Blog Posts by Holly Bailey

  • Powell: Obama has lost ‘some of his ability to connect’

    powellRetired Gen. Colin Powell, a moderate Republican who endorsed President Obama in 2008, said he believes the president has lost "some of his ability to connect" with the American people by taking on too many problems at once instead of focusing solely on the economy and jobs.

    "The president… has to, I think, shift the way he has been doing things," Powell told NBC's "Meet the Press." "There are so many rocks in our knapsack now that we're having trouble carrying it." Obama, he said, has to, "like a razor blade," focus on the single most-important issue facing the country: the nation's rising unemployment rate.

    At the same time, Powell cautioned Obama's critics to "think carefully" about their attacks on the president, advising Republicans to stick to criticism of Obama's policies rather than peddling conspiracies about his religion and birthplace. "This is not helpful," Powell said. "If you want to attack the president, attack him. Let's not go down low… Let's attack him on policy, not nonsense."

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  • The First Family attended church this morning


    For the first time in several months, President Obama attended a public church service this morning.

    Shortly before 9am, the First Family strolled out of the north gate of the White House and across Lafayette Park, where they attended services at St. John's Church. St. John's, which is Episcopalian, is often referred to as the "church of the presidents," a reference to the fact that every president since James Madison has attended services there.

    It was only the fifth time that Obama has attended a public church service since being sworn in as president, according to CBS's Mark Knoller. The last time the Obama family went to a public service was on Easter when they attended Allen Chapel AME Church in southeast Washington.

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  • Poll: GOP voters want to replace Boehner, McConnell

    boehnermcconnellThe Democrats' campaign to keep John Boehner from becoming the next Speaker of the House may be resonating — with Republicans, anyway.

    A new Public Policy Polling survey finds a majority of GOP primary voters think Boehner and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell should lose their leadership posts. Fifty-seven percent of Republicans say the congressional GOP needs new leadership.

    Republicans are split on whether Boehner should win the Speaker's gavel if the GOP retakes control of the House this fall. Thirty-three percent say he should, while 34 percent say he shouldn't. Another 33 percent of GOP voters are undecided.

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  • Lady Gaga takes on John McCain over ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’

    gagaCan Lady Gaga succeed where gay rights activists in Washington so far have failed?

    Everybody's favorite hangar-steak-wearing pop queen is pushing her more than 6.3 million Twitter followers to lobby the Senate ahead of a planned vote this Tuesday on repealing the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy,  which bans gay members of the military from serving openly.

    On Tuesday, Gaga, via Twitter, encouraged her "lil monsters" — as she refers to her legion of fans — to call Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to schedule the vote. Reid promptly did and subsequently announced this in a Twitter message to Gaga herself. "Anyone qualified to serve this country should be allowed to do so," Reid wrote.

    [Photo flashback: Lady Gaga goes pants-free at a Yankees game]

    But Republicans, led by Sen. John McCain, have threatened to filibuster DADT, which is included in a larger Defense Department budget bill. So on Thursday, Gaga, who is the most widely followed person on Twitter, directed her ire at McCain. "SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN is attempting to stop the DON'T ASK DON'T TELL repeal vote this Tuesday, with a filibuster," Gaga tweeted.

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  • Boxer goes negative on Fiorina in California’s Senate race

    boxer adWith the race a virtual toss-up, California Sen. Barbara Boxer is going negative on her GOP opponent, Carly Fiorina.

    In only her second ad of the campaign, the Democratic incumbent slams the former Hewlett-Packard CEO over her tenure at the company, implying she laid of thousands of workers as her own personal fortune grew. Among other things, the ad trashes Fiorina for buying a "$1 million yacht" and for "tripling her salary" amid layoffs.

    You can watch the Boxer ad after the jump:

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  • Positive signs for the GOP as primaries end, but voters remain unpredictable


    On Saturday, voters will head to the polls in Hawaii, marking the end of what, by all accounts, was one of the most tumultuous midterm primary seasons in nearly two decades. But with just over six weeks to go before Election Day, are we really any closer to knowing exactly what voters will do on November 2nd?

    Poll after poll over the last three months has suggested that Republicans are in position to benefit from what could potentially be a political tsunami — the most dramatic change election to strike Washington since the 1994 campaign, when the GOP stunned the nation by reclaiming majority control of Congress for the first time in 40 years.

    But there's a reason the architect of that so-called '94 Republican Revolution was on Capitol Hill this week warning the GOP not to celebrate victory just yet. "Any of you who think this is locked, just doesn't get it," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told rank-and-file Republicans in a private meeting, according to an account leaked to CQ. "You have a machine on the other side … trying to take one candidate at a time."

    Add to that an angry electorate that, in primary after primary, has opted to embrace change  in defiance of all prudent calculations of political risk.  Look no further than Tuesday's election results in Delaware, where Christine O'Donnell, a virtually unknown tea party candidate, took out Rep. Mike Castle, a longtime Republican incumbent who had been nearly guaranteed to flip a Democratic-held Senate seat to the GOP. One message of the O'Donnell upset was clearly that the schism between the tea party and the GOP is widening. But the larger message — which applies to Republicans and Democrats alike — is that incumbents this November simply aren't safe, no matter the party they belong to.

    [Photos: More of political unknown Christine O'Donnell]

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  • In Nevada, Reid slams Angle for ‘crazy talk’

    reidadWith polls showing the Nevada Senate contest virtually tied, the race between Harry Reid and Sharron Angle is getting nastier by the day.

    In a new ad out today, Reid slams his GOP opponent for a campaign spot she began airing earlier this week on immigration, in which she calls the Senate majority leader "the best friend an illegal alien ever had." In response, Reid's new ad calls out Angle for her "crazy talk" — a notable uptick in what has already been heated rhetoric in the race.

    "Outright lies," the Reid spot says of Angle's claims, listing a litany of immigration-related measures he's supported in the Senate, including funding for new border agents. The ad ends by reminding voters that it's Angle who has previously endorsed getting rid of Social Security and Medicare — positions that Reid has repeatedly described on the campaign trail as "extreme."

    You can watch the Reid ad after the jump.

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  • NY GOP gubernatorial nominee gets trashy in new voter push

    paladinoFresh off his primary win, New York GOP gubernatorial nominee Carl Paladino has come up with an unusual idea on how to win votes this fall: He's sending 200,000 New Yorkers a flier that smells like garbage. Seriously.

    As the Associated Press reports, the Paladino flier is trying to make a point about corruption scandals that have dominated the state capital. "Something STINKS in Albany," the flier reads. It features photos of seven state Democrats — six of whom have been investigated over various scandals in the past four years. It does not include a photo of Andrew Cuomo, Paladino's Democratic opponent, who is heavily favored to win in November.

    Of course, Paladino's campaign was not content with just sending the message that Albany stinks. The flier is actually scented with the odor of "landfill," according to a Paladino spokesman, who helpfully notes the smell will get worse the longer it is exposed.

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  • Majority of conservatives think Palin’s endorsements are aimed at helping her, not GOP

    palinFormer Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has repeatedly insisted that she's only focusing now on helping to elect GOP candidates around the country. But a new CBS/New York Times poll finds that even conservatives don't buy that argument.

    According to the poll, two out of three voters overall say they believe Palin's endorsements are motivated by the desire to stay "in the public eye," while just 18 percent believe she's acting out of the desire to "elect conservative candidates." Among conservatives alone, a majority — 53 percent — think she's doing it for the attention, while 29 percent say she's trying to help GOP candidates.

    Still, as other recent polls have found, the survey questions the effectiveness of Palin's endorsements. A majority of so-called tea party members (57 percent) and Republicans (61 percent) polled said a Palin endorsement wouldn't affect who they vote for in the upcoming 2010 midterms. Still, that number doesn't reflect  the enormous publicity push that a Palin endorsement gives a candidate, particularly when it comes to raising money.

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  • Crist learns the downside of a third-party bid in Florida

    CristFlorida Gov. Charlie Crist has talked up his independent run for Senate as a "freeing" experience, telling voters that since he left the GOP this spring,  he's no longer a slave to either political party. But with less than two months before Election Day, Crist is starting to experience the downsides of running a third-party bid in one of the most closely watched races in the country.

    For one, Crist will no longer be near the top of the ballot when voters head to the polls 47 days from now. As the St. Petersburg Times' Adam Smith reports, Crist will be listed ninth out of a field of 10 candidates on the Senate ballot this year. Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Kendrick Meek, his top rivals, will be near the top of the ballot. "It's an issue, obviously," a disappointed Crist said yesterday.

    Another downside: Crist doesn't have any political party or like-minded outside group willing to spend cash on his behalf. That means Crist is all on his own when it comes to advocating his candidacy and defending himself against attacks — an expensive, multi-front challenge in Crist's case. Not only are Rubio and Meek focusing more on Crist than they are on each other, but the Florida governor is also under fire from independent groups working to elect Republicans, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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