Blog Posts by Holly Bailey

  • McConnell previews GOP campaign message

    Have Republicans finally settled on a consistent campaign message ahead of the 2010 midterms?

    Speaking to a conference for young Republicans today in Washington, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell argued that President Obama, while being an agent of change, didn’t bring the change that voters actually wanted back in 2008. They elected him to boost the economy and cut the federal deficit, McConnell said — and received the reverse results.

    Pushing back on Democrats' efforts to label the GOP as the “party of no,” McConnell argued that Republicans see their role as being a counterweight to Obama — an obvious play for voters who, according to polls, prefer the idea of divided government by significant numbers.

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  • Specter grudgingly supports Kagan

    Two weeks ago, Arlen Specter looked like he was on his way to being the only Democrat to oppose Elena Kagan’s Supreme Court nomination. But the outgoing Pennsylvania senator says in a USA Today op-ed that he’ll support her nomination.

    That’s not to say he’s happy about it: Specter offers about the most tepid endorsement you’ll ever see of a Supreme Court nominee, criticizing Kagan for her lack of answers during her recent confirmation hearings. Still, Specter writes, “Kagan did just enough to win my vote.”

  • Simmons hints he’ll resume Senate bid in Connecticut

    We told you it could happen: Rob Simmons is hinting he might jump back into Connecticut’s Senate race.

    The former GOP congressman tells the Hartford Courant’s Rick Green that he’s been fielding calls from people urging him to resume his challenge to Linda McMahon for the state’s Republican Senate nomination. McMahon, the former chairwoman of World Wrestling Entertainment, narrowly won the state GOP’s endorsement in May, prompting Simmons to “scale back” his campaign.

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  • Obama and McCain finally agree on something: ‘Mad Men’ rules!

    Two years after an extremely bitter presidential election, we've finally found one thing Barack Obama and John McCain can agree on: They both love "Mad Men."

    In an interview with Fox News, Matt Weiner, the show’s creator, recounts that he received a fan letter from Obama about the show, which he promptly framed and hung in the hallway outside his office. “He wrote to say he enjoyed Season 3,” Weiner says, all giggly. “He was congratulating me on my and the show’s success, and I wanted to say, ‘But wait, you’re the successful person.' ”

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  • Toomey, Sestak deadlocked in Pennsylvania Senate race

    toomey sestakRepublican Pat Toomey (left) and Democrat Joe Sestak are literally tied in Pennsylvania's Senate race. A new Quinnipiac University poll finds both men polling at 43 percent, a slight gain for Sestak. He trailed Toomey by two points in late May just after he defeated Arlen Specter for the Democratic nomination.

    Still, roughly half of the voters polled tell Quinnipiac they still don't know enough about Sestak or Toomey to indicate a preference for either in the race. That's a striking number considering the national attention the race has generated, and it indicates that this race remains extremely fluid.

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  • Robert Gibbs gets Nancy Pelosi’s goat

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is none too pleased with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs for saying the GOP could regain control of Congress this fall.

    In a private meeting of the House Democratic Caucus last night, Pelosi reportedly let loose about Gibbs and the White House lowering expectations for the Democrats’ performance in the November midterms. As we reported yesterday, Gibbs and others are trying to exploit mounting fears among the Democratic base that the party could lose the House. The idea is to work up greater enthusiasm — and fundraising — for Democratic campaigns in an otherwise lackluster Democratic cycle.

    But that strategy apparently isn't sitting sit well with Pelosi, who trashed Gibbs before last night's confab with her members — details of which leaked out to reporters from CQ and Politico ahead of a big White House meeting today between Obama and House Dems.

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  • Dead woman’s final wish: Support anybody but Reid

    reidIt’s pretty bad when the sitting Senate majority leader is fielding political attacks from the obituary page — from a long-ago supporter, no less.

    The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s John L. Smith flags this obit published in his paper Tuesday for Charlotte McCourt, a Nevadan who died last week at 84: “We believe that Mom would say she was mortified to have taken a large role in the election of Harry Reid to U.S. Congress. Let the record show Charlotte was displeased with his work. Please, in lieu of flowers, vote for another more worthy candidate.”

    Of course, this negative message would have hurt much worse in the heyday of Chicago's local Democratic machine, which was notorious for including the names of the dead on its voting rolls.

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  • Those funny ads in Alabama haven’t helped anyone win

    Alabama’s political ads have been off-the-charts crazy this campaign season, but aside from generating lots of publicity, they have yet to help a single candidate actually win.

    Rick Barber, the tea party candidate who brought us the craziest of those crazy campaign ads, was trounced Tuesday night in his bid to win the GOP nomination in the state’s 2nd Congressional district. Establishment favorite Martha Roby easily captured the nomination with 60 percent of the vote, compared with Barber’s 40 percent.

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  • Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston are getting married

    Ah, young love. After weeks of rumors, Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston tell Us Weekly they are getting married — with or without the approval of the bride's mother, Sarah Palin.

    The pair say they reconnected about three months ago while working out a custody agreement for their 18-month-old son, Tripp. “I really thought we were over,” Johnston, 20, tells the magazine, which puts the formerly star-crossed lovers on the cover. But after a walk, Bristol says, she was stunned how different her former fiancé was. Later, Johnston texted her: “I miss you. I love you. I want to be with you again.” “I was in shock,” says Bristol, 19.

    According to the magazine, Johnston and Palin secretly got engaged two weeks ago. Perhaps that explains the public apology that Johnston issued last week via People magazine, for lying about the Palin family. (No word yet on what celebrity periodical will be catering the reception, but our money is on OK!)

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  • Are Dems facing political apocalypse? Not exactly

    To hear top Democrats tell it, the coming midterm elections could be disastrous for their party.

    Over the weekend, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs bluntly admitted on NBC’s "Meet the Press" that Democrats could very likely lose control of the House. “There’s no doubt there are enough seats in play that could cause Republicans to gain control,” Gibbs said, in a statement that GOP operatives promptly picked up and publicized widely.

    But Gibbs isn’t the only one lowering Democratic expectations this November. In an interview with MSNBC’s "Morning Joe," Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine this morning echoed Gibbs’ prediction, admitting his party could lose at least 28 seats this fall — if not more. “In a tough climate, anything’s possible,” Kaine said.

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