit the county fair in Greensburg (you put on a great demolition derby). We then went up to Murtha territory to see the Johnstown Flood Museum and ride the inclined plane.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | July 9, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Higgsbosono,

Unless you know something about Senator Ensign's hijinques that the rest of us don't, it should actually be "le liaison dangereuse," n'est pas? Chris had his article (grammatically speaking) wrong but his noun right...

Now, go your way and sin at every opportunity.

Posted by: commeca | July 9, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Chris has conflated two different memes here. (1) The WH is having trouble recruiting. (2) The WH is having trouble dissuading. Although it's all about their judgment as to the best candidates, perhaps that should be left to potential candidates and, heaven forbid, the voters. Don't forget, Elizabeth Dole was beaten by someone not recruited to run against her.

@higgsbosono - Wouldn't le liaison dangereuse also work? Given that it was one liaison, it seems the singular is more appropriate. Mind you, adding the plural to adjectives is one of the hardest habits I've had to develop cuando hablando español.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 9, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

mnteng and margaretmeyers - I like both Specter and Sestak from this distance, and think Sestak will be in the Senate someday. How do you two see the race - and do you generally like both of them?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | July 9, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

The truth is liberals are furious they won't have Sarah Palin to kick around anymore -- at least not with Palin's hands tied behind her back by her public office.

Something tells me Keith Olbermann isn't going to be pulling any big numbers this summer attacking Eric Cantor and Michele Bachmann. I don't anticipate any sudden outbreaks of "Mitch McConnell Derangement Syndrome."

Soon we'll only hear about Keith when his creepy e-mails using his mother's death to hit on chicks start making the rounds again. (Tip to Keith: When a girl refuses to give you her phone number, her assistant's phone number or her personal e-mail address, and only gives you her assistant's e-mail address, you're not halfway in the sack.)

Bonus: If Olbermann gets canceled as a result of Palin's resignation, that will put her in a really good position for 2012.

But instead of being honest and saying, "Oh well, it was a good ride while it lasted," liberal chatterers indignantly demand: "Is this not the greatest betrayal a public servant ever committed against the people?"

On one hand, liberals are enraged at the heinousness of Mark Sanford -- whom they didn't vote for -- for not resigning and, on the other, they're enraged at Palin -- whom they also didn't vote for -- for resigning.

The peculiarly venomous hatred of Palin is driven by women of the left and their whipped consorts. All that needs to happen is for a feminist to overhear two Nation readers saying, "I hate to admit it, but Palin is kind of hot" and ...

WHAT??????????? YOU CALL THAT HOT? I'LL HAVE YOU KNOW WE'VE GOT A MEGA-SUPER HOTTIE IN DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. AND NEED I REMIND YOU AGAIN OF THE RAW SEX APPEAL OF RACHEL MADDOW?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 9, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Folks, if you're going to use foreign expressions, at least get them right.

"Among the revelations from the [Doug Hampton] interview: Ensign pursued les liaison dangereuse..."

Try: "...les liaisons dangereuses..."

Making the pronoun plural means you have to
make the verb and its modifiers plural as well.

Now go in peace and sin no more.

Posted by: higgsbosono | July 9, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday we read that the House Republican techniques are winning. Today we read of the White House's vaunted political operation's recruiting struggles.

Two thoughts: Maybe Chris is making Michael Steele's RNC press releases more readable and/or it's good to know that the Republican Party of America, which didn't completely kill the U.S. from 2001 through 2008 will get a second chance to finish off the nation.

Posted by: Patriot3 | July 9, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

margaretmeyers:

We could have been IL neighbors though I'm about 10 years behind you. I think the watershed moment for the IL Ds was Paul Simon's election to the Senate in 1984, beating Chuck Percy. Before that, it was Chicago (D) vs. downstate (R). With downstate D Simon (socially liberal, fiscally conservative), the Rs had little room to maneuver. The turn to the right by the Rs has made for an interesting political dynamic in my family.

Now, I guess, we are PA "neighbors" though I don't imagine you wander out to Pennsyltucky too much. But I guess you are closer (geographically) to scrivener ...

Posted by: mnteng | July 9, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Who wants to ruin their reputation working for a crooked socialist thug?

Yesterday the wife of the banana despot was spied carrying an $8k alligator purse. buh bye J crew. Hello Idi Amin. even the kids are wearing thousand dollar skirts.

Like my jet. Pretty cool huh? watch me make this guy salute. Heh, heh.

Meanwhile America's sweetheart is caught in coveralls pulling up smelly fish.

the difference is stark.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 9, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

The Fix writes
"The ad goes on to allege that Kirk "opposed Obama's plans to fix the economy at every turn" and "helped us get into this mess" by voting to ship jobs overseas. The ad ends with a picture of former president George W. Bush with his arm draped around Kirk."


Dems are going to have to do better than that if they want to win elections. GWB will be fading from voters' minds by Nov 2010. Put another way, "what have you done for me lately?"

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 9, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

If I want rock from NY, I'll take John Hall.

Posted by: dingogumby | July 9, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

The headline is a bit on the hyperbolic side; after all, if in the text you concede that recruiting is not a priority, can you fairly describe recruiting 'struggles'?

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 9, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

When I was a young'un, Illinois was full of moderate Republicans like Charles Percy, Richard Ogilvie, Big Jim Thompson, Ed Derwinsky, Everett Dirksen, etc. I was raised in a Republican household there myself, voted Republican in my first elections.

But now I am 53, and that was a long, long time ago. As the GOP has become more doggedly conservative, Illinois has become more Democratic.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | July 9, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade:

She also thinks that no one knew about Palin's last pregnancy. Not the brightest bulb.

Posted by: JakeD | July 9, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Great news!

Posted by: JakeD | July 9, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I find it funny that on this same site I read two years ago constently how the media (and CC in general) was anti-republican and now it is the opposite end of the spectrum that is singing that he is a GOP mouthpiece.
News flash people, when your party is in power the media is going to report more on you and be more critical then when you are the opposition.

Palin for Senate, why so she can quit 3 years into her term 'because of country'.

Posted by: AndyR3 | July 9, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

@katem - Since when is Illinois a Republican stronghold?

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 9, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Blarg and Andy. Let me add that separation of powers and the federal-state relationship were not predicated on the Prez choosing the Congress.

I understand when a Prez campaigns for one of his partisans, of course. And sometimes an incumbent may have earned personal loyalty from a Prez. But this random mucking around in congressional politics is "unpresidential".

Posted by: mark_in_austin | July 9, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Every day brings more doom and gloom from the anti-Obama media...

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | July 9, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

I don't know why the White House's preferred candidate should get a clear primary. Let the people of New York and Pennsylvania decide who they want as their candidate, not the President.

And what's so great about a clear primary anyway? Pundits said that the long primary battle between Obama and Hillary would weaken the eventual winner. Instead, the contested primary gave Obama far more visibility than an easy victory, while helping to register large numbers of new Democratic voters. The effect would be smaller in a state contest, but it should still exist. Primaries are a good thing. Elected officials tend to forget that.

Posted by: Blarg | July 9, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Chris, you sure show your political bent with this column and yesterday's. So certain Dems don't want to run in GOP stronghouses. Don't the GOP do the same? Put weak candidates in districts you don't have a chance in winning? Where is the speculation about Palin running for senate?

Posted by: katem1 | July 9, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

PA PREDICTION: Specter won't risk a humiliating primary defeat, will throw his support to Sestak, write a best-selling, eye-opening multi-milliondollar memoir, and will crusade for the restoration of civil and human rights -- rights decimated by ongoing below-the-radar "programs of personal destruction" spawned or expanded under Bush-Cheney.

***

"When you see the abuse of power, you've got to speak."

-- VP candidate Joseph Biden, Aug. 27, 2008, Democratic National Convention

Bush-Cheney human and civil rights abuses continue...


THE EXTRAJUDICIAL TARGETING/PUNISHMENT NETWORK:

AN IDEOLOGICALLY-DRIVEN SOCIAL PURGE THAT VIOLATES THE HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS OF INNOCENT BUT 'TARGETED' U.S. CITIZENS...

ON THE STREETS OF NYC, DC, PHILLY, BOSTON...

...AND IN CITIES AND TOWNS ACROSS AMERICA.

And federal citizen volunteer programs fund the vigilante "community stalkers" who are terrorizing their neighbors as complicit local police look the other way...

...harassing, vandalizing, destroying their livelihoods as the health of their "targets" is degraded by widely-deployed microwave radiation ("directed energy") weapons -- the long-anticipated (and feared) weaponization of the electromagnetic spectrum.

And Congress and the mainstream media are largely unaware.

A parallel array of federal "programs of personal financial destruction" slowly decimate the family finances of "target" families -- surely a factor in the mortgage meltdown that precipitated the global financial crisis.

And Congress and the mainstream media are largely unaware.

When victims complain, they are told there is "nothing to investigate."

True -- because federal and local authorities KNOW ALL ABOUT IT.

Will Congress, the national press corps, and Team Obama wake up and realize that democracy and human rights are being stolen at the GRASSROOTS?


http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 9, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

"Clearly it's not their first priority like it was with George Bush.",

Well I would consider that a plus. Maybe Obama beleives that since our coutnry is going to heck in a handbasket that he should focus on fixing our problems and not strengthening his Filibuster proof majority.
Also I wanted to add that most of the seats that are still "in play" in the house for the democrats are pretty solid GOP districts since we already won the toss-up areas. Additionally, the senate recruits that the GOP are touting aren't that impressive either. Most if not all are retreads or small time Representatives.

On a sidenote Stephanie Herseth Sandlin has real potential and I could see her someday running for the senate. She is still very young and could even have eyes for the White House. I could imagine her as a very strong VP candidate for someone like Joe Biden or Mark Warner if they run in 2016. I don't see the Democratic ticket not having a woman on it next time around (either Hillary at the top or someone else as VP).

Posted by: AndyR3 | July 9, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

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