A new Harper Polling survey in Kentucky finds Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) would handily beat Ashley Judd (D) in a race for U.S. Senate, 49% to 40%.
Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) declares in a new fundraising letter that he was “the first Member of Congress to call him a socialist who embraces Marxist-Leninist policies like government control of health care and redistribution of wealth,” the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.
Broun is running for U.S. Senate in Georgia for the seat being vacated by Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA).
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) told the nation in his State of the Union rebuttal last night, “I still live in the same working-class neighborhood I grew up in.”
“That’s the line that will cripple Barack Obama.”
— Newt Gingrich, in an interview on CNN, on the president’s State of the Union claim that his proposals would “not add a single dime to the budget.”
Al Gore said the Internet would eventually lessen the role of money in politics, Tech Crunch reports.
Said Gore: “Over time, the rise of the Internet will inexorably diminish the role of money in politics, which is driven today in significant measure by the need on the part of politicians to amass these huge war chests primarily for buying 30-second television advertisements.”
He added: “And as the Internet becomes more prominent and eventually the central way in which we communicate, it does bring the promise of re-empowering individuals to play their roles as citizens and to revitalize representative democracy.”
With a burgeoning scandal involving a donor distracting Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) these days, Roll Call finds some advice written by the senator’s daughter in 2011 “to a generic embattled politician brought down by scandal.”
Writes Alicia Menendez: “So you’ve found yourself embroiled in a scandal, huh? In a perfect world we’d rewind to before this ever happened, when you were just some up and comer who was running for city council or state assembly. I’d tell you to make a list of your real, true friends. No big donors. No one who trades your name like a baseball card. No one who is more invested in you, the mighty and powerful than in the real you. My instinct is to tell you that that person is someone from your childhood, someone who knew you when you were still wearing bad suits and actually eating the chicken dinners they serve at political functions.”
Said Spitzer: “Look, I haven’t even seen the article. I got a call or two about it. I think-I hope-the article said I did not speak to the reporter, have never spoken to him about it. It’s just made up out of nowhere. I have no idea where it comes from.”
Ezra Klein: “After an election, the winning party typically tries to pass the policies it campaigned on while the losers go back to the drawing board to try to work up a more appealing agenda. But last night’s dueling speeches revealed, strangely, the reverse.”
“President Obama’s agenda has become much more ambitious since the election, ranging from universal pre-kindergarten to raising the minimum wage to gun control to immigration reform. But neither the Republican Party’s agenda nor its rhetoric has changed a whit.”
Wonk Wire has a good round up of the policy proposals included in President Obama’s State of the Union address.
A Gallup analysis finds Mississippi remained the most religious state in the union in 2012, with
58% of its residents classified as very religious.
At the other end of
the spectrum, Vermont remained the least religious state, with 19% of
its residents classified as very religious.
“He probably has shit for brains. I couldn’t be more proud of myself, what I stand for, and for this
pompous ass to claim that he cares more about a family that lost a child
than I do is a perfect example of the brain dead critics of Ted
— Ted Nugent, quoted by Politico, when Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) questioned Nugent’s
presence at the State of the Union.
Langevin is in a wheelchair and paralyzed from a shooting accident
when he was a teenager.
First Read: “Buried in this speech is something that the president didn’t want to advertise, but that was placed in there as a hint to Republicans at where he’s ready to compromise on the deficit: He called for cuts to Medicare equal to what Bowles-Simpson proposed. He never said the number (not popular politically), but he stated the goal. Folks, this is where the compromise in March could happen.”
“His desperate need for a drink of water created the immediate headline, but Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) much-anticipated speech Tuesday night had a very serious intent: It was as much an exercise in erasing Mitt Romney’s legacy on the Republican Party as it was a traditional response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address,” Jonathan Martin reports.
“The selection of Rubio to speak for his party marked the latest, and perhaps most overt, step in the GOP’s rehabilitation project since Election Day, an effort to repackage its identity without altering its policies.”
First Read: “But here’s a separate question we have: Did Rubio broaden his party’s
reach? While he’s younger than Mitt Romney and has a more relatable life
story, Rubio’s speech was almost a rehash of almost everything we heard
from Romney and the GOP in 2012.”
If Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) was hoping to nudge Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) toward retirement, the New York Times notes “his announcement has had precisely the opposite effect. Mr. Lautenberg, a fighter dubbed ‘swamp dog’ by a past opponent, has embraced his job with new vigor.”
“And he brightens at the prospect of tussling with a man half his age, even speaking openly to his staff about running again. He has jabbed at Mr. Booker, joking that he deserves a spanking for trying to unseat a fellow Democrat, and noting that the well-traveled mayor has no shortage of work to do in his own struggling city.”
Said Lautenberg: “I’m going to finish the work I’m doing. And he should finish the work he is doing instead of traipsing around the country.”
“I agree we need to vote on guns. Let’s have the debate. Let’s have it out there. Let’s talk about what the Constitution says, and what the Bill of Rights is, and what 10th Amendment rights are and the Second Amendment. I think we ought to have votes. I’m all for that.”
— Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), in an interview on Morning Joe.
Steve Kornacki says November 2014 “is setting up as a crucial moment in the renewed battle for gun control. There may well be enough momentum for Obama to push through some new laws this year. They won’t be sufficient, but doing so will make gun control a major issue in the ’14 midterms. If those who support the news laws pay a price at the polls, the issue will again recede. But if they survive – and, especially, if those who vote against any of the laws Obama is calling for are defeated – it should create new momentum for further, more far-reaching reforms.”
“Obama made a passionate, convincing case on Tuesday night that his gun agenda deserves a vote in Congress. It may even be enough for him to get his way. But he won’t get everything he wants. For that, he and his allies are going to have to be patient and persistent. For real gun control, the fight won’t take months; it will take years.”
Politico: “Twitter exploded during Sen. Marco Rubio’s Republican response to the State of the Union, as the Florida senator appeared a little sweaty and dry-mouthed at mid-speech, taking an awkward swig from a bottle of water that had been placed off-camera. Rubio handled the hullabaloo with some humor, later tweeting a picture of the water bottle.”
A new CNN/ORC instant poll found that 77% of those watching President Obama’s State of the Union had a somewhat or very positive view of the address, while 22% had a negative response.
However, Obama was speaking to a relatively friendly audience. Of those who watched the speech, 44% were Democrats and 17% were Republicans.
Said pollster Keating Holland: “Tuesday night’s State of the Union audience is more Democratic than the nation as a whole, which is typical for a President Obama speech and indicates that the speech-watchers were predisposed to like what Obama said. When George W. Bush was president, his audiences were more Republican than the general public at that time, and his speeches were usually well-received for that same reason.”