November, 2012

Bonus Quote of the Day

“He looked at her and got prostate cancer and quit. Giuliani just left the fight and the struggle. But quite frankly, I
think Hillary Clinton was a helluva good reason to withdraw his
candidacy.”

— Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY), quoted by Capital New York, recounting how Hillary Clinton cleared the field in her first U.S. Senate bid, which included Rudy Giuliani.

Ignoring Reality Doesn’t Make News Nonpartisan

Michael Grunwald: “I realize that the GOP’s up-is-downism puts news reporters in an awkward position. It would seem tendentious to point out Republican hypocrisy on deficits and Medicare and stimulus every time it comes up, because these days it comes up almost every time a Republican leader opens his mouth. But we’re not supposed to be stenographers. As long as the media let an entire political party invent a new reality every day, it will keep on doing it. Every day.”

Quote of the Day

“It’s not something I’m proud of here, folks, I must be blatantly honest. Nobody would know who she is if it weren’t for me.”

— Rush Limbaugh, on his radio show, blaming himself for Sandra Fluke being on the shortlist for Time Magazine‘s “Person of the Year.”

Why Immigration Reform is Unlikely

Walter Shapiro: “House Republicans probably worry far more about a 2014 primary challenge on their own right flank than they do about the party winning the White House in 2016. So all the talk about the Republican Party recasting itself to appeal to Latino voters runs up against that very personal Capitol Hill question: ‘What about my reelection campaign?'”

“The gap between national parties and the parochial concerns of individual legislators is as old as the republic. But political polarization and the proliferation of one-party congressional districts make things far more acute. That is why the number of Republican volunteers–particularly in the House–willing to take personal political risks to help the party deal with its problems with Hispanic voters is probably limited.”

Wonk Wire: Republicans push alternative to the Dream Act.

An Opening for Campaign Finance Reform?

The Economist: “If, as the the saying goes, ‘a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality’, then perhaps an advocate of stricter campaign-finance laws is a newly elected congressman or senator who has weathered months of negative ads funded by third-party groups freed from spending limits or disclosure requirements. That, at least, is the hope of many both inside and outside Congress.”

Romney Adviser Predicted Defeat

The narrative of surprise that they lost the election serves elements of the post-election agenda of Mitt Romney’s circle — it underscores their argument that they weren’t deceiving the press and donors — but it leaves out an important fact: A longtime Romney adviser was circulating a forecast that showed President Obama winning with “over 300” electoral votes, one person who saw them told BuzzFeed.

Alex Gage, who was not working directly for the campaign but began advising Romney in 2002, “emailed a “best case” scenario map that had Romney winning by just two electoral votes — but losing Colorado, Iowa, and a slew of other battleground states, many of which the Romney team swore to the bitter end that they were going to win.”

Axelrod Will Shave His Mustache

David Axelrod said he would shave his mustache if one of Joe Scarborough’s election predictions came true: That Mitt Romney would win either Pennsylvania, Michigan or Minnesota.

Obama won all three states, but USA Today reports Axelrod also said he would submit to a shave if Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinski raised more than $1 million for Axelrod’s charity, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy — and they did.

The shearing will take place Dec. 7 on Morning Joe.

Convicted Lawmaker Seeks to Return to Congress

Disgraced former Rep. Mel Reynolds (D-IL) “said he will ask voters to focus on his congressional experience rather than his state and federal criminal record as he announced his bid today for the seat held by Jesse Jackson Jr., who has resigned,” the Chicago Tribune reports.

Reynolds held the seat from 1993 until October 1995, when a jury convicted him of several sex-related charges, including having sex with an underage volunteer campaign worker. While serving time in state prison, Reynolds also was convicted on federal financial and campaign fraud charges.

Fiscal Cliff Talks Likely to Go Down to the Wire

“Government officials may well spend New Year’s Eve crunching budget numbers rather than clinking champagne glasses,” USA Today reports.

“There’s no real incentive for the parties to reach an agreement now. Markets may want an early settlement, but, as mentioned, but the fiscal doesn’t start until Jan. 1 — more than four weeks way, a near-eternity in politics. Even after Jan. 1, elements of the fiscal cliff phase in gradually, and a new Congress could always pass legislation retroactive to the start of the year…Expect pushes for last-minute concessions.”

However, Wonk Wire notes the talks aren’t going well.

Rove Reflects on Election Loss

Karl Rove joked that he is no longer suicidal after the November election — he’s merely despondent, KFDI reports.

Rove acknowledged the Republican party “is splintered because of intolerant and judgmental language and an unwillingness to acknowledge differences. He said the party needs to find the right language to talk about the
issues without being judgmental or harsh, and it needs to have leaders
who can create that kind of environment.”

He also called his Crossroads group the “worst volunteer job” he’s had his entire life.

Quinn Very Unpopular in Illinois

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Illinois finds that if Gov. Pat Quinn (D) is the Democratic nominee for governor in 2014 Democrats may have a hard time holding onto the office. His approval rate is a deadly 25% to 64%.

But Quinn may never make it to the general election. In a hypothetical primary match up against Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D), Quinn trails by 64% to 20%. Against Bill Daley (D), Quinn trails 37% to 34%.

Americans Split on Legalizing Marijuana

For the first time, a new CBS News poll finds as many Americans now think marijuana use should be legal as think it should not, 47% to 47%.

“This shift in public opinion was seen at the ballot box this month, when Colorado and Washington became the first states in the nation to approve of recreational marijuana use among adults over the age of 21. Marijuana use of any kind, however, is still illegal under federal law. It’s unclear at this point how the Obama administration intends to respond.”