Politics: White House

Obama Honors National Teacher of the Year

Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
May 3, 2011, 9:31 a.m.

A Fox News poll; con­duc­ted 10/9 by Pulse Opin­ion Re­search (IVR); sur­veyed 1,000 LVs; mar­gin of er­ror +/- 3.1% (re­lease, 10/12). Party ID break­down: 46%D, 35%R, 19%I.

Obama As POTUS

- All Dem GOP Ind Men Wom 9/18 Ap­prove 48% 79% 13% 38% 44% 51% 45% Dis­ap­prove 45 15 81 49 49 41 46

(For more from this poll, please see today’s DE SEN story.)

Pun­dits. Ana­lysts. His­tor­i­ans. Polit­ic­al sci­ent­ists. The land­scape is lousy with them this elec­tion year, and I love talk­ing with them.

But in our PBS News­Hour polit­ic­al cov­er­age this year, we are mak­ing a spe­cial com­mit­ment to seek out the opin­ions of the people who ac­tu­ally cast the votes. And in each of the con­tests we have covered so far, we have found they do not dis­ap­point.

“[Mitt] Rom­ney, I mean. He’s a nice guy,” Vic­tor­ia Nwasike told Judy Wood­ruff in Iowa. “He’s pol­ished. He’s back for a second time around, you know, but he’s just not the per­son who I would get up in a snowstorm to vote for.”

That was less than a month ago. Now, as Rom­ney struggles to re­claim the mantle of in­ev­it­ab­il­ity that once seemed as­sured, her words seem pres­ci­ent.

Time and again, while re­view­ing the tran­scripts of con­ver­sa­tions Judy and I have held with voters in Iowa, New Hamp­shire, and South Car­o­lina, I have real­ized that the voters have been a step ahead of us all along.

In New Hamp­shire, I met Debi Rapson, a dis­en­chanted Obama voter who planned to vote Re­pub­lic­an this time. But she wor­ried that Rom­ney seemed out of touch with people like her who see their re­tire­ment sav­ings drain­ing away.

“Some­body asked him in one of the town hall meet­ings about how middle Amer­ica is go­ing to get back to hav­ing a life,” she told me. “And he said, yes, you know, I’m really wor­ried about my in­vest­ments too. Hello? Middle Amer­ica doesn’t have any in­vest­ments any­more!”

Talk­ing to these voters has ad­ded real heft to our cov­er­age this year. I am con­stantly re­minded how darned smart voters are, and how they are al­most al­ways ahead of the polls and the pun­dits.


Gwen Ifill in­ter­view­ing voters in New Hamp­shire. (PBS News­Hour)

I was hanging around the edges of a Newt Gin­grich rally in Beaufort, S.C., last week on the day the polit­ic­al world was quak­ing with Rick Perry’s exit, Rick San­tor­um’s be­latedly con­firmed Iowa win, and new re­ports that Mari­anne Gin­grich was un­load­ing on her ex.

The voters I chat­ted with were well aware that Gin­grich had his is­sues, but they were look­ing for op­tions. “I think he gen­er­ates a good bit of chem­istry with people, but he’s got a little bit of lug­gage” Jerry Wheeles, a Myrtle Beach busi­ness­man, told me, adding with a chuckle: “I do too, of course.”

Exit polls three days later showed that most South Car­o­lina voters were like Wheeles. They in­tern­al­ized Gin­grich’s short­com­ings, eval­u­ated the al­tern­at­ives, and de­cided to vote for him any­way.

Most of the en­gaged voters we’ve talked to, in fact, are act­ively en­gaged in weigh­ing the pros and cons of their choices.

“I have got one vote,” New Hamp­shire Re­pub­lic­an Don Byrne told us just be­fore the primary there. “Do I vote stra­tegic­ally for the per­son who I think could beat the pres­id­ent? Do I vote tac­tic­ally for the per­son who I think rep­res­ents my views?”

“To me, Mitt Rom­ney is the status quo in the Re­pub­lic­an party,” Re­pub­lic­an B.J. McLaugh­lin told Judy in Iowa. “And I think a lot of us — I don’t know how many of us are tea parti­ers or liber­tari­ans — we’re dis­sat­is­fied with the status quo of the Re­pub­lic­an party.”

As Flor­ida Re­pub­lic­ans pre­pare to go to the polls on Tues­day, the battle roy­al between Rom­ney and Gin­grich has in­deed be­come a de­fin­ing one. Gin­grich casts him­self as the reneg­ade, the big-think­ing out­sider who is best suited to take on the status-quo es­tab­lish­ment.

Mean­while, in try­ing to weak­en Gin­grich, Rom­ney has em­braced his stand­ing as the es­tab­lish­ment’s choice — rolling out en­dorse­ment after en­dorse­ment from elec­ted of­fi­cials and main­stream Re­pub­lic­ans who have been watch­ing the Gin­grich surge with dread.

I would tell you what those folks have to say, but you can find that any­where. Judy and I have been hav­ing far more luck talk­ing to folks you’ve prob­ably nev­er heard of — like Ann Ubel­is of the Beaufort, S.C., arm of the tea party.


Gwen Ifill with Ann Ubel­is of the Beaufort, S.C., tea party. (PBS News­Hour)

“No com­prom­ise, no sur­render,” she told me when I asked if, in the end, she would just choose the most elect­able can­did­ate. “You go for your true prin­ciple. You vote on prin­ciple. And what shakes out in the end, then, I’m sorry, you are go­ing to hold your nose and you’re go­ing to vote for the Re­pub­lic­an nom­in­ee.”

The next test of my voters-in-the-drivers’-seat the­ory: Flor­ida, Flor­ida, Flor­ida.

What We're Following See More »
23 MILLION FEWER INSURED IN 2026
Congressional Budget Office Scores House Trumpcare Bill
2 hours ago
BREAKING

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has released its score of the House-passed American Health Care Act, which would replace Obamacare. According to the CBO, the bill would reduce the deficit by $119 billion by 2026, while leaving 14 million more Americans uninsured in 2018 than under current law, a number swelling to 23 million by 2026. Further, insurance premiums would balloon 20 percent in 2018 and five percent in 2019 before the waiver provision in the legislation would kick in. The provision allows states to apply for waivers and permit insurers to offer skimpier plans, which would likely entice younger and healthier individuals to buy health insurance while potentially pricing older and less healthy Americans out of insurance plans. House Republicans approved this bill in late April without waiting for the CBO score.

Source:
GOP DISCORD
Graham Rejects Trump’s Budget In Hearing
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing that President Donald Trump's budget is little more than recycling bin material. "The budget proposed by the president doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of passing," Graham said. Graham had previously opposed the budget over its nearly 30 percent cut to the budget of the State Department. The budget slashes spending on domestic priorities while increasing military spending.

Source:
PREFERS “CLEAN” BILL
Mnuchin Looks To Avoid Debt Ceiling Fight
9 hours ago
THE DETAILS
“THAT’S THE GOAL”
McConnell Not Sure How To Get 50 Votes For Health Care
10 hours ago
THE LATEST

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that he doesn't yet know the formula towards gaining passage of an Obamacare replacement in the Senate. "I don't know how we get to 50 (votes) at the moment. But that's the goal," McConnell said. The House passed an Obamacare replacement bill which has been widely seen as dead on arrival in the Senate, and McConnell has put together a working group of Republican Senators working towards creating health care legislation which could gain the support of at least 50 Senators.

Source:
BUT WHITE HOUSE MAY USE AGAINST HIM ANYWAY
Ethics Cops Clear Mueller to Work on Trump Case
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login