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...

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...

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...

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...

Former President Watch: Bush and Koizumi Are Still BFF

    Ahhh, to be a former president. While we were all consumed with the outcome of the 2009 elections, George W. Bush was overseas in Tokyo, throwing out the first pitch at Japan's equivalent of the World Series. At his side: Junichiro Koizumi, the former prime minister of Japan and Elvis Presley superfan who was widely considered one of Bush's best friends, among foreign leaders anyway. Back in 2006, Bush gave Koizumi a restored 1950s-era jukebox full of Elvis tunes and took him 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...

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...

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...

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. So Crist could have done without a...

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...

Sarah Palin Charging $100K for Iowa Speech?

  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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

Tom DeLay Talks 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....

On Afghanistan, Time May Not Be on Obama's Side

  When President Obama received his copy of Gen. Stanley McChrystal's Afghanistan assessment last month, one of the first questions posed to the White House was how long it would take Obama to decide whether he'd send additional troops into the region. "Weeks," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters. The decision, he said, was "not immediate and not imminent." It's a talking point that the White House has repeated over and over since then: Obama wanted time to...

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...

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...

Pages