Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Today's Politics: President visits; Turner looks at independent run

Magnetic President Returns to Charge Faithful Base

President Obama came to Cleveland today to deliver what was billed as a major speech on the economy. What he delivered was substantially less, but it mattered not to the adoring capacity crowd that filled every nook and cranny of the Shaker Heights High School gym for a chance to be in his presence.

The president’s key announcement was his recess appointment of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The president had nominated Cordray last July to head the new agency but Senate Republicans have refused to allow the nomination to come to the floor for an up or down vote.

That nomination had already been leaked to national media before the president arrived, so the real impact of the president’s visit was the unofficial launch of his reelection campaign. Judging by the lines of folk who snaked three or four abreast around the Shaker Board of Education headquarters last night in bitter cold, enthusiasm remains strong in this neck of the woods for a second Obama term.

Not only did a crowd arrive early last night to stand outside school administration headquarters for tickets for the president's appearance, they were back this morning at 10:30, almost three hours in advance of the President’s talk. It was a festive atmosphere both for the hundreds of students, perhaps forty percent of an estimated 1400 attendees, as well as the nearly thousand adults. And almost all stayed patiently in place for longer than the President spoke, as he worked the crowd and departed the scene.

We will try and post video of the event on Thursday.*

* Update [Jan. 6]: Technical difficulties prevented me from posting my video. Here is the C-Span broadcast.

• • •

Turner weighs independent run against Fudge
Yesterday’s post contained the following paragraph, which may require me to swallow some crow:

“And for those of you who read [State Senator Nina] Turner’s statement declining to re-file against [US Rep. Marcia] Fudge as holding open the possibility that she might run as an independent, don’t hold your breath.”

Today, we heard from multiple sources that Turner is circulating petitions to run as for Congress as an independent. If Turner files sufficient petitions by March 5, it will set up a head-to-head ballot contest in November.

Turner’s statement last week that she would not challenge Fudge in the March 6 Democratic primary referred to the difficulty of mounting a viable challenge in a short primary season. An independent campaign would bypass that issue, though it would present other challenges.

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

I don't know if this is even worse news than before. It certainly means the end of Turner's political career. Given the virtual impossibility of running a viable campaign as an independent, I don't see how she assembles the resources to do so in a presidential year when most of the district will be voting straight ticket and Marcia Fudge will benefit from the money spent by the Obama campaign. I really really thought she was brighter than this and have to wonder if those rumors about her circulating petitions are being floated by her enemies.

Richard said...

Plenty of politicians circulate petitions so as to maximize and preserve options. They don't always file, which is the operative decision here. I have been advised but haven't confirmed that an independent campaign for the 11th District would require about 2000 valid signatures being filed before the March 5 deadline.
I suspect that Senator Turner will use the next sixty days to determine if she can raise enough money and build a strong enough organization to make a viable independent run. An exploratory poll would likely be a part of her decision.
If you read about the petition circulation here, you shouldn't refer to "rumors". My opinions and judgments may be offbase [hopefully not too often] but I am pretty thorough in reporting facts and my sources are good and getting better.
Reports of Turner petition signings did not come from her foes.