March 06, 2014
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) told The Nation
that he's "prepared to run for president" in 2016.
Said Sanders: "I don't believe that I am the only person out there who can fight this fight, but I am certainly prepared to look seriously at that race."
He added: "The same old same old Robert Rubin type of economics, or centrist politics, or continued dependence on big money, or unfettered free trade, that is not what this country needs ideologically. That is not the type of policy that we need. And it is certainly not going to be the politics that galvanizes the tens of millions of people today who are thoroughly alienated and disgusted with the status quo."
Some great clicks over at Wonk Wire
"I want gay married couples to be able to protect their marijuana plants with guns."
-- Canadian candidate for parliament Tim Moen, quoted by Gawker
Mark McKinnon, political strategist for former President George W. Bush and co-founder of No Labels
, joins us on the Political Wire podcast
for a discussion on how to break the partisan gridlock that's crippled Washington, D.C.
Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes
to get episodes automatically downloaded.
The New York Times
reports the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is starting a digital campaign that will use Internet ads and videos to tie Republican Senate candidates to the policies and actions of the Koch brothers."
Its slogan: "The GOP is addicted to Koch."
"Up first on the list is Alaska, where Democrats will try to link Dan Sullivan and Mead Treadwell, the Republican Senate candidates, to an oil refinery in the state owned by Koch Cos. Public Sector. The refinery is set to cease gasoline and jet fuel production, which would lead to the layoffs of roughly 80 refinery workers."
A new Public Policy Polling survey
finds that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has now become the least popular U.S. Senator in the country.
Key findings: "Only 30% of Arizonans approve of the job McCain is doing to 54% who disapprove. There isn't much variability in his numbers by party- he's at 35/55 with Republicans, 29/53 with Democrats, and 25/55 with independents, suggesting he could be vulnerable to challenges in both the primary and general elections the next time he's up."
: "The political turbulence in recent days between Rep. Jeb Hensarling and Majority Leader Eric Cantor over a flood-insurance bill may offer a window on early jockeying for top positions in the House GOP when Speaker John Boehner departs."
"Boehner has expressed no intention of leaving anytime soon, but he will step aside someday. Cantor and Hensarling are both talked about as potential successors, and disagreements between them can raise political questions."
"Cantor, the No. 2 House Republican, is widely seen as the odds-on favorite to replace Boehner, with broad support across the conference."
A new Rasmussen Reports survey
in Texas finds Greg Abbott (R) leading Wendy Davis (D) in the race for governor, 53% to 41%.
"So the Left is making a big mistake here. What they're offering people is a full stomach--and an empty soul. The American people want more than that."
-- Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), quoted by the Washington Post
: "Hillary Clinton's K Street network is preparing for a White House run in 2016. With Democrats in Congress already anointing Clinton as the party's standard-bearer, lobbyists are pledging their allegiance and making clear they will do whatever they can to help the former first lady become first in command."
"If not, I'll go work at Wal-Mart. I've got to have a job."
-- 90-year old Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX), quoted by Fox News
, when asked if he'll win his runoff.
A new Boston Herald/Suffolk University poll
in New Hampshire finds former Sen. Scott Brown's (R) prospects for a political comeback "have taken a sudden nosedive."
Brown is now trailing Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) by a 52% to 39% margin in a general election matchup.
: "Increasingly anxious about the prospect of a difficult election year, Democratic candidates are already starting to take refuge in one of the party's most tried and true issues: Social Security."
"The attacks are the first glimpses of an issue the party will push to the forefront of the 2014 elections, according to Democratic strategists. With candidates battered by Obamacare's deepening unpopularity, Social Security represents one of their surest bets of putting Republicans on the defensive in a year where the GOP otherwise plans to play a lot of offense."
A new Fox News poll finds President Obama's approval rating at an all-time low of 38%.
A new NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist College poll
in New York finds Gov. Andrew Cuomo's (D) job performance rating "has dropped to its lowest level since he took office in January 2011, tumbling by 10 percentage points since November."
However, in a re-election match up against Rob Astorino -- who formally announced his challenge this week -- Cuomo leads 68% to 25%.
: "In Ideology in America
, Christopher Ellis and James Stimson describe a striking disjuncture. When identifying themselves in a word, Americans choose 'conservative' far more than 'liberal.' In fact they have done so for 70 years, and increasingly so since the early 1960s."
"But when it comes to saying what the government should actually do, the public appears more liberal than conservative. Ellis and Stimson gathered 7,000 survey questions dating back to 1956 that asked some variant of whether the government should do more, less, or the same in lots of different policy areas. On average, liberal responses were more common than conservative responses. This has been true in nearly every year since 1956, even as the relative liberalism of the public has trended up and down."
: "When it comes to nation-states, you'd think that the smaller an event is, the more likely the U.S. intelligence community will miss it. If something big is going to happen, lots of moving parts are going to change from a state of rest to a state of action. There will be chatter. There will be activity. The big intelligence dragnet will surely pick up something and send a pulse up the food chain."
"But historically, the opposite has been true: Huge events, events that should have been predictable (we think), seem to take us by surprise, over and over."
: "First, a bigger House would diminish the impact of malapportionment that comes with single-member states. A certain amount of malapportionment is inherent in House redistricting, but as the number of single-member states grows, this effect becomes more and more pronounced. The largest single-member state, Montana, requires a representative to take on over 1 million constituents. On the other hand, the smallest state, Wyoming, only has 582,000 constituents."
"Second, increasing the size of the House could diminish the impact of gerrymandering. While the commonly voiced concerns about the evils of gerrymandering are overstated, they aren't entirely without basis. Moreover, the perception of impropriety is important, and there's something inherently untoward surrounding legislators drawing districts that resemble Rorschach inkblots rather than compact units that draw together communities of interest."
The overall findings of a new Washington Post-ABC News poll
"underscore the degree to which the contest for the GOP nomination in 2016 is as wide open as any in the modern era. The poll found that there is no obvious beneficiary to Christie's problems within the party or Jeb Bush's apparent problem with the wider electorate. Many of those thinking about running have made little impression on the general public and in some cases they are not even well known among Republicans."
"About one in four Americans say that abortion should be legal in all circumstances, one in five say abortion should always be illegal, and slightly over half the public thinks abortion should be legal in some, but not all, circumstances," according to a new CNN/ORC poll
: "Republicans think Harry Reid is running the Senate like a dictator: His no-compromise style is almost like Vladimir Putin's, and his inflammatory rhetoric is reminiscent of the Joe McCarthy era. But Reid doesn't seem to care."
"In an interview this week in his Senate office, a feisty Reid pushed back aggressively against Republican complaints over his leadership, pinning the blame entirely on the GOP for the gridlock and polarization that define the historically unproductive 113th Congress."
A new We Ask America poll
in Illinois finds Bruce Rauner (R) way ahead in the race for the GOP gubernatorial nomination with 40%, followed by Kirk Dillard (R) at 14%, Bill Brady (R) at 12% and Dan Rutherford (R) at 8%.
"In his first two months in office, Mayor Bill de Blasio has found himself repeatedly at odds with New York's governor, Andrew M. Cuomo. And at every turn, Governor Cuomo has not only stymied the mayor, but also seized the moment for his own gain," the New York Times
"In each case, as he batted away some of the mayor's grandest plans, the governor, who is up for re-election this year, has used their divergent views to burnish his own political brand, as a moderate Democrat and tax cutter. And he has offered what amounts to a master class in political gamesmanship, turning the mayor's arguments upside down and boxing him out of the headlines."
March 05, 2014
: "Nine potential Republican presidential aspirants will grace the conservative movement's biggest stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference over the next two days. But no speech is more highly anticipated than that of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whose relationship with the right wing of his party is chilly, complex, and at a critical inflection point."
"Ninety-nine percent of all of the white people in here are going to raise their hand that they are against abortion. On the other hand, 99% of the whites who are sitting in here now, if their daughter got pregnant by a black man, they are going to make their daughter have an abortion.
-- Alabama State Rep. Alvin Holmes (D), quoted by the Birmingham News