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August 22, 2014

Poll Shows Nunn Leading in Georgia

A new Landmark Communications poll in Georgia finds Michelle Nunn (D) leading David Perdue (R) in the U.S. Senate race by seven points, 47% to 40%. Libertarian candidate Amanda Swafford received 3% while 10% are undecided.

Most other recent polls have found Perdue with a growing lead.

Perry Puts Mugshot on Campaign Schwag

Texas Gov. Rick Perry's (R) new political action committee unveiled a T-shirt featuring Perry's mug shot, Business Insider reports.

The caption under Perry's mug shot says he's "wanted" for "securing the border and defeating Democrats."

Politicians Aren't More Corrupt Than Usual

FiveThirtyEight: "According to Gallup, Americans think that political corruption has become more widespread over the past several years. And yet the best data we have on political corruption doesn't bear that out. The Public Integrity Section of the Justice Department reports statistics on corruption cases to Congress every year, and although it might be a stretch to say that the country has gotten less corrupt over time, the problem certainly hasn't grown."

Axelrod Says Democrats Were Wrong About Bush Vacations

David Axelrod told the New York Daily News that he wishes Democrats didn't criticize former President Bush when he went on vacation because presidents are "never off-duty."

Said Axelrod: "We used to pillory George Bush for going to his ranch and we were wrong."

He added: "The demands and pressures of the presidency are relentless, and we ought to want our presidents to get small breaks to relax, even in-and maybe especially in -- the midst of crisis."

Bonus Quote of the Day

"Well, I am flattered because she is a strong leader. I am a strong independent leader. I am a strong female independent leader. And I do believe they use that as a distraction. Rather than focus on me, they're focusing on someone else. She is the kind of politician I admire because she speaks what's on her mind."

-- Iowa U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst (R), quoted by the New York Times, on being compared to Sarah Palin.

Obama Inc.

"The presidency of Barack Obama has catapulted a network of former advisers into lucrative positions," The Hill reports.

"Members of the president's brain trust have steadily moved outside the administration in recent years, capitalizing on their association with the Obama brand to launch careers as advisers, consultants and hired guns."

Obama Signals All Out War on ISIS

"The Obama administration signaled Thursday that the United States has begun a new war against the so-called Islamic State, and that group's operatives will not be safe from America's wrath in Iraq, in Syria, or wherever they can be tracked down," Eli Lake reports.

"The most notable rhetorical tell came from Obama himself. In the aftermath of the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Obama vowed to bring the attackers to justice. This week Obama struck a different tone, saying: 'When people harm Americans, anywhere, we do what's necessary to see that justice is done.'"

"The difference between bringing suspects to justice and seeing that justice is done is roughly the same as the difference between treating terrorism as a crime and as an act of war."

Democrats Plan Midterm Ground Strategy

Daily Beast: "With fewer than 75 days left until Election Day, Democrats across the country are feverishly moving from planning to implementing a vast, multilayered turnout operation that they hope will make the 2014 mid-term elections look more like a victorious Obama presidential year and less like the sort of mid-term wipeout that cost them the House majority in 2010."

Did Weiland Accidently Concede Senate Race?

South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate Rick Weiland (D) says it was a "light moment" when he called opponent and former Gov. Mike Rounds (R) "senator" during a public forum, the AP reports.

Weiland quickly corrected his remark to "soon-to-want-to-be senator."

McDonnell Corruption Trial Turns Into a Soap Opera

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) "laid bare his troubled marriage during a remarkable day of testimony that revealed he and his wife are living separately for the trial and he is staying in his parish priest's rectory," the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.

"Anchoring McDonnell's account of his marital drama was an emotional email the former governor sent his wife, Maureen, in September 2011. It conveys his love but deep heartache over a shattered marriage that worsened over time."

Daily Beast: The five weirdest revelations of the McDonnell trial

Quote of the Day

"He realized I wasn't as irrational or as crazy as people thought."

-- Rev. Al Sharpton, in an interview with Politico, on how he became President Obama's confidant on race.

Obama Returns to Golf

New York Times: "Presidents learn to wall off their feelings and compartmentalize their lives. They deal in death one moment and seek mental and physical relief the next. To make coldhearted decisions in the best interest of the country and manage the burdens of perhaps the most stressful job on the planet, current and former White House officials said, a president must guard against becoming consumed by the emotions of the situations they confront. And few presidents have been known more for cool, emotional detachment than Mr. Obama."

"Yet the juxtaposition of his indignant denunciation of terrorists and his outing on the greens this week underscored the unintended consequences of such a remove. If Mr. Obama hoped to show America's enemies that they cannot hijack his schedule, he also showed many of his friends in America that he disdains the politics of appearance. He long ago stopped worrying about what critics say, according to aides, and after the outcry over Wednesday's game, he defied the critics by golfing again on Thursday, his eighth outing in 11 days on the island."

Ryan Wants Romney to Run Again

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) "dodged questions about his 2016 plans Wednesday but said he would be a big backer of Mitt Romney if he were to make another run for the White House," The Hill reports.

Said Ryan: "I'd drive his bus if he asked me to."

Reaction to Shooting in Ferguson Divided Along Racial Lines

A new New York Times/CBS News poll shows "most whites reserving judgment on whether the fatal shooting of the teenager, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Mo., was justified. Most blacks say it was not."

"The poll also shows significant differences in how blacks and whites view the unrest that has gripped Ferguson since Mr. Brown's killing. Most whites say they think the actions of the protesters have gone too far, while blacks are more evenly divided."

Capitol Hill Computers Banned from Editing Wikipedia

Gawker: "Congressional IP addresses just got blocked from Wikipedia for the third time in two months, all because somebody working in our government couldn't stop editing Laverne Cox's page on their work computer."

Coakley Maintains Lead in Massachusetts

A new Boston Globe poll in Massachusetts finds Martha Coakley (D) leading Charlie Baker (R) in the race for governor by seven points, 41% to 34%.

Coakley has a big lead in the Democratic primary, topping Steve Grossman (D), 45% to 24%.

Malloy Trailing in Connecticut

A new Rasmussen survey in Connecticut shows Tom Foley (R) leading Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) in the race for governor, 45% to 38%.

Perry Makes the Most of Indictment

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) left for "a three-day jaunt to Washington and the presidential testing ground of New Hampshire, vowing to beat his abuse-of-power charges," the Dallas Morning News reports.

"For Perry, a stop at a friendly think tank where he's pitched books, policies and his candidacy wasn't so much about trying to change the subject as to make the most of a legal predicament that -- in the worst case -- could leave him behind bars for decades."

August 21, 2014

Shaheen Barely Leads in New Hampshire

A new WMUR poll in New Hampshire finds Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) leading challenger Scott Brown in the U.S. Senate race by just two points, 46% to 44%.

Last month, Shaheen led the race by 12 points.

Extra Bonus Quote of the Day

"At some point, I'm entitled to be normal."

-- Former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell (R), quoted by the Washington Post, on why he drove Jonnie R. Williams Sr.'s Ferrari.

Florida Gay Marriage Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

A federal judge on ruled Florida's gay-marriage ban unconstitutional and ordered the state to recognize marriages legally performed elsewhere. The judge, however, immediately stayed his order until after the appeals process is completed, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Write Judge Robert Hinkle: "When observers look back 50 years from now, the arguments supporting Florida's ban on same-sex marriage, though just as sincerely held, will again seem an obvious pretext for discrimination. Observers who are not now of age will wonder just how those views could have been held."

Minnesota GOP Bans Its Own Candidate

"The Minnesota Republican Party's endorsed candidate for Supreme Court is pushing back against the party's attempts to keep her away from its State Fair booth," the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

"Michelle MacDonald showed up at the booth on the fair's first day Thursday and was asked several times to leave. Party officials passed a resolution a day earlier that bans her from the booth because of a pending drunken driving case."

Rand Paul on a Mission in Guatemala

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is in Guatemala this week "as part of a medical mission of roughly 70 surgeons, nurses, technicians and volunteers who shared the goal of conducting nearly 200 cataract surgeries and distributing nearly 8,000 pairs of eyeglasses," the Washington Post reports.

"It was an unprecedented trip - never before has a U.S. senator and potential future presidential candidate traveled so elaborately to a third world country as part of a medical mission."


In the mail: Wingnuts: Extremism in the Age of Obama, a new edition by John Avlon.

A great read and highly recommended.

Another Senate Forecast

The Votemaster is back and updating his Senate forecast daily. He currently shows Republicans at 50 seats, Democrats at 49 seats and one toss up.

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