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Tags: Mike Huckabee

Oregon Republican Staying Where He Is



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It’s bad news for Republicans who thought he would make a good candidate for governor, but good news for the NRCC: Rep. Greg Walden, who represents roughly the eastern-two-thirds of Oregon, will not run for statewide office but will seek another term in Congress.

In other Oregon House news, Republicans had been hoping for an open-seat race in Oregon’s 4th district, where Rep. Peter DeFazio was contemplating a run for governor. Most Oregonians think DeFazio won’t run, but apparently he hasn’t yet ruled it out. The NRCC likes the leading candidate out there, Sid Leiken, but he obviously has a better shot in an open-seat race than against a veteran incumbent . . .

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson

Perhaps the Toughest GOP Challenger of This Cycle?



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Perhaps you remember this picture from 2003:

Nick Popaditch, atop a tank in Baghdad with Saddam's statue in the background.

That was Staff Sgt. Nick Popaditch, of Indianapolis, Ind., with the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, enjoying a cigar atop his tank as he arrives at a crossroads in downtown Baghdad, with the infamous statue of Saddam Hussein behind him before it was torn down. Popaditch continued to serve, was wounded (losing an eye), and received the Silver Star. He went on to write a book and become a motivational speaker.

Now he’s running for Congress:

“I’m not a politician, I’m a citizen, I’m a Patriot, and I’m throwing my hat into the ring to represent my country,” said Nick Popaditch, Republican candidate for the 51st Congressional District.

Popaditch was famously photographed as a symbol of American freedom and liberation.

“I believe the purpose of government, there’s things government should do for you, and things government shouldn’t do for you, and one of the things they should really not do is that they shouldn’t interfere with your opportunity; government should get out of your way, limited government, it shouldn’t take opportunity away from you, it should just get out of the way and give you the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” said Popaditch.

The Silver Star recipient is aspiring to unseat Democrat Bob Filner for the 51st Congressional District, which includes all of Imperial County.

“We’ve got our troops overseas right now, I’m going to make sure they have the equipment in their hands, the ammunition in their hands, and most importantly, the numbers; as a member of the Legislature, I won’t set policy, but what I will make sure they have is they have the proper tools and numbers they need, that when they call for a surge, they’re going to have those numbers to surge with,” said Popaditch.

It’s Randy Cunningham’s old district*; it went heavily for Obama last year (63 percent to 35.5 percent), but Arnold Schwarzenegger carried the district twice, by about 8 percentage points in 2006.

UPDATE: Some readers point out that because of redistricting, what towns and counties constituted “Cunningham’s old district” changed over the years . . .

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson

Just in Time for Christmas!



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Organizing for America – the old apparatus of Obama’s presidential campaign that has ignored its own natural expiration date and continues to plod across the political landscape in a zombie-like fashion — is now selling a “community organizer” button for a mere five dollars.

An Obama button saying,

What, no armbands?

They declare that ”this button shows that you’re working hard for reform, and standing firm against the special interests that fight to maintain the status quo.”

No it doesn’t. It shows that you’re willing to spend five dollars on a button.

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson

Scratch One GOP Challenger



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About a week ago, the campaign of Republican challenger Greg Ball, running in New York’s 19th congressional district, e-mailed, touting a poll they had commissioned. Now Ball has announced he will not seek a seat in the U.S. House and will instead run in the New York state senate’s 40th district in the 2010 election.

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson

A House Democrat Retires; the First of Many?



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Interesting question to start Monday morning: How many nervous House Democrats from red districts in places like Kansas will follow Dennis Moore into retirement?

U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore, a Democrat who confounded the GOP by winning six consecutive elections in a heavily Republican district, will not seek re-election next year, key Democrats said Sunday.

Moore, who represented Johnson, Wyandotte and a portion of Douglas counties, will issue a statement today explaining his decision and outlining his plans. Moore, 64, is expected to finish out his term, which ends in January 2011.

We’ll have to see who jumps in, but that looks like a seat that the GOP should win easily.

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson

That Was Then, This Was Now



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Americans for Tax Reform has found 16 separate new taxes, tax increases, and eliminations of tax deductions in the Senate version of the health-care bill.

As Keith Hennessey notes, this bill would violate, again, Barack Obama’s promise that he would not raise taxes on those making less than $250,000. (He already broke that promise by raising tobacco taxes, but I guess that’s the thing about breaking promises – it gets easier with experience.)

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson

A Hilarious Anti-Harry-Reid Ad That Probably Won’t Last Long



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This ad from Danny Tarkanian, candidate for Senate in Nevada, is hilarious, depicting X-Files’ agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully investigating Harry Reid’s “missing congressional districts.” Go watch it right now, as it will also probably be pulled very quickly, unless Tarkanian obtained the rights to use clips from “The X-Files.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid isn’t directly responsible for nonexistent congressional districts cropping up in Recovery.gov, but he certainly did pledge that the government would spend the money wisely and openly with great accountabilty. (HT: Watchdog.org.)

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson

Fox Finds No Significant Wrongdoing in Henhouse



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The Senate Ethics Committee has “found that [Illinois Sen. Roland] Burris’s sworn affidavit and testimony before the Illinois House of Representatives as to how he was appointed were inconsistent, incomplete and misleading.”

Naturally, they have responded to this serious violation – close to perjury, one would think – with a letter of “Qualified Admonition.” Apparently they thought a letter of reprimand would be too tough.

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson

There Is No Plan B.



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We find ourselves dealing with the frightening realization that with the Obama administration, there is no Plan B.

There are a lot of unemployed folks out there. A lot more are worried about their jobs, a lot more are wondering how they’re going to pay their mortgages, their rent, their grocery bills. Last year, when people first started to really worry, they elected Barack Obama to the presidency. Not my choice, but I hope he can make the situation better instead of worse.

Obama’s first crack at improving the economy was the stimulus, and we’ve lost three million more jobs since it passed. Now he’s announcing a “jobs summit” at the White House, and a “listening tour.” You’ve officially run out of good ideas when your plan to help people who can’t find jobs consists of listening to them tell you that they can’t find jobs.

If they had better ideas, the Obama administration would be trying those instead.

Looking back, it suddenly seems clear that Democrats thought we were in a slightly-worse-than-normal recession and that we would have started to see unemployment begin to recede by now. Instead, by most measuring sticks, things are still bad, and perhaps getting worse – the number of people working part-time when they would prefer full-time, the number of long-term unemployed, the number of people who have given up looking for work. Look at the industries that are still reeling from a serious blowup last year – the financial sector, real estate, the auto industry, media, and publishing. I had no idea, until recently, that the Garment District in midtown Manhattan was rapidly disappearing.

On Iran, the Iranians keep making clear that they don’t want to talk and make a deal. On Afghanistan, the administration clearly thought the initial increase in troops would be sufficient; we’ve been in a holding pattern for three months while they rethink a warning from the commander on the ground that the situation will be lost within one year. China is willing to offer photo-ops, but no real concessions.

Polls show the nation evenly divided or worse on the health-care proposal, but the administration pushes forward. The Blue Dogs are nervous, but the response is to figure out how to get that magic 218; to heck with the 30-some Democrats who just can’t be persuaded the bill is a good idea and will improve things.

On front after front, Obama’s proposals have slammed into the hard concrete of reality, and the response has been . . . keep doing the same thing and wait for things to get better.

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson

Thrown Hats Are Landing in Rings in Iowa, Minnesota, and Connecticut



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A few more aspiring Republican congressmen have made their bids official. In Iowa, former Iowa State University wrestling coach Jim Gibbons will run against Democrat Leonard Boswell.

In Minnesota, Allen Quist, a “retired college teacher and rural farm owner – who also served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1982 to 1988 – announced Thursday that he will challenge DFL Rep. Tim Walz for his First District congressional seat.”

In Connecticut, “former Bridgeport mayoral hopeful Rick Torres has joined the growing field of Republican contenders hoping to take on freshman Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Himes for his seat in the 4th Congressional District next year.”

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson

The New York Times Botches the Facts to Argue Fort Hood Wasn’t Terrorism



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Robert Mackey of the New York Times, perhaps sensing the political gravity of concluding that we just witnessed the first mass-casualty attack of jihadist terrorists on American soil since 9/11, lays out the reasoning as to why the Fort Hood shooter would not be considered terrrorism:

While there are important differences between the soldiers killed at Fort Hood and the examples Mr. Walzer cited — they were filling out forms at a readiness center in Texas before deploying to Iraq or Afghanistan, and they were killed by a member of their own army — it is obviously true that soldiers getting ready to go to a war zone are not civilians or noncombatants.

The New York Times needs to read more about the shootings. One of the victims, Michael Grant Cahill, was a civilian employee, a physician’s assistant. Yes, he had served in the Army National Guard before working at Fort Hood. But as a doctor and as a civilian, he fits the definition of “non-combatant” under the Geneva Conventions.

Aside from any other act, Hasan attacked and killed a civilian, making this fit quite easily under most definitions of terrorism.

UPDATE: Readers note that the pregnant soldier offers another case where, in many eyes, Hasan killed an innocent civilian. Of course, to too many folks, that pregnant soldier represents only one casualty.

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson

News Like This Makes One Wonder if We’ll See More Incumbent Retirements



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Boy, you thought incumbents had a tough economic environment to campaign in this year? Just wait until next year:

More than 14 percent of borrowers were in trouble on their mortgage during the third quarter, a new record, according to an industry survey released Thursday, which also suggests that the foreclosure rate is likely not to peak until next year as unemployment rates continue to rise.

Unemployment remains a big driver of the problem, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, which conducts the survey. Those with delinquent loans now include a growing portion of people traditionally considered creditworthy and people whose mortgages are insured by the Federal Housing Administration.

“The outlook is that delinquency rates and foreclosure rates will continue to worsen before they improve,” said Jay Brinkmann, the group’s chief economist.

About 9.6 percent of borrowers were delinquent on their mortgage during the third quarter, according to the survey, and another 4.5 percent more were somewhere in the foreclosure process. Overall, about 14 percent of mortgage loans or 7.4 million households were delinquent or in the foreclosure process during the quarter, according to the group.

That is the highest level recorded by the survey, which has been conducted since 1972, and is up from about 10 percent of borrowers who were in trouble during the same period last year.

The article notes that “if unemployment rates peak in the middle of next year, foreclosures could reach their highest levels by the end of next year.” Boy, voters will be in a delightful mood come November, huh?

Our old friend David Freddoso notes that members of Congress get astonishingly generous pensions. Retirement is probably look pretty tempting next year, particularly when contrasted with getting thrown out of office by angry voters.

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson

It’s a Holiday, But Not a Holiday From Him



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This Thanksgiving, you’ll see public-service announcements about the importance of fitness for America’s children, featuring NFL stars and a skinny smoker.

Back in August, I noted that “when you’re cropping up in commercials for George Lopez’s upcoming late-night talk show on TBS, you’re overexposed. This guy says ‘no’ less frequently than Mae West.”

Clearly, it never crossed the mind of anyone at the White House that Americans might like a Thanksgiving afternoon of watching the Detroit Lions lose without a 90-second call to go build a new playground from their Dear Leader.

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson

Democrat DeFazio Says It’s Time for Geithner to Go



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I have a feeling a lot of folks on the right will have a strange new respect for, or at least temporary agreement with, Oregon Democrat Peter DeFazio:

Asked if Geithner should stay in his job, DeFazio said no.

“Especially if you look back at the AIG scandal and Goldman [Sachs] and others who got their bets paid off in full,” he said. “Instead of saying ‘you bet, you lost,’ they got paid back in full through AIG. We channeled the money through them.”

“Geithner would not answer my question when I said, ‘Were those naked credit default swaps by Goldman or were they a counterparty?’ He said ‘I will not answer that question,” added DeFazio.

DeFazio said the Congressional Progressive Caucus is considering asking President Obama to remove Geithner.

The president is “being failed by his economic team,” he said. “Their total orientation is Wall Street, not Main Street.”

Okay, so DeFazio’s argument is that the Obama economic plan is failing because Geithner is too oriented towards Wall Street, while those on the right would argue that it’s failing because we’re not spending money wisely, we’re contemplating new taxes on energy, we’re contemplating new costs to employers for health insurance, we’re contemplating new taxes on income and investment, we’re spending money like it’s water, etc. But perhaps both sides can agree that there’s got to be somebody out there who can do the Treasury job better than Geithner can.

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson

Sen. Claire McCaskill’s Weird Palin Fixation



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Sen. Claire McCaskill, via Twitter: “If we printed the health care bill in regular size font it would be same legnth [sic] as Sarah Palin’s book, but with more meat on the bone.”

I guess this is a response to those who argue the bill is a gargantuan monstrosity.

Fine, Palin’s book is long, too. But everyone understands it (liberals, insert standard what-grade-reading-level joke here), and if you don’t like it, you can ignore it and it will have no impact on your life. The health-care bill is written in legislative bureaucratese that is incomprehensible to most Americans, and the epic length is strongly suspected to be a method of hiding unpopular provisions that would never survive a straight up-or-down vote.

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson

Below 50 Doesn’t Seem Quite So Rare Anymore



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The answer is 46, 46, 48, 49.

The question is, “What is President Obama’s approval rating in the most recent Fox News-Opinion Dynamics poll, the most recent Rasmussen poll, the most recent Quinnipiac poll, and the most recent Public Policy Polling poll?”

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson

Rudy’s Like Duke Ellington: Do Nothing ‘Till You Hear From Me



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Maria Comella, who was one of Rudy Giuliani’s communications strategists during his presidential campaign, sends along the statement:

Rudy has a history of making up his own mind and has no problem speaking it. When Mayor Giuliani makes a decision about serving in public office, he will inform New Yorkers on his own.
For what it’s worth, the New York Daily News says Rudy is running for Senate, with an eye on another presidential run in 2012.
I’m humming:

Do nothing till you hear from me,
Pay no attention to what’s said.
Why people tear the seams of anyone’s dreams
Is over my head.

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson

And in 20 Months, He’ll Lead by 76 Percentage Points



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If current trends continue, then ten months from now, Marco Rubio will lead Charlie Crist by 33 percentage points in Florida’s GOP Senate primary.

Of course, the primary is nine months from now.

But in January, Crist led Rubio in the Research2000 poll by a margin of 57 percent to 4 percent; now Crist leads Rubio 47 percent to 37 percent.

Markos Moulitsas says the latest Research2000 poll indicates that Crist should run as an independent.

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson

The Big Tease



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I just did a quick interview with Lou Dobbs on his radio program, discussing yesterday’s hearings with Eric Holder.

Hoping to get the host to offer a hint about his future plans, I began by jokingly noting that New Jersey senator Frank Lautenberg is looking rather aged; Dobbs noted that the state’s other senator, Bob Menendez, isn’t looking so great, either.

The 85-year-old Lautenberg is not up for reelection until 2014; Menendez next faces the voters in 2012.

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson

Cook Political Report: Obama Is ‘Beyond Radioactive’ in Key Democratic Districts



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The Cook Political Report lays out what readers of this blog have been hearing a lot lately:

Plenty of veteran Democrats who haven’t had to break a campaign sweat this decade are quickly losing their aura of invincibility. Next fall, some in this category are likelier to face tough races than many of the 42 less tenured Democrats who populate the “Frontline” list. As of today, eight House Democrats elected prior to 2006 sit in our “Lean Democratic” and “Toss Up” columns, and another 20 whom we view as potentially vulnerable sit in our “Likely Democratic” column.

This is not to say that highly influential and venerated fixtures such as Reps. Ike Skelton (MO-04), John Spratt (SC-05), Bart Gordon (TN-06), John Tanner (TN-08) and Rick Boucher (VA-09) are goners next year. Their eventual vulnerability is highly dependent on the quality of GOP nominees and the discipline of their “time for change” messages. But if these party elders decide to seek reelection rather than retire, the underlying dynamics of their districts suggest at least several will need to fight to survive.

Many watchers of House politics are tempted to downplay the potential for real races in these districts after taking one look at immediate past election history. How could Republicans possibly threaten the likes of Skelton or Spratt, both of whom won more than 62 percent of the vote in 2008? Or Gordon, Tanner, or Boucher, all of whom were unopposed last year? But that was before they were saddled with a sitting Democratic president who is beyond radioactive in their districts. History is history.

Less than a year out from Election Day, it’s time to rethink who the vulnerable Democrats are. And if President Obama is the dominant issue of the 2010 midterms (and rarely has a midterm not been a referendum on the incumbent president), Democrats ought to be seriously concerned about districts where reliable surveys suggest voters are in open revolt against him. Democrats would rather not draw attention to their problems in these districts, but both parties recognize the sea change underway.

Just how unpopular do you have to be, by the way, to be described as “beyond radioactive”?

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson

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