Monday, December 18, 2006

Long Day...

Wow, was this a long day or what?!? Before I get to blogging this evening, I need to remind you that I am supporting Jonathan Miller in the governor's race so when it comes to blogging about the other tickets, I will try not to be biased.

Former Virginia Governor Mark Warner is reconsidering his bid for the presidency. If he does run, he would split the southern and moderate votes between Sen. John Edwards and himself.

It's very unlikely that fines will be problematic for all those 527 groups that bombarded us with political advertisements.

Newt Gingrich's decision regarding 2008 may not be for a while.
Newt Gingrich suggested yesterday that he might not run for president in 2008 if a rival has all but locked up the Republican nomination by next fall.

The former House speaker from Georgia said it would not be too late for him to enter the race after Labor Day 2007, if he thinks that no candidate has a clear advantage. He cited Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former New York City mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani as the contenders to watch.

"If one of them seals it off by Labor Day, my announcing now wouldn't make any difference anyway," he said. "If none of the three, having from now till Labor Day, can seal it off, the first real vote is in 2008. And there's plenty of time in the age of television and e-mail between Labor Day and 2008."

The nominee will be picked at the party convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul in early September 2008.

Gingrich noted that John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan each announced his candidacy less than a year before an election. Kennedy confirmed he was running Jan. 2, 1960. Reagan did so for the first time Nov. 20, 1975, when he did not win the nomination, and again Nov. 13, 1979, and Jan. 29, 1984 -- both times capturing the White House.
As was expected, former Lt. Governor Steve Beshear named state Senator Daniel Mongiardo, MD, as his running mate for the 2007 Kentucky Governor's race.
Beshear, 62, said Kentuckians are desperate for “mature, honest leadership with integrity.”

“It’s been sorely missing for some time,” he said, referring to a recently concluded investigation of Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher’s hiring practices.

The state will not tolerate “an administration jammed with political cronies” or a governor who undermines laws designed to protect rank-and-file workers from politics, Beshear said.

He and Mongiardo join a race that already includes State Treasurer Jonathan Miller and running mate Irv Maze, the Jefferson County Attorney. Otis Hensley of Harlan is running a limited campaign in the Democratic primary for governor. Other candidates are expected to enter the race before the Jan. 30 filing deadline.

Beshear, and Mongiardo, 46, a surgeon, both lost bids for the U.S. Senate to incumbent Republicans within the past decade. Sen. Mitch McConnell defeated Beshear in 1996, and Mongiardo narrowly lost to Sen. Jim Bunning in 2004.

Beshear promised to “offer a bold vision” to voters, but he declined to discuss specific proposals, saying those will come after Christmas. He said he and Mongiardo will campaign on ideas, but “we’re going to defend ourselves if attacked.”
Hebert has a little more on the Miller-Maze ticket.
Their courtship was quick. State Treasurer Jonathan Miller didn't talk to Irv Maze about being his running mate until early this week. Now, they're running partners, the Democrats’s first big name ticket to sign up for the governor's race.

Miller picked the Jefferson County attorney after his courtship with Louisville lawyer Jack Conway fell through.
Evan Bayh could still be a contender for VP.
So now the question: Could Bayh still end up on the Democrats' ticket in '08? Washington insiders believe he, along with another almost-presidential candidate, former Virginia Governor Mark Warner, would be an attractive choice for number two.

Democratic strategist Peter Fenn says Bayh is "a solid, moderate senator, very articulate, still very young. The Midwest is terribly important now in presidential campaigns. I mean, I don't think folks are under the illusion that Indiana would be that easy, but it's possible, anything's possible."

If Bayh does spend next year waiting for the phone to ring from Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, or any of the others thinking of running, it won't be the first time. In 2000 he was on Al Gore's short list. After Joe Lieberman joined the ticket, Bayh said "it was an honor. How often do you get considered for one of the top positions in the country?"

Bayh's name was also floated as a possible running mate for John Kerry in 2004.

Some believe Bayh may have helped himself by bowing out of the Presidential sweepstakes now, saving himself from a bruising primary campaign, and allowing him to stay friends with all of the contenders.
Now that Bayh's 2008 campaign is over, most of his staffers will likely file for free agency and sign with another contender.
Anita Dunn -- served as Bayh's chief consultant. Before the election, she signed on to Sen. Barack Obama's HopeFund PAC but is no longer affiliated. It's not clear whether Dunn will do a different campaign.

Marc Farinella -- was exec. dir of Bayh's PAC.

Paul Maslin -- no major Dem campaign needs a pollster right now, but Maslin has the nat'l and pres. experience.

Dan Pfeiffer -- affable comm. dir for Bayh. Given that he's a veteran of Tom Daschle's campaign universe, it would not be a surprise if he joins the Obama camp in some capacity. That said, Pfeiffer hasn't made a decision yet/

Nancy Jacobson -- the architect of Bayh's finances, she'll end up either with Sen. Hillary Clinton (her husband is Mark Penn), Barack Obama (many Bayh donors like Obama) or remain unaffiliated.

Kory Mitchell -- the man in charge of putting together Bayh's plan to raise the tens of millions needed for a campaign. He managed Sen. John Kerry's relationships with FL donors in '04 and was key point of contact for Western donors at the DNC. We're told that four campaigns and two candidates called Mitchell directly.

Other fundraisers: key bundlers signed up by Bayh include Greg Wendt, Mark Chandler, Eric Mindich, Jeff Smulyan, Mark Gilbert, Adam Aron, Danny Holtz and Danny Ponce. All are big fish, capable of bringing in six figure sums through their rolodexes.

Chris Hayler and Sean Downey -- seved as Bayh's political directors for the pre-presidential months. Hayler is a former IA Dem staffer; Downey was Sen. Joe Leberman's dep. pol. dir in '04.

Camp Bayh staff -- the 25 in IA, 15 in NH, 2 in NV and 1 in SC. Well trained and many have deep relationships with local elected officials. In IA, the Camp Bayh-trained political team helped secure the state leg. for Dems, according to Republicans.
The latest to criticize former President Jimmy Carter is David Makovsky, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Carter would have us believe that ill will on Israel's part led to that initiative, but in fact it was Hamas and other Palestinian factions that effectively built the barrier by killing an estimated 1,000 Israelis by suicide bombings and other means between 2000 and 2004. After the barrier was built, the amount of suicide attacks dramatically decreased. Carter apparently minimizes terrorism in order to make it possible to blame Israel for malevolence. But his arguments don't hold water. For example, after 35 years without security barriers, why would Israel suddenly begin building a fence in 2002?

Moreover, it has not precluded a two-state solution. In fact, the barrier's route is very close to the borders that Clinton envisioned at the end of his presidency. And the Israelis have regularly adjusted the barrier's route on their own accord, so it shrinks the amount it dips into the West Bank.

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