Tuesday, February 23, 2010

McCain Romney the New Dynamic Duo?


Governor Romney endorsed Senator McCain's bid for re-election today. While it may have ticked off some disgruntled radio personalities, it also opens the door to what could potentially be a powerful dynamic duo...

From Time The Romney McCain Lovefest: Everybody Wins!

Times have changed. After gracefully exiting the primary, Romney became a cheerful warrior for McCain, He logged countless hours fundraising for his one-time opponent and appeared on the Senator’s behalf almost anywhere the campaign asked, including at the Democratic National Convention. His competence and dedication won him begrudging fans in McCain’s senior staff, who later freely admitted they’d misjudged him. McCain himself was deeply appreciative of Romney’s work, and was won over personally after spending time with Romney and his gracious wife Ann at the Senator’s Sedona ranch. Romney ended up in serious contention for McCain’s VP slot, and as the financial crisis took over the agenda, he became one of McCain's valued go-to sources of advice and perspective on economic issues.

So perhaps the news of Romney’s endorsement isn’t all that surprising. It's good for McCain to have someone with Romney's financial expertise and centrist appeal come out in his favor. It also helps McCain to appear connected with someone considered part the GOP's future. The question for Romney, who’s emerging as the GOP’s most serious contender for 2012, is what’s in it for him? For starters, a friendship with McCain has lots of benefits. McCain is still an excellent drawcard for fundraisers, and although Romney has vast personal wealth, having a name like McCain on board makes a big difference. McCain could also lend a Romney candidacy some foreign policy and national security credibility, particularly with Republican voters. Romney lacks it, McCain has it in spades. And McCain has always been popular in New Hampshire, a critical early state.


Romney Endorses McCain Making for A Potentially Powerful Duo

Brown Votes for Jobs

Republican Scott Brown of Massachusetts is an interesting phenomenon. First, he's a Republican in a very 'blue' state. His election drew support from some unlikely allies such as Governor Romney, Senator McCain, and the tea party supporters. Yet what Brown ran on was relatively simple; kill the current health bill, reduce government spending, no NYC trial for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and a pledge to not behave in a highly partisan manner. Brown is already making good on two of these promises. The health care bill was denied (at least for a time) due to his election breaking the filibuster proof majority of the Democrats. Now Brown has shown that he is willing to work across the aisle as he has voted along with a handful of other moderate Republicans to support the new scaled-back jobs bill.

From Yahoo Brown revives GOP moderates' pivot role

"I came to Washington to be an independent voice, to put politics aside and to do everything in my power to help create jobs for Massachusetts families," said Brown, whose election last month gave Republicans the 41st vote that could sustain filibusters. "This Senate jobs bill is not perfect ... but I voted for it because it contains measures that will help put people back to work."

Monday's vote cleared the decks for a far larger favorable vote when the jobs legislation faces an up-or-down final tally Wednesday.

The bill features four provisions, including a $13 billion measure exempting businesses hiring the unemployed from the 6.2 percent Social Security payroll tax through December and giving them another $1,000 credit if new workers stay on the job a full year.

It's undeniably modest, especially in comparison with the $862 billion economic stimulus bill enacted a year ago. It's also significantly smaller than a rival bipartisan bill unveiled earlier this month by two senior senators.

The measure is centered on tax breaks for businesses that hire new workers this year and a renewal of highway programs through Dec. 31. Both ideas have wide support in both parties. Mark Zandi, an economist with Moody's Economy.com, estimates the tax credit could spur about 250,000 new jobs.



Brown and other Moderate Republicans Vote For Jobs Bill

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Republican Primary

Dick Army head of Freedom works and former House leader is clearly unimpressed by McCain challenger Hayworth, as he cites Hayworth's political record as undistibguished.

Armey: Hayworth had 'undistinguished' House career

As former Rep. J.D. Hayworth prepares to officially enter the Republican primary race against incumbent Sen. John McCain, he probably had better not count on any support from FreedomWorks, the national conservative group closely associated with the Tea Party movement.

In a telephone interview with The Arizona Republic, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, FreedomWorks' chairman, delivered a surprisingly harsh assessment of Hayworth, with whom he served on Capitol Hill:

"We're a small organization with a limited budget. There's an awful lot of places where our presence would be needed and can really make a difference. We don't see this Arizona race as one where we need to be actively involved. It's hard for us to believe that J.D. Hayworth could mount a credible challenge to John McCain
. Obviously, we'll watch the race. But J.D. had a fairly short, undistinguished congressional career with virtually no initiative on his part. I just don't see any reason why we should be concerned about that race."


Hayworth has other problems too as Little Green Footballs points out in their article McCain Primary Opponent Hayworth: a Birther with a Twist

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hayworth Questioned About Birther Statements

Hayworth a (R) challenger for Senator McCain's Senate seat was called out by Chris Matthews as a 'birther' and Hayworth was unable to give an articulate reply...

"When Chris Matthews asked J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) whether he's "as far right as the birthers," the former Republican Congressman called on President Obama to produce his birth certificate for public inspection.

"Well, gosh, we all had to bring our birth certificates to show we were who we said we were, and we were the age we said we were, to play football in youth sports," said Hayworth, who is currently challenging John McCain (R-AZ) in Arizona's Senate primary. "Shouldn't we know exactly that anyone who wants to run for public office is a natural born citizen of the United States, and is who they say they are?"


J.D. Hayworth A Birther? McCain Challenger Calls For Obama's Birth Certificate

McCain Challenger Called On 'Nutty Right' Statements

Bayh Calls Out Partisan Rankor

It's unfortunate to see a Senator retire that has not only shown that he can work across the aisle, but clearly has a grasp of what is frustrating many Americans - bitter partisanship. In Senator Bayh's address announcing his retirement he notes a political environment that has become nearly impossible to work within. Senator Bayh sees what many Americans see, a system that is putting party before country, or more simply, a system that is putting party before effectiveness. Kudos to Senator Bayh for calling out both parties on this problem, and here's hoping he can help rectify the problem from outside Washington.
“After all these years, my passion for service to my fellow citizens is undiminished, but my desire to do so in Congress has waned,” he said.

“My decision was not motivated by political concern,” he added. “Even in the current challenging environment, I am confident in my prospects for re-election.”

Bayh had never lost an election, from his first win in 1986 as secretary of state, his wins for governor in 1988 and 1992 and his election to the U.S. Senate in 1998 and 2004.

“But running for the sake of winning an election, just to remain in public office, is not good enough,” Bayh said. “And it has never been what motivates me. At this time I simply believe I can best contribute to society in another way: creating jobs by helping grow a business, helping guide an institution of higher learning or helping run a worthy charitable endeavor.”

From IndyStar.com Evan Bayh will not seek re-election


Senator Bayh Takes A Shot At Bitter Partisanship As He Retires

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dems Trendline Dropping Dramatically

An ABC Washington Post Poll 2010 Elections: Republicans are in the Hunt shows how Republicans have recently gained a slight advantage over Democrats on both national topics, and in the upcoming Congressional races. One of the most stark examples of the Democrats decline of support on all major issues comes from a chart showing how just a year ago Obama and the Democrats, who had enjoyed a huge advantage evrything from health care to the economy, now have seen that lead has all but disappeared within a year's time...





ABC/WaPo Chart of Dem Advantage Starkly Shows Decline in Trust

Race Heated Over Stimulus in Florida

Governor Crist and Senate challenger Marco Rubio are in an interesting race. One of the topics that Crist has taken heat for amongst many conservatives is taking federal stimulus dollars for Florida and meeting President Obama at a rally that basically supported the stimulus package. Yet the following clip shows that Mr. Rubio would have also accepted the stimulus money like all other state governors ended up doing. The action that is called into question isn't accepting stimulus money, but whether meeting with President Obama publicly was a politically correct decision.






Rubio and Crist and the Stimulus Money for Florida

Thursday, February 4, 2010

White House Nervous About Kirk Giannoulias Race in IL

Excerpt from the NYT Illinois Senate Race Worries Democrats Anew

CHICAGO — Alexi Giannoulias, the treasurer of Illinois and a basketball-playing friend of President Obama’s, won the Democratic primary here on Tuesday for the Senate seat once held by Mr. Obama. But his victory was hardly the free throw some had expected, setting off a new round of worrying among Democrats that the reliably Democratic seat might be picked off by Republicans in November.
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In an Illinois Primary Race, Victory Is Self-Declared (February 4, 2010)

With four others on the ballot, Mr. Giannoulias won 39 percent of the Democratic vote, or, as Republicans preferred to describe it on Wednesday, lost 61 percent of it. A little-known former federal prosecutor who had never run for office, David Hoffman, came within six percentage points of Mr. Giannoulias.

With much on the line here, including the symbolism of the president’s home state possibly slipping away, some Democrats were concerned that the party had played into the game plan of the Republicans, who chose Representative Mark Steven Kirk, a centrist-leaning suburbanite who hopes to appeal to the state’s independent voters and even some moderate Democrats.

Already Wednesday morning, the National Republican Senatorial Committee had issued a Web video mocking Mr. Giannoulias, 33, for what it described as questionable loans made by his family’s bank, his ties to Rod R. Blagojevich, the indicted former governor of Illinois, and more.

“Is this change we can believe in?” the video asks.

Mr. Obama called Mr. Giannoulias to congratulate him on his victory, aides said, but despite the friendship, the White House indicated in the past that it had reservations about his candidacy. At one point, White House officials tried without success to recruit another Democrat, Lisa Madigan, the state attorney general, even after Mr. Giannoulias had made his aspirations clear.

Mr. Obama, who endorsed no one in the primary, has pledged to party officials to do what he can to help keep the seat in Democratic hands. But aides said the president would invest his time and efforts in races across the country and not necessarily devote more attention to the contest for his former seat.

White House Worried About Senate Race in Illinois