State Attorney General Jim Hood (D) said in an interview Wednesday that he is “doing everything I can to get ready to run for governor” in 2019. His pollster, Harrison Hickman, conducted internal polling (Oct. 1-5; 600 LVs; +/-4%) showing Hood leading Reeves by 13 points. That polling, he said, makes him confident that “stars are aligning” politically for Deep South Democrats like they did in Louisiana in 2015 and Alabama in 2017.
Hood added that he is getting encouragement from former state attorneys general like Govs. Steve Bullock (D-MT) and Roy Cooper (D-NC) as well as Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D). Hood said Democrats as well as Republican business leaders and legislators are also encouraging him to jump in.
Hood: “They know what we’re doing is not working, and those business people are business people before they’re partisan. And they want to see our government move. They don’t want to see their kids move out of state.”
Many, he said, agreed with his platform of “low-hanging fruit” including expanding Medicaid, increasing infrastructure funding, and implementing an Internet sales tax, funding education through a state lottery, and subsidizing free community or technical college. Hood predicted some of the legislators won’t endorse him publicly until after the 2019 legislative session when Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (R), a likely candidate, “can’t hurt them.”
Hood: “The lieutenant governor is like Dan Aykroyd in The Blues Brothers, ‘I’m on a mission from God.’ Remember? So the mission from God is to be able to run in the next election and say, ‘I never raised anybody’s taxes,’ and he doesn’t care if the house is burning down around him.” (Hotline reporting)
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"As Trump signed a joint statement with Kim Jong Un that offered few details on how the North Korean leader would make good on his vow to denuclearize, Republicans on Capitol Hill said Tuesday that they want and expect the White House to submit any final agreement for their approval." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called for any agreement to be in the form of a treaty.
President Trump announced that the United States will suspend "war games" with South Korea, which are "inappropriate" given his meeting with North Korean leader Kim-Jong Un. "We will be stopping the war games which will save us a tremendous amount of money," said Trump, "unless and until we see the future negotiation is not going along like it should." The military exercises "carried out each year by the US and South Korean militaries have been consistently cited by Pyongyang as a US rehearsal for war, and a reason it needs to build a nuclear arsenal."
President Trump "heaped praise on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday, calling him 'a very worthy, very smart negotiator' and vowing to meet with him 'many times.' Speaking to reporters in Singapore after his landmark summit with Kim, Trump said that he found the North Korean premier to be a 'very talented man' who 'loves his country very much.'"