POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 1/15

Obama Still Snubbing the NYT?

Michael Calderone notes President-elect Obama has not given an interview to theNew York Times since winning the election in November. A new pool report indicates it’s clearly starting to bother some of the newspaper’s reporters:

After three and a half hours at his transition office, PEOTUS Obama took another 6 minute ride through Washington, arriving at 1:57 pm at the nondescript soviet-style building at 15th and L street that houses the Washington Post.

Around 100 people — Post reporters perhaps? — awaited PEOTUS’s arrival, cheering and bobbing their coffee cups.

Pool is holding in a van outside, while Mr Obama does his Washington Postinterview, and will exercise enormous restraint by ending report before saying what [she] really thinks about this turn of events.

— Helene Cooper, New York Times

Rating Changes

The Cook Political Report changed its rating for two key U.S. Senate races in 2010:

  • With Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) retiring, Ohio has been changed from Likely Republican to Toss Up.
  • With Roland Burris (D-IL) winning appointment to fill President-elect Obama’s former U.S. Senate seat, Illinois has been changed from Solid Democrat to Toss Up.

The Rothenberg Political Report also has new ratings out and view four seats as Toss Ups: Kentucky, Florida, Missouri and Ohio.

CQ Politics has a good overview of the 36 Senate seats at stake in 2010.

New Yorkers Favor Cuomo to Replace Clinton

A new Marist poll finds Andrew Cuomo (D) now holds a clear advantage over Caroline Kennedy (D), 40% to 25%, for who New Yorkers would like Gov. David Paterson to appoint to fill Sen. Hillary Clinton’s U.S. Senate seat.

A month ago the same poll showed Cuomo and Kennedy in a tie with each receiving 25% support.

A Quinnipiac poll released yesterday found similar results.

Quote of the Day

“Oh. My. God.” 

— House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), quoted by NBC News, reacting after having just read the provisions in the $825 billion stimulus package unveiled by Democrats.

Handing Over the Keys

Over the next 36 hours, ABC News says White House staffers will go through the behind-the-scenes business of trading places with the Obama team.

“At 9:00 p.m. Friday, the highest-level staffers will turn in their gear; and the West Wing will become a ghost town. Chief of Staff Josh Bolten, Counselor Ed Gillespie, and Press Secy Dana Perino are the senior staffers who will remain here, on standby. Monday is a federal holiday so the White House would be closed anyway. On Tuesday, Special Agent Donald White of the U.S. Secret Service will shadow President Bush, sit in the customary front ‘shotgun’ seat of the limousine, and guard the President until noon. At 12:01, Agent White steps over to a position behind Barack Obama.”

Obama’s Secret Partner?

Writing in the Philadelphia Inquirer, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) predicts an Obama-McCain alliance, saying that if McCain’s legislative record “is any guide, he will not just join with Obama but lead the charge in Congress on global warming, immigration ‘reform,’ the closing of Guantanamo, federal funding for embryonic-stem-cell research, and importation of prescription drugs.”

“But McCain won’t stop there in his effort to rehabilitate himself in the media’s — or maybe his own — eyes. He will forge common ground on a long list of initiatives that go far beyond where he has gone before, including the stimulus package.”

Lessons from the Bush Years

In today’s must-read piece, Bob Woodward, who wrote four books on the Bush presidency, offers ten lessons that President-elect Obama and his team should take away from the last eight years.

1. Presidents set the tone. Don’t be passive or tolerate virulent divisions.

2. The president must insist that everyone speak out loud in front of the others, even — or especially — when there are vehement disagreements.

3. A president must do the homework to master the fundamental ideas and concepts behind his policies.

4. Presidents need to draw people out and make sure bad news makes it to the Oval Office.

5. Presidents need to foster a culture of skepticism and doubt.

6. Presidents get contradictory data, and they need a rigorous way to sort it out.

7. Presidents must tell the hard truth to the public, even if that means delivering very bad news.

8. Righteous motives are not enough for effective policy.

9. Presidents must insist on strategic thinking.

10. The president should embrace transparency. Some version of the behind-the-scenes story of what happened in his White House will always make it out to the public — and everyone will be better off if that version is as accurate as possible.

A Night Owl Presidency

“With the metabolism of a White House set by its occupant, Obama’s team is preparing for a return to long nights, heavy weekend shifts — and a boss who will venture into Washington far more than the place’s current resident,” according toPolitico.

“It’s a throwback to Bill Clinton’s cramming-for-an-exam style, a shift from George W. Bush’s early-bird routine. Aides expect the workload to be so intense, at least for the early months, that they’re trying to formalize ways to help staffers stay in touch with spouses and kids — with ideas under consideration that include inviting family members into the White House for casual after-hours meals.”

A Very Busy Day

First Read: “Here’s a short guide to keep track of all the other moving parts on this busy Thursday: Eric Holder’s potentially contentious confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee begins at 9:30 am ET (Janet Napolitano, Susan Rice, and Ken Salazar also have their hearings today); the Senate Foreign Relations Committee votes on Hillary Clinton’s nomination; Joe Biden gives his farewell to the Senate around 10:00 am, and Hillary gives hers around 11:00 am; Roland Burris gets sworn in to the Senate at 2:00 pm; the Obamas move from the Hay-Adams into the Blair House; and President Bush delivers his farewell address to the nation at 8:00 pm.”

A Prime Time Farewell

President Bush will deliver a farewell address to the nation tonight at 8 p.m. The address is expected be 10 to 15 minutes long, from the East Room of the White House.

According to Politico, the speech will be delivered before a live audience of what a spokeswoman called “courageous people” Bush has met with during his eight years in office. It was “not going to be a swan song.”

Gail Collins: “George W. Bush has been saying goodbye for so long now, he’s come to resemble one of those reconstituted rock bands that has been on a farewell tour since 1982.”

Coleman Proposes Five Stage Lawsuit

Minnesotans got indications that the U.S. Senate race recount battle “could rage until spring,” unless Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) “sees his hopes flagging,” the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

Coleman “proposed that his lawsuit be conducted in stages. The proceedings would continue through all the stages only if he gains enough votes to show he could emerge the winner.”

Biden Wants to Scale Back Vice Presidency

“While most incoming vice presidents arrive eager to expand the influence of the office,” Vice President-elect Biden “faces the unusual conundrum of figuring out how to scale it back,” the New York Times reports. 

He wants to “restore the balance,” as he put it, after the unprecedented assertion of authority by Vice President Dick Cheney. 

Said Biden: “The proof of the pudding is in the eating. The Bush-Cheney relationship hasn’t tasted very good. Not a single person you can name for me… Look at me, now — a single one can tell you that the pudding has tasted good. Not one. Name me one serious person, liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican.”

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