House Republicans Schedule Repeal Vote

House Republicans will hold a vote next week — seven days after formally taking control of the chamber — on repealing the new health care reform law, The Hillreports.

At least one Republican claims they have the votes to repeal the law.

Obama May Tap Daley for Chief of Staff

President Obama is considering naming William Daley to a high-level White House post, possibly as his chief of staff, Bloomberg reports.

“Such a move, which is still under discussion and which White House officials wouldn’t confirm, would bring a Washington veteran and someone with strong business ties into the administration as Obama enters the second half of his term.”

Daley “who typically responds to questions, didn’t return two messages seeking comment left on his cell phone yesterday or a phone call to his office and an e-mail sent to him today. White House officials declined to discuss the matter.”

Joe Klein Again?

Coming later this month: O: A Presidential Novel by Anonymous.

The book was supposedly written by someone with “vast personal experience” about what President Obama needs to do to win re-election.

Political Wire readers will recall that Klein was outed as the anonymous author behind the wildly successful Primary Colors, a novel based loosely on Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign.

Which Novel Was It?

We noted over the weekend that Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) said she became a Republican after reading Burr by Gore Vidal. However, TPM notes that in 2004 she reportedly attributed her party switch to a different novel by the same author.

Said Bachmann: “I was reading a book, 1876 by Gore Vidal, and what he was writing about just didn’t ring true. I remember thinking, ‘You are such a fraud. What you’re writing about isn’t true,’ and I remember looking out the window and thinking ‘Am I becoming a Republican?'”


How Often Do Senate Seats Flip?

Smart Politics review finds the average partisan hold on a Senate seat is 36 years.

The seats that have flipped the most — 12 times — are currently held by Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Sen. Al Franken (D-MN). Neither are on the ballot for 2012.

Interestingly, three seats have never changed partisan control since the introduction of popular vote elections a century ago – all held by Democrats: The seats currently held by Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI).

Obama Approval Spikes Higher

The latest Gallup tracking poll finds President Obama’s approval rating back at 50% — its highest point in more than eight months.

Bonus Quote of the Day

“When I’m asked about legacy, I say it’s too early to talk about legacy.”

— Outgoing Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), quoted by the AP while noting that he is 80 years old.

Grayson’s Limo

As Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) exits Congress, the New York Times notes the unconventional lawmaker purchased a used white limousine to transport his young children.

Explained Grayson: “You can’t change a diaper in a van.”

Quote of the Day

“It scares them to death. And it should.”

— Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, in an interview with the Terre Haute Tribune Star, on his family’s loss of privacy if he ran for president.

Ben Smith: “This is not, I’m told, a trivial consideration for Daniels and his wife, who divorced and remarried in the ’90s.”

Then Everything Changed

This looks interesting: Then Everything Changed: Stunning Alternate Histories of American Politics: JFK, RFK, Carter, Ford, Reagan by Jeff Greenfield.

Reid Sets Record for Breaking Filibusters

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) “set a record during the 111th Congress by becoming the chamber’s most successful Majority Leader in history at killing attempted filibusters,”Roll Call reports.

He shut down 69% of threatened filibusters as compared to the 63% achieved by Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN) in the 109th Congress and Sen. Mike Mansfield (D-MT) in the 94th Congress.

Obama Studies the Reagan Playbook

We already knew President Obama was reading Lou Cannon’s widely-praised biography of Ronald Reagan, The Role of a Lifetime.

Now Bloomberg reports that before leaving for his vacation, Obama also “sought advice from Reagan chief of staff Ken Duberstein and David Gergen, an image adviser to both Reagan and Clinton.”

Is DeMint Making Nice?

In an interview with Human Events, Sen. James DeMint (R-SC) suggests he’s doing some fence mending after opposing his fellow Republicans on primary endorsements and key pieces of legislation.

Said DeMint: “Friendships are really important to me, and I love my colleagues, but frankly, I’d just had enough. I think I was right where the rest of America is — enough is enough. Folks, we can’t keep taking home the bacon and take care of the best interest of the country. And so, it was very painful. I think we’re trying, right now, at restoring some of those friendships.”

Nevada May Get Another Reid in Congress

Rory Reid (D), son of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and failed gubernatorial candidate, will likely run for Nevada’s new House seat, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Said Reid: “I always want to be involved in working for the public. It’s who I am.”

Upton Claims Votes to Repeal Health Care Law

Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) told Fox News that House Republicans have enough votes to repeal the health care law.

Said Upton: “As part of our pledge we said that we would bring up a vote to repeal health care early. That will happen before the president’s State of the Union address. We have 242 Republicans. There will be a significant number of Democrats, I think, that will join us. You will remember when that vote passed in the House, last March; it only passed by seven votes.”

Republicans don’t expect the effort to get past the Senate but their strategy is to go after it provision by provision, which they think might work.

Issa’s List

Politco obtained a list of hearing topics planned by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) in the next few months, which includes “how regulation impacts job creation, the role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the foreclosure crisis; recalls at the Food and Drug Administration and the failure of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to agree on the causes of the market meltdown.”

“This sweeping and specific hearing agenda shows that Issa plans to cut a wide swath as chairman, latching onto hot button issues that could make his committee the center of attention in the opening months of the 112th Congress.”

In an interview yesterday, the Washington Post notes Issa reiterated that President Obama heads “one of the most corrupt administrations” in history.

Steele Doesn’t Have the Votes

Not a big surprise, but Politico finds a majority of the RNC’s 168 members indicate that they will not support RNC Chairman Michael Steele for another term.

“Fifty-five members, some of whom have endorsed one of Steele’s challengers, have signaled that they will not support the chairman under any circumstances. An additional 33 pledged their support elsewhere. Just as telling, not a single member of the committee said that Steele was their second choice in the race – a grave indicator in a contest likely to be decided in multiple ballots.”

Steele will face his rivals at a RNC debate at 11 am ET today.

Why Huntsman Won’t Run

Despite hints that U.S. Ambassador to China John Huntsman (R) is considering a run for president in 2012, James Fallows points out the one reason why 2012 will not be Huntsman’s year: “Huntsman is part of the Obama Administration.”

“He is right in the middle of dealings with America’s most important foreign-policy partner/challenge. So in the GOP Primaries, how exactly is he going to out-anti-Obama anyone else in the field, given that he has served Obama (and, yes, the country) so loyally? The retorts from all the other Republicans are almost too easy. ‘If Ambassssadorrr Huntsman is so concerned about the Obama threat to America, then why,…?'”

Boehner Avoids Spotlight as He Takes Over

The Washington Post notes that Rep. John Boehner’s (R-OH) transition as incoming House Speaker “has been notable for its lack of the triumphant tone of the Pelosi transition, as well as that of Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich in 1995. Boehner has avoided the media spotlight, making only a handful of public appearances since November’s election and granting two major interviews, including one with CBS’s 60 Minutes that focused on his working-class roots in Ohio.”

In addition, no formal celebrations are planned for the new Speaker.

“Advisers said Boehner is avoiding any effort to make himself the singular face and voice of the new Republican majority, preferring to make the moment about his party and its ideas.”

Pawlenty Downplays Book Tour

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) tried to suggest to Minnesota Public Radio that his upcoming book tour wasn’t necessarily about testing the waters for a possible presidential campaign.

Said Pawlenty: “Well I know everybody’s trying to say that the book tour is about politics, but I think of the 30 or more days that I will be promoting the book across the country, I think only two days are in New Hampshire or Iowa.”

However, Pawlenty’s schedule actually has him promoting Courage to Stand in Iowa and New Hampshire for four days and six engagements.

Boehner Clan Comes to Washington

The Cincinnati Enquirer notes Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) “would have a sizeable crowd in Washington Wednesday to watch him be sworn in as the 61st Speaker of the House if it were only his blood relatives coming. Boehner is the second oldest of the 12 children of the late Earl and Mary Ann Boehner of Reading; and 10 of his siblings and their families are going to Washington for the swearing-in.”

All of the siblings are going, except for a brother who can’t get away from his business in Georgia.

The Commuter Congress

Newsweek recently contacted 46 of the 107 freshman members of Congress, and just one — Mike Lee, the newly elected Republican senator from Utah — said he or she was planning to move to Washington with spouse and children in tow.

A key reason: “The relentless need to raise money for the next campaign is best done back home. Thus, one trend (spouses with their own jobs and routines back home) dovetails with another (congressman as perpetual fundraiser) to keep families anchored in the home district.”

Collins Leaves RNC Race

Former RNC political director Gentry Collins dropped his bid to become chairman of the RNC, explaining to Politico that members of the committee preferred to have one of their own lead the party.

“Collins won the support of only three members of the 168-member committee and it was clear that he faced long odds heading into the final weeks before the party holds its vote for chairman.”

Massachusetts Lawmakers May Get Pay Cut

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) “may give an unusual welcome to state lawmakers arriving back on Beacon Hill this week — by cutting their pay the day they are sworn in for a new two-year term,” the Boston Globe reports.

“An amendment to the state Constitution gives the governor the authority to set legislators’ salaries every two years, based on what has happened to typical household incomes in Massachusetts. And while Patrick will not say what he plans to do, several signs, including official wage data from the state, point to at least a slight cut in legislators’ base salary of $61,440.”

It would be the first pay cut for the 200 members of the state House and Senate since at least 1998, when voters approved the amendment.

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