Obama’s Best Speech Ever

President Obama’s speech at Fort Hood may go down as one of his best ever.

The president was able to balance his duties as Commander in Chief while consoling a nation in the aftermath of a terrible tragedy. That he was able to do this while taking away the focus on the shooter’s religion was even more impressive.

It was one of those speeches that makes you especially proud to be an American.

Marc Ambinder: “I guarantee: they’ll be teaching this one in rhetoric classes. It was that good. My gloss won’t do it justice. Yes, I’m having a Chris Matthews-chill-running-up-my-leg moment, but sometimes, the man, the moment and the words come together and meet the challenge. Obama had to lead a nation’s grieving; he had to try and address the thorny issues of Islam and terrorism; to be firm; to express the spirit of America, using familiar, comforting tropes in a way that didn’t sound trite.”

Chuck Todd: “That’s going to be a speech that’s remembered and quoted from for quite some time; struck a balance of commander and consoler; not easy.”

The video and transcript are below.

Read more…


Follow Olympia?

NBC News reports that when former President Clinton walked into the Capitol this afternoon to meet with Senate Democrats about health care reform, he ran into Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME).

At nearly the same time reporters when asked Clinton what he would tell Democrats, he said, “I’m gonna tell them Olympia is right. They ought to follow Olympia.”

The context suggested he “was probably more joking and courteous, than serious.”


Blumenthal Listening Again

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D), “the state’s attorney general since 1990 and once Connecticut’s fastest-rising political star,” was asked if he’ll run for governor now that Gov. Jodi Rell (R) is not seeking re-election, reports the New Haven Independent.

“He answered it the way he does every four years — vaguely, with lots of wiggle room. He said he has ‘no plans’ to seek the 2010 Democratic nomination — for now. But he’s ‘listening’ to people urging him to run.”


Stewart on the Health Care Debate

Last night, Jon Stewart reviewed last weekend’s health care vote in the House. Just priceless.

Read more…


Bonus Quote of the Day

“So, we’ve decided that we are going to trade our Lieberman for their Lieberman.”

— President Obama, quoted by Politico, after his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


Christie Says No Funds for Transition

In a radio interview this morning, New Jersey Gov.-elect Chris Christie (R) dropped a bomb: There are no transition funds for his incoming administration.

Said Christie: “Interestingly, the state didn’t fund the transition. They didn’t put any money in the budget for a transition so we need to talk about making sure that we get that squared away.”


Obama Hurt Deeds in Virginia

Republican pollster Glen Bolger notes that while President Obama was not the deciding factor in the Virginia governor’s race, he ended up hurting Creigh Deeds (D) more than he helped him.

In fact, by a 55% to 35% margin, voters thought it was best to elect a governor who would serve as a check and balance to Obama.

“Concern about his policies overreaching permeated to a gubernatorial campaign and helped widen the size of McDonnell’s win. It allowed the campaign to focus on issues that hadn’t been working in recent years for Republican candidates. Concern about Obama’s policies on spending, taxes, and jobs allowed McDonnell to thoroughly dominate those issues. The checks and balances message is a key one, but the bigger lesson about Obama’s impact on Virginia is that his policies have put fiscal and economic messages back into play for Republicans.”


Snowe Vulnerable to Primary Challenge

Public Policy Polling suggests Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) “could have a pretty hard time getting nominated for another term in the Senate as a Republican.”

“There are now more folks in her party who disapprove than approve of Snowe’s job performance. 46% of GOP voters think she’s doing a bad job to 40% who give her good marks.”

Against a generic conservative primary challenger, Snowe would lose 59% to 31%.


Dunn Steps Down from White House Post

White House communications director Anita Dunn “will step down from her post at the end of the month and Dan Pfeiffer, her deputy, will take over,” according to The Fix.

“Dunn, a longtime Democratic media consultant, took over the job on an interim basis earlier this year when Ellen Moran abruptly left the post to take a job at the Commerce Department. Dunn will remain as a consultant to the White House on the communications and strategic ends.”


Congressman Skips Son’s Wedding for Vote

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) “skipped his son’s Saturday afternoon wedding in Iowa in favor of the contentious debate over the public insurance option and abortion funding,” Roll Call reports.

Said King: “Not being here to cast a vote against this health care bill was never an option. I couldn’t live with myself if the bill passed by just one vote, and I wasn’t present.”

King added that voting against the bill was “the best gift I could give my son.”


The Palin Fantasy

David Frum: “Palin supporters have constructed an alternative reality in which their heroine is wildly cheered by the American yeomanry, and despised only by a small coterie of sherry-drinking snobs. No contrary evidence, no matter how overwhelming and uncontradicted, can alter this view: not the collapse in Palin’s support in just 5 weeks in 2008, not the statistical studies that show her as the only vice presidential nominee in ticket to have hurt her ticket, not her rampant unpopularity with American women, not her own flinching from a second encounter with the Alaskan electorate.”

In case you were wondering, Palin is back on Twitter as she prepares to begin her book tour next week.


Sanford Likely to Survive

With South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) “showing no sign that he plans to quit,”CNN reports “only one option may be left for critics who want him gone: impeachment.”

“But legislators on both sides of the aisle in South Carolina believe that the chances of ousting Sanford with an impeachment vote are slim, unless new evidence arises showing that the governor broke the law or abused his power by secretly leaving the state to visit his mistress.”


Reid to Bring Up Health Care Next Week

“Senate Democratic leaders are still pushing to bring up their health care reform bill next week, even though the gambit comes with risks as they race against the clock to get a measure passed before the end of the year,” Roll Call reports.

“By aiming to bring up the bill next week,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid “appears to be calculating that the public relations dangers of suspending debate for the weeklong Thanksgiving recess do not outweigh the need to get debate rolling, given the time-consuming roadblocks Republicans are expected to throw up.”

What to watch: “The timing of any Senate bill depends in large part on when the Congressional Budget Office gives Reid its cost estimate of the bill, something Democratic aides said is expected by the end of this week.”


Quote of the Day

“I’m sure there are a lot of people sitting in the shade at the Aspen Institute — my brother being one of them — who will tell you what the ideal plan is. Great, fascinating. You have the art of the possible measured against the ideal.”

— White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, quoted by the Boston Globe.


Clinton Heads to the Hill

Former President Bill Clinton will address Senate Democrats today about health care, CNN reports.

“A constant refrain from Democratic leaders is that wavering Democrats must heed what they say is a lesson of the Clinton administration: fail to pass a health care reform bill, and congressional Democrats will suffer on Election Day.”

First Read: “What’s particularly interesting is that Clinton has strong ties to the Senate centrists who could very well decide the fate of the health-care bill in the Senate. Clinton was governor when Ben Nelson served as governor of Nebraska; Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor just happen to represent Clinton’s home state of Arkansas; and Clinton and Joe Lieberman used to be VERY close personally and ideologically — all before the Lewinsky scandal. In particular, what kind of advice does Clinton give to Lincoln and Pryor? What does he say to Lieberman (if the Connecticut senator ends up attending)? During the ’08 campaign, Clinton found his stride campaigning in, well, red America — in places that are similar politically to Arkansas, Nebraska, Indiana, etc. Clinton’s at his best when he’s giving OTHERS political advice, and he excels at framing an argument better than just about anyone on the political stage today.”


Poll Suggests Rell Was Vulnerable

Perhaps this is the reason Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell (R) announced yesterday she would not to run for re-election next year: A new Quinnipiac poll finds Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz (D) just six points behind Rell in a general election match up, 46% to 40%.

In a Democratic primary matchup, Bysiewicz leads the field with 26%, followed by Ned Lamont (D) at 23% and Dan Malloy (D) at 9%. No other contender tops 3%.


Americans Divided on Health Care Legislation

Gallup: “Americans are evenly split on the potential impact of new health care legislation, should it ultimately be passed into law. Forty-one percent say a new health care bill would make the U.S. health care system better in the long run, while 40% say it would make things worse.”


Behind the Scozzafava Endorsement

The Washington Post has a great piece on how the White House orchestrated a campaign to get Dede Scozzafava (R) to endorse Bill Owens (D) in the wild special election in New York’s congressional district.

“The conservative movement’s third-party candidate, Doug Hoffman, expected her support but, she said, the newcomer accountant ‘had no integrity.’ Plus, the Democrats were so nice! They called. They sympathized. They made her feel good about tossing her support to Bill Owens, who — with her help — became the area’s first Democratic representative in more than a century.”

Meanwhile, the Albany Times Union reports Scozzafava was stripped of her GOP leadership post in the New York Assembly.

Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics, Virginia

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