Obama Seeks Focus on Economy, Immigration; Lamar! Hits the Airwaves; Spitzer Launches NYC Comeback

National Journal

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  • "With several controversies fading and a period of intense foreign travel over," Pres. Obama "is narrowing his focus this summer to two issues, immigration and the economy, that could help determine the success or failure of his second term" (Washington Post).
  • "In one of the largest campaigns of its kind, Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy group financed in part by Charles and David Koch, will begin running television commercials this week asserting that" the '10 health care law "will limit Americans' health care choices." AFP "is spending more than" $1M on the campaign, "which will initially include" TV advertising in OH and VA, "along with online ads asking people to test their 'Obamacare risk factors'" (New York Times).
  • CO SEN: State Sen. Randy Baumgardner (R) will officially kick-off his campaign on Friday (Denver Post).
  • KY SEN: Sec/State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) "launched a bare-bones campaign website" last Friday, "four days after she announced she would challenge" Senate Min. Leader Mitch McConnell (R) and "two days after" a GOP group "posted its own website about Grimes" (Lexington Herald-Leader).
  • TN SEN: Sen. Lamar Alexander (R) will launch a round of early TV ads in eight media markets, worth $180K, according to sources privy to ad buying data, more than a year before the state holds its primary elections. The ad spotlights the Freedom to Fish Act, a law that delays plans by the Army Corps of Engineers to restrict access to fishing spots along the Cumberland River. Alexander raised $2M in the second quarter (Hotline reporting).
  • VA SEN: Sen. Mark Warner (D) "raised" $1.4M in the second quarter and "now has more than" $5.3M CoH (Richmond Times-Dispatch).
  • WY SEN: Sen. Michael Enzi (R) "revealed" in an interview last week that Dick Cheney daughter Liz Cheney (R) "told him this year that she was thinking about challenging him" in '14, a move that "threatens to start a civil war within the state's" GOP establishment (New York Times).
  • AZ-02: '12 nominee Martha McSally (R) "filed paperwork to make her candidacy official" last Monday (Arizona Daily Star).
  • AZ-09: Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) "raised about" $400K in the second quarter, "according to her campaign" (Roll Call).
  • HI-01: Honolulu city Councilor Stanley Chang (D) "raised" $158K and "is expected to have about" $162K CoH "when accounting is completed for the quarter" (Honolulu Star-Advertiser).
  • MA-06: Ex-Marine Seth Moulton (D) will run against Rep. John Tierney (D) and "has enlisted seasoned" Dem operatives "to help him in his first run for office" (Boston Globe).
  • MN-02: Rep. John Kline (R) "brought in at least" $482K in the second quarter and has $1.1M CoH. '12 nominee Mike Obermuller (D) raised $130K and has $100K CoH (MinnPost).
  • MT-AL: Rep. Steve Daines (R) "raised about" $415K in the second quarter "as he weighs a possible" SEN campaign (Politico).
  • FL GOV: "Let's Get to Work," a cmte supporting Gov. Rick Scott's (R) reelection, "has raised" $8.6M "since the beginning of the year" and has $10.8M "in the bank" (Florida Times-Union).
  • MD GOV: Obama WH '12 mgr. Jim Messina "will serve as a senior adviser" to LG Anthony Brown's (D) camp, "according to several people familiar with the arrangement." The announcement will be made at an event Monday morning at Brown HQ in Largo (Washington Post).
  • TX GOV: In an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," Gov. Rick Perry (R) "declined to discuss his political future, ahead of a scheduled announcement Monday in which he is expected to reveal whether" he will seek reelection and/or perhaps run for WH '16 (Fox News).


Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day

• Two important signs of the new Republican times, courtesy of Lamar Alexander: First, that he's advertising more than a year before the Tennessee primary shows incumbents are learning to flex their financial muscles early. Second, that his ads feature Sen. Rand Paul shows an establishment embracing the outsiders, for their own political survival.

• Newark Mayor Cory Booker's opponents are hoping to make an issue out of his positive relationship with GOP Gov. Chris Christie, but Christie's overwhelming popularity in the Garden State makes that line of attack less effective. In the most recent Quinnipiac poll, 41 percent of Democrats said they approved of the Republican's performance as governor. While some of the state's most liberal voters may view Booker's ties to Christie as a dealbreaker, that may not be a large enough group to put a serious dent in Booker's sizable lead in the polls.

• Back in '10, the first hints of Marco Rubio's grassroots strength came in county GOP straw polls, where he wiped the floor with Charlie Crist. Keep an eye on local GA parties this year; Rep. Phil Gingrey just won his hometown straw poll, with Rep. Paul Broun, ex-Sec/State Karen Handel and Rep. Jack Kingston splitting about 60% of the vote.



  • Teresa Heinz Kerry, the wife of Sec/State John Kerry, "became ill with a serious medical condition during a vacation on Nantucket on Sunday and was flown to a hospital in Boston for emergency treatment." Heinz Kerry, who "appeared to have had a seizure of some kind," is listed in critical condition at Mass General (New York Times).
  • Ex-NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D), "who resigned ... five years ago amid a prostitution scandal, is re-entering political life," with a run for NYC comp. "and a wager that voters are ready to look past his previous misconduct" (New York Times).
  • "Here We Ho Again!" -- The "wood" of Monday's New York Post.
  • DoJ is dropping the criminal probe into ex-NJ Gov. Jon Corzine's (D) role in "MF Global's improper handling of customers' funds leading up to the commodity brokerage firm's spectacular collapse" in '11 (New York Post).
  • "I wonder if Sandra [Day O'Connor] regrets stepping down when she did?" -- Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who "vowed to resist any pressure to retire that might come from liberals who want to ensure that" Obama "can pick her successor" (Reuters).
  • Ex-NM Gov. David Cargo (R), "a maverick ... whose independence from the political Establishment and penchant for solo campaigning earned him the nickname 'Lonesome Dave,' died Friday in Albuquerque at age 84" (Albuquerque Journal).
  • Ex-Rep. Arlen Stangeland (R-MN) "died" last Tuesday in Detroit Lakes, MN, "at the age of 83" (Fargo Forum).
  • Authorities last Wednesday "located the body" of Sen. Mark Udall's (D-CO) brother, Randy, "who was reported missing on a solo backpack trip to the Wind River Range" in WY. R. Udall "appeared to have died from a medical condition," though an autopsy "has been scheduled" (Denver Post).
  • VA Gov. Bob McDonnell's (R) office "is strongly denying rumors that he plans to resign" as part of a plea agreement in the ongoing Star Scientific case, "following a report on a conservative blog that he will leave office" (The Hill).
  • NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) "will face off July 22 in a whitewater rafting race on Indian Lake" in upstate NY as part of Cuomo's "push to boost tourism in the Adirondack Mountains." Each will lead a 6-member team, with "aides to both men" confirming that each officeholder "will be on the oval-shaped rafts, paddling for bragging rights and a package of goodies that will go to the winner" (New York Daily News).
  • IA Division of Criminal Investigation agent Larry Hedlund was suspended from duty two months ago "after he filed a formal complaint citing his own failure to do more to stop a speeding vehicle" containing Gov. Terry Branstad (R) (Des Moines Register).
  • SD GOP Chair Craig Lawrence "helped rescue a woman from a fiery car crash" in northern MN in late June, telling the story "in an email" to his mailing list last Friday evening, "using it as an allegory to urge political action to help the country" (Sioux Falls Argus Leader).
  • "Campaign Ad Cash Lures Buyers to Swing-State TV Stations" (New York Times).


  • Ex-SC Gov. Edward Rutledge was the youngest person to sign the Declaration of Independence.
  • The winner is Neil Bhatiya, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "The U.S. is not the only country to celebrate its independence day on July 4th. Which former U.S. possession honors the day, and in what year did they become independent?" The 3rd correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.



"I am going to be on the street corners" -- Spitzer, on how he plans to collect the necessary signatures before Thursday's filing deadline (New York Times).


"This is going to be the funnest campaign ever" -- Ex-Spitzer madam Kristin Davis (L), who "recently flirted with running for public advocate, but now will run" for comp., "as originally planned" (New York Daily News).

Reid Wilson, Editor-in-Chief

Steven Shepard, Executive Editor