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Was Schumer Just Being “Old School”?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on March 31st, 2011 4:38 am by HL

Was Schumer Just Being “Old School”?
While most saw Sen. Charles Schumer’s (D-NY) mute button incident as an accidental gaffe by the veteran politician, Jonathan Cohn isn’t so sure.

“I also couldn’t help think back to a classic West Wing episode, when the fictional President Bartlet (played by actor Martin Sheen) was beginning his re-election campaign. After the end of a television interview, Bartlet lets slip that his opponent isn’t too bright–or, as Bartlet puts it, that he has a ‘.22 caliber mind in a .357 magnum world.’ It turns out the television camera was still running. The press ends up reporting the comment, ostensibly embarrassing Bartlet but, of course, reinforcing the idea that his opponent is dumb. Later, press secretary C.J. Cregg (played by Allison Janney) asks Bartlet whether he knew the camera was on, making the comment purposely. When Bartlet smiles and walks away, she says ‘that was old school.'”

Arizona Democrats Waiting for Giffords
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) “is still in the hospital, but some of her most ardent backers are so enamored of the idea of her running for the Senate that they describe the inevitable campaign commercials: the deep-voiced narrator recounting what happened to her, the images of her wounded, then recovering and speaking into the camera alongside her astronaut husband to call on Arizonans to unite,” the New York Times reports.

“While it might be wishful thinking, Ms. Giffords’s noncampaign is already having a major effect on Arizona politics; other prospective Democratic candidates say they feel compelled not to jump in unless she bows out, allowing Republicans to get a head start organizing their campaigns.”

Said one prospective candidate: “I’m in but only if she’s not. A Democrat running against her would be doomed.”

Ohio Next to Curb Collective Bargaining Rights
Ohio’s Republican-controlled legislature passed legislation that would “curb the collective bargaining rights of about 350,000 state employees, and Gov. John Kasich (R) said he will sign it into law,” according to Reuters.

“Similar measures have spurred protests in Wisconsin, Tennessee, Michigan and other states. Ohio Democrats hope to put the new law on the ballot for a referendum vote in November in an effort to overturn it… While Wisconsin has gained more national attention, Ohio is far more important to unions. It has the sixth largest number of public sector union members among all the 50 U.S. states, twice the number of Wisconsin. With many auto and steel and manufacturing plants, Ohio is also a union bellwether.”

Democrats Trail in Generic Ballot
A new Quinnipiac poll finds Republicans leading Democrats in the generic congressional ballot by three points, 40% to 31%.

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