Holly Bailey

Stories by Holly Bailey

  • Republicans Narrowly Lead Democrats in 2010 Vote

    Here’s more evidence that independents will be the voting bloc to watch ahead of next year’s 2010 midterms: for the first time in seven years—and more important, this election cycle—a new Gallup poll finds Republicans narrowly leading Democrats in the so-called generic congressional ballot. According to Gallup, if the election were held today, 48 percent of registered voters would choose the GOP candidate, compared with 44 percent who would vote Dem. That’s an eight-point gain for Republicans over the last year. Just a month ago, the GOP trailed Democrats 44 percent to 46 percent. The reason for the slight GOP edge: Republicans now have a 22-point lead over Democrats among so-called independent voters. According to Gallup, indies favor Republicans 52 percent to 30 percent—numbers that were literally reversed a year ago. It’s a trend that hasn’t exactly been gradual: In July, Republicans led Dems by 1 percent among independents. Last month, there was a nine-point difference in favor...
  • Club for Growth Endorses Rubio. Now What?

    To no one’s surprise, the Club for Growth today endorsed Marco Rubio in the GOP primary for Florida’s open Senate seat. The move, which had been rumored for weeks, comes just a few days after the club ran an ad attacking Gov. Charlie Crist’s support of President Obama’s stimulus plan. “Marco Rubio is the real deal, one of the brightest stars in American politics today and a proven champion of economic liberty,” Club president Chris Chocola said in a release this morning. No question, it’s a huge endorsement for Rubio, who has been gaining the support of plenty of big-name Republicans in recent months, including Mike Huckabee, in spite of the fact that national party had already signaled its support for Crist in the nomination battle. Or rather, they had. Last week, Sen. John Cornyn, the Texan who runs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told ABC his committee wouldn’t get involved in the state’s Senate primary—overlooking the fact that Cornyn had endorsed Crist months ago...
  • Club for Growth Calls Out Crist on the Stimulus

    You knew it was coming. A day after Charlie Crist told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he “didn’t endorse” the $787 billion federal stimulus bill, Club for Growth is up with an ad featuring TV footage of the Florida governor onstage with President Obama earlier this year praising the bill. “We know it’s important to pass this stimulus package,” Crist said at a joint rally with Obama in early February, a clip that opens up the club's ad. The group then goes through a litany of statistics suggesting how the stimulus has not helped Florida, including the state’s rising unemployment numbers, as well as the increasing federal deficit.On Wednesday, a day after GOP primary opponent Marco Rubio debuted a Web site trashing Crist’s appearance with Obama, the Florida governor defended himself on CNN, offering up the most unconvincing line we’ve heard since "I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” “I didn't endorse it. I didn't even have a vote on the darned thing," ...
  • Nancy Pelosi Eats Ice Cream for Breakfast

    There are many things to love about New York Magazine’s cover story on Nancy Pelosi this week: the very prominent photo of Pelosi with Obama just over the House speaker’s left shoulder in the lead photograph; how she takes only the stairs in the Capitol, forcing her aides and security detail to huff and puff up and down them all day long; and how she was shocked—shocked—that CIA types were upset when she suggested the agency had lied to Congress about waterboarding. We learn the secret to her political power on Capitol Hill: thank-you notes, flowers, and, sometimes, calls to prominent donors in an individual lawmaker’s district. “Nancy has a minister’s political skills,” Majority Whip James Clyburn tells the mag. Oh, and she also hates to cry. But the most revealing detail about Pelosi: she eats Häagen-Dazs for breakfast. Specifically, chocolate Häagen-Dazs. Here's the proof, courtesy of NY Mag:Suddenly, a door opens, and a beaming servant zooms to Pelosi’s side, stooping to...
  • Owens Wins NY-23. Did Independents Make the Difference There, Too?

    GOP sweep? Not exactly. In one of the few bright spots Tuesday night for Democrats, Bill Owens narrowly defeated Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in New York’s closely watched 23rd Congressional District. With more than 90 percent of the precincts reporting, Owens led Hoffman, 49 percent to 45 percent. Dede Scozzafava, a Republican who dropped out of the race last weekend amid criticism from the party’s right flank over her moderate positions on social issues and support for Barack Obama’s stimulus bill, still finished with 6 percent of the vote. Although more than 5,000 absentee ballots were due to be counted, Hoffman conceded the race early Wednesday morning. But you’d better be prepared for déjà vu: Hoffman told reporters Tuesday that if he lost the race, he’d just mount another challenge in 2010—though this time he’ll likely be the actual GOP candidate, instead of mounting a third-party bid.What does it all mean? Democrats will no doubt point to the GOP’s infighting in...
  • Independents Turn Out Big Time for the GOP

    A major story tonight is how independent voters turned out strongly for Republicans this Election Day, a not-so-encouraging sign that Democrats have lost touch with a voting bloc considered pivotal to Barack Obama’s win in 2008 and the party’s recapture of Congress in 2006. If exit polls are to be believed—and we know sometimes they aren’t—Republican Chris Christie trounced Gov. Jon Corzine in New Jersey 58 percent to 33 percent among independent voters. Ditto in Virginia, where Republican Bob McDonnell’s gubernatorial victory tonight appears to have been fueled in part by swing voters. According to exit polls there, McDonnell led Democrat Creigh Deeds among self-described independent voters 65 percent to 34 percent. It is a fluke? Not exactly. For months, national polls have been showing independents moving to the right. A recent Gallup Poll found Republicans leading Dems 46 percent to 36 percent among independents. One reason, according to a recent Pew Research survey, is that...
  • Club for Growth Spent $1 Million in NY-23. Is This a Bad Omen for the GOP in 2010?

    The Atlantic’s Chris Good has an interesting breakdown on who spent what on New York’s hotly contested 23rd congressional district race. The big news: the Club for Growth spent more than $1 million in support of Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman. That’s slightly less than the $1.1 million the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chipped in behalf of Democrat Bill Owens. Meanwhile, the National Republican Congressional Committee spent roughly $897,000—mostly on ads directly challenging Owens, as opposed to building up Dede Scozzafava, a moderate Republican who dropped out of the race over the weekend. ...
  • More Bad News for Charlie Crist

    For the congenitally sunny Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, these have been dark days. Polls have shown his Republican Senate primary contest against Marco Rubio tightening. County GOP executive committees have continued to hand him overwhelming defeats in straw polls. He's faced withering news reports, like one recently in the Miami Herald, that have fed an image that he's more concerned with his political career than with the people's business....
  • Wait, Did Pelosi Just Get Sworn In As President?

        You’ve gotta hand it to Nancy Pelosi: She is queen of the photo op. Four days after Harry Reid unveiled his version of health-care reform in a windowless room deep inside the U.S. Capitol, Pelosi chose perhaps the most dramatic setting in Washington to make her own health-care pitch: the west front steps of the Capitol building. You’ve seen it on TV. It’s where presidents are sworn in—though this morning’s events looked and sounded a little more like a convention speech than an inauguration event. Case in point: Pelosi marched into the event to her own personal soundtrack, “Elevation” by U2. (She loves that Bono, remember?) Reid had, well, the sound of reporters typing away on their laptops. Throwaway details aside, there is one major optical difference between the Pelosi and Reid events: when the senator spoke, he did it alone. At Pelosi’s event, almost every member of the House Democratic caucus stood behind her. Who do you think has more sway on Capitol Hill?
  • Sarah Palin Charging $100K for Iowa Speech? Not Exactly.

      Politico's Jonathan Martin has a good story today about an Iowa conservative group's efforts to lure Sarah Palin to a fundraising dinner in Des Moines next month. The Iowa Family Policy Center, according to J-Mart, is trying to come up with Palin's reported $100,000 speaker's fee in hopes of getting the former governor to headline its Nov. 21 banquet—which just so happens to be the same night Vice President Joe Biden will be in town to headline the Iowa Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. But wait a minute: Paying a White House hopeful to come to Iowa? Seriously? Has anyone ever had to do that? Needless to say, the very prospect has other Iowa Republicans up in arms. "If somebody tells me they want me to pay an appearance fee, it tells me they're not very serious about running for president," Ed Failor Jr., president of Iowans for Tax Relief and an influential GOP insider, tells Politico. "I found it really, really odd."...
  • Chuck Hagel Lands a Job in the Obama Administration

    Guess who’s finally joining the administration? At the White House today, President Obama will announce that he’s naming former GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel as cochair of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, which oversees the intel community. First reported by Foreign Policy, Hagel’s move had been rumored for months—though when asked by NEWSWEEK about his status earlier this month, he declined to talk about it. “I won’t talk about my conversations with the president,” Hagel said. The Vietnam veteran, who retired from the Senate last year, did not endorse Obama or his other close friend John McCain during last year’s presidential race. Yet it was no secret that Hagel’s views were more closely aligned to Obama’s than McCain’s, especially on foreign policy. Hagel, who initially supported the invasion of Iraq, ultimately became one of the war’s most outspoken critics. In the summer of 2008, he traveled with Obama on the Democrat’s first overseas tour, visiting Afghanistan and Iraq, and...
  • Palin's Book Advance: $1.25 Million. Plus, She Discloses $43k in Gifts.

    Remember those rumors that Sarah Palin was asking for an $11 million book advance for her upcoming autobiography? Well, she didn't get that much. According to a newly-filed financial-disclosure form, the former Alaska governor was given a $1.25 million advance for Going Rogue. The disclosure doesn’t list when Palin officially inked the book deal or when she received  the money, but the forms, first reported by the Anchorage Daily News, cover from January 1 to July 26, 2009, when she officially resigned from office. How does that compare with what other political hot shots got for their books? Well, former First Lady Laura Bush reportedly received $1.6 million for her memoirs. George W. Bush was rumored to have gotten a $7 million advance for his upcoming book on the toughest decisions he made as president. Hillary Clinton was paid $8 million upfront for her autobiography. Meanwhile Bill Clinton topped everybody, with a $15 million book advance for My Life. What do Palin and all...
  • Will Reid's Push for the Public Option Help His Reelection Campaign?

    Writing in The Huffington Post this morning, Democratic strategist Peter Daou laments the fact that liberal bloggers aren’t getting any love for their role in pressing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to include the so-called public option in the Senate’s health-care legislation. “Don’t hold your breath waiting to read about the netroots’ pivotal role in forcing the inclusion of a public option,” Daou writes. “It’s just not the way things work in our current media and political world. Instead, at most expect to hear vague allusions to the ‘left.’ Or even more likely, the credit will go to liberal-leaning legislators and will reference ‘public support,’ neglecting the fact it took bloggers to draw attention to the polling that showed a majority favored the public option.” It’s a fair point, but what about the bigger political picture here? Reid’s office is pretty upfront about the fact that polls on the issue prompted the Dem leader to go for the public option, and his decision no...
  • Sarah Palin's Book Is Already on Clearance

      With just under a month to go before it’s released to the masses, Sarah Palin’s upcoming autobiography, Going Rogue, has already been near the top of Amazon’s bestseller list for weeks. No surprise, considering the enormous amount of interest—both bad and good—the former Alaska governor has generated since John McCain named her as his vice presidential running mate last year. But there may be more to the story: over the past week or so, Amazon has been steadily dropping the price of Palin’s book to compete with other retailers, including Wal-Mart, which offered it for presale at $10. Amazon, which originally listed it at $28.99, is now basically giving the book away for a measly $9. This, as my fellow NEWSWEEKer Sarah Ball notes, is cheaper than buying a copy of Pat the Bunny. Heck, even How to Win Friends and Influence People is priced higher. Of course, it would be absolutely, positively un-American for Wal-Mart to back down from its promise of offering people the absolute...
  • Annie Leibovitz Shoots the Obama Family Portrait

      Annie Leibovitz has been spending a lot of time at the White House lately, and now we know why. The famed photographer, in the headlines lately for drama over her personal finances, shot the official Obama family portrait, which was posted on the White House’s Flickr account this morning. Leibovitz has been trailing Obama for months. In January, she shot a major portfolio for Vanity Fair of Obama and his staff. She’s been spotted sporadically at the White House ever since, including earlier this month when she was accidentally body-checked by another press pool photographer while shooting Obama at a Democratic fundraising event. (Yes, covering the White House can be a lot like hockey.) No word on how much the portrait cost, though Leibovitz's rates reportedly exceed $100,000 a day. We're guessing the White House got a decent discount.
  • Michelle Obama May Be the Coolest First Lady Ever

    Forget President Obama’s basketball skills. Check out this photo of Michelle Obama playing double Dutch at the White House yesterday. And that’s not all she did. The first lady also Hula-Hooped—142 swirls, according to AP— and apparently tried to walk on a tightrope. She even ran an obstacle course—all in front of cameras.(Here's the video.) Even your Gaggler wouldn’t do that—though, we must say the Hula-Hoop has always been one of our faves, too. Bigger picture: can you imagine any other first lady doing something like this? Laura Bush? Jackie O? All of this makes us wonder: could Michelle beat Barack at basketball? Bet she could. More photos after the jump.      
  • Joe Wilson Raised (And Spent ) Big Money After 'You Lie!'

    It’s no secret that Rep. Joe Wilson’s “You lie!” outburst turned into major cash cow for the South Carolina Republican and his Democratic opponent Rob Miller, but we’re now learning more details on exactly how many millions those two words generated in the race and where that money came from. According to a fundraising report filed late last week with the Federal Election Commission, Wilson raised $2.7 million between July 1 and Sept. 30—the bulk of that money coming in the final three weeks of the month, after he heckled President Obama during his Sept. 9 speech to Congress. According to Wilson’s FEC report, about 80 percent of that total—roughly $2.1 million—came from small-donor contributors who gave $200 or less. A little bit of perspective: Wilson raised $1.2 million for his last race against Miller in 2008. That’s $1.2 million over 24 months—a total Wilson virtually doubled in just three weeks of fundraising last month. Where did the money come from? While Wilson raised the...
  • Time Out of the Spotlight Hasn't Helped Sarah Palin

    When Sarah Palin resigned as governor of Alaska last summer, it seemed she was finally taking the advice of many political professionals and retreating from the spotlight to rebuild her brand and find her message. With the exception of a closed-to-the-press speech last month in Hong Kong, she has not been seen in public. Palin has turned down interviews and declined to appear at GOP party events. Aside from the occasional op-ed, like this one published last week by National Review, and messages posted on her Facebook page, Palin has been laying low, no doubt preparing for what will unquestionably be a major publicity push when her autobiography, Going Rogue, is released next month. But has her time away from the cameras actually done Palin any good politically?Two polls released in the last several days suggest Palin might not be in good shape should she seek the GOP presidential nomination in 2012. A new Gallup poll finds that Palin’s approval ratings have taken a serious hit in...
  • John Edwards's Poll Numbers Tank. But, Rest Easy, He's No Bin Laden

    Here’s a record John Edwards probably won’t brag about: a new Gallup poll finds the two-time Democratic presidential hopeful, who has been caught up in personal drama over an affair with a former campaign worker, has suffered the single biggest slide in public opinion ever recorded for a prominent public figure in consecutive polling. According to Gallup, more people than ever—59 percent—view Edwards negatively, while just 21 percent view him “favorably.” That’s a 27 percent decrease in approval since January 2008, the last time Gallup gauged Edward’s popularity with the public. By Gallup’s measure, that’s the biggest decline it’s recorded since 1992, when they first began polling people on the “favorable” or “unfavorable” question. By comparison, Edwards’s fall from grace narrowly outpaced home-run king Sammy Sosa, who saw his favorable number slip 24 points in 2003 amid allegations he may have cheated to get into the record books. Even Tom Cruise didn’t fare as badly. The actor’s...
  • The Weekly Obsession: The Party of Snowe

    This week in The Weekly Obsession: GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe. She was the only Republican to vote in favor of the Senate Finance Committee's health care bill this week, a decision that not only irked many in her party but set off a literal Snowe-storm, heh heh, of really, really bad puns. Snowe day, Snowe job, Snowe patrol: Seriously people. Make. It. Stop. Here's the latest clip from Newsweek's amazing Sarah Frank.
  • Why Harry Reid Is No Tom Daschle

    It’s no secret that Harry Reid is in trouble in Nevada. For months, the Senate Majority Leader’s approval ratings back home have been in the dumps. A poll conducted last week for the Las Vegas Review Journal found Reid with a paltry 38 percent approval rating, down more than 15 points since he won re-election back in 2004. But Reid’s falling popularity with Nevada voters isn’t the only thing that has Dems worried. The last two Mason Dixon polls in the state have found Reid losing against two potential GOP challengers: businessman Danny Tarkanian, who beat Reid 49 percent to 43 percent in a projected match-up; and Nevada GOP chairwoman Sue Lowden, who edged out Reid 49 percent to 39 percent.  The upside for Reid: The GOP has struggled for months to find a candidate to run against the Senate Majority Leader, and of these two, only Lowden has officially declared, something she did only two weeks ago. The downside for Reid: He’s still losing even as Republicans have struggled to get...
  • President Obama Dances With the Stars

    Look out Tom DeLay. Here’s video of President Obama getting his salsa on with Mexican pop star Thalia at the Fiesta Latina concert held Tuesday night at the White House. Our verdict: Not bad—but he’s no Hillary Clinton.
  • Is Chris Christie Too Fat to Be the Next Governor of New Jersey?

    For weeks, New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine has been slyly playing up the fact that his GOP opponent Chris Christie is—how can we put it delicately?—a very big man. Unflattering photos of Christie’s distinct double chin and wide frame have been a staple of Corzine’s ads for weeks as he seeks reelection this year. But that’s nothing compared with a recent Corzine TV ad that featured slow-motion video of Christie exiting an SUV, his girth, as The New York Times so visibly put it, moving “slowly, in several different directions at once.” “Christie threw his weight around” to get out of traffic infractions, the ad says. Hint, hint. For his part, Corzine innocently swears he’s not playing the fat card, but it just so happens that as Christie’s weight has gotten more notice, the gov has suddenly become a poster boy for good health. Corzine has been jogging every weekend—almost always in view of cameras—and his allies can’t stop talking about how much weight he’s lost since he’s been governor....
  • Tom DeLay Talks to NEWSWEEK About Hanging Up His Dancing Shoes

    Does the world feel a little more empty today? Last night Tom DeLay called it quits on Dancing With the Stars after he decided he just couldn’t weather the pain of having stress fractures in both his feet. “If you can’t practice, you make a fool of yourself out there,” he told viewers last night. He's right. It takes a lot of practice to make those Kevin Bacon knee slides, sassy head whips, and sultry pelvic thrusts convincing. Not to mention all that booty shaking. Unfortunately, we'll never forget. This morning, DeLay phoned NEWSWEEK’s Ramin Setoodeh to elaborate on that decision, as well as Bill Clinton, birthers, and whether he's worrried about going to jail. Here’s an excerpt:So how bad is your injury?Two weeks ago, I got a stress fracture in my right foot. Last week I got a stress fracture in my left foot. It was pretty painful to practice last week. Last Sunday I could only do 30 minutes. But I knew the dance, and I wanted to see if I could dance. We took it...
  • Gaggle Recap: Nobody Dances the Robot Like Tom DeLay

    If there’s one thing that they really, really love on Dancing With the Stars, it’s the suspense. And when we say love, we mean torture you until you almost want to change the channel back to Gossip Girl, which, to be honest, is what we’d rather be watching anyway. But alas, we cannot allow history—that is, the jiggyness of Tom Delay—go undocumented. Last week, DeLay sure looked in bad shape. The former House majority leader had been dancing so passionately that he suffered a painful stress fracture in his right foot. In spite of this, he had danced a pretty fluid tango—well, right up until he almost fell on top of his partner Cheryl Burke in the final seconds. Afterward, DeLay looked almost as if he wanted to cry when he told the judges how much pain he was in, but he narrowly escaped elimination when model Kathy Ireland was sent home. But goodness gracious, would DeLay be healthy enough to samba through Week 3? That was the big suspense Monday night, and ABC milked it for almost t...
  • McCain Strategist: Palin in 2012 Would Be 'Catastrophic' for GOP

    Looks like there’s at least one high-profile Republican who won’t be voting for Sarah Palin should she run in 2012. Steve Schmidt, John McCain’s top political strategist in 2008, told a forum in Washington today that nominating Palin as the party’s next presidential nominee would be “catastrophic” for Republicans. “I think that she has talents, but my honest view is that she would not be a winning candidate,” Schmidt said. “In fact, were she to be the nominee, we would have a catastrophic election result.”The comments aren’t necessarily surprising—many prominent Republicans privately share Schmidt’s views. And there’s bad blood between Schmidt and Palin. As has been widely reported, the two clashed repeatedly during the campaign. Palin allies have accused Schmidt of leaking unflattering details about her to reporters. Schmidt allies have accused her of being a diva and unmanageable. Schmidt is the only member of McCain’s inner circle to publicly criticize Palin—something that McCain...

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