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Sarah Palin Announces She Will Not Run for President

Sarah Palin says she's not running for President in 2012.

Let's just hope she means it.

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NY Elects Republican to Replace Anthony Weiner

Conservative Republican Bob Turner was elected yesterday to replace Rep. Anthony Weiner. The District encompassed much of Queens and a small part of Brooklyn:

Turner, 70, a retired cable television executive who has never served in elective office, defeated Democratic State Assemblyman David Weprin, 55, who has two decades of public service experience, to fill the seat left vacant when Anthony Weiner (D) resigned in disgrace in June after more than 12 years in the House.

The last time a Republican won in that district was in the 1920's.

Many will see it a referendum on Obama and the economy, and a sign for 2012. I think it's way too soon for that, too many unforeseen things can happen to change the public's mind between now and then. Voters are fickle and can change like the wind. Also, Israel/Palestine may have been a significant factor in this particular race: [More...]

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New Poll: Obama Beats Perry and Romney

Public Policy Polling released a new poll today. President Obama would beat Mitt Romney by 4 points and Rick Perry by 11 points.

The president’s more solid standing in the Perry and Romney horseraces comes from consolidating his party support. He was losing 13% of Democrats to each candidate in August, but only 11% to Romney and 9% to Perry now. Obama has meanwhile upped his own crossover support, from 5% to 9% of Republicans versus Romney and 10% to 11% against Perry. The president leads Perry by ten points with independents, but Romney tops Obama by two with them.

One reason for Obama's increase over Perry: Perry's position on social security, which is likely to cost him swing voters.

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2012: Analyst Says 7 States Will Decide Presidency

Political analyst Larry Sabato writes in the Wall St. Journal that the 2012 presidential election will come down to 7 super-swing states:

Colorado (9), Florida (29), Iowa (6), Nevada (6), New Hampshire (4), Ohio (18) and Virginia (13).

Why these 7? He says it's all in the electoral college math, the polls don't mean much. Sabato says:

Republicans therefore are a lock or lead in 24 states for 206 electoral votes, and Democrats have or lead in 19 states for 247 electoral votes.

There's a big difference between a lock and a lead so I'm not putting much stock in this. And what if there's a third party candidate on either side? Sabato says that could put a wrench in things. Redistricting (as in Ohio and "Northern Frost Belt" states) ) could also make a difference according to Sabato since the Republicans will gain about 6 electors from it.

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What's Different About the 2012 Election

As a blogger, I have never been as unhappy with the coverage of an upcoming presidential election as I am now. What's different? I finally figured it out.

Talkleft began in 2002. The first presidential election was 2004. There was the same old GW Bush, versus a Democratic challenger, John Kerry. Kerry/Edwards was news to write about. Defeating George Bush was important enough to warrant covering the election.

In 2008, there was Obama vs. McCain. Both were new candidates, and there was extensive coverage of both. Getting a Democrat back in the White House and keeping the supremely unqualified Sarah Palin out warranted blogging about the race.

The 2012 election has no new Democratic candidate. Since the Republican candidate is unknown and there is only a field of contenders, the media is obsessively focused on them.

I don't care about Republicans. I don't want to read about their quest for the nomination and I certainly don't want to write about them. I don't care which one is ahead, I don't want to follow their debates or their campaigning for the nomination. There's no race now. It's all about which Republican gets the nomination. Maybe once one is nominated, and the Democrats are back in the story, I'll write about the election. For now, it's of no interest to me and I'm not going to pretend I care.

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TX Gov Rick Perry Wants to Be President

Texas Governor Rick Perry has officially declared himself a candidate for the Republican nomination for President. He and Mitt Romney are now considered frontrunners.

No matter how disappointed you are with Obama and the Democrats, any Republican would be far worse.

I don't want Republicans picking Supreme Court Justices. I don't want them making economic policy. They would be the worst by far on crime policy.

Things are bad now, but there's no need to make them worse.

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Triangulation As Electoral Strategy

Digby:

The activist base and elite liberals are the tip of the spear. Being honest about what we see still has a purpose: to keep liberalism alive, motivate the base for other elections, build the progressive movement. And the activist base and liberal elites will have a hand in determining the president's legacy. Once he's done catering to these alleged Independents who want nothing more than to slash government to the bone, he's going to start thinking about that.

I'm thinking the more important lesson from the Clinton Era remains 'it's the economy, stupid':

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The Impressive Michele Bachmann . . .

Thought I'd try the phrase on for size before she gaffes too badly. Anyway, I am a firm believer in pumping up Bachmann because we want her to win the GOP nomination. Romney's the guy who can beat Obama. Maybe Pawlenty I suppose. But Bachmann can not. As a result, I will now make fun of Kevin Drum stand-in Andy Kroll who points to Nate Silver for the proposition of "throwing cold water" on Bachmann's big weekend. The problem is Silver is actually quite bullish on Bachmann:

I havenít said anything about the performance of Michele Bachmann in the poll, who drew 22 percent, just a point behind Mr. Romney. Really, there isnít much to say other than this: these are terrific numbers. [. . .] I would consider her the favorite to win the Iowa caucuses and a legitimate contender to win the Republican nomination.

Throwing cold water? I think Nate is revving up "the impressive Michelle Bachmann" line. (Note: Nate doesn't know much more than me or you about these things, but people think he does.)

Speaking for me only

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Carolyn Goodman Elected Mayor of Las Vegas

My favorite mayor, Oscar Goodman of Las Vegas, is leaving the Mayor's office in good hands. On Tuesday, voters elected his wife, Carolyn Goodman, to succeed him.

Ms. Goodman became mayor with 61 percent of the vote in the nonpartisan contest Tuesday, defeating Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani of Clark County, who could not overcome the popularity of the self-proclaimed Happiest Couple in the Universe. Mr. Goodman, a former mob lawyer who gleefully presided over the city with a force of charisma and a bottle of Bombay Sapphire gin, could not run again because of term limits.

I can hardly believe it's been 12 years since Oscar was elected Mayor. How time flies. He must be one of the most popular Mayors ever -- he was re-elected in 2007 with 84% of the vote. I'm sure he's sad to be leaving the job, he's always said it was the most fun he's ever had.

Congratulations, Carolyn! I hope you have as much fun in the job as Oscar, that Las Vegans appreciate you as much as they did him, and that we criminal defense lawyers get to see a bit more of Oscar now.

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Michael Hancock Beats Chris Romer for Denver Mayor

Congrats to Michael Hancock, who easily defeated Chris Romer in today's runoff election for Denver mayor. Romer has conceded.

With 100-percent (110,441) of the votes counted, Hancock defeated Romer 58% to 42%. It was an all mail-in election, with 300,000 ballots mailed. Only 110,441 people voted. It's pretty amazing you can become mayor of a city the size of Denver with just 55,222 votes (although Hancock got more than that.)Hancock on his win tonight:

Tonight, we celebrate this victory, and believe me, we gonna party. Tomorrow is Day One.

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Donald Trump Not Running for President

I never thought Donald Trump would run for President. Turns out he won't. He made the announcement today.

Yesterday, NBC renewed Celebrity Apprentice. From the first linked article:

He was scheduled to meet with NBC's bosses early Monday morning to give them his final decision -- just hours before they were supposed to present their plans for the new fall season to advertisers.

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Mike Huckabee Won't Run in 2012

As many predicted, Mike Huckabee announced he won't seek the Republican nomination for President in 2012.

Was it his clemency record? As I wrote here, listing his many clemency decisions:

Huckabee granted a lot of deserved pardons while in office, particularly for drug offenders serving excessive sentences. A Governor's use of clemency and pardon power is a good thing. The problem with Huckabee's exercise of the power is that several of his decisions make no sense, he refused to explain his decisions, and he injected his religion into it.

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Obama Makes It Offical: "It's Up to Us"

The Obama 2012 campaign began today with the release of this video he sent out to supporters. The message: It's up to us.

One guy in the video says: "I don't agree with Obama on everything, but I respect him and I trust him."

My view: Go Obama. I'm not taking any chances that our Supreme Court justices, our Attorney General and our top prosecutors will be chosen by a Republican. And if Republicans continue to gain seats in Congress, we need a Democrat in the White House even more. He needs an early start to claim his ground. I'm just glad there are no primaries for the Dems this time to make us take our eye off the prize. And he's right: It's up to us.

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Charlotte, NC to Host 2012 Democratic Convention

Michelle Obama announced today that Charlotte, N.C. beat St. Louis, Cleveland and Minneapolis as the site of the Democratic National Convention in 2012.

Republicans have chosen Tampa.

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IL Supreme Court Puts Rahm Back on Ballot

That didn't take long. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals and ruled Rahm Emanuel may run for Chicago Mayor. It wasn't even close, the Supreme Court blasted the appeals court decision:

We wish to emphasize that, until just a few days ago, the governing law on this question had been settled in this State for going on 150 years....Things changed, however, when the appellate court below issued its decision and announced that it was no longer bound by any of the law cited above....Its reasons for departing from over 100 years of settled residency law are hardly compelling and deserve only brief attention.

All of that said, and putting aside the appellate court's conclusion that Smith [settled law] is not binding in this case, the appellate court's residency analysis remains fundamentally flawed. This is because, even under traditional principles of statutory analysis, the inevitable conclusion is that the residency analysis conducted by the hearing officer, the Board, and the circuit court [those who heard Emanuel's case before the appellate court] was proper.

I am not a Rahm supporter, but the Supreme Court got it right, in my opinion.

You can read the opinion here.

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