Just when you thought Donald Trump couldn’t surprise you anymore, the Daily Beast reports this:
[I]n a move bound to trigger a new guessing game about the credibility of Trump’s presidential ambitions, he has quietly interviewed a number of bold-faced names for the job of campaign manager, according to a source close to Trump.
Among the candidates: Ralph Reed, the scandal-tainted former Christian Coalition leader with links to fallen lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Reed, the former chairman of the state GOP, still operates his Century Strategies political consulting firm out of Duluth. Reed is now head of the Faith and Freedom Coalition – an attempt to wed tea party activists with religious conservatives.
On the other hand, the one entity that doesn’t think Trump is serious is the network that broadcasts the television show built around a man and his hair. From the New York Times:
[N]o one at NBC has done much serious planning about what to do with “The Apprentice,” because of what two executives cited as pervasive doubts that Mr. Trump would actually enter the race.
“This is Donald being Donald,” said one senior executive who would be involved in any decision about how NBC handles the show. The executive, who asked not to be identified to avoid any conflict with Mr. Trump, said “any decision is still weeks away.”
Here’s a YouTube clip of former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich at a Georgia district convention on Saturday, speaking of God, country and the “Creator” named in the Declaration of Independence:
Republicans have reached out to David Patraeus, to gauge his interest in a 2012 contest. Now Democrats have found a military candidate of their own. From McLatchy News Service:
Democrats appear to have recruited retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez to run for the U.S. Senate in Texas, setting the stage for a potentially competitive race in 2012 for the seat of retiring Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.
Former Texas Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes confirmed that Washington Sen. Patty Murray, the head of the Democratic Senate campaign committee, was referring to Sanchez Thursday when she said that Democrats were very close to announcing a candidate in Texas.
Sanchez, reached by phone at his San Antonio home, said, “I can neither confirm nor deny.”
The New York Times this morning has these lines on the prospects of the Gang of Six attempt to cut a federal deficit deal:
The group’s oldest members — Senator Richard J. Durbin, 66, a progressive from Illinois who counts the Senate’s only socialist as a friend and ally, and Senator Saxby Chambliss, 67, a genial Georgia conservative whose nasty first campaign left lingering bad feelings among Democrats, and who is a confidant of Speaker John A. Boehner — illustrate that even with the mounting federal debt intensifying the partisan divide over spending and taxes, the severity of the fiscal threat is forging unlikely alliances.
If Mr. Durbin and Mr. Chambliss can cut a deal on Social Security and new tax revenues, their associates say, then just maybe all of Washington can come together.
The article ends with this:
For …. Democrats, Mr. Chambliss remains negatively defined by his 2002 defeat of Senator Max Cleland, a triple-amputee veteran of Vietnam, after a campaign that included an ad picturing Mr. Cleland with Osama bin Laden. Mr. Chambliss’s work on the Gang of Six has done as much as anything to soften attitudes.
Last November, shortly after his election as House Democratic caucus chair, state Rep. Doug McKillip of Athens decided to become a Republican. Over the weekend, he told Blake Aued of the Athens Banner-Herald that the switch was worth the criticism he endured:
After complaining last year that he couldn’t get anything passed as a member of the minority party, McKillip was able to usher through two significant pieces of legislation this year. One, House Bill 101, modernizes safety regulations for bicycles. The other, which was appended to a different bill, expands funding for an expiring tax credit for solar panels and other forms of alternative energy to $5 million and renews it until 2014.
“We got it doubled, and we got it extended, which is going to produce dozens and dozens, if not hundreds, of new jobs,” he said.
McKillip was one of Democrat Roy Barnes’ strongest supporters in the 2010 election, but he credited Gov. Nathan Deal with helping him pass the energy tax credit.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider