David Gergen: “It’s difficult to remember a Congress that has put the nation so much at risk in the service of ideology and to hold onto office. Partisans on both sides are grievously failing the country.”
A new Fairleigh Dickinson PublicMind Poll finds that the Sunday morning political shows on television “do the most to help people learn about current events, while some outlets, especially Fox News, lead people to be even less informed than those who they don’t watch any news at all.”
“For example, people who watch Fox News, the most popular of the 24-hour cable news networks, are 18-points less likely to know that Egyptians overthrew their government than those who watch no news at all (after controlling for other news sources, partisanship, education and other demographic factors). Fox News watchers are also 6-points less likely to know that Syrians have not yet overthrown their government than those who watch no news.”
These results mirror a University of Maryland study published last year.
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A new American Research Group poll in New Hampshire finds Mitt Romney leading the Republican presidential field with 33%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 22% and Ron Paul at 12%.
Support for Romney has remained steady for months. In April, support for Romney was at 32%. Romney was at 29% in June and 30% in September.
Former Mike Bloomberg aide Kevin Sheekey hints to Newsweek that big things are planned for the New York mayor once he leaves office.
Said Sheekey: “City Hall holds him back. He stands to become something much larger after he leaves office. Mike Bloomberg has the ability to be the best parts of Bill Clinton, Rupert Murdoch, and Bill Gates all rolled up into one.”
Sheekey, of course, was behind the effort to quietly explore a Bloomberg independent bid for president in 2008.
Paul Begala: “Republicans, apparently, will date anyone before they’ll marry Mitt. Remember their brief fling with Donald Trump? Then, after he decided not to throw his hair into the ring, they fell for Michele Bachmann, the Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya of the far right. Then it was Rick Perry — the guy who claims he jogs with a loaded gun (without a safety) tucked into his shorts. And now that they’ve tired of Herman Cain’s, umm, hands-on style of leadership, it’s Newt’s turn.”
“And so, like MacArthur, Newt has returned. I, for one, could not be happier–but then again, I’m a Democrat, so I have to take my political pleasures where I can find them. I seriously doubt Newt will be the GOP nominee. But a guy can dream, can’t he?”
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH) endorsed Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination, the Nasua Telegraph reports.
Jonathan Bernstein: “The political science literature tells us that high-profile endorsements are important indicators for at least two reasons. One is that these endorsements probably have a direct effect, as primary voters with little way of choosing from among similar-sounding candidates may turn to opinion leaders to sort things out. The other, and perhaps more important, factor is that high-profile endorsements are the most visible ways of seeing the co-ordination of party actors as they compete over the nomination and eventually settle on a candidate.”
Greg Sargent, in one sentence: “Democrats wanted the rich to pay more in taxes towards deficit reduction, and Republicans wanted the rich to pay less in taxes towards deficit reduction.”
Jonathan Chait: “Liberals are dissatisfied with Obama because liberals, on the whole, are incapable of feeling satisfied with a Democratic president. They can be happy with the idea of a Democratic president — indeed, dancing-in-the-streets delirious — but not with the real thing.”
“For almost all of the past 60 years, liberals have been in a near-constant emotional state of despair, punctuated only by brief moments of euphoria and occasional rage. When they’re not in charge, things are so bleak they threaten to move to Canada; it’s almost more excruciating when they do win elections, and their presidents fail in essentially the same ways: He is too accommodating, too timid, too unwilling or unable to inspire the populace. (Except for Johnson, who was a bloodthirsty warmonger.)”
David Frum: “When I entered Republican politics during an earlier period of malaise, in the late seventies and early eighties, the movement got most of the big questions — crime, inflation, the Cold War — right. This time, the party is getting the big questions disastrously wrong.”
“In the aftershock of 2008, large numbers of Americans feel exploited and abused. Rather than workable solutions, my party is offering low taxes for the currently rich and high spending for the currently old, to be followed by who-knows-what and who-the-hell-cares. This isn’t conservatism; it’s a going-out-of-business sale for the baby-boom generation.”
First Read looks at the finger-pointing in the wake of the debt supercommittee’s failure to agree on a required $1.2 trillion in spending cuts.
“Republicans — as well as GOP presidential contenders like Mitt Romney — are blaming President Obama for not doing more (even though House Speaker John Boehner and the GOP walked away from the president’s grand-bargain offer last summer). Democrats are blaming Republicans for not making a serious effort to place higher taxes and more tax revenue on the table. And Republicans are blaming Democrats for not making a serious effort to reform entitlement spending. But the institution of Congress needs to take a deep look into the mirror. Because of how it works — legislation has to pass both chambers to get to the president’s desk, and 60 votes are now needed to get almost anything through the Senate — both sides have to come together to get anything done. And right now, that’s not happening. Make no mistake: This likely will hurt ALL incumbents; Congress’ job rating will get lower (who knew that was possible?); and will make running against Washington all the more appealing.”
First Read: “The Super Committee’s inability to reach a deal triggers $1.2 trillion in cuts over 10 years in military and civilian spending. That’s on top of the nearly $1 trillion Congress cut to raise the debt ceiling in the summer. And consider this: If Congress and Obama let the Bush tax cuts expire — all of them — that would produce another $4 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years. So if Congress ends up doing NOTHING, you could see $6 trillion in deficit reduction. That said, efforts are already underway to restore military spending cuts, as well as those Bush tax cuts.”
“I waste less energy. I do fewer dumb things.”
— Newt Gingrich, in an interview with David Brody, on why he’s a better candidate today than years ago.
As the Republican presidential primary enters its final leg, the
candidates are set to “unleash a torrent of spending — finally hitting
the airwaves with television ads, putting out a steady flood of campaign
mail and revving up their paid organizing efforts,” according to Politico.
2012 field will never catch up with last cycle’s primary spending, but
they’re about to pick up the pace. While it’s impossible to say exactly
how much money the candidates have stockpiled, at least four appear to
have sizable seven-figure sums on hand: Romney, Rick Perry, Herman
Cain and Ron Paul. Both Romney and Perry reported having about $15
million in the bank at the end of September, while Paul announced $3.7
million on hand. Cain had a more modest $1.3 million, but his campaign
has claimed to have raised some $9 million from supporters incensed over
the spate of sexual harassment allegations recently made against him.”
Rick Perry’s campaign manager Rob Johnson “met with a small group of
supporters in New Hampshire last Monday” to play damage control as the
campaign struggles to regain its footing, reports CNN.
said the event felt like ‘an apology tour’ for Perry, who entered the
race to much fanfare but has struggled to gain traction in New
Hampshire. A woman in attendance complained about a lack of
communication from the campaign. Others at the meeting chimed in that
they, too had not been receiving campaign e-mails. Some in the audience
also complained that Perry had not spent enough time campaigning in the
Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI) “fiercely denied allegations by distant relatives that he sexually abused a then-12-year-old second cousin several decades ago,” the AP reports.
Kildee, who will retire next year, accused the relatives of working
with “political adversaries to destroy my reputation by lying about
something that never took place.”
The Washington Times first reported the allegations.
With just six weeks until the Iowa caucuses, a new USA Today/Gallup poll finds Newt Gingrich has shot from 3% in the summer to the top of the GOP presidential field.
Gingrich leads nationally with 22%, followed by Mitt Romney at 21%, Herman Cain at 16%, Ron Paul at 9%, Rick Perry at 8% and Michele Bachmann at 4%
Key takeaway: “Gingrich is the sixth candidate or potential candidate to lead the field this year, as some Republicans have sought an alternative to Romney, whose support has stayed steady at about 20%, give or take.”
Pollsters Patrick Caddell and Doug Schoen write in the Wall Street Journal that — like Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson — President Obama should accept the reality that he cannot govern the nation and not run for re-election.
“He should abandon his candidacy for re-election in favor of a clear alternative, one capable not only of saving the Democratic Party, but more important, of governing effectively and in a way that preserves the most important of the president’s accomplishments. He should step aside for the one candidate who would become, by acclamation, the nominee of the Democratic Party: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.”
“Never before has there been such an obvious potential successor — one who has been a loyal and effective member of the president’s administration, who has the stature to take on the office, and who is the only leader capable of uniting the country around a bipartisan economic and foreign policy.”