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WNYC News

Obama Argues For Jobs Plan, Pressures GOP To Act

Thursday, September 08, 2011

With the nation facing the specter of a renewed recession and Washington virtually paralyzed by partisan gridlock, President Obama sought to pressure GOP lawmakers in his speech to a joint session of Congress. He dared the Republican-led House to block his proposals for a new stimulus of targeted tax cuts and spending.

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The Empire

Salon on Pataki: "The saddest Republican candidacy of them all"

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Steve Kornacki over at Salon.com has one of the best political reporting minds out there. Today he's added his two cents to the pile of pennies pinning the nascent Pataki for President campaign to the concrete. As we reported earlier this week, there's very little enthusiasm for a Pataki campaign out there. That is, unless your name is George Pataki. From Kornacki's piece:

There's a reason why George Pataki seems to be moving toward a presidential campaign, but "because Republicans want him to" is not it.

The word this week is that the former New York governor's entry into the GOP race is imminent, and that he may use an event in Iowa this weekend to announce his plans. An official campaign website even went live for a brief period on Wednesday before being taken down. Not that we should be too surprised by all of this: Pataki has been trying hard for two years now to force his name into the 2012 mix.

And that's the problem: Republican leaders and activists have been hungry for new '12 options for a long time, but never once have they looked at Pataki and said, "Now there's our answer!"

That doesn't appear to be stopping the former governor. Not one bit.

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The Empire

Oops: secret Pataki presidential website goes public

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

 

Getty Images

As intrepid reporter Azi Paybarah noted earlier today, former New York Governor George Pataki had his presidential campaign inadvertently go live. The governor's press person said the release was "premature"--he hasn't, it seems, officially made his way into the race--but, as we reported earlier this week, any presidential Pataki campaign can amount to only two things: a possible VP slot on a ticket that needs his centrist credentials, or a slot somewhere in the new Republican administration.

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The Empire

"I really don’t know what he’s smoking": Pataki presidential run rumors don't add up

Monday, August 22, 2011

msnbc.org

As our sister site It’s A Free Country reported earlier—and a number of other outlets have been speculating about recently—former New York Governor George Pataki is testing the water on a potential presidential run. With the national Republican field splintered and no clear frontrunner present, Pataki’s entry would be as the saner centrist candidate. But few see either an opening nationally or a legacy as governor back in New York that gives Pataki a chance.

“George Pataki is an extremely nice man and he was a good governor for his first term,” said political consultant George Arzt. “But to think, with his values, he would stand a chance in a Republican—in a right-wing Republican—primary, that is really ludicrous.”

Those values as governor, as Gerald Benjamin, a professor of political science at SUNY New Paltz, noted, were likely to be seen more as liabilities than assets among Republican primary voters. “Having to come to term with the labor unions, his spending record, his record on social issues, suggest it would be very hard to get nominated,” Benjamin said.

While the consensus is that getting the presidential nod—especially this late in the process—is near impossible (“I think all the other Republicans would have to be on a bus that went off a cliff,” one person noted), other options were still on the table. The potential to counterbalance a right-leaning ticket with the Northeastern moderate Pataki could be a more realistic place for the former governor to end up. Likewise, taking out airtime in New Hampshire reminds any Republican candidate that, should they get elected, Pataki is there man for a high-level political appointment in their administration.

“That’s the conclusion you’re driven to,” said Benjamin.

Additionally, there is no indication that Pataki has tapped his fundraising network, or that he has generated much interest inside the state party. Without funds or a base of support, a potential presidential run by Pataki will amount to little more than speculation by a former governor with not much name recognition or legacy to run on.

“I think he’s really been invisible since he left office,” said Baruch College political science professor Thomas Halper. “I don’t even remember him being discussed when [Governor] Paterson was having all his problems. I don’t remember anyone saying, ‘Pataki, remember the good old days?’”

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The Takeaway

Candidates Vie for New Hampshire Independent Votes

Thursday, August 18, 2011

With a state motto like "Live Free or Die," you might expect that New Hampshire has a fair number of independent voters. That’s what prompted Anna Sale reporter for It’s a Free Country, the politics website of our co-producer WNYC — to report from there. Sale has been on the road speaking to independent voters across the country, in an attempt to gauge which direction this large and crucial demographic is leaning as we approach the 2012 presidential election. She’s spent the last few days in New Hampshire, focusing on how Republicans and Democrats are attempting to capture the independent vote there.

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It's A Free Country ®

'Drive to 25': Democrats Target GOP Seats to Win Back the House

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

WNYC

The Democrats have been been on the offensive since the 2010 midterm when they sustained huge losses to Republicans, ceding 63 seats and the House majority. To return from minority status and retake the House, the Dems need a big surge, something the Democratic Congressional Campaign calls the "Drive to 25."

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It's A Free Country ®

Thaddeus McCotter: 'That Rock and Roll Dude' Runs for President

Friday, July 01, 2011

Yes America, there is more than one Republican presidential candidate who plays rock music. If you miss Mike Huckabee (and the idea of the leader of the free world performing "Cat Scratch Fever"), Thaddeus McCotter could be your man.

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It's A Free Country ®

Why Obama Is Visiting Puerto Rico

Monday, June 13, 2011

He's walking into a lot of issues which will resonate with how his presidential campaign develops. People don't vote for President in Puerto Rico, but they do raise money and they send a sizable delegation to the Democratic convention.

Angelo Falcon, President and Founder of the National Institute for Latino Policy, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

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It's A Free Country ®

Melinda Henneberger Sets Washington's Week

Monday, June 06, 2011

In a way she’s doing exactly what she promised, because she promised that this trip around America would be to get us talking and remembering and being grateful for American history, and I can’t remember when Paul Revere got more ink than he has since Sarah Palin started talking about him.

Melinda Henneberger, contributing editor to Time.com, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

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It's A Free Country ®

Mike Huckabee: 'All The Factors Say Go, But My Heart Says No'

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Huckabee said he that despite plenty of indications that he could do well in the race for the nomination — widespread grassroots support and polls that showed that he had broader appeal to just social conservatives and also a good chance of winning primaries and caucuses, he ruled out a run.

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It's A Free Country ®

The 2012 GOP Field: What's Going On?

Monday, April 25, 2011

The energy right now in the Republican party is over fiscal issues...this fear about America becoming more like Europe in terms of a social welfare state. That said, there are still a lot of conservatives who vote in primaries and participate in caucuses that are driven by a set of cultural issues. In a place like Iowa especially, we're talking about an electorate that is perhaps half or over half self-identified born again evangelical.

Jonathan Martin, senior political writer at Politico, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

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It's A Free Country ®

Know Your Republican Contenders

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It's almost off-to-the-races time! With only months to go before the first Republican presidential debate, the big question right now is who will run. Some front-runners are remaining coy while others are off filing for exploratory committees. It's A Free Country breaks down who's in the mix and their campaign status, from Romney and Huckabee to Palin and Trump

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It's A Free Country ®

Rick Santorum: Provocateur of the Right

Thursday, April 14, 2011

In a primary bid, Santorum probably has as much working against him as for him amongst Republicans—it depends on how far to the right you like your presidential candidates.

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It's A Free Country ®

Santorum to Test the 2012 Waters

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Former Sen. Rick Santorum said on Wednesday that he's forming his own version of a presidential exploratory committee, saying in an interview with Fox News, “In 2008 Americans wanted a president who they could believe in, but after two years they realized that what they needed is a president who believes in them.”

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It's A Free Blog

Birther Trump: The Latest in a NYC Political Tradition

Monday, April 11, 2011

Wanting to run for president on the Republican ticket and bringing up the dead-as-a-doornail story of Obama's birth certificate as his signature issue? This I cannot abide.
       - Karol Markowicz on Donald Trump's affiliation with the birther movement
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It's A Free Blog

We May Have Rudy Giuliani To Kick Around Again

Friday, March 25, 2011

Giuliani's infidelity is nothing compared to his potential GOP rivals, and his shameful betrayal of his then-wife Donna Hanover is of less importance to me than the betrayal of the city he claims to love. That's right: Mayor Rudy Giuliani is a traitor against New York City.

--Justin Krebs, on "America's Mayor" as 2012 presidential hopeful

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It's A Free Country ®

Bachmann Inches Toward 2012 Run

Friday, March 25, 2011

Minnesota Republican Representative Michelle Bachmann let it be known that she is forming an exploratory committee to feel out a run for president, by posting an exclusive story leaked to CNN about her plans on her Facebook page.

While refraining from making any formal announcement, Bachmann told the people signed up as “friends” of her Facebook page that she had “read a little something on CNN,” linking to the article. The CNN article quotes an unnamed source as saying that Bachmann has been “telling everybody early summer” is when she planned to announce her candidacy, but the source feels it may happen even sooner.

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The Takeaway

Bachmann and Pawlenty Eye the Oval Office

Friday, March 25, 2011

Republicans in Minnesota are buzzing this week, after speculation that Tea Party star and Republican congresswoman from Minnesota, Michele Bachmann may be planning an exploratory committee for a potential 2012 presidential run. This comes just days after former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty announced his own committee. Minnesota’s Republican Party chairman Tony Sutton is calling the potential pool of top tier GOP candidates from in his state, “an embarrassment of the riches.” How might the two candidates fare in a national bid? 

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It's A Free Blog

The Soros / Koch Effect? Blame Campaign Finance Reform

Friday, March 18, 2011

WNYC

"Direct donations to candidate campaigns should be only allowed for individuals, cutting one more leash with which special interest groups control the politicians who represent us in Washington."

-- Solomon Kleinsmith

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It's A Free Country ®

Much Ado About Newt Thing

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

This week in politics, the biggest news is barely news.

In the last days of February, reports surfaced that former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich was expected to announce the formation of a presidential exploratory committee "in 10 days," without Gingrich's official spokesman—or the man himself—saying a word.

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