Blog Posts by Holly Bailey, Yahoo News

  • Huntsman implies Bachmann’s looks are driving media coverage

    Huntsman (Elise Amendola/AP)Jon Huntsman insists he wasn't trying to insult Michele Bachmann by suggesting her looks are driving media coverage of her 2012 presidential bid.

    In an interview with New York Magazine's John Heilemann, the former Utah governor-turned-2012 contender seemed to imply his GOP rival's appearance is a factor in the attention she's getting.

    "She makes for good copy--and good photography," Huntsman declared.

    In an interview today on Fox News, Huntsman insisted he was merely paying the Minnesota congresswoman a compliment.

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  • Few, if any, winners emerge from debt debate

    Boehner and Obama (Photo by Kristoffer Tripplaar-Pool/Getty Images)After weeks of ugly partisan sniping, Congress approved, and President Obama has signed, legislation that will raise the nation's debt ceiling. The debt deal, which comes on the heels of a dramatic month and a half of confrontation in Washington, will help United States avoid a financial default that could have further sent the country into economic crisis.

    Today's action on the agreement was a rare sign of compromise in Washington. For many observers, the debt-ceiling showdown marked a new low in the capital's divisive political warfare.

    But in the wake of the tumult over the debt ceiling, it appears there are few winners; hardly any prominent lawmaker emerged from the ordeal unscathed. Indeed, with a deal finally on the table, the public appears to think even less of Washington politicians--scorning lawmakers from both parties, even as (or perhaps because) they professed to be acting in the country's best interests. The latest dismal poll numbers for Congress represent a fall from the institution's already historically low approval numbers in opinion surveys.

    A new CNN/ORC poll released Tuesday found a whopping 77 percent of those polled believe the elected officials involved in the debate acted like "spoiled children," while just 17 percent believe they acted like "responsible adults." Those are damning numbers for any Washington lawmaker, but it's sure to prompt nervousness for President Obama and members of Congress who face tough prospects for re-election in 2012.

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  • Mitt Romney and Rick Perry are not the best of friends

    Romney and Perry in 2006 (LM Otero/AP)It's no secret that Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman are total frenemies. But it turns out that the former Massachusetts governor also has tensions with another potential 2012 rival: Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

    While Perry and Romney have made nice for the cameras, the Austin American Statesman's Jason Embry writes today that the two have clashed repeatedly behind the scenes, prompting a political rift that is almost legend in GOP circles.

    Apparently, the bad blood dates back to 2002, when Perry was irked by what he claims were attempts to block Boy Scouts from volunteering at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

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  • Gabby Giffords returns to Congress and helps House pass debt compromise

    Giffords on the House floor (House TV via AP)Just a day before the United States faces financial default, House lawmakers approved a compromise bill that will raise the nation's debt ceiling in exchange for trillions of dollars in federal spending cuts.

    The bill, approved 269 to 161, will increase the debt ceiling by at least $2 trillion as well as cut roughly the same amount in federal spending over the next decade. The legislation was backed by a solid majority of Republicans and about half of the Democratic caucus. Sixty-six Republicans and 95 Democrats voted no.

    Among the "yea" votes: Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who appeared on the House floor for the first time since January, when she was shot and critically wounded at a congressional event in her Arizona district.

    The legislation now heads to the Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid has said lawmakers will vote on the bill around noon on Tuesday.

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  • LAST TICKET: House to vote on debt compromise; Cher is not a fan of Bachmann

    The House is tentatively set to vote at 7 p.m. EST on the debt ceiling compromise. Barring any delay, The Ticket will have an update on the vote later tonight.

    In the meantime, here are the stories we took note of today but didn't give the full blog treatment:

    • Joe Biden reportedly told House Democrats tea party lawmakers "acted like terrorists" in the debt debate. (Politico)

    • The most memorable catch phrase of the debt debate: "Satan Sandwich." (The Note)

    • John Boehner doesn't care if 2012 GOP hopefuls oppose the compromise. (The Hill)

    • Cher is not a fan of Michele Bachmann. (Variety)

    • President Obama is set to return to fundraising Wednesday. (44)

    Read More »from LAST TICKET: House to vote on debt compromise; Cher is not a fan of Bachmann
  • Democratic ‘super PACs’ raise big cash to aid Obama’s re-election effort

    Jeffrey Katzenberg (Chris Pizzello/AP)A Democratic political committee founded by two former White House aides to boost President Obama's re-election bid raised $3.2 million in May and June from a small group of well-heeled donors.

    According to a financial report filed with the Federal Election Commission Sunday, Priorities USA Action raised more than half of its cash with a single $2 million donation from Hollywood producer Jeffrey Katzenberg.

    The contribution solidifies Katzenberg's position as one of Obama's key Hollywood supporters heading into 2012. Last month, the Obama campaign listed Katzenberg as one the president's top bundlers, having raised more than $500,000 for Obama's re-election effort between April and June. In April, Katzenberg hosted Obama at a Los Angeles fundraiser, where the cost of admission ranged as high as $35,800 a person.

    But he's not the only prominent Obama donor to support Priorities USA.

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  • Pro-Romney group raises $12.2 million, mostly in big dollar checks

    Romney (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)A conservative "super PAC" created to boost Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential bid raised more than $12.2 million in the first six months of the year, mostly though big contributions from wealthy GOP donors.

    Restore Our Future, a political committee founded by Romney allies earlier this year, reported receiving four contributions of $1 million apiece, according to a finance report filed with the Federal Election Commission on Sunday.

    John Paulson, a New York hedge fund manager, gave $1 million to the pro-Romney committee. The other three $1 million contributions came from corporations: Eli Publishing, F8 LLC, (both list the same Provo, Utah, address), and W. Spann LLC, based in New York.

    Meanwhile, the committee accepted dozens of six-figure contributions, including $500,000 apiece from Marriott hotels chairman J.W. Marriott; his brother, Richard Marriott; hedge fund manager Louis Moore Bacon; and James Davis, chairman of New Balance Athletic Shoes. Paul Edgerly, an investor with Bain Capital, Romney's former employer, also contributed $500,000, as did his wife, Sandra.

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  • Mitt Romney opposes debt ceiling compromise

    Romney (Jay LaPrete/AP)After weeks of refusing to take a stance on the debt talks, Mitt Romney declared Monday that he's opposed to the debt ceiling compromise hammered out by President Obama and congressional leaders over the weekend.

    In a statement issued just hours before Congress is expected to vote on the plan, Romney slammed Obama's leadership and said he can't support the bill.

    "As president, my plan would have produced a budget that was cut, capped and balanced--not one that opens the door to higher taxes and puts defense cuts on the table," Romney said. "President Obama's leadership failure has pushed the economy to the brink at the eleventh hour and 59th minute. While I appreciate the extraordinarily difficult situation President Obama's lack of leadership has placed Republican Members of Congress in, I personally cannot support this deal."

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  • Huntsman calls out Romney and GOP rivals on debt debate

    Huntsman (Jim Cole/AP)As the House prepares to take up John Boehner's debt bill, Jon Huntsman remains the only 2012 hopeful who has endorsed the speaker's legislation--a position he's trumpeting on the campaign trail.

    At a GOP dinner in Washington Thursday night, the former Utah governor criticized both President Obama and his Republican presidential rivals for not showing leadership in the debt debate.

    "The president has not put forward a concrete deal on the table, none of my opponents have supported a plan that would allow us to avoid default," Huntsman said in a speech to the Republicans for Environmental Protection, per CNN. "This is not a time ladies and gentleman to be playing politics."

    Hours later, Huntsman took aim at his rivals again on the debt crisis in an interview with Fox News' Greta Van Susteren, in which he praised Boehner's bill and called it "the only act in town."

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  • Independent voters sour on President Obama

    (Evan Vucci/AP)In what could be a potentially bad sign for his re-election bid, President Obama has lost major ground with self-described independent voters this summer.

    A new Pew Research Center poll finds just 31 percent of independents say Obama deserves a second term in office, down 11 points since May. A majority of independent respondents—54 percent—disapprove of Obama's job performance, the highest number of his presidency, according to the Pew poll.

    That drop off in independent support has fueled a similar decline in Obama's overall poll numbers. According to the Pew survey, just 41 percent of all voters want to see Obama re-elected, while 40 percent say they'd rather vote for the GOP candidate in the race. In May, Obama lead a generic Republican by 11 points.

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