May, 2015

No Leader in GOP Presidential Race

A new Quinnipiac poll highlights how there is no frontrunner in the GOP presidential race. Five candidates — Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker — all share the lead with 10% support each.

Said pollster Tim Malloy: “Safe to say, the 2016 Republican presidential primary is anyone’s race. With no frontrunner and identical numbers for the top five contenders, it’s a horserace which can only be described as a scrambled field – at least so far.”

Clinton Retools Approach to Campaign

“In 2008, Hillary Clinton played down the fact that she was a woman running for president, as aides argued she had to project toughness above all else. This time, she’s displaying no such caution,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Mrs. Clinton regularly talks about women and children’s issues and reminds voters that she’s now a grandmother… On Wednesday, during her first trip this year to the early primary state of South Carolina, she spoke with two groups of women and promised that as president she would push for equal pay for women and for higher wages for the lowest-paid jobs, often held by women.”

Clintons Paid Blumenthal $10K a Month

“Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime confidant of Bill and Hillary Clinton, earned about $10,000 a month as a full-time employee of the Clinton Foundation while he was providing unsolicited intelligence on Libya to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,” Politico reports.

“Blumenthal was added to the payroll of the Clintons’ global philanthropy in 2009 — not long after advising Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign — at the behest of former president Bill Clinton, for whom he had worked in the White House, say the sources.”

Nebraska Repeals Death Penalty

“Nebraska has repealed the death penalty following a dramatic vote Wednesday by state lawmakers to override the governor’s veto,” the Omaha World-Herald reports.

“The outcome represented a defeat for first-term Gov. Pete Ricketts (R), who made an all-out effort to peel away some of 18 conservative senators who helped pass the repeal bill. Earlier in the session, lawmakers overrode the governor’s veto of a bill that raises the state gas tax.”

Obama Won’t Take Immigration Battle to Supreme Court

President Obama “will put off a confrontation at the Supreme Court over his immigration executive actions, choosing not to ask for permission to carry out the programs while a fight over presidential authority plays out in the lower courts,” the New York Times reports.

“As a result, Mr. Obama’s vast overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws, which he announced with great fanfare last November, might not be resolved until just months before he leaves office.”

Walker Defends Mandatory Ultrasounds

Gov. Scott Walker (R) defended his decision to sign a law in Wisconsin mandating ultrasounds for women before they get abortions, calling ultrasounds “just a cool thing out there,” Politico reports.

Said Walker: “We just knew if we signed that law, if we provided the information, that more people if they saw that unborn child would, would make a decision to protect and keep the life of that unborn child.”

Santorum Announces White House Bid

Rick Santorum (R), “who fell short in his 2012 presidential bid, launched another run for the White House on Wednesday with a promise to restore the economic power of middle-class American workers,” Reuters reports.

Washington Post: “The step forward by Santorum, 57, is the latest in a wave of entries by hard-right contenders who believe that after losing two straight presidential elections behind more moderate nominees, GOP voters will turn to a candidate unflinching in their ideology who can enthuse the party’s base.”

Politico: “Polls reflect his predicament: It’s not even clear he’ll make the cut for the first debates this year.”

Every Candidate Needs a Book

“Once, and not so long ago, running for political office was comparatively simple. Politicians assembled their teams, announced their candidacies and took to the campaign trail. Now, a presidential quest involves a PAC, a super PAC, a campaign army — and, of course, a book,” the Washington Post reports.

“Oh, there has to be a book. If a candidate has already published one, perhaps it’s time for another. Books have become the telltale sign that someone in one office is serious about running for another.”

Good Times for GOP Staffers

Time: “With more than a dozen—and perhaps eventually as many as two dozen—contenders at various stages of preparation for a White House bid, the fight for staff is fierce. Promises of access to the candidate, special titles and bloated salaries are the new chits for the small subset of political professionals who have run campaigns before… Operatives who have networks in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina stand to be the campaign’s most obvious profiteers…”

“It is a dynamic that is playing out in the other states, and at national headquarters, where finding bodies to put into jobs is taking up a lot top campaign aides’ time…. Among the sought-after operatives—friends to each other in non-election settings—they speculate some of the top staff hires are earning as much as $35,000 each month…. To be sure, there is money to be made Presidential politics.”

For those interested in political jobs, there are dozens listings over at Political Job Hunt.