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October 25, 2014

Posts in "White House Campaigning"

February 18, 2014

Carney: Democrats Will Not Lose the Senate

Asked Tuesday about the possible Republican takeover of the Senate in the November midterms, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney rejected the premise.

“The Democratic Party is not going to lose the Senate, in our view,” Carney said in response to a question from Ed Henry of Fox News about the potential impact on the president if Democrats lose control.

Carney’s confidence isn’t necessarily all that surprising, but the declaration comes as Senate Republicans have grown increasingly confident about their prospects. Facing a map tilted toward the GOP, Senate Democrats can lose no more than five seats net to retain control.

Henry earlier asked whether the president shared the concerns of other Democrats that some are focused too much on 2016 instead of on the midterm elections.

“This is not a campaign briefing,” Carney said.

February 7, 2014

Biden Boasts Democrats Want Him to Campaign for Them

Biden Boasts Democrats Want Him to Campaign for Them

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. speaks with Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., Del. Donna Christensen, D-V.I., and Del. Madeleine Bordallo, D-Guam, before President Barack Obama's State of the Union address. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As he discussed his interest in a run for the presidency in 2016, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. noted Friday that he is in demand on the stump in the midterm elections.

In an interview with CNN’s Kate Bolduan where he said he could not see any reason not to run for president, Biden acknowledged that there are some states where President Barack Obama didn’t win in 2012, and senators from those states may not want the president to come.

But Biden said he personally is in demand.

“I’ve been invited to go into, well over 128 races so far,” he said. “And so there are some places the president is considerably more popular than I am, but there’s some places where I can go in and the president can’t. There are some places where it makes no sense for me to go in or for the president to go in.”

Biden also wouldn’t predict a Democratic takeover in the House.

“I’m not suggesting you won’t have a divided Congress,” Biden said. “But in terms of the prospects of Democrats running for Congress, incumbents in the Senate, I think we are in the best shape we can be, because the American public agrees with us on the issues.” Full story

January 29, 2014

Hoyer: O’Malley Would Be ‘Excellent’ President (Updated) (Video)

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland said Tuesday night that if Hillary Clinton doesn’t run for president in 2016, the Democrat would support his home state governor, Martin O’Malley.

Clinton, a former secretary of State, first lady and senator from New York, is widely expected to vie for the presidency for a second time. After losing the nomination to Barack Obama in 2008, Clinton could potentially clear the field of prospective Democratic candidates interested in succeeding him. Full story

November 1, 2013

Obama Hits the Road Next Week for Delayed DSCC Fundraisers

President Barack Obama will finally hit the road next week for fundraisers benefiting Senate Democrats.

The events in Dallas on behalf of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee were previously scheduled for Oct. 21, but the trip was delayed because of the federal government shutdown.

The president will now appear Nov. 6 at two DSCC fundraisers in the Lone Star State, then head south to Miami on Nov. 8 for more DSCC functions.

Obama has already appeared at two Senate campaign fundraisers this year, as well as a joint fundraiser benefiting both the DSCC and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The DSCC is working to hold its five-seat majority in the Senate, while the DCCC has the more difficult challenge of picking up 17 seats to win back the House. Full story

May 8, 2013

U.S. Census: Blacks Voted at Higher Rate Than Whites for First Time

The percentage of eligible black voters that cast ballots in 2012 was higher than that of white voters for the first time, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Sixty-six percent of black voters turned out, compared to 64 percent of non-Hispanic whites, in the most recent presidential election. That had never happened since the bureau began tracking this data in 1996.

Full story

April 17, 2013

Obama Budget Puts OFA on the Spot

President Barack Obama’s budget proposal to trim Social Security benefits has intensified liberal angst over his controversial nonprofit advocacy group, Organizing for Action.

OFA’s announcement last week that it had collected just $4.9 million, the vast majority of it from small donors giving $250 or less, may help assuage critics who have cast the group as an unrestricted money magnet. But Obama’s budget proposal to give Social Security recipients smaller cost-of-living increases “puts OFA on a collision course with many of its own grass-roots volunteers,” CQ Weekly reports this week.

“I think this fight over the budget is going to be a real truth-telling moment about Organizing for Action and what it’s going to be,” said Becky Bond, political director of the liberal activist group Credo, which with several progressive groups delivered 2.3 million signatures rejecting the plan to the White House last week. “The people who volunteered to re-elect President Obama overwhelmingly oppose cuts to Social Security.”

The key question for OFA will be whether it becomes a volunteer-driven, bottom-up organization, or a top-down mouthpiece for White House policy. If Obama continues to push for entitlements changes, many Democrats’ disenchantment with OFA will inevitably grow.

Read the whole story here. (Password required.)

March 19, 2013

Rand Paul to Headline Lincoln Day Dinner in Iowa

Rand Paul to Headline Lincoln Day Dinner in Iowa

Paul spoke at CPAC last week. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul will headline an annual Republican event in Iowa next month, further signaling his interest in a 2016 presidential bid.

The announcement caps several high-profile weeks for Paul. On Saturday, he narrowly won the Conservative Political Action Committee straw poll, just after he delivered a rousing speech to the annual confab. Earlier this month, Paul filibustered for 13 hours John O. Brennan’s nomination to head the CIA.

And on Tuesday morning, Paul also announced support for a comprehensive immigration overhaul.

The Iowa Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner is one of its top fundraisers of the year. It’s a platform for budding White House contenders to warm up potential supporters in the first presidential caucus state, even a full two years before candidates will begin launching their campaigns.

Full story

March 7, 2013

RNC ’12 Autopsy Due March 18, Will Address Debates

RNC 12 Autopsy Due March 18, Will Address Debates

Priebus said a postmortem on the 2012 election cycle will be released later this month. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus revealed in a radio interview that the RNC’s internal review of the 2012 elections will be released on March 18.

In a discussion with radio show host Hugh Hewitt on Wednesday, Priebus also signaled that the Growth and Opportunity Project would recommend changes to the presidential debate process ahead of the quadrennial GOP primary. Specifically, he said the report will address whether the party will take control of the debates, including which network televises them and which journalists serve as moderators.

“So now we have the right to set the number of the debates, to pick the moderators of the debates, to set the ground rules for what groups and what networks and what stations, what radio networks, whatever it might be,” Priebus said, according to a transcript of the interview posted on Hewitt’s website. “I mean, we just can’t have MSNBC hosting a debate at the Reagan Library only to have their network make the commentary afterwards for three hours about the debate of the Republican Party. I mean, it’s ridiculous.”

Priebus will address reporters at breakfast the National Press Club on the March 18 release date. But he also suggested that such changes would have to be enacted through a vote of committee members at party meeting scheduled for later this year or early 2014.

Full story

March 5, 2013

Trump to Address CPAC Next Week

Trump to Address CPAC Next Week

Trump will speak at CPAC again this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Donald Trump will speak next week at the Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual gathering for conservative activists in Washington, D.C.

On Tuesday, the American Conservative Union announced that Trump will return to the conference after the businessman made a surprise appearance two years ago, when he was floating the possibility of running for president.

“Donald Trump is an American patriot and success story with a massive following among small government conservatives,” ACU Chairman Al Cardenas said in a statement.

The news comes as CPAC has been criticized by some Republicans for snubbing potential future presidential candidates, specifically New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who were both elected in 2009. The Washington Post reported Tuesday that McDonnell, who recently signed a bipartisan transportation bill that raises taxes, was not invited.

Full story

February 25, 2013

Shop Talk: EMILY’s List Snags Marcy Stech

Marcy Stech is leaving Priorities USA Action, the top-grossing Democratic super PAC in the 2012 election cycle, to be national press secretary at EMILY’s List.

Stech joins EMILY’s List on the heels of a banner year for the organization that backs Democratic women who support abortion rights. EMILY’s List helped elect 19 new women to the House and nine female Senate candidates, including six incumbents and three newcomers.

Stech signs on as national press secretary and succeeds Jess McIntosh, who moved up to replace Jen Bluestein as communications director. Bluestein is serving as a senior adviser to Americans for Responsible Solutions, the new gun safety super PAC run by ex-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and her husband, Mark Kelly.

Stech has “an incredible wealth of experience fighting for progressive causes,” EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock said in a statement.

Stech’s former posts include working on the 2010 campaign of Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and in the public affairs division of the strategic communications firm The Glover Park Group. Priorities USA Action raised $79 million in the previous cycle to help re-elect President Barack Obama.

February 12, 2013

Live Blog: Obama’s 2013 State of the Union Address

11:15 p.m.: Thus concludes the State of the Union live blog. Obama delivered a rather energetic speech, with some added policy flairs, such as a proposed minimum wage increase, to his usual government-centered approach. Democrats are likely to be very happy with what they heard, and Republicans not so much, leaving as still unknown the prospects for bipartisan cooperation on looming fiscal issues such as the budget and the debt ceiling.

Rubio’s rebuttal, meanwhile, will initially be remembered for that reach for a gulp of water in the middle of his speech — at least on social media. But for the difficult task that the rebuttal is, Rubio performed capably and probably helped his career because of it.

Good night from Roll Call in Washington.

10:16 p.m.: Obama concludes. Next up, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida with the Republican rebuttal.

10:10 p.m.: The president is closing his State of the Union address with an emotional appeal for Congress to take up Democratic gun control legislation that he is pushing. While some proposals have bipartisan support, many of them do not. “They deserve a vote,” is a phrase the president is repeating over and over. “Gabby Giffords deserves a vote,” he says. “The families of Newtown deserve a vote.” — “The families of Aurora deserve a vote.” — The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg …”

This portion of the #SOTU is likely to stick the most with Democrats, at least. Easily the emotional portion of Obama’s address.

10:08 p.m.: “It has been two months since Newtown,” Obama says.

10 p.m.: Obama calls for the federal government to address threats to U.S. cybersecurity, as part of the latter sections of the State of the Union that declared victory over the “core” elements of al-Qaida in Afghanistan and vowed to prevent Iran from acquiring or developing nuclear weapons capability. The Iran comment drew the most bipartisan applause. Less noted by the members but sure to generate much opposition from Republicans: the president’s proposal for the U.S. to unilaterally reduce its nuclear weapons stockpile to set an example.

9:45 p.m.: Immigration makes an appearance, and for the first time it appears that most in the chamber, Democrat and Republican, stand and applaud, with some cheering to boot. Interestingly enough, Obama does not call specifically for a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants though he suggests that legalization should involve “going to the back of the line” behind those trying emigrate legally.

9:40 p.m.: Speech is full of the usual Obama flourishes — “reasonable” this, “common sense” that — expressions of incredulity that certain issues engender partisanship. But unusual for any president’s State of the Union, far fewer applause interruptions than normally occur. Meanwhile, Biden exhibits his usual earnestness as he looks on. Boehner actually looks less grumpy than in the past.

Full story

February 7, 2013

Obama to Fundraise for House, Senate Committees

Updated: 1:09 p.m. | President Barack Obama will hold at least 14 fundraisers this year to support Democratic efforts to take control of the House and keep the majority in the Senate.

They include five outside-D.C. events for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and five outside-D.C. events for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, along with separate and joint appearances for the committees in Washington, D.C.

As the country’s best fundraiser, Obama’s appearances will boost both committees as they stockpile resources this year for competitive races in 2014.

House Democrats must win a net of 17 seats to take the majority. Senate Republicans need to net six seats to take back control of that chamber.

The news of the Obama-led fundraisers is a particular boon for the DCCC, which will be primarily on offense this cycle. Obama-Biden 2012 Campaign Manager Jim Messina told DCCC Chairman Steve Israel of New York the good news earlier this week.

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. is also expected to do fundraising events for the DCCC.

The New York Times first reported the Obama fundraisers, which were confirmed to CQ Roll Call by a Democratic official.

February 1, 2013

Obama Raised Cash Post-Election Day

Obama Raised Cash Post Election Day

(Win McNamee/Getty Images/Pool)

Updated 1:54 p.m. | President Barack Obama’s fundraising operation was still going strong after the most expensive election in history, according to year-end Federal Election Commission reports, the final disclosures for this cycle.

Obama for America collected $5.8 million in the reporting period that covers Nov. 27 through Dec. 31, a Political MoneyLine tally shows, while Obama’s joint fundraising committee with the Democratic National Committee, the Obama Victory Fund 2012, pulled in $1.9 million.

Obama may be the only two-term president to continue fundraising even after his re-election, said Kathy Kiely, managing editor of the Sunlight Foundation’s reporting group. Kiely said she could find no record of previous presidents who maintained their fundraising operations following their second elections.

Full story

January 21, 2013

Obama Co-Opts Tea Party Rallying Cry to Sell Second-Term Agenda

Obama Co Opts Tea Party Rallying Cry to Sell Second Term Agenda

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama in his second inaugural address did more than just signal his intent to lead the United States toward an unmistakably progressive future; he attempted to recast the meaning of the nation’s founding principles to support his vision of an expanded, activist Washington, D.C.

Particularly through Obama’s repetition of the opening line of the Constitution, “we the people,” which the president recited with a distinct pause between the words “we” and “the,” he moved to link his agenda for the government to play a larger, more central role in Americans’ lives to the founders and the country’s founding documents. Obama essentially asserted that America could only live up to its most cherished virtues when citizens are protected by, rather than from, the government.

“We have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action,” Obama said. “We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.”

Howls could be heard coming from the right even before the 20-minute, 2,100-word speech concluded.

Full story

January 10, 2013

Report: Obama Campaign Restructure to Assist Policy Push in Second Term

Report: Obama Campaign Restructure to Assist Policy Push in Second Term

A crowd celebrates in front of the White House to celebrate President Barack Obama's re-election on Election Night. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama’s campaign is set to be reconfigured into an operation that will assist the White House’s policy goals in a second term, CNN reported on Thursday.

Citing a source familiar with the campaign, CNN reported that the operation could be converted to a 501(c)(4) or a super PAC. The restructured organization will be led by former Obama campaign manager Jim Messina and other top operatives from the campaign, including Stephanie Cutter and Jennifer O’Malley Dillon. Full story

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