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Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

Category: John McCain

How to retire Dennis Kucinich or Marcy Kaptur: Put both Dems in the same Ohio district

Ohio Democrat representatives Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich

Well, it looks like the new congressional redistricting will help Ohio get rid of at least one long-term Democratic representative in next year's House elections.

According to newly drawn district lines set to go to the Ohio Legislature any day, eight-term Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Cleveland and 15-term Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Toledo are both in the same new narrow district running along the southern Lake Erie shoreline. Both have announced their candidacies.

The Buckeye state is home to House Speaker John Boehner and is losing two of its current 18 House seats.

But it will remain a key Midwestern battleground state on the presidential level. No Republican has won the presidency in more than a century without capturing Ohio.

After losing the state's Democratic primary to Hillary Clinton in 2008 (53-45), Obama beat John McCain (52-47) in the state where the Arizonan introduced his VP running mate, Sarah Palin, to the nation. Obama has visited Ohio frequently as presideOhio State Flag OhioHistoryCentraldotorgnt, most recently this week.

However, since 2008, Republicans have fed off dissatisfaction with Obama and the state's economy to hold the old George Voinivich U.S. Senate seat (Rob Portman), and win control of the state Legislature (which controls redistricting) and the governor's office (John Kasich).

They also tipped control of the congressional delegation from 10 Democrats and eight Republicans to 13 Republicans and five Democrats.

For next year the GOP is targeting first-term incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown, who easily won Mike DeWine's seat, 56-44, during the Democrats' congressional takeover of 2006. Next year, however, Democrats must defend 23 of the 33 Senate seats being contested nationally.

You could tell Kucinich was excited about the remapping. In an email fundraising appeal Wednesday, he used two exclamation marks in the first two sentences: "We have a district! The race is on!"

Without mentioning Kaptur, the House's longest-serving female Democrat, Kucinich celebrated the demise of his old Cleveland district and the slicing off of its Republican areas to buttress other GOP districts.

For her part, Kaptur said the pair shared no hard feelings over their upcoming struggle. "We are friends," she said. "This is hard for us."

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-- Andrew Malcolm

Yes, it's too bad about Ohio State football. But you can still follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle. Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item.

Photos: Rick Osentoski / Associated Press (Kaptur); Harry Hamburg / Associated Press (Kucinich); OhioHistoryCentral.org (state flag).

Sunday shows: Huntsman, Santorum, Rove, O'Malley

Jon Huntsman and wife Mary Kaye in New Hampshire 6-11

ABC's "This Week" with Jake Tapper: Jon Huntsman, Frank Luntz and David Axelrod with George Will, Liz Claman and Donna Brazille.

Bloomberg "Political Capital with Al Hunt": Secy. of Education Arne Duncan.

CBS' "Face the Nation" with Bob Schieffer: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Ed Gillespie and Terry McAuliffe, former chairs of the Republican and Democratic National Committees, respectively. Also Mark Zandi, chief economist, Moody's Analytics.

CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS": John Miller, Andrew Roberts, Jeffrey Sachs, Richard Haass and Rana Foroohar.

CNN's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley: Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-Va.) and Martin O'Malley (D-Md.), Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) with Chrystia Freeland, Greg Ip and Axelrod.

Fox News Channel "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace: Karl Rove, Rick Santorum and Bill Burton with Steve Hayes, Bill Kristol, A.B. Stoddard and Evan Bayh.

NBC's "Meet the Press" with David Gregory: Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-Ind.) and Robert Gibbs with Maria Bartiromo, Harold Ford Jr. and Peggy Noonan.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Why wait until Sunday for politics? Click here now to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or follow us @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle now. Use the ReTweet buttons above to share this item with friends.

Photo: Elise Amendola / Associated Press (Jon and Mary Kaye Huntsman).

Days of our lives at MSNBC: Is Al Sharpton in and Cenk Uygur back?

   MSNBC-Phil-Griffin-Rachel-Maddow-Lawrence-ODonnell-Chris-Matthews

Al Sharpton's not quite in; Cenk Uygur may not be forever out; and Mitt Romney is a "mood ring."

Those are a few of the takeaways from an appearance Tuesday by MSNBC President Phil Griffin and hosts Rachel Maddow ("The Rachel Maddow Show"), Chris Matthews ("Hardball") and Lawrence O'Donnell ("The Last Word") before assembled journalists at the summer edition of the biannual Television Critics Association press tour. They were at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Since the recent departure of Uygur, host of the Web and talk-radio political show "The Young Turks," from the 6 p.m. Eastern time slot on MSNBC, rumors circulated of the "imminent" hiring of radio host and combative civil-rights activist Al Sharpton as his replacement.

Asked about this, Griffin said, "No decision has been made yet. Last May, he was a regular on 'The Ed Show,' and he filled in for Ed [Schultz], and he did a very good job. And he....

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Buddy Roemer elbows into a crowded GOP presidential field

   Buddy-Roemer-Iowa-Faith-Freedom-Coalition-Event

Charles Elson "Buddy" Roemer III is running for the GOP nomination for president.

Outside of Louisiana -- where Shreveport-born Roemer was a four-term member of Congress in the early to mid-'80s, and the state's one-term 52nd governor back in the late '80s and early '90s -- the response of most GOP voters would probably be, "Who?"

Of course, that's the same reaction many had to the candidacy of Michigan Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, but at least he had recent appearances on C-SPAN and Fox News' "RedEye W/Greg Gutfeld" to his credit. The 67-year-old Roemer has been out of politics since attempting a gubernatorial comeback in 1995, working in finance and banking (as befits a Harvard MBA).

These days, the only excitement over a Louisiana governor running for the Republican nod would be if the statehouse's present occupant, Bobby Jindal, jumped in -- and there's no indication of that.

Roemer's announcement at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire on Thursday was under the motto of "Free to Lead" -- which he is, as is everybody else in the race, since none of the announced candidates is incarcerated or a convicted felon.

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As the House votes today, public support fades for President Obama's military actions against Libya

Libya Exploding Bombs in Tripoli 6-7-11

 Americans' support for President Obama's attacks against Libya is suddenly crumbling.

A new Gallup poll out this morning finds that more than three months into the air assaults that were supposed to last days, not weeks, Americans are now more likely to disapprove than approve of the Democrat's military action.

The poll comes just two days after Obama, noting Americans' war fatigue with the 10-year conflict in Afghanistan, rejected more cautious advice from generals and ordered a sharp drawdown in American troops before the 2012 presidential election.

House Speaker John Boehner says that body will vote today on two resolutions on the Libyan war, one to limit the U.S. role in the allied action and one to support it, although the president has not sought such support nor authorization for the ongoing combat.

In a speech nine days after the first missiles struck, Obama said the air attacks on regime forces prevented bloodshed. He justified the attacks as being in the U.S. national interest because they prevented a possible "humanitarian crisis" of dictator Moammar Kadafi's troops killing innocent civilians.

Last week, in documentation delivered to Congress, the president said the conflict has so far cost in excess of $700 million and is projected to cost more than $1 billion by SepteLibya war a Crashed US F-15E on 3-22-11mber.

He stated that the missiles, bombings and strafings are not hostilities, a claim that Boehner said "defies rational thought."

Obama says such ongoing normal military activities with NATO allies are therefore not subject to the 1973 War Powers Act requiring presidential notification of Congress and approval or cessation within 90 days.

The 90-day limit on the Libyan action expired last Sunday. Bipartisan anger at Obama's attitude has been growing in recent days.

"This is primarily a fight between the Congress and the president over his unwillingness to consult with us before making this decision," the Republican said.

The new Gallup poll finds that overall American attitudes toward this third ongoing Middle Eastern conflict have shifted from 47% approve-37% disapprove in late March to 39% approve-46% disapprove on June 22.

Democrats' support for the attacks on Libya and Kadafi has remained stable since the assaults began March 19 as Obama toured South America.

Attitudes on the assault shifted most sharply among Republicans, with approval plummeting from 57% to 39% while disapproval climbed from 31% to 47%.

Among independents, who were a crucial part of Obama's victorious electoral coalition in 2008, approval dropped from 38% to 31% while disapproval rose from 44% to 52%, the highest disapproval among all political affiliations.

Gallup's questions probing voter objections determined they had little to do with the authorization issue that preoccupies Congress. That bothered only 29%.

However, 64% felt the United States simply shouldn't be involved in Libya at all.

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-- Andrew Malcolm

Don't forget to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle. Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends.

Photo: EPA (Bombs fall on Tripoli, June 7); Suhaib Salem / Reuters (A crashed U.S. F-15E in Libya).

Breaking: Old Sarah Palin emails reveal she thinks the news media is biased somehow

News media scramble to acquire 24,000 emails of alaska governor sarah palin 6-10-11

Sarah Palin emails.

If you're someone who loves poring over ancient emails, even if they're not yours, today is The Big Day.

The state of Alaska has released 300 pounds of emails from Sarah Palin's term as governor up there, from inauguration until shortly after that old geezer John McCain threw a Hail Sarah pass and picked her as his Republican VP partner in September 2008.

The GOP pair didn't win.

Because Palin hasn't been governor for years, is not running for any office at the moment and keeps making gobs of money, lots of public comments and attracts tons of lovers and haters, news media interest in what she'd written as a nobody governor is intense.

Some apparently understaffed news orgs have even asked for the public's help in sifting through roughly 13,000 emails on 24,000 pieces of paper, which the state is charging about $750 to acquire. Remarkably, however, such organizations felt no need to seek volunteer public scrutiny digesting President Obama's large healthcare bill that Nancy Pelosi warned had to be passed before public examination.

Surely more huge revelations in coming days. But so far, no smoking cursors in the Palin paper poundage.

We've learned that having unexpectedly upset the state's entrenched, aged Republican political establishment as an anti-corruption reformer, Palin is suspicious of signs of opposition forming in those wings, including the state's congressional delegation, which includes the daughter of the man she ousted.

We've learned that Palin talked with Newt Gingrich but soured on that relationship; welcome to that club. That she was surprised at being picked by McCain.

Amazingly, even back then a lot of people seem to dislike Palin, even enough to make death threats. As governor, Palin liked to drive her own car in that vast state and once may have texted while behind the wheel. And we now know that Palin paid for her daughters' tanning bed.

You can read the entire compilation right here.

RELATED:

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You know how Sarah Palin said Paul Revere warned the British? Well, he did

-- Andrew Malcolm

Don't forget to follow the Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle. Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends.

Photo: Brian Wallace / Associated Press (News media scramble to acquire thousands of old Palin emails).

Elisabeth Hasselbeck blames Sarah Palin for lack of Mitt Romney coverage

Elisabeth Hasselbeck with Sarah Palin in 2008

This is a corrected post, see below

Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who campaigned for Sarah Palin (oh, and John McCain) in 2008 is now complaining that the former governor is distracting media attention from Mitt Romney.

On a recent episode of "The View," Hasselbeck used an interesting analogy to argue that the hockey mom's "One Nation" tour was stealing the thunder from Romney's plan to improve the economy.

"If I had termites in my house I'd get someone in there who could deal with it," the former contestant on "Survivor" explained. "Mitt Romney, right now, his specialty is the economy. I'd have him in there. Here's why we're not hearing it: because Sarah Palin's on a bus and right now she's manipulating, in terms of media attention."

Hasselback's angst against the Alaskan may seem odd considering that in 2008 Hasselbeck guaranteed that if Palin made it to the White House she would fight D.C. corruption.

"Did I mention that this woman, she's got a real knack for cleaning. She cleaned up house in Alaska. Yep," Hasselbeck said while introducing Palin at a rally in Tampa, Fla., in 2008. "All that corruption went out with the trash. Now whatever the good ol' boys are up to these days, that has no place in her state -- no place. And Gov. Palin will use that same mop to clean up Washington and.....

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Forget those Republicans for now, Obama's real 2012 opponent is The Economy

Obama tells Chrysler workers in Toledo their industry is important 6-3-11

It's not really that hard to do so far.

Just forget for a minute the expanding array of already, certain and maybe Republican presidential candidates. And forget the idea of a serious Democratic challenger to President Obama next year.

The incumbent's most serious opponent for reelection in 2012 is right now and likely still will be not a person but The Economy.

It's not good, despite all of Joe Biden's glib fundraiser promises. From the very beginning of his presidency, which sure seems like more than 870 days ago, almost every poll has shown the top concerns of Americans were economic: jobs, the economy, the deficit.

Yes, yes, Obama said and still does, creating new jobs is Job One, after endlessly reminding of the troubled economy he inherited, an excuse that doesn't seem to work anymore. On June 2, press secretary Jay Carney repeated all the travails and then stated:

"There is no issue that matters more to this president than the economic health of this country and the job security of Americans and job creation in this country. So he's focused on this very directly."

Which is, no doubt, why a Daily Economic Briefing has been quietly erased from....

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Breaking Urgent Flash Really Rush: Mitt Romney is running for president, again, still

Republican Mitt Romney Announce his presidential candidacy in Stratham NH 6-2-11

Mitt Romney announced today what most sentient Americans have known since August of 2008, the former Massachusetts governor is running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

This became quickly obvious long ago when John McCain's Hail Sarah pass was ruined by McCain's own backbiting staff and then completely blown up by the Wall Street meltdown, not to mention eight years of accumulating anger over George W. Bush policies and his lazy decision to keep Dick Cheney as political partner, instead of grooming a young heir apparent for four years.

So, with no Hillary Clinton pantsuits to mock, the country was doomed by its own self-proclaimed progressive news media to focus on the credentials of the female GOP candidate -- the important stuff, you know, her frameless glasses, alleged wardrobe desires, whether her hair was up or down on any given day, and, of course, red shoes or not. What deleterious impacts her political ambitions had on her poor, oddly-named children. And the possible divorce there rumored by no one trustworthy.

Instead of superficial campaign stuff like the Real Good Talker's blank resume, absence of reform credentials, bald ambition and Chicago machine heritage.

According to Republican tradition, next year's nomination should go to....

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Sarah Palin plays the media like a violin: Her turn now

Sarah palin one nation Bus As Seen From the Rear 5-31-11

Sarah Palin, with her counterintuitive secret publicity bus tour, is demonstrating one of the most important rules of American politics:

There is nothing the U.S. media wants more than something it thinks it can't have. Hence the power of news leaks that manipulate the thrust of their initial presentation. Hard-to-get is a rigid rule of human behavior. Ask any teenage boy or girl.

And there are few things more sweet to Palin and her fervent supporters cheering their TV sets this week than the image of a hungry know-it-all "lamestream media" caravan of 15 or more vehicles traipsing along behind her red-white-and-blue bus enroute to they-know-not-where to do they-know-not-what.

To make it worse, each one of the frustrated, confused chasers knows that Fox News' Greta Van Susteren is....

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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