Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Fix Summary of Ohio Senate Race

From the Friday Line at The Fix:
6. Ohio (R): Fundraising totals for the first three months of 2009 were a telling sign of strength in this open seat race. Former Rep. Rob Portman (R) delivered on the high expectations for his candidacy with $1.7 million raised and another $1.4 million transferred from his House account. Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher (D) also crested the $1 million raised plateau -- far outdistancing Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner (D) who brought in just $200,000. If Brunner can't find a way to stay more competitive with Fisher, she is likely to face significant pressure from state and national Democrats to abandon her candidacy. Either way, a Fisher-Portman race is the most likely one right now, and that has all the makings of a great one. (Previous ranking: 6)

Friday, April 24, 2009

NY-20: Tedisco Concedes

Now if only Norm Coleman would see the light. GOPer Jim Tedisco has conceded to Democrat Scott Murphy in the New York 20th special election :
Democrat Scott Murphy has declared victory in the 20th district congressional race after republican Jim Tedisco called him to concede Friday afternoon.

Murphy addressed the media for the first time as a congressman elect, saying he's looking forward to beginning his new job and working with President Obama, who called to congratulate him already.

Brunner Makes FiveThirtyEight's Least Impressive Fundraising Totals List

From Nate Silver at, Brunner makes his list of least impressive fundraising totals, meanwhile, Rob Portman makes the list of most impressive.

Least Impressive Fundraising Totals, Challenger Division
3. Jennifer Brunner, D-Ohio ($207,236). Brunner's totals significantly lagged those of Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher, who brought in $1,035,673 last quarter. With Democrats having good reason to fear Rob Portman's organizational strength, Brunner will be under substantial pressure to improve her fundraising or Buckeye State Democrats may lose their appetite for a competitive primary.
Most Impressive Fundraising Totals, Challenger Division
3. Rob Portman, R-Ohio ($1,704,501). Portman was expected to be a strong fundraiser so this is not surprising, but he is increasingly looking like a mild frontrunner in the race to replace George Voinovich, even if polling has showed him slightly behind the Democratic opposition.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

AP: Majority of Americans Say Country Is on the Right Track; Obama Approval 64%

In a poll conducted for the AP from April 16-20 and released today, a majority of Americans say the country is on the "right track" for the first time in at least four years. 48% of Americans say the country is on the right track versus 44% who say its on the wrong track. 

President Obama's approval rating stands at 64% in this poll, down ten points from his pre-inaugural figure. However, the number of Americans who say that President Obama is a "strong leader" (what Toby Ziegler used to call the "real one" back on the West Wing) in the poll is a stout 76%, virtually unchanged from his 78% pre-inaugural figure. 

To read more about the poll, you can view the PDF by clicking here.

Roll Call: "Lunacy" that GOP could re-take House next year

From Roll Call via Political Wire:

Cheerleading has its place, including on a high school or college basketball court. But not when it comes to political analysis.

Over the past couple of weeks, at least three Republicans — House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.), former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) and campaign consultant Tony Marsh — have raised the possibility of the GOP winning back the House of Representatives next year.

That idea is lunacy and ought to be put to rest immediately.

None of the three actually predicted that Republicans would gain the 40 seats that they need for a majority, but all three held out hope that that’s possible. It isn’t.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Prominent Free Market Capitalist Pens “A Failure of Capitalism”

(H/T Eric at Plunderbund):

One of the most prominent proponents of free-market capitalism is having second thoughts.

Judge Richard A. Posner, a federal appeals court judge who has been called the most cited legal scholar of all time, discussed his doubts and his analysis of the current financial crisis in a wide-ranging interview with the Huffington Post.

A longtime proponent of deregulation, the idea that business works best in a free market without burdensome government regulations, Posner began to change his mind when he realized the enormity of the crisis. This change of heart inspired him to write his upcoming book, “A Failure Of Capitalism.”

Congratulations Warren County!

Warren County Ohio makes an appearance on tonight's Worst Person in the World! For more on the debacle that led to this appearance, see this post from Modern.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cheney: "We Didn't Know A Lot About Al-Qaeda" Why Not?

One more thing about Cheney's interview with Sean Hannity, if I may.

Quoting Mr. Cheney in the interview:
"We didn't know a lot about Al-Qaeda. We didn't have the body of knowledge we have today. But, uh, it was a realtively unknown group. We knew a little bit about them, but not a lot."
Why not, Mr. Cheney?
  • We're talking about the same group of folks who bombed the USS Cole and killed 17 sailors in 2000.
  • We're talking about a group that Bush counterterrorist cheif Richard Clarke (I still have his book Against All Enemies on my shelf) spefically asked for more CIA focus on.
  • We're talking about a group that had "declared war" on the United States.
  • We're talking about a group that President Clinton's intelligence team had warned the then-new Bush administration about.
So why, Mr. Cheney, did you know so little about them before 9/11?

By All Means, Cheney, Keep Running Your Yap

In a two-part interview with Fixed Noise's Sean Hannity, former VP Dick Cheney is continuing his one man effort to defend the Bush legacy, even after disgusting memos detailing torture by CIA officials have been released by the Obama administration, making that legacy all but indefensible to those who are, well, you know, human.

How do I feel about this? I say let the man keep running his yap. By all means. Everytime he does, he derails the GOP efforts to move beyond the super-unpopular Bush presidency and set a new course. What's more, it would appear that GOP strategists agree with me, at least this one quoted by Chris Cilliza of the Washington Posts' blog The Fix: 
Cheney's decision to serve as the self-appointed defender of the Bush presidency has significantly raised his profile in the first 100 days of the Obama administration and presents a real challenge for a party hoping to put forward new faces and fresh ideas. 

"He is a face of the past," said one Republican consultant who spoke on the condition he not be named. "A face of conflict and too polarizing. So, not a good face of the party."
So by all means, Cheney, keep running your yap.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Is This Really News?

No kidding, PD, are you guys just figuring this out?
State Rep. Josh Mandel, an Iraq War veteran viewed as a future star in Ohio Republican circles, is drawing close to announcing officially that he will run for state treasurer in 2010.

"I'm very seriously leaning toward running for state treasurer and will be making my final decision very soon," Mandel said in an interview Monday.
The PD must have drunk the Mandel cool aid, since it describes his 17th State House district as "a swing district that actually leans slightly Democratic." Hogwash. The Ohio 17th was gerrymandered specifically for the GOP, as is obvious once you consider that Mandel followed GOPer Jimmy Trakas in representing the district.

I'm looking forward to watching Kevin Boyce take this guy down.

PD: 25% of Fisher Haul Is Earmarked for the General

According to the PD's Mark Naymik , roughly $225,000 of the $1 million that Lee Fisher raised in the 1st quarter for his Senate campaign is funds earmarked for the general election:
About $225,000 of the roughly $1 million he received by March 31 is designated for the general election. That's because Fisher's million-dollar tally includes money from "double max" donors, those who made the maximum contribution to Fisher's primary and general campaigns at the same time. Supporters can contribute up to $2,400 to each campaign, but contributions for the general election can't be spent in the primary. Fisher also reported $24,000 in loans. 
Fisher's list of "double max" contributors include Milton Maltz, founder and former chief executive officer of Malrite Communications; lawyer Stan Chesley, who has done work for Ohio for years; and numerous Northeast Ohio business leaders and well-to-do families.