Scott Brown’s much anticipated Granite State brawl with Sen. Jeanne Shaheen D-N.H. has turned out to be more of a Granite State bust.The former Massachusetts senator is still the most competitive Republican in the New Hampshire race. But polling has shown Shaheen holding a consistent single-digit lead and posting strong approval ratings from voters in the state even as races in similar blue-leaning battleground states have tightened in the GOP’s favor.Perhaps most problematic for Brown is not Shaheen’s lead but his persistently middling to low popularity in the state.In nearly every poll, New Hampshire voters are at best split on how they feel about him, and in some cases view him more negatively than positively. A WMUR-UNH poll out in early July showed him underwater by about nine points; an NBC-Marist poll out last week showed voters split, with about 40 percent each viewing him positively and negatively.It’s a situation, said one New Hampshire GOP strategist who has worked on federal and national races there, that should have the Brown campaign worried. “I would be concerned if I was them,” the strategist said, who requested anonymity to speak freely. “You don’t ever want to be underwater at this point in a race.”
Why Im a Centrist Who Is Turning Liberal – Thomas Ricks blames an inept military and intelligence overreach for his shift
NEWSER – Reporter and author Thomas Ricks has long been what he would describe as a “detached centrist.” Hes also a big fan of the free market and a strong national defense, and hes financially comfortable as he approaches the age of 60. Conventional wisdom might suggest that he should be “drifting into a cautious conservatism” right about now, but Hicks writes in Politico Magazine that he is as surprised as anyone to find himself shifting to the left instead. Among his reasons:
Rookie Congressman Makes Big Gaffe at Hearing – Floridas Curt Clawson speaks to US officials as if they were foreigners
NEWSER – A newly elected congressman is making his first national headlines for all the wrong reasons. In a gaffe spotted by Foreign Policy, Florida Republican Curt Clawson spoke to two US officials testifying before a House panel as if they were foreigners. “Im familiar with your country; I love your country,” Clawson told Nisha Biswal of the State Department and Arun Kumar of the Commerce Department. “Anything I can do to make the relationship with India better, Im willing and enthusiastic about doing so.” At one point, he requests cooperation from “your government,” and, after a few seconds of silence, Biswal makes a diplomatic save: “I think your question is to the Indian government,” she said. “We certainly share your sentiment, and we certainly will advocate that on behalf of the US.”
Robert McDonnell trial to cast unflinching light on Virginia couple’s friends, marriage – The Washington Post
The star witness is a flashy dietary supplement executive who boasted of friendships with Linsday Lohan and Paris Hilton. A manicurist, a party planner and a yet-to-be-named public official from another state also could take the stand.In their much-anticipated federal corruption trial set to begin Monday, former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, will seek to win acquittal on multiple charges and restore their honor in the eyes of the law.But during the anticipated five-week drama that will unfold in a Richmond courtroom, the McDonnells also will submit themselves to a potentially humiliating spectacle that will showcase an intimate view of their frayed marriage and odd personal relationships.“It’s going to be ugly,” said L. Douglas Wilder, another former governor, who is friendly with McDonnell and has followed the case. “The more you read, the more sleaze develops. It’s not going to be nice for anyone.”McDonnell, 60, a Republican who until January held the same office once occupied by Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry, is the first Virginia governor to be charged with a crime.
Judge for yourself: Did Sarah Palin get into Aunty Peggy Noonans jar of Magic Dolphin Pills before her speech in Denver this week?Weve edited down the rambling 30-minute-plus address on Wednesday to the Western Conservative Summit, but you can get the drift just a few minutes in. And if nothing else, there were pink Obamas dancing across her teleprompter during the affair, judging by how often she kind looked at her screen funny, wrinkled her nose, and rambled on.All we can say is: Thanks, John McCain, for imperiling the nation with your astonishing lack of judgment.
US: Russia Firing on Ukraine – State Department says Moscow also providing more big rocket-launchers
NEWSER – Global condemnation apparently hasnt fazed Vladimir Putin: The Obama administration today accused Russia of firing artillery from its territory into Ukraine to hit military sites and asserted that Moscow is boosting its supply of weaponry to pro-Russian separatists. “We have new evidence that the Russians intend to deliver heavier and more powerful multiple rocket launchers to separatist forces in Ukraine,” said State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf. A US official tells Reuters that the artillery fire mentioned by Harf began Tuesday or later, adding that there was no evidence of civilian casualties.
In a classic just asking the question column, WorldNetDaily pundit Erik Rush argues today that the Obama administration may have been behind the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine, suggesting that the White House worked with the Ukrainian government in order to blame Russian-backed militia groups for the crash.This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as Rush also claimed that President Obama was behind the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.