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Triangulation As Electoral Strategy


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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Rahm Emanuel Back on Ballot , IL Supreme Court Agrees to Review Ruling

Bump and Update: The Illinois Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case on an expedited basis, without oral argument, using the briefs filed in the lower court.

Bump and Update: Rahm gets his stay, he's back on the ballot for now.

Bump and Update: Rahm Emanuel filed his petition with the Illinois Supreme Court today. He makes six arguments, and relies in part on People ex rel. Madigan v. Baumgartner, the case I discuss below. You can read the petition here. No word yet on whether the Court will agree to hear the case or grant the stay he requested yesterday. [More...]

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Rudy Giuliani Says He May Make Presidential Bid

Rudy Giuliani will be on CNBC's Kudlow Report tonight. He's considering another run for the Republican nomination for President. Here's an excerpt, received by e-mail from CNBC:

LARRY KUDLOW: " Will you take a look at 2012, there are lots of rumors in New York City?"

RUDY GIULIANI: "I will take a look at 2012. It's really a question of, can I play a useful role? Would I have a chance of getting the nomination? Those are things that I'll have to evaluate as the year goes along.

LARRY KUDLOW: "But the door is open, that's what I'm hearing from you tonight?"

RUDY GIULIANI: "Yes, yes, Absolutely Larry."

He never could stand to be out of the limelight for long. Is this just a way for him to rev up demand (and fees) as a motivational speaker? [More...]

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Time to Target NY Rep. Peter King

The New York Times takes a well-deserved shot at Republican Peter King. So does Marcy (Empty Wheel.) The Albany Project reports redistricting could jeopardize his seat in 2012. Let's hope so.

King is about to become Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee. He's on an anti-immigrant kick, promising legislation to arrest more undocumented residents. [More...]

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A New Potential GOP Candidate?

I've never heard of Jon Huntsman, but Newsweek spends four pages on the former Republican Governor of Utah who Obama made Ambassador to China. He's back in DC and apparently contemplating a run for the GOP nomination.

He's a moderate, who believes the GOP needs to attract younger voters by hitting on three issues: immigration, gay rights and the environment.

Like Mitt Romney, he's a Mormon, which ordinarily would prompt concerns about whether they would be competing for the same supporters and donors. Huntsman doesn't have to worry about that.

Huntsman wouldn’t have much trouble financing the first leg of a presidential campaign on his own: his father, whose company invented the “clamshell” container for McDonald’s to package its Big Macs, is a billionaire.


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Sunday Open Thread

Newt Gingrich today said he's more inclined to run than not to run for President, and may decide around February or March. Among Republicans, Gingrich named Mitt Romney as the Republican front-runner and Mike Huckabee as the most popular.

It looks like there will be a deal to extend the tax cuts.

Tonight: VH1 Divas: Support the Troops. Hosted by Kathy Griffin and filmed earlier this week, the show has gotten rave reviews. Performances by:

Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Sugarland, Keri Hilson, Paramore, Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, as well as appearances by literally everyone from our First Lady Michelle Obama to "Snooki" and "The Situation" from "Jersey Shore," including comedian Jeffrey Ross, MC Lyte and Brandy.

If anyone is still watching Boardwalk Empire, tonight is the season finale. This is an open thread, all topics welcome

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Kamala Harris Wins CA Attorney General Race

LA District Attorney Steve Cooley has conceded the California Attorney General's race to San Francisco DA Kamala Harris.

The decision means that San Francisco Dist. Atty. Kamala Harris will assume the post of California's top law enforcement official, giving Democrats a clean sweep of the statewide offices.

This is good news for medical marijuana patients in California. Harris' position:

As the chief law enforcement official of this great city, it is my duty to protect the most vulnerable among us from harm. That includes those who are sick and seek care through medicinal marijuana. I pledge to continue this important work.

Harris is far more progressive and smarter about crime than Cooley. This is good news for California.

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