UPDATE 5:00pm: Senator Feingold tweets that he is “proud to join President Obama at my alma mater” and catches a flight home to Wisconsin after the Senate wraps up some votes. So don’t count him among the Democrats shying away from POTUS in the final stretch!
Everyday we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation in and outside Washington:
I’m tempted on this day to tell my favorite stories of each chapter of Rahm Emanuel’s life in politics: the onetime ballerina turned fund-raiser for Gov. Bill Clinton, then a hard-nosed White House staffer who helped craft the post 1994 Clinton “relevance” comeback, then off to a rising power in the House, and back to 1600 Pennsylvania as chief of staff. Now, the next chapter awaits ... And his many fans and many critics will be watching, and remarking. But, let’s get to the pressing business at hand. It’s a big back-to-the-future day for President Obama, who could use a little youthful burst of enthusiasm to help the Democratic cause. Most Democratic strategists, however, aren't betting on success as Mr. Obama goes back to campus for a GOTV push. Bullet points: the right and the center – Erick and John, respectively, agree that Alan Grayson has more than crossed a line. Wouldn’t it be nice if the left would join in and for a moment, just a moment, create a shared sense of basic decency in our politics. Like John, I love the Kentucky Senate race as a test of how long the Tea keeps its strength. Happy Tuesday — five weeks to go! -John King
Senior Political Columnist for TheDailyBeast.com John Avlon:
- Call it a Horse race: Jack Conway neck and neck with Rand Paul in Kentucky Senate Race – surges 15 points in three weeks, taking a lead among women. The great state that gives us Bluegrass and Bourbon looks like it might give us a photo-finish in this high stakes senate race.
- Rise of Partisan Media and the Road to the White House – smart Politico article lays out an uncomfortable and unprecedented fact: all the GOP presidential hopefuls currently out of office – with the exception of Mitt Romney – are under contact at Fox News. This is uncharted territory for our democracy, but they did stop using the 'fair and balanced' tag-line a while back.
- Alan Grayson Hits a New Low - the bomb-throwing liberal freshman congressman from a Florida swing district is catching some well-deserved blowback for an ugly negative ad which refers to his opponent Dan Webster as "Taliban Dan" – this, of course, in the middle of a surge against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Added bonus – it's untrue – the Annenberg Center condemned Grayson for "using edited video to make his rival appear to be saying the opposite of what he really said."
- And in News of the Weird – the new Karzai family lawyer/PR flack is "Miami Babylon" author and ex-columnist Gerald Posner – Seriously. Apparently, the study of South Beach can prepare a person for the palace intrigues of Kabul.
RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:
- Alan Grayson (D-FL) is at it again. His latest campaign ad very selectively edits his opponent, Daniel Webster, to sound like Webster is saying precisely the opposite of what Webster actually said. Next, Grayson will be accusing Webster of having a daughter that's a thespian.
- Democrats may be gaining back some ground in California, Washington, and Delaware, but they are losing ground in Connecticut, West Virginia, and Illinois. Just how bad will November be?
- Russ Feingold is, yet again, skipping an Obama rally in Wisconsin. What's he afraid of?