Daily Archives: Feb. 6, 2012

Paul won among those wanting ‘true conservative’

Mitt Romney was the big winner in last weekend’s Nevada caucuses. But what might be of more concern for challengers Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum is how well Ron Paul (in photo) did among hard-core conservatives. Paul won 40 percent of the vote of caucusgoers who said they wanted a “true conservative” as the GOP nominee.

Unimpressed by House freshmen’s ‘gift’

Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, and Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Overland Park, were among eight House freshmen who announced with fanfare last week that they were offering unused portions of their office budgets totaling $1.4 million as a “gift” to reduce the $15 trillion national debt. “I was part of a freshman class that pledged to do better, pledged to do bigger,” Huelskamp said. To which Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank responded: “But ‘better’ and ‘bigger’ apparently were out of reach, so he returned $145,000 from his office kitty instead.” Milbank noted it’s routine for lawmakers to turn back office money, and that those doing so last week had secured no guarantee from House leadership that the money would actually go toward the debt. “It was another sign that the revolutionaries who were swept to power in the 2010 midterms with visions of transforming Washington had been reduced to the same type of small and symbolic measures that have occupied lawmakers for years. It was a tacit admission of lowered expectations,” Milbank concluded.

Partisan divide is hardening in presidential politics

Gallup poll numbers show that the disparity between presidential job-approval ratings among Republicans and Democrats is hardening, the Washington Post reported. Of the 10 years with the biggest gaps between job-approval ratings, seven have occurred since 2004. Five of the 10 most-partisan years, including the top three years, were when George W. Bush was president. The biggest divide was in 2004, when Bush’s average approval rating among Republicans was 91 percent and only 15 percent among Democrats, for a 76 percent gap. President Obama, who campaigned on wanting to bridge the partisan divide, has been in the top 10 each of his three years in office, including this past year when there was a 68 percent approval gap.