SSP Daily Digest: 7/30

MO-Sen: This is actually starting to be a theme with Rep. Roy Blunt: he’s willing to go on the record as hating Medicare. An interview this weekend included the comments:  “We’ve had Medicare since 1965, and Medicare has never done anything to make people more healthy.” I think tens of millions of senior citizens might take exception to that.

NC-Sen: SoS Elaine Marshall is “pretty seriously leaning toward” getting into the race against Richard Burr, according to strategist Thomas Mills in CQ (although with no mention of whether or not he was speaking on her behalf or just running his mouth). He says she doesn’t have a firm timeline, but will let us know in late summer or early fall.

TX-Sen/Gov: When the tradmed actually refers to a conversation with a Senator as a “bizarre series of interviews,” you know something’s seriously gone awry. Kay Bailey Hutchison seemed to try to walk back her resignation announcement from yesterday when talking with the Houston Chronicle, but after some more probing, made it sound more like all she wanted was for Rick Perry to get out of the race. Because it’s her turn. Sounds exactly like something someone who’s leading in all the polls would do for her.

In the meantime, Rick Perry said he’d consider moving up the date of the special election to replace KBH, by way of mocking her resignation sort-of-decision, saying that there were too many important things going on in Washington. (Although I’m not sure Texas law would let him do so; it’s pretty clear about the election’s date.) Also, all this dissonance can only help Democratic Houston mayor Bill White in the special election, who got some good news from the FEC yesterday: they issued an advisory opinion saying he can go ahead and additional funds for the special election that technically doesn’t exist yet. (It’s kind of complex; he’s already raised $4 million in his regular 2012 Senate fund, but now he can raise additional money from the same maxed-out donors in the new fund.)

CA-Gov: It’s not just Democratic governors who are taking a hit in approvals. Arnold Schwarzenegger is running at 28% approval and 59% disapproval in California, according to PPIC. (By contrast, Obama is at 65/27 in the state!)

PA-Gov: Rep. Jim Gerlach is making coy reference to an internal poll that shows him losing the GOP primary to AG Tom Corbett, but with “the profile” to win. The poll says Corbett beats Gerlach (and Pat Meehan) 39-11-7 overall, but that Gerlach leads in the Philly area and that he wins when only biographical info is read. (For those not familiar with the concept, the “biographical info” poll question is the internal polling equivalent of a Hail Mary pass.)

UT-Gov/Sen/02: Here’s one more name to take off the Open Seat Watch: Jim Matheson verified that he will run for re-election to his House seat, rather than roll the dice on a Senate bid or a run in the 2010 gubernatorial special election (despite having a conceivable shot against as-yet-to-be-promoted Gary Herbert or whatever other weirdo makes it out of the convention process).

AK-AL: Nice to see that Rep. Don Young isn’t being forgotten, despite the gravitation of all of Alaska’s Democratic talent (ex-state Rep. Ethan Berkowitz, State Sen. Hollis French) toward the gubernatorial race. State Rep. Harry Crawford says he’s interested in the race, and has met with the DCCC in DC about it.

CT-04: Here’s a bullet dodged for Democrats, and a miss for the NRCC, who’ve haven’t had too many targets decline them lately: state Senate minority leader John McKinney, a noted environment-minded moderate and son of former Rep. Stewart McKinney, who represented the area prior to Chris Shays, said he won’t run against freshman Rep. Jim Himes. The GOP may look to fellow state Sen. Dan Debicella instead.

HI-01: Another bit of good news on the recruiting front: state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa has met in DC with the DCCC about the open seat being left behind by gubernatorial candidate Neil Abercrombie. She’d probably be our best bet at keeping ex-Rep. Ed Case from making a comeback.

IL-07: The first Democratic candidate has filed for the open seat that Danny Davis is likely to leave behind. Darlena Williams-Burnett is the Cook County chief deputy recorder of deeds; she’s married to Chicago alderman Walter Burnett.

MI-07: Although ex-Rep. Tim Walberg is committed to running to regain his seat from freshman Democrat Mark Schauer, it looks like he’ll have some competition in the primary and may not even be the establishment’s choice in the GOP primary. Brian Rooney, an attorney at the right-wing Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, brother of Florida Rep. Tom Rooney, and grandson of Pittsburgh Steelers founder Art Rooney, has been talking to the NRCC about the race.

MN-03: One more recruiting tidbit. This one sounds like it’s far from a sure thing, but state Sen. Terri Bonoff has said she’s “undecided” but taking a MN-03 race “under consideration.” (Bonoff lost the DFL endorsement to Ashwin Madia in MN-03 last year.)

TX-32: I’m not sure why stories involving blimps are just inherently funny, but Rep. Pete Sessions got into a bit of a blimp-related brouhaha. The ardent foe of all things earmark got busted by Politico, of all places, for very slowly and quietly steering a $1.6 million earmark for blimp construction to an Illinois company with no track record of government contracting, let alone blimp making — but it did have one of Sessions’ former aides lobbying for it.

63 thoughts on “SSP Daily Digest: 7/30”

  1. I’d be officially in this race in a heartbeat.  This is the fourth stupid thing Blunt has said this month alone: he’s beginning to look more like Kim Hendren than Joe Biden.  Obviously his money can prove a serious threat, but he seems to be doing all he can to make himself look far outside the mainstream.  

  2. I guess I’m a little bit bittersweet about the guy seeing as he comes from Alaska I expected him to be more of a party loyalists

    But I get the feel he’s more of a moderate Repub than a conservative one.

    Wondering if it had anything to do with the old/new republican divide in the state

  3. got to wonder what we can do to get Terri Bonoff into that race.  I would have prefered the good state senator over Madia last time and still think Terri is the one who can win that seat.  

  4. If he wins Congress will have its 3rd set of siblings (assuming all the others are in Congress on Jan. 2011). But the only set to reside in different states. Luckily for him theres not a Steelers/Lions rivarly…as far as I know anyway. Hed probably have a harder time in, say, Dallas Cowboys territory.

    Im scratching my head at how KBH can ask Perry to step aside like that. He is the one who is leading in all the polls! Its his race to lose! This isnt like Andrew Cuomo saying Paterson should step aside. Perry actually has a very good chance at winning re-election.  

  5.    Oh the attack ads one could write about Medicare-hating Roy Blunt!

      I’m a little nervous about Elaine Marshall.  Will the Republicans be able to tie her to already incredibly unpopular Governor Beverly Perdue?

  6. beginning in 2005 when liberals and left-leaning independents got pissed at the special election that they saw was a threat against unions. Arnold was able to win in 2006 thanks to still-strong conservative/Republican support, as well as attracting back enough moderates and Democrats with his environment stances and minimum wage hike, plus the weak Dem opponent couldn’t hurt, either.

    Arnold had a popularity bump from his reelection in 2006, but it gradually wore away in 2007 and 2008 as the unpopular budget cuts kicked in, before the bottom fell out in early 2009 after the budget deal that included some tax increases seems to have permanently pissed off the Republican base. So now they likely won’t vote for Arnold should he run for Senate in either 2010 or 2012, because they’ll just see him as the “Taxinator” and no better on taxes than Boxer or Feinstein (or whoever will take her place on the D ticket if she retires in ’12). Hell, even the current GOP candidates for governor are distancing themselves from Arnold!

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