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Politics

Hotline Sort: Bye Bye bin Laden

May 2, 2011
4) As we reported late Friday, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) has called for Sept. 13 special election to take place in the state's 2nd Congressional district. Rep. Dean Heller (R) will be vacating his House seat to take over for Sen. John Ensign (R), who is stepping down May 3. And Secretary of State Ross Miller (D) is scheduled to announce his interpretation of how the special election will be conducted, in an announcement at 2:00 EST. Stay tuned to Hotline On Call for the latest on this story. 3) Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) on Saturday vetoed a GOP-brokered redistricting proposal. If Nixon and Republican leadership in the state Legislature don't agree on a map before lawmakers go home in two weeks, then drawing the new boundaries could fall to the courts, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. 2) Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) has announced the members of his Iowa campaign team, which will be led by led by state Rep. Erik Helland. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) announced that his Iowa campaign director will be Sara Craig, who was previously his central Iowa field director. 1) President Obama announced late Sunday that U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden. National Journal's Aamer Madhani details how bin Laden was killed, step by step. "Having scored the victory that remained beyond the grasp of George W. Bush--who graciously congratulated the president Sunday night--Obama's military bona fides will be harder to attack," National Journal's Marc Ambinder writes. It's far too early to make any grand political pronouncements. As 538.com's Nate Silver points out, Obama will likely receive a boost in his approval rating but that doesn't necessarily mean his odds for re-election are significantly higher. The presidential campaign will be centered on the economy and jobs, and that's likely to be first and foremost on voters' minds. But the anticipated boost to Obama was already reflected in the reactions from his likely Republican presidential rivals. Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty reacted by congratulating Obama and the military's accomplishment - but other GOP presidential contenders didn't mention Obama by name. The Los Angeles Times has a roundup of reactions from the 2012 hopefuls here. It also adds uncertainty to the timing of other potential presidential candidates' announcements. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, and former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman (R) will be taking the news into consideration when mulling over their own plans. In closing, here's a terrific anecdote, about how South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of the GOP's leading national security voices, found out about the news that bin Laden was dead, per McClatchy's James Rosen: Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Lindsey Graham, old-style politicians who wear their emotions on their sleeves, traveled the world together when Biden served in the Senate. Graham, a South Carolina Republican, guessed why Biden might be calling him at home on a Sunday night. "Did we get the bastard?" Graham asked. "We got him!" a jubilant Biden responded.
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