Archive for May, 2010

Obama, Clinton Lunch in Private

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

Missed in the coverage of the Sestak job offer scandal was a lunch The President had with President Clinton in the private dining room.  This was reported in Politico Playbook 5:31 AM EST Thursday.  Was this a “message coordination luncheon” or “a thank you Clinton” for taking a risk by offering an “uncompensated advisory board” position to Congressman Sestak?  Wonder if fish was served?

Less than 24 hours after lunch and three months of review the White House released a memorandum providing its first account of what happened with Mr. Sestak. 

There are many elements to this story.

  • Campaigning against Hillary, Obama made clear he had no hint of scandal like the Clintons and his White House would be accountable and transparent.    
  •  Rahm Emanuel’s political maneuvering as White House chief of staff to steer political races.  Three are known plus Sestak.
  • A L-O-N-G delay to explain what took place regarding the job offer Sestak told a local television host in February he had received from the White House.
  • Then a bottom line defense “There have been numerous, reported instances in the past when prior administrations – both Democratic and Republican, and motivated by the same goals – discussed alternative paths to service for qualified individuals also considering campaign for public office”. 
  • To this point the whole matter looks like amateur hour.

Let’s move to the future.

 A future with questions if a crime was committed, federal laws violated and even a cover up. 

 At a June 22, 1972, President Nixon told a press conference when ask about the break-in of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate, “The White House has had no involvement whatever in this particular incident.”

On Thursday the same day President Obama had lunch with Mr. Clinton he told reporters at a White House news conference, “I can assure the public that nothing improper took place.”

Sound familiar?

Jimmy Carter’s Example for the Tea Party

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

More than Political Tidbits…..sincere observation by Senator Bob Bennett (R-Utah).

For Republican Readers….and those interested in 2012

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

Today in the mountains it is raining and cool…..not all bad after the hot primaries this week.  I have often wondered who is the most influential Republican leader.  Well I just found out….while spending my morning reading the national political news.  Click here to see for yourself.

Pennsylvania 12

Friday, May 21st, 2010

The morning after Pennsylvania 12 it was suggested here in Political Tidbits that Republicans needed a new approach.  This was the one race on Tuesday pitting a Republican and Democrat against each other.  The GOP fell short. 

In a postmortem memo prepared by a National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) pollster he joined some pundits who say the high-profile Senate primary brought forth a surge of Democratic voters.  That may be.

This setback may be a blessing.  Expectations have been too high for a GOP takeover of the House in November.  It’s time for the reassessment that appears underway by the NRCC.  Any review should remember what House Speaker Tip O’Neill said, “all politics is local”.

Lessons from the rout in Pennsylvania 12 were addressed in a WSJ “Review & Outlook” commentary.  They addressed a greater concern that being if Republican National Chairman Michael Steele is up to the job.  It’s worth a read.

Political Tidbits…..

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

MORNING AFTER…..Republicans need to fine tune the approach to special elections….the win by Democrats in PA 12 is the sixth straight GOP loss going back to 08.  Sorry Tad… on the great experience you had in PA12.  WV 1 may become a national battleground with the open congressional seat…..which candidate will learn the most by studying the Critz/Burns approach? 

WV 2010 primary was not kind to labor…..teacher unions may have suffered but still strong in the Legislature… least in the House. After November the way things look this morning there may be no middle left in either party.  Legislative standoff in Governor Manchin’s special session for education reform may have re-opened the 2012 Democrat primary for Governor…..Tomblin’s Senate has passed the education bills…..only to see Thompson’s House change or ignore them……standoff or politics? 

Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign promoting healthy children sounds like a good idea….like maybe back to Chicago. 

Yesterday’s primary sent a signal that candidates may not need political parties…..look carefully at the machinery producing the victories.  Back to the future…..are new political movements, talking heads, social networks providing the publicity and financial support…..candidates need to win?  Yesterday’s message…..Washington is not needed.


Romney Leads Obama

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Those watching 2012 developments will find the piece below that appeared in today’s   National Journal telling. 

By Erin McPike

Ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney (R) held a fundraiser in Manhattan last week and outperformed Pres. Obama‘s own cash grab a day later on behalf of the DCCC, another sign of trouble brewing for Dems this cycle in all corners of the country.

Romney headlined an event at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City on May 12 that raised $1.5M for his Free and Strong America PAC.

By contrast, Obama’s appearance at the St. Regis Hotel on May 13 raked in a lesser $1.3 million for the DCCC.

For Romney, the event was the biggest of the year, according to his aides. And in many ways it was another implicit indication that his is the nascent GOP WH campaign to beat: Some of the event’s sponsors were previously major boosters to Sen. John McCain‘s WH’08 bid, including Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets, and Lew Eisenberg, an investment banker who formerly chaired the New York-New Jersey Port Authority and the RNC finance committee.

A DCCC spokesman pointed out that whenever the committee raises money with Obama, PAC donations are not permitted. In addition, the spokesman noted that House Democrats have been working on tough financial regulatory reform.

Political Tidbits…..

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Less than 24 hours until the polls open….the state of incumbency will be tested.   Republican David McKinley cannot be discounted in November…..Democrats are in trouble everywhere…..even non-incumbents.  First Lady Laura Bush new book is truly “Spoken from the Heart”……it is personal. …..even George comes out OK!  Will the ongoing special session of the Legislature provide a read on the Governor’s standing with the Legislature?  Sen. Mike Oliverio may have gotten a boost from the Democratic Congressional Campaign……the chairman did not mention Oliverio in his news release after Mollohan was defeated….assume the comments he made in the primary that he would support someone other than Pelosi did not sit well with the DCCC.  Sen. Frank Deem will be missed…..but never assume Frank is done with politics.  No signal yet if GOP Chairman McKinney will seek re-election.  The May 11th primary put a spotlight on new Republican leadership…..don’t overlook Marty Gearhart and Conrad Lucas.   The newest Republican Spike Maynard in the Third District is a tough campaigner…..his congressional race should be in full gear…..November is here.

In Case You Missed It

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Only a small news clip was in the local paper about the new cost of healthcare reform.  The Congressional Budget Office tells us that if Congress decides to fund all the provisions in the new law it could add at least $115 billion more to health care spending over the next 10 years.  This would be far more than advertised.  The Obama administration early set $1 trillion as a limit.  But we all know how that goes.  More background may be obtained in this piece from Daily Events.

Political Tidbits…..

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Charleston native Sara Feinberg has left Rahm Emanuel’s WH staff….but she leaves behind husband Dan Pfeiffer….he directs White House Communications.  Once worked on a project (non-political) with her….she is a first class operator.  It is construction season and outside Washington “DANGER” signs should be erected….just ask incumbents.  No such dangers in WV….one House Member lost yesterday and two Senate incumbents.  A congressional race in PA to fill the seat of the late powerful Rep. John Murtha is drawing national attention….a former Capito staffer Tad Rupp is running the show.  While he works there his father Dr. Robert Rupp hosted an anniversary celebration of President Kennedy’s WV primary win 50 years ago…..a great event.  Mollohan’s defeat was driven more by neglect and absence from his district…..and he faced an well thought of public official in Senator Oliverio.  Republicans will rally behind Spike as he takes on Nick Joe….they are pleased to have a new member in the party.  RNC Chair Michael Steele did some housecleaning in his finance office….now who cleans out Michael?  400 seem to be the number in the  primary….looked at several races either won or lost by….400 plus.

A Republican Lesson for 2012

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

(This post was delayed due to Internet difficulties)

President Obama has created a bright future for Republicans.  He has not delivered on his promises, his management style turns out to be one of vacillation and his policies have created a polarized nation.

The outlook for the midterm election in November is promising for Republicans.  Independent voters are moving back to the center, senior citizens are no longer comfortable with Democrats and first voters abandon Obama’s candidates in 2009.

The real test will come in 2012.  As the Republican Party and its potential candidates contemplate their 2012 strategy and message there may be model to study.  WP columnist Dan Balz wrote about it recently.