July, 2014

Rove Says Both Sides to Blame for Impeachment Talk

Karl Rove said President Obama “is playing with the American people by suggesting a constitutional crisis where none exists. Shame on him and shame on those people in the administration who participate with him,” Politico reports.

He added: “Shame on conservatives and Republicans who helped him along.”

Charlie Hurt: “All this talk of impeaching the president is the stupidest Republican political strategy so far this century.”

Quote of the Day

“What happens is they’re like an Ebola virus that spreads. And if you can keep it contained with this bunch of people that really hate the government, OK, I respect their position. But when the virus spreads and they then have a bunch of people all nervous that if they vote the way they really think they should vote then bad things are going to happen, that messes up the process.”

— Former Rep. Steve LaTourette (R), quoted by the Wall Street Journal, on the conservative groups that demand ideological purity.

McDonnell Uses Broken Marriage Defense

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) and his wife, Maureen, “on trial for conspiring to use his office for personal enrichment, outlined an unexpected defense on Tuesday: Their marriage was so broken that they did not communicate enough to conspire about anything,” the New York Times reports.

“In opening arguments in the couple’s corruption trial in federal court here, their lawyers made clear that they planned to rely on the sordid details of their unhappy union as the basis of their legal defense.”

Richmond Times Dispatch: “Depending on whom you believe, Bob and Maureen McDonnell were either gift-grubbing and financially desperate enough to conspire to sell the governor’s office, or so dedicated to public service that the stresses of a gubernatorial term wrecked their marriage.”

Kasich Up By Double Digits in Ohio

A new Quinnipiac poll in Ohio finds Gov. John Kasich (R) leading challenger Ed FitzGerald (D) in the race for governor by double digits, 48% to 36%.

Said pollster Peter Brown: “The Democratic nominee still has a long way to go with little more than three months until Election Day. Almost two-thirds of registered voters don’t know enough about FitzGerald to have an opinion of him. That’s an awful lot of Ohioans who still have to be introduced to him. This survey was conducted during the period in which the Democrat had just begun his television advertising buy.”

Visits to Iowa are a Show

Mark Leibovich: “It would be one thing if all of this early activity and attention in Iowa resulted in a smarter electorate, better candidates or a more authentic version of democracy. But in general, the quaint ‘retail’ settings of Iowa diners and New Hampshire living rooms are treated mostly as media sound stages, places where reporters report on how many other reporters showed up… As a result, these scenes have become backdrops for set pieces that blur into an anesthetizing noise: So-and-so has been to Iowa five times; some other so-and-so is ‘thinking about’ running for president; and here’s yet another picture of yet another so-and-so looking a voter right in the eyes and telling him the truth about something or other, as the discerning voters here insist.”

Top Democrat Says GOP Impeachment Talk Helping

DCCC Chairman Steve Israel (D-NY) said the Republican lawsuit against and push for impeachment of President Obama is paying dividends for his party, according to The Hill.

Said Israel: “I think that the Republican strategy of lawsuits, approaching impeachment, is fundamentally misfiring.”

He added: “Look, I understand their strategy is intended to gin up their base, but it’s having the unintended consequence of moving our base in a midterm election and also moving persuadable voters, swing voters to us in a midterm election.”

Can Democrats Flip Texas, Arizona and Georgia?

Sean Trende uses Nate Silver’s demographic calculator to estimate how long it will take for Texas, Arizona and Georgia to become blue states given current population trends.

“I waited a long time. Arizona finally flips in 2036, and Georgia flips in 2048. Texas never does. Even if we double the rate of Hispanic and African-American population growth, Arizona doesn’t flip until 2024, Georgia until 2028, and Texas until 2032. On the other hand, if we assume a marginal reversion to mean for Republicans among minorities — 11 percent of the African-American vote and 32 percent of the Hispanic vote — only Arizona flips, and then only in 2044.”

Fiorina Inches Back Into Politics

“Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO who unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Senate in California in 2010, is diving back into electoral politics,” according to U.S. News and World Report.

“For now, her work is focused on pushing back against Democrats’ claim of a Republican-led ‘war on women’ in the 2014 midterms. But her recent moves in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire have convinced some she’s eyeing a bigger prize come 2016.”

A Major Unforced Error by Michelle Nunn

First Read looks at the leak of a strategy document from Michelle Nunn’s (D) campaign and notes “the revelation isn’t good for her consultants’ business, that’s for sure.”

“More importantly, this is something Nunn can’t afford. If she’s going to win — in this environment, in the red state of Georgia — she’s got to run a flawless campaign. Talk about a major unforced error. And the timing couldn’t be worse for Nunn: This story comes out just after the GOP’s nine-week runoff and with the start of the general election.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution headline: “Leaked doc: Michelle Nunn non-profit validated grants to charity with Hamas-tied affiliate”

Are Republicans Repeating Mistakes of 1998?

Byron York: “That’s what scares some Republican strategists. Back in 1998, there was an intense internal debate among Republicans over how much to make the midterms about President Bill Clinton. The strategists who favored attacking the president won the day, but in the end their strategy didn’t work out. Now, there is an intense internal debate among Republicans over how much to make the 2014 midterms about President Barack Obama.”