Thursday, June 30, 2011

CONGRATULATIONS JAVIER COLON!

 

Michele Bachmann Says John Quincy Adams Was ‘One Of Our Founding Fathers,’ Flubs Slavery Remarks (VIDEO)

“So then, right before Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Presentational, he turned to Ty Cobb and said, ‘Did you read the section that allows Jackie Robinson to join the Dodgers in 1947?’”

Sarah Palin unfettered

Al Sharpton To Herman Cain: ‘Jon Stewart Is A Comedian, Your Policies Are A Joke’ (VIDEO)

President Obama frames 2012 campaign

GOP governors huddle on 2012 race

 As a ‘Potential’ Presidential Candidate, Life Is Good

The spin wars are already in full effect — with most of the chatter centering on just how much cash former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney will bring in.

Romney aides insist he will raise something short of $20 million, while his rivals argue that floating such a total is an attempt by the campaign to lower expectations. (Romney did raise more than $10 million in a single day last month.)

Regardless of Romney’s final total, it’s clear from conversations with Republican operatives closely monitoring the race that fundraising has been difficult, and that the candidates’ totals will come nowhere near what the top GOP candidates brought in over a similar period in 2007.

Although some GOP fundraisers and operatives blame the economy for the shortfall, others contend that the lack of a daunting Republican candidate and the fluidity in the Republican race has left donors skittish.

In the first fundraising quarter of 2007 — the last presidential race started earlier four years ago, so almost all of the major candidates were in and raising cash in the first three months of the year — Romney led the way with $23.4 million raised, a total that included $2.35 million of his own money.

While Romney’s total was eye-popping, it was far from the only big number put up by Republican candidates. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani brought in $16.6 million, while Arizona Sen. John McCain collected $13.1 million.

Combined, the three men raked in nearly $53 million in their first quarter of active fundraising.

While there is an active debate about how much Romney will actually have raised when numbers start trickling in, which is likely to happen Friday, there is almost no one within the party who thinks the top three cash-collectors in this race will come anywhere close to equaling that 2007 total.

And, it’s possible that the top three candidates combined won’t even equal the $36 million that then-Texas governor George W. Bush raised in his first quarter of active fundraising in 1999. (And Bush did that with $1,000 contribution limits; the individual limits are now $2,500.)

What gives?

Republican strategists and fundraisers put much of the blame for the sluggish fundraising pace on the continued struggles of the economy.

“It’s the slow economy,” said Eric Tanenblatt, a Georgia-based Romney fundraiser. “I saw it in the 2010 midterms. It’s much more difficult to raise money today then 2007.”

Added Brian Jones, a Republican consultant with the Black Rock Group: “A political donation is an investment you may never see a return on, and people are more reluctant to make that bet than they were four years ago.”

Not everyone agrees.

“The argument that, in a $15 trillion economy, there is no money doesn’t make sense,” said GOP consultant Rob Collins.

Dig slightly deeper and Republicans also acknowledge that the economy alone isn’t to blame for the slower-than-expected fundraising totals.

The most commonly cited reasons for the relative GOP money drought is the continued instability of — and unhappiness with — the Republican field.

“I think the weak numbers reflect an attention deficit disorder among GOP donors,” said one senior Republican strategist not aligned with any 2012 candidate. “It’s the video game effect: you’re about to lock on to a target, and suddenly you’re distracted by something new on the screen.”

The past three months have been filled with chaos, as Govs. Mitch Daniels (Ind.) and Haley Barbour (Miss.) as well as former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee decided not to run.

Meanwhile, Texas Gov. Rick Perry appears to be moving toward the race and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin remains a potential candidate too.

The continued search for a candidate also seems to belie a lingering discontent with the field. Polling bears that out. In a new New York Times/CBS poll, roughly seven in 10 Republicans said they wish they had more choices in the GOP presidential field, and two-thirds said they were not excited about any of the candidates running.

Regardless of the reason, the pace of Republican fundraising may well be the story when all of the second-quarter reports are filed with the Federal Election Commission on July 15 — particularly given that President Obama’s 2012 campaign has set a goal of $60 million raised in the quarterPalin struggles in Alaska: We’ve known for a while that Sarah Palin didn’t exactly leave the governorship of Alaska with a whole bunch of goodwill to her name.

But a new poll shows it’s even worse than previously though.

The Hays Research poll shows Obama would beat her in her home state. Obama takes 42 percent in the poll, compared to 36 percent for Palin.

Just 25 percent of voters said they were committed to voting for Palin — a sharp rebuke of the governor, who resigned after two and a half years at the helm. More recently, it was reported that Palin has bought a house in Arizona.

MONEY TALKER – THE $15 TO $20 MILLION MAN – Mitt Romney will raise less than $20 million in the second fundraising quarter of the year, outdistancing his Republican primary rivals but failing to send a message of overwhelming financial force. Romney spokeswoman Gail Gitcho confirmed to the Wall Street Journal on the record that Romney will have raised between $15 million and $20 million for the quarter, and the paper reports that he will be getting some additional help from the pro-Romney super PAC, Restore our Future. The Journal: “A separate political entity created by supporters of Mr. Romney is expected to report at least $10 million, according to people close to the committee … None of Mr. Romney’s rivals are expected to raise more than $10 million in the quarter, with the possible exception of Texas Rep. Ron Paul. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will report garnering less than $5 million.” http://on.wsj.com/kGUcdo

FLASHBACK TO 2007: Romney raised more than $21 million for his presidential campaign in his first quarter as a declared candidate last time around. He’ll fall well short of that mark this time. Fairly or unfairly, that takes some of the pressure off lower-performing primary candidates; it also means that if President Obama hits his announced fundraising target of $60 million, he’ll leave even the GOP frontrunner far behind in the dust. Republicans are already buzzing about what Romney’s number might mean for a certain Western governor who’s thinking about getting into the race if the right organizational and financial support is available.

Opinion: Anti-abortion hopefuls should sign pledge – Marjorie Dannenfelser

LOOKING BACK AT ‘08

POPULAR VOTE         ELECTORAL COLLEGE      STATES

Obama – 69,456,897  52.9%       365           28 + DC and Nebraska’s 2nd District

McCain – 59,934,814  45.7%           173                22

There are a total of 538 electoral votes; a candidates needs 270 to win. For a Republican to defeat President Obama on November 6, 2012, he or she will need to get every single vote that John McCain received in 2008 plus a significant amount of the independent voters who went for Obama. Is that a real possibility? If the economy improves between now and say, mid-October 2012, probably not. If it doesn’t, and depending on who the Republican candidate is, there’s a reasonable chance of that scenario occurring. But, even if President Obama wins re-election, it will most likely be by a smaller margin than he had in ’08.

NEWS

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) unveils Senate Democrats’ jobs agenda this a.m. [Thursday]at the Economic Policy Institute: “We have now been playing entirely on the Republicans’ field for six months, and the recovery has only slowed. … We need to start asking ourselves an uncomfortable question: Are Republicans slowing down the recovery on purpose for political gain in 2012? … Republicans aren’t just opposing the president any more, they seem to be opposing the economic recovery itself. If the public comes to believe that Republicans are deliberately sabotaging the economy, it will backfire politically…In the Senate, we will unabashedly pursue a comprehensive jobs agenda in the weeks and months to come. This ‘Jobs First’ Agenda will include … : 1. A Highway Bill that will put people back to work building critical infrastructure. 2.A National Infrastructure Bank, which both labor and the Chamber of Commerce have strongly supported. 3. Incentives to create clean energy jobs. 4. Reforming America’s high-skilled immigration system. 5. We will also pursue the bipartisan Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act to get China to reform its currency exchange rate practices. 6. It could also include an extension of the employee payroll tax cut passed as part of the tax cut deal in December, and could be extended to the employer side … 7. We will also look at reforming, simplifying, and making permanent the research and development tax credit. … 8. Finally, we will look to renew the so-called 48C program, which provides tax credits for qualified investments in green energy projects.”

Good Thursday morning. DAVID AXELROD tells the Aspen Ideas Festival how he found out about the bin Laden raid: “I happened to be at the White House on April 30th, which was the day before the bin Laden mission. And I went to visit the president, because that evening was the White House Correspondents’ dinner, and I usually help out on the joke-writing. [laughter] But we had lunch together … He had just come back from Alabama – those terrible storms, tornadoes, the damage. And we spent a lot of time talking about that. We talked about some of the people he had spoken with, and how devastating it was, and how moving it was. And then he went to Cape Canaveral and he saw Gabby Giffords, and he talked at some length about how well she’s doing, and how incredible and miraculous it was – because he had seen her right after she had been shot. And then … a guy I recognized as a briefer … from the National Security Council came in … The president asked me to leave. I didn’t think much of it.

“I came back in. We’re doing the jokes, and we came to a joke about Tim Pawlenty … [The conceit was that Pawlenty would be better off if his middle name weren’t ‘bin Laden.’ Obama slyly complained that was too ‘yesterday,’ and suggested ‘Hosni.’] And I’m thinking: “Hosni – that’s not very funny.” [laughter] He got 365 electoral votes; I didn’t get any. So it was ‘Hosni.’ … Did not know [about the raid]. And I have to tell ya: Very few people in the White House did. And then the next night – I had done some stuff in the morning; I was tired and I went to sleep. We were in D.C., my wife and I. And she woke me up and said, ‘You better get up. I think they got bin Laden.’ And I, like, throw my covers up, look at my Blackberry. They said, ‘Turn on the TV.’ And so at that moment, I realized why we had to change the joke. [laughter] …

“I spoke to him afterwards. He knew very well what all the stakes were. By the way [turning to onstage interviewer Joe Klein], you said, ‘He took the riskier course.’ But his view was that in terms of our ability to identify bin Laden, and also the collateral damage in that community, that would have been [the problem with] the bombing strategy. … He could not have NOT known that there were political aspects to this, as well – I mean, we all remember the Carter example, and so on. And he was very resolute, felt he had made the right decision. One of the great qualities he has – and I’ve seen it, Joe, not just in the last two months or three months, but for two years – is he makes decisions and he lives with those decisions. And he is comfortable with the decisions that he makes. And he understands that they could go well, and they could go badly. But once he makes them, he doesn’t look back.”

–How Obama told the joke at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, the night before the SEAL raid: “Tim Pawlenty? He seems all American. But have you heard his real middle name? Tim ‘Hosni’ Pawlenty? (Laughter.) What a shame. (Laughter.)”

–In Aspen, onstage interviewer Joe Klein also elicited this memory from Axe in his effort to “strip-mine your memoirs a little bit”: “During the campaign … we were in Massachusetts for an event. … The Yankees were playing the Red Sox that weekend. The guy who was running the fundraiser handed Obama a Red Sox cap. There were 5,000 people waiting: ‘We want you to wear this cap.’ And [then-Sen. Obama] said, ‘You’re insane. I’m not wearing this cap.’ So he went out and he said, ‘They want me to wear a Red Sox cap. And I had to tell them, “They had the wrong-colored Sox.” Everybody booed. And he said, ‘But when you’re playing the Yankees, I’m a Red Sox fan.’ And at that moment, I thought, ‘This guy could be president.'”

RANDOM THOUGHTS

The level of disrespect President Obama endures on a daily basis is unprecedented and unending Mark Halperin apologizes for Obama gaffe. While I’m not sure if Mark Halperin should lose his job over this sad incident – I happen to believe that he’s a very good political reporter – it’s clear that he has some personal issues with the president and those definitely need to be dealt with both personally and professionally.

The hallmark of most conservative ideology is that once you make up your mind about something, you never, ever change it, even in the face of education, overwhelming facts and proof. Michele Bachmann said on Monday in her announcement statement, “I often say that everything I needed to know I learned in Iowa.” Keep in mind, Bachmann moved to Minnesota when she was 13 and has never lived in Iowa again.Did you learn “everything you needed to know” by the time you were 13? I know I sure as hell didn’t!

Anyone waiting for more candidates to enter the Republican field will have to wait until the 2nd quarter fundraising numbers are released next month (the deadline is the 15th). If Mitt “Suge” Romney’s numbers swamp those of his opponents’, it could tell the undecided that entering now could be a waste of time. And, if President Obama hits or comes close to the targeted $60 million his campaign was going for, that could have an effect as well. 

FINALLY

Here’s wishing everyone a safe, sane and spectacular Fourth of July weekend!

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