Emails Show Palin Struggled to Deal with Negative Press

Andrew Burton/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sarah Palin was eyeing the vice presidential nomination months before John McCain made her the official pick, but as media and public attention on her grew, she struggled with the negative press and emails she received.

That is part of the picture emerging from the more than 24,000 pages of emails released from Palin's time as governor of Alaska.

The content of the emails ranges from state business to questions of haircuts, elation over her vice presidential nomination to surprise at how fast she was catapult onto the national stage, and, in some of the most revealing messages, personal distress about the negative media that surrounded her.

Shortly before being named McCain's running mate in August 2008, Palin expressed her desire to focus on Alaska and view that the GOP was unsupportive, telling her staff, "Our time and effort will continue to be spent on serving Alaskans, not party politics."

A few weeks later, she was singing a different tune, when McCain announced her as the other half of his presidential ballot. "Can you believe it?" Palin wrote in an email, "He told me yesterday -- it moved fast!"

She found herself, and her family, in the international spotlight. Palin's political and personal life became the focus of intense scrutiny. Press secretary Bill McAllister emailed Palin about media inquiries about rape kits, tanning beds and her "belief that dinosaurs and humans co-existed at one time?" He ended his email by saying, "I continue to be dismayed at the media."

"Arghhh! I am so sorry that the office is swamped like this! Dinosaurs even?! I'll try to run through some of these in my head before responding," Palin wrote. "And the old, used tanning bed that my girls have used a handful of times in Juneau? Yes, we paid for it ourselves. I, too, will continue to be dismayed at the media."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama's Address: Touts Partnerships with Businesses to Boost Hiring

Official White House photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- In his weekly address Obama touts the work that his administration is doing to boost job training and highlights the importance of partnering with the private sector to increase hiring.
“Government is not -- and should not be -- the main engine of job-creation in this country. That’s the role of the private sector. But one thing government can do is partner with the private sector to make sure that every worker has the necessary skills for the jobs they’re applying for,” Obama says.
The president also highlights the announcement he made Wednesday in a speech at Northern Virginia Community College, where he unveiled a series of new commitments by the manufacturing industry and colleges aimed at providing half a million community college students with industry-recognized credentials.
“If you’re a company that’s hiring, you’ll know that anyone who has this degree has the skills you’re looking for. If you’re a student considering community college, you’ll know that your diploma will give you a leg up in the job market,” Obama says.
On Monday the president says he will travel to North Carolina to hear recommendations from his Jobs Council and “talk about additional steps we can take to spur private sector hiring in the short-term and ensure our workers have the skills and training they need in this economy.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


GOP Address: Rep. Kinzinger Calls for 'Jobs-Focused Governing' -- In this week's Republican Address, Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger addresses the Obama Administration's promises about jobs and the economic stimulus that he says never "panned out."

"Like you," Kinzinger says, "I remember the chart the president's economic team put out, you know, the one with the 'stimulus' -- unemployment would never go higher than eight percent.  I remember the press conference where the president says 90 percent of the jobs created by the 'stimulus' would be private sector jobs.  And there was the interview on CNN where one the president's top economic advisers said that jobs would be created 'immediately.'"

Kinzinger says businesses in the private sector often are coming and going because taxes are too high and government regulations are too "burdensome."  

Kinzinger continues by touting the House Republican blueprint "A Plan for America's Job Creators," which is built from the earlier Pledge for America.  He says the plan is a "jobs-focused governing agenda, hatched up when his party took control of the House last fall.

Although Kinzinger says Republicans are willing to work with the President on a solid job creation plan, he makes clear the GOP's stance on the looming credit limit.

"…under no circumstances will Republicans support irresponsible legislation which increases the federal government's credit limit without any spending cuts or budgetary reforms.  It is High time we put up the government's credit cards and draw a hard line to stop the government from overspending, which is hampering out economy's ability to grow and thrive," he says.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


A Dozen House Dems Urge Obama to End Bush-Era Tax Cuts for Rich

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- A dozen House Democrats wrote a letter to President Obama Friday expressing “serious concerns about the direction of negotiations regarding federal spending,” and called on the president to include an end to the Bush-era tax cuts for the country’s wealthiest earners as part of a bipartisan deal to increase the debt limit.
“Our nation’s most respected economists and business leaders agree that we need a long-term solution to our budget deficit coupled with responsible choices about investing in rebuilding and renewing our economy in the short term,” the letter reads. “We urge you to push for a fiscal 2012 budget deal that makes responsible short-term choices that do not threaten our fragile recovery.”
“We also urge that this deal provide a long-term fiscal solution that includes an expiration of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy -- a step which, by itself, will stop the growth of the deficit over the next decade,” the letter adds.
Last December, President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and then-House Minority Leader John Boehner struck a deal to extend the tax cuts through the end of 2012.

Earlier this spring, Obama appointed Vice President Joe Biden to lead negotiations with a select group of lawmakers from each of the four caucuses and conferences. Over the past few months, the vice president has held five meetings, either at the Capitol or at the Blair House near the White House.

The Treasury Department says that lawmakers have until August 2nd before the US. government defaults on its credit if negotiators are unable to strike a deal to raise the $14.3 trillion statutory debt limit.

In the letter, the group warns “that sharp immediate cuts in government spending risk plunging our economy into a double-dip recession that will cost further jobs and ultimately worsen our fiscal situation.”
The letter is signed by Reps. Earl Blumenauer, Jim Moran, John Olver, Michael Honda, Luis V. Gutierrez, Jim McDermott, Lynn Woolsey, Donna Christian-Christensen, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Gwen Moore, John Conyers, and Barbara Lee.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Former Aide Rich Galen: Gingrich ‘Can Pretend,’ But Campaign Over

Jessica McGowan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- While Newt Gingrich promises to soldier on his campaign for the presidency -- despite the mass resignation of some 16 top aides -- some of his former friends and aides are ready to throw in the towel for him.

On ABC’s Top Line Friday, Rich Galen, a former top aide to Gingrich when he served as House speaker, said the presidential campaign is essentially over, victimized by the character flaws that many of Gingrich’s critics identified from the start.

“I'm only surprised because in the beginning I said this thing would be over in 45 days, and I was about 10 days short. So, I was more optimistic,” Galen told us.

Asked if that means he thinks the campaign is over, Galen said it’s not possible for Gingrich to re-create the campaign infrastructure he lost Thursday.

“He can pretend,” Galen said. “[But] the notion that Newt can do this, on the fly, in the middle of this thing… who would join the campaign? Again, I don't have any animus towards Newt, but as a professional in this business, who would say, ‘OK, look, maybe, this time, the third re-start will be the right way to do this, and I'll join up because maybe they really do have money hidden around in places that we don't know about.'”

Galen said it’s a “completely different deal” than when John McCain lost much of his campaign staff in 2007, since he had experienced staffers ready to step in where Gingrich does not.

“This is the kind of thing that happens when somebody is so unalterably miscast in a roll that they've chosen for themselves,” Galen said. “Newt and his wife, really, I truly believe wanted to be the ultimate arbiters of where they went, when they went, and what they did when they got there. As opposed to letting these, very highly -- we all know these guys -- very highly skilled campaign professionals, who, as I wrote this morning, wanted to run a professional campaign.”

Gingrich’s well-documented campaign missteps were exacerbated by the fact that his wife, Callista, was empowered to make so many critical decisions, Galen said.

“I don't know that Callista was determinative in everybody packing up and moving out at the same moment yesterday, but I do think that it was additive to the problems that the campaign was having in trying to generate some forward momentum,” Galen said. Callista’s role “was just more than the campaign could sustain,” he added.

And Galen said he expects the mass resignation will make it easier for Texas Gov. Rick Perry to pull the trigger on a presidential bid.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sarah Palin's Eye On VP Slot Months Before Receiving Nomination?

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images(JUNEAU, Alaska) -- Sarah Palin kept a close watch on her constituent mail in the months before Sen. John McCain picked her as the vice presidential nominee, especially a series of flattering messages suggesting she join the Republican presidential ticket.

“Sarah Palin should run for Vice President of the United States,” Richard Casey of Fort Collins, Colo. wrote in a message sent to the governor through her website in June 2008. “She is terrific! A vote from Colorado.”

Palin, who was evidently personally monitoring her constituent email, forwarded the message -- without comment -- to Jessalyn Rintala, Palin’s coordinator of constituent relations and Janice Mason, the governor’s scheduler and executive secretary.

Another message sent on the same day, June 29, 2008, from William McKane of Yankton, SD read: “I think that she would make a first-rate running mate for Senator John McCain. Please encourage her to accept if asked! What can we do to encourage Senator McCain to put her on the ticket?”

Keith Mundy of Nogales, Ariz. wrote: “Maybe you should run at some point in time. I sure as hell would vote for you.”

Palin forwarded five separate emails to Rintala and Mason on June 30, 2008 -- a day when speculation about who McCain would name as his running mate was heating up.

On that day, conservative commentator Bill Kristol appeared on Fox News, predicting that if McCain were to pick Palin as his running mate gas prices would "plummet immediately" because she would convince him to drill in Arctic National Wildlife Reserve.

“I think she would help him get elected, which would be a good thing if you want gas prices to come down,” Kristol said. “Then she’ll persuade him that we have to drill in ANWR and have an aggressive drilling program across the board.”

But at that point in the presidential race, Palin’s ascent to the vice presidential slot was far from certain. On the same morning the news website, Politico, ran a story headlined: “Romney Tops McCain Veep List.”

Palin was apparently relishing the attention, which was suddenly coming in from all over the country.

“For the first time today I heard some politicians discussing running mates for John McCain,” Carol Brannock of Willow Spring, N.C. wrote to Palin. “I am excited about the possibility that you may be our next vice president!”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Newt Gingrich Tells Supporters: 'This Will Be Your Campaign'

William B. Plowman/NBC(WASHINGTON) -- In a message to supporters today, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich promised to build a campaign belonging to the people, telling supporters it will be "your campaign."

"Because the renewal of America can only begin with you, this will be your campaign,” Gingrich wrote in a posting on Facebook.

The exodus of approximately sixteen staffers from the Gingrich campaign yesterday due to "strategic differences" left Gingrich scrambling to define his campaign to supporters. In his message, he vowed to focus on devising new ways to address the struggling economy and create new jobs.

"I am running for President because we need to insist on dramatic and bold changes in Washington and in the policies that are killing jobs," Gingrich said.  "There is no more important task for the next president. President Obama has shown that he is not equal to the task. He has failed to lead effectively to solve these economic challenges.  In fact his policies and his attitudes have made the economy worse. He needs to be replaced."

"The road ahead will not be easy for America.  As a citizen who loves his country and does not want to see it fail, I will humbly offer my vision for renewing America’s future alongside the other candidates.  And I will work every day of this campaign to make this vision of American renewal a reality."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rick Santorum Debuts New Radio Ad, First of Campaign

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former Sen. Rick Santorum is releasing his first ad of the 2012 presidential campaign, entitled "The Courage to Fight for America."  According to the campaign, "The ad will begin running on Monday on national satellite radio and later in the week on stations in New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina." These are key areas where Santorum hopes to capture the conservative vote.

"When our founders created this country, the idea that we were going to borrow money to provide for people today and charge the next generation for the excesses of today would have astounded them," Santorum says. "Over half of Americans now, receive some sort of government benefit and 40 cents of that dollar that they're getting, they're charging their children and grandchildren for the rest of their lives, to pay the debt service on the money that they’re receiving. That is immoral, that is wrong. Someone has to have the courage to go out and tell the American public: 'We can't afford the government that we have right now and we need to cut it back, across the board.' The promise that we have to the next generation is to hand off America in better shape than it was handed to us. And right now, we are not going to do that."

The ad is being released following a week of multiple radio and television appearances, as he tries to get his name out there in an increasingly crowded field where he trails at the bottom in name recognition and most national polls.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Marco Rubio to Make 'Maiden Speech' on Senate Floor Tuesday

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Freshman Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida will deliver his "maiden speech" on the Senate floor Tuesday in what aides are calling his first major national speech since Election Night.

The Senator -- via a web video that will be sent out to supporters on Friday -- harkens back to the history of a maiden speech, noting that this is an important address in the career of every Senator when they "first outline why you ran for the Senate and what you intend your Senate career to be all about."

Rubio has been in the Senate just five-and-a-half months, and is the last of the incoming freshman class of Senators to deliver his first floor address.

"My speech will come at an important time in American history when we're debating the future of our country," Rubio says in his web video sitting before a bookcase, an American flag and a tiny bust of President Ronald Reagan.  "Now our past is pretty clear -- we have built here the greatest and most exceptional nation in all of human history.  And now we have to decide whether we want to continue to be that.  Or are we prepared to decline."

The speech, scheduled for 2:45 pm on Tuesday, will be available on Facebook and the Senator's webpage in addition to C-SPAN.  Rubio's wife, Jeanette, and four children will be on Capitol Hill to watch his speech.

In a letter to supporters which will be sent to them on Friday, along with the web video, the Senator asks supports to tune in and comment.

"Since our nation's founding, the Senate floor is where our leaders have stood, debated and ultimately made consequential decisions to address the great challenges of their time," Rubio writes.  "Next week, I will have my first chance. You helped make this opportunity possible, so I don't want you to miss it."

The junior Senator, described as a rising star in the Republican Party, is a name being tossed around as a possible vice presidential candidate for 2012.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Police Visit Home of Minor Who Communicated with Weiner

Alex Wong/Getty Images(NEW CASTLE COUNTY, Del.) -- ABC News has learned more about Congressman Anthony Weiner's online contacts.

Police in New Castle County, Del. visited the home of a 17-year-old girl who was one of Weiner's followers on Twitter who boasted that she has communicated with the congressman online.

It remains unclear who called the police, or exactly why they were there.  But Weiner's newly hired spokeswoman told ABC News in a statement, "According to Congressman Weiner, his communications with this person were neither explicit nor indecent."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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