Tag Archives: Campaigning

 

Daily Briefing: Al Gore, Hot or Not?

White House strategists believe the midterm elections offer Bush an opportunity to “rewrite” and “recover” his presidency. Republicans plan to focus on immigration, tax cuts, and homeland security and will “frame the election as a contest with Democrats, confident that voters unhappy with the president will find the opposition even more distasteful.” [WP] The GOP is seeing losses “in morale, in fundraising and in early election contests.” [LAT] Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) was caught on tape accepting $100,000 from an investor-turned-informant. [WP, NYT] Alberto Gonzales says the government can legally prosecute journalists for publishing classified information. [NYT, WP] Patrick Fitzgerald is trying to prove that Scooter Libby lied based on his knowledge of Valerie Plame‘s classified status. [WP] Laura Bush is “leveraging her popularity” to boost Republican candidates where her husband can’t. [USAT] Senators expect immigration compromise this year. [LAT] Read more on Daily Briefing: Al Gore, Hot or Not?…
 

Daily Briefing: See Ya, Arlen

At his confirmation hearing, Gen. Michael Hayden deflects specifics, defends NSA wiretapping, distances himself from Pentagon brass, and urges a focus on the future of the CIA: “It’s time to move past what seems to me to be an endless picking apart of the archaeology of every past intelligence success or failure.” [WP, NYT, NYT, WSJ] Senate votes 63 to 34 to make English the “national language”; vote continues “the conservative turn that a major overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws has taken since the Senate began debate this week.” [WP, NYT] Judiciary Committee approves constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage; Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) says “good riddance” to Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), who replies, “See ya.” [WP] Bush in Arizona: “It makes sense to use fencing along the border in key locations in order to do our job. We’re in the process of making our border the most technologically advanced border in the world.” [NYT, WSJ] BellSouth seeks a retraction from USA Today for “the false and unsubstantiated statements” about NSA phone logs. [WSJ] Read more on Daily Briefing: See Ya, Arlen…
 

Daily Briefing: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Senate approves fences and barriers for the southern border as well as restrictions for the guest-worker program. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.): “Good fences make good neighbors. Fences don’t make bad neighbors.” [WP, NYT, WSJ] New details about Gen. Michael Hayden‘s “highly classified world” are “forcing lawmakers to reexamine a man many of them have known for years”; last-minute briefings to lawmakers on the Intelligence Committees “have smoothed what might have been a contentious path toward confirmation” and a declassified list shows select members were briefed 30 times on surveillance programs since 9/11. [WP, NYT, NYT, USAT, USAT, WSJ] Tuesday’s election results may preview a “brewing unrest that could threaten incumbents of both parties in the November elections”; a “broader disaffection” is noted. [WP, NYT] Bush echoes past campaign themes in speech at RNC fundraiser: “We are the party of the future, and our candidates will be running against the party of the past — a party that offers no new ideas like the Republican Party, a party that can only offer opposition.” [NYT] Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) says Bush is not appropriately funding the National Guard order: “A lot are going to be sitting in cars that don’t run and planes that don’t take off.” [USAT] House ethics committee opens investigations of Reps. Robert Ney (R-Ohio), William Jefferson (D-La.), and Randy Cunningham (R-Calif.). [WP, NYT] Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman are bidding for a multibillion-dollar contract to provide border security. [NYT] Read more on Daily Briefing: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?…
 

Daily Briefing: ‘Last Man Standing’

Democrats are now more trusted than Republicans to handle every key issue, according to new WP-ABC News poll; 69% believe the nation is “off track” and 56% want Democrats to win control of Congress yet 52% say Democrats “have not offered a sharp contrast to Bush and the Republicans.” [WP] House Republicans hold back the Senate’s advancement of immigration proposals. House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio): “I understand what the president’s position is. I have made it pretty clear that I have supported the House position.” Cheney, meanwhile, reassures Rush Limbaugh: “[W]here appropriate, fences or security barriers make good sense.” [WP, NYT, USAT] White House pledges to brief more lawmakers about anti-terrorism efforts. [WP] Verizon denies that it provided phone logs to the NSA. [NYT, USAT] Read more on Daily Briefing: ‘Last Man Standing’…
 

Daily Briefing: Mr Fix It

In speech tonight, Bush will call for thousands of National Guard troops to be deployed along the southern border as a temporary solution; “a number of Democrats and even a few key Republicans” have already “voiced skepticism or outright opposition.” Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.): “That’s a short-term fix, and I’m not sure that’s a very wise fix.” [WP, NYT, USAT] GOP reaches out to activist base as Christian conservatives seek action on controversial issues such as gay marriage and abortion. [NYT, WSJ] Fearing their own political futures, House and Senate Republicans are increasingly divided and disloyal. [WP] Reports of domestic call logging “seemed to fly in the face of months of public statements and assurances from President Bush and his aides,” who have been “punctilious in discussing” NSA programs. [WP] Views of call logging split along party lines but strong majorities are concerned it’s just the tip of the iceberg and support congressional hearings. [USAT] Read more on Daily Briefing: Mr Fix It…
 

Daily Briefing: Swimming Upstream

Rep. Rahm Emanuel, head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, hurls expletives at Dean over election strategy; Emanuel fears Dean is spending too much money too soon: “This is a historic opportunity, and we can’t squander it.” [WP, NYT] The NSA is “amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans — most of whom aren’t suspected of any crime”; calls made by tens of millions of Americans are logged. [USAT] Bush is losing support among his base at a “rapid” clip; Gallup registers “a 13-percentage-point drop in Republican support for Bush in the past couple of weeks.” [WP] Republicans seek to gain upper-hand on energy issues with a “whole series” of measures. [WSJ] National issues are shaping local races this year; “Republicans are swimming against a national tide of voter unrest.” [WSJ] House passes $70B tax package mostly along party lines, 244 to 185. [WP, NYT, USAT] National Archives violated rules when White House lawyers looked at John Roberts‘ files; papers on affirmative action are missing. [WP] Read more on Daily Briefing: Swimming Upstream…
 

Daily Briefing: The ‘Two-Edged Sword’

Congressional Republicans propose five-year, $70B tax bill; the main component is the extension of tax rates on capital gains and dividends. [WP, WSJ, NYT] Bush‘s “political strength continues to dissipate,” according to fresh CBS/NYT poll; his “overall job approval rating hit another new low, 31 percent, tying the low point of his father in July 1992, four months before the elder Mr. Bush lost his bid for a second term.” [NYT] Read more on Daily Briefing: The ‘Two-Edged Sword’…
 

Gossip Roundup: Vintage Twins

Reliable Source: Attorney for Robert Steinbuch threatens to add Ana Marie Cox as a co-defendant in his suit against Jessica Cutler. . . Murdoch will host a summer fundraiser for Hillary. . . Mort Kondracke marries Marguerite Sallee, the CEO of America’s Promise. . . Bush twins are spotted buying vintage clothes. [WP] Read more on Gossip Roundup: Vintage Twins…
 

Daily Briefing: Something to Tout

* Republicans in Congress settle on $70B tax-cut package as proposal for $100 gas vouchers withers; Bush “implored lawmakers to deliver an agreement he could tout.” [WP, WP, NYT] * Immigration rallies apparently made little influence on Congress. [NYT] * Democrats aim to pick up House seats in the Northeast. [NYT] * Bush may have sung a Spanish version of the national anthem at a campaign event. [WP] * House votes on lobbying reform today. [USAT] * Administration is testing “antisatellite weapons.” [NYT] * Democrats threaten to filibuster one, maybe two, conservative judicial nominations. [WP] * Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) is on a one-man mission to eliminate earmarks from the emergency spending bill. [WP] * The Supreme Court under John Roberts has become more contemplative and patient. [NYT] * Blogosphere bloviates about Stephen Colbert‘s performance. [NYT] Read more on Daily Briefing: Something to Tout…
 

Daily Briefing: Oh The Places You’ll Go

* Hundreds of thousands rally across the country to influence Congressional action on immigration. [NYT] * Approval of Bush dips to another new low: 34% in USAT/Gallup poll. [USAT] * Republicans drop plan to offer $100 compensation for gas prices. [WSJ, NYT] * FBI sought information on thousands of Americans last year without court approval. [WP] * Social Security and Medicare are “unsustainable in their current form,” according to the administration. Bush: “The systems are going broke.” [NYT] * Ten states are suing the administration to raise mileage on SUVs and trucks. [NYT] * Secret Service will release notations of White House visits by Abramoff. [WP] * Lawmakers’ pet projects used against them by opponents calling for fiscal responsibility and reform. [NYT] * Giuliani, in Iowa, openly contemplates a national run: “I’ve got a lot of places to go and a lot of people to talk to and a long process of figuring out whether it makes sense to run for president in 2008… As part of it, saying to myself, does it look like I have a chance in 2008? And make that decision after the 2006 election.” [NYT] Read more on Daily Briefing: Oh The Places You’ll Go…
 

Daily Briefing: Searching for the MoJo

* Nationwide boycott and simultaneous rallies are planned for today by pro-immigrant groups; Senate leaders are near a compromise, “but the White House may be underestimating the degree of opposition from within his party.” [USAT, WP] * Thousands rally on the mall to call for action on Darfur. Sen. Obama: “Paralysis in the face of genocide is wrong.” [WP, NYT, USAT] * Conservatives inundated with complaints about plan to rebate $100 to taxpayers for high gas prices. Rush Limbaugh: “What kind of insult is this? Instead of buying us off and treating us like we’re a bunch of whores, just solve the problem.” [NYT] * Official report admits “shortfalls and deficiencies” in Iraq reconstruction as well as “substantial progress.” [WP] * Josh Bolten, making his television debut on Fox News, says the West Wing is trying “to get our mojo back.” [WP] * Bringing impersonator to Correspondents’ Dinner was Bush‘s idea, officials say. [NYT] * Democrats want to use minimum wage as a “wedge issue.” [W$J] * Alito will likely cast the deciding vote in three upcoming cases. [WP] Read more on Daily Briefing: Searching for the MoJo…
 

Daily Briefing: Pols At the Pump

* The president and lawmakers scramble to gain political advantage as oil companies report record profits; fuel-economy standards may be raised. [WP, NYT, W$J] * Fitzgerald will decide within weeks whether to charge Rove with perjury. [NYT] * FEMA faces storm of criticism but no solution stands out; Bush lends a hand in New Orleans: “There’s lots of progress. There’s still a lot to be done.” [WP, WP, NYT, W$J] * House narrowly passes lobbying reform bill; last-minute deal targets earmarks. [WP, NYT, USAT, W$J] * Bush approves Dubai ownership of nine domestic military plants. [NYT] Read more on Daily Briefing: Pols At the Pump…
 

Daily Briefing: Sour to the Third

* Rove testifies for several hours in the CIA leak case; testimony “focused almost exclusively on his conversation about Plame with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper in 2003 and whether the top aide later tried to conceal it.” [WP, NYT, W$J] * Tony Snow could be “the first outsider to become part of Bush’s revamped inner circle”; aides admit there is “broad agreement that the first-term strategy of largely ignoring the mainstream Washington media was a mistake.” Dan Bartlett: “There is a lot of value added in Tony coming on board and helping us internally with his own views and ideas.” [WP, NYT, USAT, WT] * New spending bill brings cost of the war in Iraq to $320B; total cost of Afghanistan and Iraq missions will exceed the price of the Vietnam War. [WP] * Approval of Congress in NBC/WSJ poll has dropped 11 points in the past month; respondents are increasingly pessimistic about the direction of the nation and the economy. 77% are “uneasy about the economy” and 44% are tired of partisan fighting. Pollster: “You have never seen such a sour mood in the country. It is sour, sour, sour.” [MSNBC, W$J] * Senate report concludes FEMA should be abolished because problems are “too substantial to mend.” [WP, NYT, USAT] * Rumsfeld, Rice visit Baghdad after prodding from Bush; “they were embracing perhaps the last chance the Bush administration had to turn around public opinion at home and to ensure that Iraq has a viable political future.” [WP, NYT, W$J] Read more on Daily Briefing: Sour to the Third…
 

Daily Briefing: ‘The Real Wedge’

* White House shake-up is directed at the midterm elections; Bolten is following a five-point plan that includes an “extremely visible enforcement crackdown at the Mexican border.” Bush advisor: “If we don’t keep Congress, there won’t be a legacy.” [Time] * Osama Bin Laden releases new audio tape; analyst says intention is to provide a global posture for al Qaeda: “Bin Laden is a master craftsman at recognizing issues and knowing how to exploit these issues for his own purposes. He’s trying to enlarge the global conflict and is trying to incite and anger the Muslim world against the West.” [WP] * Eight American troops have been killed over the past two days in Iraq; April will likely be the deadliest month this year. [AP] * West Wing is said to feel “really weird right now” because “people are worried about their jobs,” says a senior official; aides “are on edge.” Mark McKinnon: “Karl has more bandwidth than anyone on the planet, but with the elections coming up, we have to make sure he has the time to concentrate on the big message.” Nicole Wallace on Bolten: “It was nice to cut right to the chase. He set a very honest and direct tone. It was kind of, ‘We’re going to get through all this together, and we need to step it up.'” [Newsweek, NYT] * White turnout in the New Orleans mayoral election was double the norm; Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu could be the city’s first white mayor in nearly three decades. [NYT, WP] * CIA is cracking down on leaks by subjecting dozens of employees to polygraph tests; top Democrats suggest a double standard exists about leaking for political purposes. [NYT, WP] * Los Angeles Times editorial board calls for Bush to boot Cheney: “Having changed his tune, the president should also think about changing the company he keeps — big time, as Dick Cheney would say.” [LAT] Read more on Daily Briefing: ‘The Real Wedge’…
 

Daily Briefing: Tension City

* Bush‘s meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao was heavy on symbolism, light on substance; Bush apologized for heckling. [WP, WP, NYT, WSJ, USAT] * Bush, Jintao disagree about the dynamic of their relationship; “The mood was friendly, yet the tension was unmistakable.” [WP, NYT] * Harriet Miers might be lost in the next phase of the White House shuffle; Tony Snow is “in negotiations” for McClellan‘s post. [NYT] * Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised more than double its GOP counterpart in this quarter; RNC, meanwhile, beat the DNC by a 1.9 to 1 ratio. [WP] * Republican leaders plan to hit the ground running when they return from break; “41 percent of those polled said Congress has accomplished less than usual.” [WP] * Democratic candidates are trying to use rising gas prices to their advantage. [NYT, WSJ] * Rumsfeld dismisses critics as being against much-needed reform. [NYT] * Chertoff compares crackdown against illegal immigrants to shutdown of the mob. [NYT] * Case against AIPAC lobbyists concerns lobbyists and journalists. Professor: “The chilling effect could become glacial for anybody who is engaged in basic lobbying research or simply doing research or writing stories on national security issues.” [WP] * Negroponte reveals that about 100,000 people are involved in intelligence operations around the world. [NYT] Read more on Daily Briefing: Tension City…
 

Daily Briefing: ‘Nobody’s Safe at the White House’

* Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will cost $94B in 2006, up from $48B in 2003, and higher than comparable costs of the Vietnam War; Senate will debate another round of emergency spending next week. [WP] * Bolten “hopes to demonstrate to the public and the Republican-led Congress that it will no longer be business as usual in a White House afflicted by political defeats, an overseas war and shrinking public support”; Tony Snow and Dan Senor top the list of likely successors to McClellan. [WP, USAT, W$J] * Bolten faces the challenge of finding “ways to open up the Oval Office to new ideas and to the opinions of people who are not longtime Bush confidants.” [WP] * Rove will focus on November’s midterm elections: “The president and the new chief of staff said they wanted me focused on the big strategic issues facing the administration.” [NYT] * Bush will urge Chinese President Hu Jintao to “take a more aggressive stance against governments that U.S. officials believe could potentially threaten U.S. interests and, more broadly, the international system.” [WP, W$J] Read more on Daily Briefing: ‘Nobody’s Safe at the White House’…
 

Gossip Roundup: Laura & Larry

* Washington Whispers: Laura Bush is expected to increase her profile to boost the approval of the president and help Republican candidates in November. [USN&WR] * Page Six: Larry Flynt had no evidence of Bob Livingston‘s extramarital affairs. [NYP] Read more on Gossip Roundup: Laura & Larry…
 

Daily Briefing: I Got Your Number

* FEMA wasted at least $1b in wake of Katrina. [WP] * Bush, through McClellan, stands by Rumsfeld as former top generals call for his resignation. [WP, WP, NYT] * 2002 election day phone-jamming scam in New Hampshire becomes “national headache for GOP leaders” and the White House. [WP] * Judge in leak investigation threatens to instill a gag order on court proceedings. [WP, NYT] * Americans surveyed prefer Democrats to handle immigration issue; 6 in 10 believe the problem is “very serious.” [NYT] * Americans want a “leave-us-alone” foreign policy, according to USAT/Gallup poll. [USAT] * Sen. Chafee (R-R.I.) faces tough primary and general election fights. Chafee: “I’m running for opposite constituencies. It’s impossible.” [WP] * Sen. McCain visits Iowa. [WP] * Republicans are eyeing vulnerable Democratic House seats in hopes of maintaining their majority. [NYT] * Sen. Clinton raised $6m in first quarter; she now has $20m in the bank. [NYT] Read more on Daily Briefing: I Got Your Number…
 

Remainders: Forward-Looking Statements

* Mary Matalin will serve as treasurer for George Allen’s 2006 reelection committee — and may also be the latest addition to his 2008 A-team. [The Fix] * The RNC has announced the dates for the 2008 convention; 31 cities will bid for it. [Hotline On Call] Read more on Remainders: Forward-Looking Statements…
 

Scientific Studies Show: John Kerry Is Depressing

We love all the weird scientific-studies-with-political-implications that are Richard Morin’s stock-in-trade (see links collected below). In today’s Post, citing a study conducted by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin, he informs us: Read more on Scientific Studies Show: John Kerry Is Depressing…
 

Daily Briefing: Peace Out

* Embattled Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) announces he will resign “within months.” DeLay: “I’m very much at peace with it… I’m a realist. I’ve been around awhile. I can evaluate political situations.” [Time, Time] * DeLay‘s decision came as the findings of federal prosecutors have pushed “an already difficult reelection bid all but out of reach.” Says his lawyer, “It was personal and political.” [WP, WP, NYT, LAT, USAT, WSJ, WT] * Swing Republicans in the Senate hash out compromise on immigration; proposal would restrict new illegal immigrants but offer citizenship to those who have been here for over five years. Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.): “What we’re looking for is a middle ground, something that will appeal to a broader base.” [WP, LAT] * Senators add billions of dollars in pet projects to Katrina relief bill. [WSJ] * Capitol Police seek warrant for the arrest of Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.). McKinney: “If security of the House of Representatives is based on how members of Congress wear their hair… that is ridiculous… my face hasn’t changed.” [WP, NYT] Read more on Daily Briefing: Peace Out…
 

Daily Briefing: Will the Real Bill Frist Please Stand Up?

* Federal spending has grown faster under Bush than any president since Franklin Roosevelt. John Kasich: “Republicans have gotten the sense that they’re going to get elected by passing out money to people.” [USAT, USAT] * Republican divisions over the budget and immigration reduce chances of passing legislation this week. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.): “There’s a chasm between the House and Senate.” [NYT, LAT, USAT] * GOP strategists see the strong economy as a ticket to victory in November elections. [WT] * Josh Bolten will have to “reunify Republicans behind the administration and keep Mr. Bush‘s presidency from sinking into lame-duck status.” [NYT] * Gen. Anthony Zinni calls for Rumsfeld to resign: “Integrity and getting on with the mission and doing it right are more important than loyalty.” [NYT] * Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) treads carefully in the Senate with his sights set on the White House: “The real Bill Frist, [voters] don’t really see.” Strategist Scott Reed on his immigration bill: “He really needs to deliver if he’s going to look at exploring a presidential race.” [NYT] Read more on Daily Briefing: Will the Real Bill Frist Please Stand Up?…