Morning Fix: Biden as fundraiser in chief
1. Vice President Biden will be in Phoenix, Ariz. this morning to raise money for targeted Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick and Harry Mitchell just one day after he was in Las Vegas to raise cash for Nevada Rep. Dina Titus. All three House members represent competitive districts; Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) won Kirkpatrick's 1st with 54 percent and Mitchell's 5th with 51 percent while President Obama took 55 percent in Titus' 3rd. Biden has been a workhorse publicly and privately for vulnerable House Democrats so far this year; he boasted -- stunning, no? -- that he had visited 54 districts in 2009. Biden's presence in any district is sure to bring two things for a Democratic member or candidate: 1) money (and lots of it) and 2) press attention. Given that everywhere he goes Biden talks relentlessly about the jobs created by the stimulus plan, it's a win-win for the administration. They accrue chits with dozens of House members while pushing their job creation message in every nook and cranny of the country. And, a look at Biden's travels -- events for members in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania -- shows the administration is firmly focused on the Rust Belt in 2010 and 2012.
2. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton appeared on "Meet the Press" on Sunday. Missed it? Here's what you need to know: 1) Clinton pledged not to "second guess any decision that the attorney general made" on trying Khalid Sheik Mohammed in New York. 2) About Afghan President Hamid Karzai she said: "He has his strengths and he has his weaknesses." 3) "I don't think I can overstate how damaged our country was in the eyes of people around the world when President Obama took office." 4) Clinton absolutely refused to take the bait on former Alaska governor Sarah Palin's new book, which is due out tomorrow. On Palin's proposal to have coffee, Clinton said she would do it. But, on Palin's politics, Clinton demurred: "I truly am out of commenting on, on politics. That is something that is not appropriate for the secretary of state."
3. Speaking of Palin, she was active on her Facebook page over the weekend -- using it to condemn the Obama administration's decision to try KSM (among others) in New York and rebut a stinging Associated Press story about the truthiness of some of the allegations contained in "Going Rogue." Palin called the story "opposition research" and added: "We'll keep setting the record straight, and we'll keep reminding some in the media that Americans are very tired of their non-objective reporting." The attacks on the media are like catnip to Palin's supporters -- more than 6,500 flagged their approval for the post and more than 2,000 comments (mostly supportive) were posted in less than 24 hours. For those who thought Palin's book tour would be an attempt to soften or moderate her image for the vast middle of the country -- and the electorate -- which is skeptical about her, the early returns suggest she is going in a very different direction. Again, be careful not to see "2012" in everything Palin is doing as we genuinely believe she has not made up her mind about a presidential bid.
4. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) will resign -- win or lose -- following her March 2 primary fight against Gov. Rick Perry (R), according to sources familiar with her thinking. After months of waffling about when she would leave the Senate, Hutchison said late last week she, in fact, wouldn't be leaving the Senate after all -- at least not until next spring. While Hutchison's allies sought to paint the choice as part and parcel of her desire to fight for the state, her long mulling process will be seen by many as the definition of indecisiveness. Assuming Hutchison stays true to her word and resigns next March, the special election to replace her, which is already very much under way, will be called in either May 2010 or in conjunction with the November 2010 general. An x-factor: Perry has broad discretion about when to call a special under an "emergency" provision in state law. And, depending on the outcome of the primary, Perry could be in an very unpredictable mood.
5. The White House got their man in Wisconsin over the weekend when Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) announced he would seek the seat being vacated by Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle (D) in 2010. The Barrett candidacy brings to an end a significant behind-the-scenes battle within the Democratic party that had Lt. Gov. Barb Lawton in and then out of the race. Democrats believe Barrett's profile as mayor and the national attention he drew when he sought to stop an attack outside the state fair in August (Barrett was injured in the incident and continues to recuperate) will provide a solid foundation for a run. While Democrats were exuberant about Barrett's candidacy, his defeat in the 2002 primary against Doyle and his long contemplation of this race should be slightly worrisome. Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, the preferred Republican nominee, came out of the gates on offense against Barrett: "If you like the big spending, big taxing policies of Jim Doyle, then you'll love Mayor Tom Barrett," said Keith Gilkes, campaign manager for Walker.
6. The Kansas City Star's Steve Kraske, the man so good he made the Fix's list of best political reporters in two different states, has penned a conventional-wisdom setting piece on the Kansas Senate primary between Republican Reps. Jerry Moran and Todd Tiahrt. The CW? The race is Moran's to lose. "The whispering among some members of the Kansas political class last week centered on whether Tiahrt would even remain in a race that now tilts decidedly uphill," wrote Kraske. Ouch. Moran's advantages: he represents roughly three quarters of the Sunflower State in his massive 1st district and he has a HUGE pot of money ($3.5 million on hand at the end of September) to spend on the race. Tiahrt's hope: His grassroots support among movement conservatives will mean a major organizational and turnout edge in next year's primary. With all that said, we don't make a habit of betting against Kraske.
7. Trouble is brewing in Colorado for Republicans with the news that former representative Tom Tancredo (R) is now likely to run for governor in 2010. Tancredo's interest comes in the wake of state Sen. Josh Penry's surprising decision to drop his candidacy last week. Penry's opt-out left former Rep. Scott McInnis, a noted moderate within the party, as the only serious Republican in the mix. Penry's hand was forced by the fact that much of the conservative money -- as well as former governor Bill Owens (R) -- had lined up, somewhat inexplicably, behind McInnis. Those money men will certainly stay with McInnis with Tancredo in the contest but the the latter's strong anti-immigration stance has turned him into a cult hero among grassroots conservatives. As always in politics, be careful what you wish for. . . .
8. There are only 22 days left in the Democratic primary fight for the Senate seat of the late Ted Kennedy, a stunningly low key affair that is almost certain to be won by state Attorney General Martha Coakley. Coakley has used her name identification and financial edge to turn this contest, which also features Rep. Mike Capuano, Boston Celtics owner Steve Pagliuca and City Year co-founder Alan Khazei, into a snooze. Pagliuca has done everything he can to make the race interesting -- from spending nearly $4 million of his own money to hammering Coakley and Capuano for their stances on a provision in the heath care bill that would eliminate federal funding for abortions.
9. Here's a tidbit from our Monday Fix column in the Post of which all 2010 candidates should make note: "In Pew Research Center's polling, just over half of Americans said they would like to see their own Member of Congress reelected next fall. Just over a third -- 34 percent -- said they want to see most incumbents reelected in the midterms."
10. Lou Dobbs told the Associated Press that his parting from CNN was "amicable." Added Dobbs: "I spent 29 years there building that company, and I wish everyone there nothing but the best, and they have reciprocated with me."
November 16, 2009; 5:45 AM ET
Categories: Morning Fix
Save & Share: Previous: N.C.'s Etheridge bows out of running for Senate seat
Next: The most important number in (Palin) politics today
Posted by: mcgeenate | November 17, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: sverigegrabb | November 16, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Common_Cents1 | November 16, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: leapin | November 16, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: leapin | November 16, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: leapin | November 16, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ModerateVoter | November 16, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: nodebris | November 16, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: sverigegrabb | November 16, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: DEBWOOD1948 | November 16, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: drindl | November 16, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: ModerateVoter | November 16, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: jaxas | November 16, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: drindl | November 16, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: scrivener50 | November 16, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: snowbama | November 16, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: drindl | November 16, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: drindl | November 16, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: drindl | November 16, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: drindl | November 16, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: snowbama | November 16, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: drindl | November 16, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: snowbama | November 16, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: nodebris | November 16, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: snowbama | November 16, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: snowbama | November 16, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: drindl | November 16, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: jaxas | November 16, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: AndyR3 | November 16, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: drindl | November 16, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: margaretmeyers | November 16, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 16, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: shrink2 | November 16, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: AndyR3 | November 16, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: snowbama | November 16, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: snowbama | November 16, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: DEBWOOD1948 | November 16, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: mcknight131 | November 16, 2009 7:30 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: mcknight131 | November 16, 2009 7:30 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 16, 2009 7:23 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: DwightCollins | November 16, 2009 7:13 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.