Tim Pawlenty endorses Kasich, Renacci in Ohio
1. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty on Friday will back former Ohio Rep. John Kasich's bid for governor and Jim Renacci's challenge to Ohio Rep. John Boccieri, the latest in a series of Midwestern endorsements from the all-but-certain 2012 presidential candidate.
Pawlenty -- through his Freedom First PAC -- had previously endorsed former Rep. Rob Portman, who is running for the Senate in the Buckeye State, and former Ohio Rep. Steve Chabot, who is trying to reclaim the Cincinnati-area seat he lost in 2008.
For the past decade, Ohio has been the swingiest of swing states: George W. Bush's slim margin there over Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in 2004 handed him a second term, although in the wake of that victory Democrats have scored across the board victories for governor, Senate and several U.S. House seats in 2006 and 2008.
Pawlenty's focus on Ohio is part of a broader strategic effort to use the power of his endorsements -- and the donations that come with them -- to build an image as a governor from the center of the country who understands the hopes and fears of people who live in that area, which also happens to be the central battleground in the 2012 presidential race.
That's not to say Pawlenty isn't dabbling in other races across the country; he'll endorse Arkansas Rep. John Boozman's Senate candidacy and Razorback State 1st district candidate Rick Crawford on Friday, and will travel to Oklahoma Tuesday to raise campaign cash for Rep. Mary Fallin's front-running gubernatorial candidacy.
Pawlenty's latest slate of endorsements cap a week that saw former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee -- both of whom also are mentioned as potential 2012 contenders -- announce a series of candidates they are supporting.
For Romney, Pawlenty, Huckabee and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin -- who has issued a series of endorsements, including Fallin on Thursday, that have produced widely varying results for the candidates on the receiving end -- spreading donations around to aspiring candidates and traveling the country in support of them amounts to the spring training portion of the next presidential race. Most people don't watch it, but it sets the tone for everything to come over the next few years.
2. Even as Pawlenty wades into Ohio, an organization funded by the Democratic Governors Association is launching a new ad that hits Kasich for his time on Wall Street.
"Now we know how John Kasich got rich working on Wall Street," says the narrator of the Building a Stronger Ohio ad, noting that the former Ohio member of Congress set up meetings between the state's pension officials and his colleagues at Lehmann Brothers.
"When Lehmann Brothers collapsed, Ohio seniors lost $480 million from their retirement funds," says the narrator. "John Kasich got rich while Ohio seniors lost millions."
The ad is the third anti-Kasich spot funded by the group, which has received $1.5 million in contributions from the DGA and spent roughly $1 million to date.
Democrats insist the ads have served to erode Kasich's numbers in his race against Gov. Ted Strickland (D). There is a dearth of quality polling in the contest, but what is out there suggests the race is an absolute jump ball.
3. Florida businessman Jeff Greene's (D) unusual Senate campaign is living up to its billing, as the self-funded candidate has launched an attack ad against his primary opponent -- in Washington D.C.
The eccentric billionaire's campaign has gone up with an ad in the nation's capital seeking to press members of Congress into investigating Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.) for seeking earmarks for a man now charged with fraud.
Greene's attacks on Meek's ties to developer Dennis Stackhouse haven't been big news in Washington, but Greene aims to change that. The ad points to Florida newspapers and their calls for more information about the matter. "Yet Congress does nothing, and the Meek scandal grows," says the ad's narrator.
Stackhouse is accused of stealing $1 million in funds intended for a biopharmaceutical park. He paid Meek's mother, former Rep. Carrie Meek (D-Fla.), $90,000 in consulting fees and gave her a Cadillac Escalade.
Last month, the Miami Herald, which initially broke the story in 2007, reported that Stackhouse provided Meek's district director with a loan for a down payment on a house.
4. Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman's new Spanish-language TV ads present the Republican California gubernatorial hopeful as "a different candidate" who "respects our community," a sudden turnaround for Whitman who--as recently as two weeks ago--was touting her tough-on-immigration credentials.
Whitman is "the Republican who opposes the Arizona immigration law and opposed Proposition 187," the narrator of the ad says in Spanish, referring to the controversial 1994 measure backed by then-Gov. Pete Wilson (R).
Wilson, as we've noted before, had become a prime campaign surrogate for Whitman in the final days of the primary, appearing with the candidate in radio appearances and in ads praising her "tough as nails" immigration stance.
Whitman's overture to Latino voters, nine days after her primary win over state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, indicates that her campaign is focused on reaching out to a group that will be key to victory this fall; at 35 percent, California's Latino population is the largest in the nation.
Whitman also has the fortune of running on the same ticket as Abel Maldonado (R), the Mexican American lieutenant governor. Asked whether he'll be actively involved in the skirmish between Whitman and Democratic nominee Jerry Brown, however, Maldonado demurred.
"I'm running for lieutenant governor as myself," Maldonado said, adding, "My message isn't going to change from the primary."
5. It's Friday -- let's play two! Fix chats, that is.
Then at 11 a.m., we'll spend an hour fielding your questions on anything and everything about politics -- and any stray questions about the new Fix iPad. (It arrived Thursday.) It's the Live Fix chat!
You can either submit questions in advance or just follow along in real time.
See you there!
With Aaron Blake and Felicia Sonmez
June 18, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: Morning Fix
Save & Share: Previous: S.C. Democrats refuse to oust Alvin Greene as Senate nominee
Next: "Worst Week in Washington": And the winner is....Joe Barton!
Posted by: OhioanVoters | June 22, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: ceflynline | June 19, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ceflynline | June 19, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: margaretmeyers | June 18, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: margaretmeyers | June 18, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: bumblingberry | June 18, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Noacoler | June 18, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: scrivener50 | June 18, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: drindl | June 18, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 18, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: koolkat_1960 | June 18, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: DDAWD | June 18, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: GJonahJameson | June 18, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: leichtman1 | June 18, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: drindl | June 18, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: broadwayjoe | June 18, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: leichtman1 | June 18, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: drindl | June 18, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: broadwayjoe | June 18, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 18, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: drindl | June 18, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: broadwayjoe | June 18, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: drindl | June 18, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: broadwayjoe | June 18, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: drindl | June 18, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: AndyR3 | June 18, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: drindl | June 18, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: leichtman1 | June 18, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Bondosan | June 18, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: mnteng | June 18, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: AndyR3 | June 18, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 18, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: DDAWD | June 18, 2010 6:44 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.