Tales from the Trail

In 2012 who wins? poll may surprise

It may be getting time for the White House to polish up on that well-worn political line that public opinion polls don’t matter.

President Barack Obama got hit with a one-two polling punch today.

It’s never too early to talk about the presidential election that’s coming in 2012, they were talking about it during the last one even before the ballots were cast.

Rasmussen Reports in a national survey asked 1,000 likely voters who they would pick for president if the election was held now: Democrat Obama or Republican Mitt Romney.

The answer: EVEN at 45 percent each.

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But wait, it gets a bit more complicated.

In choosing between Obama and Republican Sarah Palin the poll came in at 42 percent for Palin compared with 48 percent for Obama.

It seems that her resignation as governer and the anonymous badmouthing about her time on the campaign trail as a vice presidential candidate has rolled off like water off a duck.

Romney rakes in the dough, gives generously

USA-POLITICS/Former, and perhaps future, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney raked in some serious cash — $1.6 million — for his political action committee during the first half of 2009, despite the recession.

Romney, who dropped out of the 2008 presidential campaign after poor showings in the early primaries despite raising huge sums of money, is considered one of the untainted potential candidates for 2012. Problems saddling fellow Republicans like outgoing Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Nevada Senator John Ensign have put their presidential aspirations in question.

In addition to trying to stockpile some cash in case he decides he will make another White House bid, Romney donated $5,000 to Missouri Republican Representative Roy Blunt, who is running for Senate in 2010, and Republican Bob McDonnell, who is seeking Virginia’s governorship.

The First Draft: Palin goes fishing for cameras, Obama talks too

After catching the national media off guard with Friday’s pre-holiday weekend bombshell that she was resigning as Alaska governor, Sarah Palin gave the television networks a chance to catch up with a round of stage-managed interviews for the morning news shows.

Television correspondents lined up to land a few minutes with Palin, decked out in overalls and wading in the surf at husband Todd’s family fishing operation. With children in tow on the fishing trip/photo op, she explained her decision to bail out of office more than a year early.

USA/SENATE-GEORGIAIt had nothing to do with running for president in 2012, she said. She’s just unconventional. Once she had decided she was not running for re-election, she knew she could not “play the political game that most politicians do,” she told NBC.

Biden on Palin: respect her decision

USA-POLITICS/DEBATEVice President Joe Biden says he won’t second guess the decision by his former political rival Sarah Palin to resign as Alaska governor, because in politics sometimes it is just about the personal.

Palin, who famously greeted Biden with “Nice to meet you. Can I call you Joe?” at last year’s vice presidential showdown debate, has seen her political fortunes rollercoaster after John McCain plucked her from relative obscurity to be his Republican running mate.

 She once again surprised everyone on Friday at a news conference in her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, by announcing she would resign this month. The unexpected move raised speculation that perhaps she has her eye on running for higher office.

The First Draft: Blank screens

BASEBALL/Millions of Americans could be staring at blank TV screens tomorrow, when broadcasters switch to digital signals.

The U.S. government has spent years preparing for the switch, which aims to free up airwaves for broadband and enhanced emergency communications.

The change-over will only affect those who get their TV over the air, rather than through cable or satellite connections.

“We Told You So”

Sarah Palin showed up but,  did not share the stage with Newt Gingrich at the  Republican Senate and Congressional  Dinner in Washington Monday evening. Still, the Alaska governor and former Republican vice presidential candidate managed to have her say before a potentially huge audience.

sarahpalin While Gingrich was headlining the dinner, Palin took the spotlight in a taped Fox News interview that aired as the former House speaker spoke. It’s early, but both of them may be looking ahead to 2012 — or  not.

In the twin speeches, Gingrich took on Obama and the Democrats on a range of  issues and Palin took aim at the president’s economic performance.

Palin to attend big Republican dinner in Washington

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WASHINGTON – Newt Gingrich, move over.

Sarah Palin is coming to town.

The latest word is that Palin is going to attend Monday night’s Republican fund-raising dinner for congressional candidates.

But she won’t be addressing the group gathered at the Washington Convention Center.

The Alaska governor, and possible 2012 presidential candidate, had gone back and forth on whether to attend the dinner, first say she would, then saying she wouldn’t and now saying she will.

Bristol Palin urges teens to abstain from sex

Nearly a year after becoming the most celebrated pregnant, unmarried teenager in the United States, Bristol Palin is launching off on a campaign to encourage teens NOT to have sex to avoid getting pregnant.USA-POLITICS/PALIN

After shying away from the spotlight since her mother Sarah — John McCain’s vice presidential running mate — announced that her then 17-year-old daughter was pregnant, Bristol did a series of interviews today to announce explain her plans.

“Regardless of what I did personally, I just think that abstinence is the only way that you can effectively, 100 percent foolproof way to prevent pregnancy,” she said on ABC’s “Good Morning America”, while avoiding a direct answer to a question about how she ended up expecting.

Palins’ Tripp on TV

Tripp, the latest twig on the Palin family tree, made his TV debut at the tender age of almost two months old.

His 18-year-old mom Bristol Palin, and grandmother Alaska Governor Sarah Palin also showed up on Fox News to chat with Greta Van Susteren, who said: “You will not see this anywhere else.”

USA-POLITICS/She’s probably right about that.

Bristol Palin made headlines when her unwed pregnancy was publicly revealed during her mother’s campaign for vice president on the Republican ticket with John McCain.

Palin Strikes Back

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is firing back in a war of words with the the environmental group, Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, over the group’s new national ad campaign which attacks her for promoting aerial hunting.

Actress, Ashley Judd, narrates the group’s You Tube video which takes direct aim at Palin and the controversial practice of  shooting wolves and other animals from low-flying planes or helicopters.

Palin, the failed Republican vice presidential nominee, blasts the ad campaign as attacks by an “extreme fringe group.” She accuses the group of misrepresenting Alaska’s wildlife management programs, which  aim to protect vulnerable wildlife from predators.