Daily Archives: 12/01/2011
Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D, NY-8) went off against President Obama over his Israeli policies in a lengthy, exclusive interview with GestetnerUpdates.com. But the Congressman also mounted a strong defense of the President against attacks from the right, claiming that Obama does a lot to defend Israel while Bush “spoke tough yet held only a tooth pick” against Iran.
The Congressman said “President Obama made a number of mistakes in his first one and a half years in office on Israel and his Middle East policies… First one was insisting to stopping settlements before negotiations got going, which was a mistake for a lot of reasons. For example, is gave Abbas an excuse to avoid negotiations. Secondly, asking that negotiations start with 1967 borders. It was actually our policy under Clinton and Bush too but it didn’t need to stay this way. Frankly, [that land] didn’t need to be given away for free, [certainly] when the Palestinians were not doing anything on their part. I think those were some mistakes.”
But Mr. Nadler came around fully behind the President overall on Israel: “Obama never defended himself” against attacks from the Right, says Nadler. Obama “never pointed out even until the current date that when he took office he very sharply stepped up military aid to Israel, way beyond what Bush has been doing… very sharply stepped up military coordination with Israel… instituted two special emergency appropriations for anti missile systems, but I don’t think he has gotten any credit for all this… the early campaign to paint him as not being a friend of Israel is not correct. I think he is a friend of Israel.”
Mr. Nadler reveals in his interview that early on in the Obama Administration, former Middle East envoy and then senior State-Department official Dennis Ross told Congress “‘when we came into office, the American commitment in keeping Israel military stronger than any potential coalition of enemies have been weakened and has not been carried forward. We didn’t say it publicly, we didn’t criticize the Bush Administration, but we should be sharply stepping up military aid to Israel.’”
Politico reports: Rick Perry is heading to Jay Leno’s couch tonight, and he’s making the most of it – airing this campaign ad in Iowa, in which he takes on his own “oops” moment from the CNBC debate in which he couldn’t remember the third agency he’d cut (it was the Dept. of Energy, as he notes in the ad).
The spot itself opens with the brain freeze, and then pivots to Perry poking fun at his own gaffe, noting it happens to everyone, but not quite on that scale. He then ends by pretending to forget the disclosure signoff of “I’m Rick Perry and I approved this message.”
The NYDN Reports: Newt is scheduled to speak at a Tea Party-sponsored debate on Staten Island Saturday – even though the borough’s Republican congressman called Gingrich “toxic.”
“The problem is that I think he is toxic and extremely, extremely partisan,” Rep. Michael Grimm (R-Brooklyn/S.I.) told the Daily News.
“Not to mention he comes with a freight car full of baggage that will ultimately hurt the Republican Party,” said Grimm, an early Romney booster.
Gingrich will also join several of his competitors for a panel discussion at the Fox News studios Saturday night, according to the channel’s website.
Team Perry is out with a new, short ad where he pushes for new energy production in the USA. Perry shows that in the late 1970′s President Carter spoke about energy independents, yet thirty years later President Obama speaks about the same thing. Perry claims he will “step on a few toes” to get it done and create mote jobs with it.
Newt Gingrich who has now 37% in a new poll to Romney’s 17%, will bust – between others – because contrary to the perceived view that he is a great debater, he actually is not good when he takes direct fire.
Example A: At the October 18’Th debate, Romney told him ‘we got the individual mandate idea from you.’ Newt swung back at first, but Romney cornered him easily leaving Newt resigned.
Example 2: In trying to prove that he didn’t lobby for Freddie, Newt said “I was charging $60,000 a speech and the number of speeches was going up, not down. Normally, celebrities leave and they gradually sell fewer speeches every year. We were selling more.” What a great way to defend your history: Tell everyone you are a celebrity (not a thinker) who earns in one speech more than what the average voter earns in a year. The more Newt – now the front runner – will come under attack due to his new status, the more outrageous and foot-in-the-mouth things he will say.
Example 3: In a recent interview, Newt was asked about his climate video he did with Pelosi. He pulled a Romney saying “I was a private citizen, I wasn’t contemplating public life.” In other words, ‘had I known I have to run in a GOP Primary, I would have not hired the illegals to do my lawn…’ So here again Newt was attacked and he said a destructive thing to defend himself.
The reason Newt was not attacked much in debates until now is not because – as “Smart Politics” wrote
a few weeks ago that – other candidates fear him or therefore treat him as untouchable. Instead, Newt was nice to others therefore no one felt a need to attack him in return. Plus, Newt was mostly dead in the polls during most of those debates in question so he was not attacked by others for the same reason Huntsman got little attacks… But now things changed and New is at a loss.
The Celebrity’s weakness in debating is enough to torpedo his chances of success in the GOP Primary. Add to it his confusing (and left-leaning) positions on illegal immigration; climate change and the individual mandate; throw in some “right-wing-social-engineering” stuff, and it will leave Conservatives thinking why they had the heart to drop Perry in the first place…
CNN reports that a political action committee supporting Herman Cain’s candidacy is trying to rally support for the embattled presidential contender with a new television ad set to air in the crucial early voting state of Iowa.
The ad says “it is time for the truth” and features an excerpt from a television news story with a polygraph examiner saying “my exam … he is being truthful.” Exactly what words of Herman Cain the examiner is analyzing in the story is not clear from the clip.
Here’s the ad:
Sara Murray writes in the Wall Street Journal that it did:
It was an important question in President Barack Obama’s bid to become the nation’s first black president. And it has been a particularly challenging one for researchers because people aren’t always honest about their prejudices. Some studies have found that attitudes about race have had little impact on recent elections.
As it turns out, America has some issues with race, according to a new paper from Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a Harvard University Ph.D. candidate in economics. His research found that “racial animus” cost Mr. Obama three to five percentage points of the popular vote in 2008.
If the whole country held the same views as the most racially tolerant communities, the researcher found, Mr. Obama would have earned between 56.7% and 58.7% of the popular vote, compared with the 53.7% he won in 2008.
“The cost of racial animus was not decisive in the 2008 election,” the paper states. “But a four percentage point loss by the winning candidate would have changed the result in the majority of post-war presidential elections.”
Racial bias manifested itself in two ways in terms of turnout: Some Democrats stayed home rather than vote for Mr. Obama and a similar number of Americans (who wouldn’t have voted otherwise) turned out for Republican nominee Sen. John McCain, according to the paper.
Mr. Stephens-Davidowitz tackled the impact of racial attitudes on voting by using Google searches of “racially charged language.”
“The idea for using Google in this way was based on a number of papers studying the conditions under which individuals discuss social taboos,” Mr. Stephens-Davidowitz said via email. “Google searches provide a useful database for attitudes not easily accessed by surveys.”
He compared the volume of racially charged searches with an area’s voting patterns for Mr. Obama in 2008 and Sen. John Kerry in 2004. The study covers markets that include more than 99% of American voters.
Mr. Obama’s candidacy also spurred an increase in turnout among black voters. The paper estimates added 1.2 points to Mr. Obama’s popular vote total.
CNN reports: The parade of Republican 2012 hopefuls continues to march past reality television host Donald Trump, with the latest frontrunner, Newt Gingrich, slated to pay the mogul a visit Monday.
The meeting will take place at Trump Tower in New York, and a Trump spokesman said the conversation would likely wind up with Gingrich asking for “The Apprentice” host’s endorsement.
“I can confirm that Mr. Trump and Mr. Gingrich are meeting on Monday at Trump Tower,” Trump spokesman Michael Cohen said. “As to the sum and substance of the conversation to take place, there is no set agenda. I suspect, like the other Republican candidates, Newt will seek Mr. Trump’s advice and endorsement.”
Gingrich, the former House speaker, is the fifth known candidate to meet with Trump. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, businessman Herman Cain and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann have all paid Trump a visit at least once, with Bachmann meeting with Trump four times.
Trump, who decided against his own presidential bid in May, also met with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin several months before she announced she was not seeking the 2012 GOP nomination.
From The Note: The Boston headquarters of Mitt Romney’s campaign got an unwelcome delivery Wednesday – a tub of popcorn and a DVD of Romney’s Tuesday night appearance on Fox News.
What’s worse? It was delivered by the Massachusetts’ Democratic Party, along with a handwritten note that read, “Dear Romney Campaign Staff: We thoroughly enjoyed Governor Romney’s interview on FOX News with Bret Baier last night. It’s clear to us that the more voters hear from the Governor the less they’ll like what they hear.”
“We had such a great time watching all 16 minutes of the interview that we wanted to make sure you had the opportunity to enjoy it too!” read the note. “We’ve attached a DVD of the interview and a box of popcorn for your viewing pleasure.”
The note was signed by John Walsh, the Massachusetts Democratic Party chairman.
The popcorn delivery is not the first food prank of the campaign cycle. In May, Romney sent leftover pizza to President Obama’s Chicago re-election headquarters after a campaign stop in the state.
In fact, Romney tweeted a photo of a delivery boy heading out with the food, writing at the time, “Great deep dish at @ginoseast. Sending the extra slices to @barackobama and his Chicago HQ team.”
Romney’s appearance on Fox News has gotten panned in the press. The Democratic Natoinal Committee even released an ad editing together the criticisms from pundits calling the interview “disastrous” and “uncomfortable.”
According to Kevin Franck, the communications director for the Massachusetts Democratic Party who delivered the package this afternoon, security at the building would not let him in, but he did spot a member of the Romney staff come down to take the package from security.
“Unfortunately, Team Romney did not seem very eager to watch their boss squirm and fidget his way through the testy interview. We hope they enjoy the popcorn though!” said Franck in an e-mail message to ABC News.
A new poll conducted for ”Saban” shows Obama with a 54% favorability rating among Jews living in Israel, to only 39% who have a negative view of the President. Last year, 51% Jewish Israelis had a negative view of the President.
The “Saban Center for Middle East Policy” is holding its “Saban Forum” now in December. Obama, and some members of his Cabinet including Secretary of Defense Leon Pannetta, are expected to attend.
Obama’s policies overall are however seen positive by only 22% surveyed; 39% disapprove. 80% Jewish Israelis have a positive view of America.
From ABC News: During an exclusive campaign fundraiser on New York’s Upper East Side tonight, President Obama offered reassurances to some of his most loyal Jewish supporters about the administration’s commitment to Israel.
Speaking about the “enormous tumult” in the Middle East brought by the Arab Spring, Obama said the U.S. stands “on the side of democracy” but remains unwavering in its support for the security of its allies.
“Obviously, no ally is more important than the state of Israel,” Obama said.
“This administration – I try not to pat myself too much on the back – but this administration has done more in terms of the security of the state of Israel than any previous administration,” he added.
“Whether it’s making sure that our intelligence cooperation is effective, to making sure that we’re able to construct something like an iron dome so that we don’t have missiles raining down on Tel Aviv, we have been consistent in insisting that we don’t compromise when it comes to Israel’s security.”
Obama has taken heat from some members of the Jewish community for what have been, at times, frustrated relations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and for his public calls for statehood negotiations with Palestinians to start with the pre-1967 lines.
American Jewish Congress chairman Jack Rosen, who hosted Obama fundraiser at his private home, acknowledged the concerns generally in his introduction of the president. But Rosen praised the president’s record.
“America’s never been as supportive to the state of Israel” than since Obama took office, he said.
Thirty Obama supporters each paid at least $10,000 per person to attend, said a Democratic official.
Obama also attended two other fundraisers in New York City tonight. He mingled over dinner with 45 donors who forked over $35,800 per person at Gotham Bar & Grill. Later, he spoke at a “holiday reception” at the Sheraton to several hundred supporters who paid $1,000 apiece.