Politics Today: Bachmann Presidential Announcement, Palin Quits Bus Tour?, And More
Following on the heels of Anthony Weiner's "sexting" scandal, which led to the New York congressman's resignation, another sex scandal may be brewing in Washington, D.C. The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Democratic Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings is under investigation by a congressional ethics panel for allegedly sexually harassing a female staff member. The investigation is at a preliminary stage.
From the Wall Street Journal: "It began at least a month ago after Judicial Watch, a conservative group, filed a lawsuit as the legal counsel for Winsome Packer, a staffer on a commission Mr. Hastings headed. She alleged that she had been sexually harassed by the congressman and that he retaliated when she tried to report it."
Hasting's attorney said his client "in the strongest terms, denies the charges. He is confident that he will be fully exonerated."
Did Sarah Palin quit her own bus tour? The former Alaska governor, who famously quit midway through her first term, is reportedly back in her home state despite tentatively scheduled stops in South Carolina and Iowa for her "One Nation" bus tour. At the very least, she may be taking an "extended pit stop," as Real Clear Politics put it.
Though Palin and her staff never announced a timeline for the remaining legs of her trip, aides had drafted preliminary itineraries that would have taken her through the Midwest and Southeast at some point this month. But those travel blueprints are now in limbo, RCP has learned, as Palin and her family have reverted to the friendly confines of summertime Alaska, where the skies are currently alight for over 19 hours a day and the Bristol Bay salmon fishing season is nearing its peak.
As Palin enjoys her sojourn to the 49th state, she has not reconnected with key early-state figures like Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and she may have jeopardized whatever political momentum she gained from her recent reemergence in the 2012 discussion. Her political action committee's website still greets visitors with a stale banner, announcing the nationwide bus tour beginning "[t]his Sunday, May 29th."
UPDATE: Sarah Palin said via Facebook she did not quit her tour, and that she's in Alaska for jury duty.
In a game of journalistic integrity, Comedy Central's Jon Stewart bests Fox News Channel by a score of 1-0, according to The Daily Beast's Andrew Sullivan. Sullivan was referencing a segment of Stewart's show from the previous night, in which the host of The Daily Show listed dozens of false statements made by Fox News.
The point here is not the untruths - although they are embarrassing for a news channel - but the lack of any correction.
Which is to say that a comedy channel has more dedication to accountability for factual errors than a putative news network. Which tells you almost everything you need to know.
Christine O'Donnell, the failed Republican Delaware Senate candidate who is perhaps best known for a political ad in which she declared she was not a witch, is back in the spotlight ahead of the release of her new book. In an email sent to her PAC Tuesday, O'Donnell claimed the book, "Troublemaker: Let's Do What It Takes to Make America Great Again," will reveal the "the real, raw story of my life."
According to the publisher's website: "Troublemaker is about where O’Donnell comes from—the Philadelphia suburbs with five kids to a room—and what she weathered in the 2010 election. But the core of the book is a clear, straightforward discussion of an America that yearns to embrace freedom and opportunity through personal responsibility, and how it is hamstrung and stymied by excessive regulation, taxation, and the sanctimony of a “nanny state.” And Troublemaker will deliver an important, rousing message about what we do with the quiet anger in America today: where we can go, and how strong we can be, from here. Warning readers that challenging the status quo makes the political establishment push back, O'Donnell wants to build a movement that will continue to goad it."
The book is set to be released on August 16.