Better Than the Last Announcement

Incoming White House Chief of Staff William Daley’s press introduction today went much better than when he was nominated to be Commerce Secretary in 1996. Daley collapsed on stage before being escorted out by Bill Clinton and Al Gore.

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Roemer Considering Presidential Bid

Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer (R) tells John Maginnis he’s thinking about running for president.

Said Roemer: “It certainly interests me. There is a lot of work to be done. I am making no announcement. I am not running today. It will take months to work out if it happens. I don’t want to scare anyone.”

Storm Crushes Bloomberg’s Approval Rate

A new NY1-Marist Poll in New York City finds Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s approval rate sinking to 37% — the lowest it’s been since he took office. In October, he had a 50% approval rate.

The mayor has come under fierce criticism in recent days for how the city handled the recent blizzard.

Obama Agrees to Fox News Interview

Though President Obama has only been interviewed by Fox News one other time as president, the lure of a Super Bowl audience is apparently enough to get him back.

Los Angeles Times: “A Fox News spokeswoman and the White House each confirm that Bill O’Reilly, host of the Fox News Channel’s top-rated prime-time show, will interview President Obama as part of the Fox network’s pregame show before the NFL championship game on Feb. 6.”


The Odd Couple: AFL-CIO, Chamber May Team Up

Greg Sargent reports that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO, two groups that are normally at odds with each other, may team up to oppose any Republican plans to cut infrastructure spending as part of the party’s plans to reduce overall federal spending.

“The two groups rarely agree on anything, and frequently target each other in the harshest of terms, but one thing they agree on is that they don’t want the House GOP to make good on its threat to subject highway and mass-transit programs to budget cuts. GOP leaders announced earlier this week that such cuts could not be taken off the table in the quest to slice up to $100 billion in spending. The prospect of deep infrastructure cuts may now lead to the unlikely sight of the Chamber and the huge labor federation, both of which boast powerful and well-funded political operations, teaming up to campaign against the House GOP’s plans.”

Two Lawmakers Vote Without Being Sworn In

Huffington Post: “Two House Republicans have cast votes as members of the 112th Congress, but were not sworn in on Wednesday, a violation of the Constitution on the same day that the GOP had the document read from the podium. The Republicans, incumbent Pete Sessions of Texas and freshman Mike Fitzpatrick, missed the swearing in, but watched it on television from the Capitol Visitors Center.”

“There is no provision in the Constitution for a remote swearing-in by television.”

Roll Call notes it’s unclear whether Democrats “will force the chamber to restart the entire process of opening the new Congress. That would result in a delay of the health care repeal vote for several days.”

Buck Sees Limits of Tea Party Support

While reflecting on his unsuccessful Colorado U.S. Senate bid, Ken Buck (R) told theGreeley Tribune that the tea party, while important, can’t compete with the Democrats’ organization in Colorado.

Said Buck: “The tea parties aren’t going to pay for a tracker. The tea parties aren’t going to pay for the database that needs to be built. The tea parties aren’t going to pay to disseminate information to the media.”


Extra Bonus Quote of the Day

“The state of Hawaii has said that President Obama was born there. That’s good enough for me.”

— House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), in an interview with NBC News, reacting to today’s outburst by a birther in the House gallery.

Democrats Gear Up to Fight GOP Repeal Effort

Democrats are planning to fight Republican efforts to repeal the new health care law as if it were a political campaign — complete with a rapid response operation, a war room and paid TV advertising, the New York Times reports.

Meanwhile, Greg Sargent has a copy of DNC talking points which “are meant to compliment those efforts, and crystallize the evolving Dem operation’s central message. The push suggests again that Dems expect this fight to drag on for months, and even years, are hoping to turn the GOP repeal push to their own advantage by using it as an opportunity to once again educate the public about what’s actually in the law.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“It has a great fireplace, and a great deck, but everything in between sucks.”

— Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, quoted by ABC News, noting that “the grueling chief of staff position has one benefit — a stately office.”

Ensign Would Face Uphill Race

A new Public Policy Polling survey finds Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) trails every Democrat in a hypothetical reelection race but Republicans have a very good chance at keeping his seat if Rep. Dean Heller (R-NV) ends up as the party nominee instead.

Key finding: “Ensign’s approval rating is only 35% with 50% of voters disapproving of him. His numbers are especially atrocious with independents, as only 22% of them are happy with the job he’s doing while 56% express disapproval of his performance. Even more troubling for Ensign is that just 26% of voters in the state want him to seek reelection while 59% wish he would step aside. The most critical finding on that question is that even among Republicans more — 48% — wish Ensign would step aside than the 42% who want him to run again.”

First Official Comments on Daley

Oddly preempting President Obama’s announcement this afternoon, Howard Kurtz gets first reaction to new chief of staff William Daley from press secretary Robert Gibbs.

Said Gibbs: “Bill doesn’t come from the Obama orbit. He brings an outside perspective. That’s a healthy thing in any White House…. He’s someone with great experience. He will help in our outreach to business. As a former Cabinet member, he understands how we can use a strong Cabinet.”

Daniels Leaning Toward White House Bid

Republican sources in Indiana tell Erin McPike that Gov. Mitch Daniels “is about 75 percent of the way in for a presidential run. The last 25 percent of his decision will come during the next four months of the Indiana legislative session, when he will try to pass education reform and a budget.”

The latest Political Insiders Poll shows Daniels gaining on Mitt Romney as the inside-the-beltway choice for the GOP presidential nomination.

Quote of the Day

“I’m going to be the Chris Christie of Maine.”

— Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R), quoted by Bloomberg, referring to the New Jersey governor.

A Meaningful Moment

As the House conducted its historic reading of the U.S. Constitution into the congressional record, one moment stood out as especially poignant. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), a leader in the civil rights movement, was greeted with a standing ovation after reading the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery.

Biden’s Advice

ABC News has compiled a video a Vice President Joe Biden giving dating advice to the daughters of U.S. Senators at yesterday’s swearing-in photo-op.

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Is Hutchison Rethinking Retirement?

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s (R-TX) “curious silence about her 2012 plans have Texas Republicans increasingly convinced she’s rethinking her decision to retire and quietly plodding ahead toward a fourth term,” Politico reports.

“Hutchison hasn’t yet given any public indication of whether she’s running, and top Republicans in Washington, as well as personal friends, say she’s keeping her cards close to her vest.”

Repeal of Health Care Bill Would Cost $230 Billion

A Congressional Budget Office estimate suggests that the Republican plan to repeal the new health care law would increase the deficit by $230 billion by 2021. The analysis also finds that fewer Americans would have health insurance and those who purchase in the individual market would pay more.

Politico: “The House Rules Committee meets today on the health repeal legislation with a procedural vote scheduled tomorrow and a floor vote next Wednesday. The new Republican rules will say that no bills can pass if they add to the deficit, but Republicans are making an exception to their own rules for the repeal bill.”

“Death Panels” Killed Again

The Obama administration has decided to remove a provision in new Medicare regulations that would provide for advance care planning, referred to as “death panels” by its opponents, reports the New York Times.

“While administration officials cited procedural reasons for changing the rule, it was clear that political concerns were also a factor. The renewed debate over advance care planning threatened to become a distraction to administration officials who were gearing up to defend the health law against attack by the new Republican majority in the House.”

White House Looks Beyond the Beltway

First Read makes a good point about the expected White House staff changes:

“Daley and Plouffe are not being brought in to manage Washington and a legislative agenda (a la Rahm, Rouse, Messina, Schiliro). Daley and Plouffe and the new team are coming in to retool the West Wing to become more responsive to OUTSIDE Washington needs; more responsive to governors and mayors — you know, the folks that matter a heckuva lot more in an election year.”

Hispanics More Prevalent in States That Gained Seats

“Hispanic voters are nearly three times more prevalent in states that gained congressional seats and Electoral College votes in the 2010 reapportionment than they are in states that lost seats,” according to the Pew Hispanic Center.

Even so, Latino voting strength “is limited by the fact that one-third of all Latinos are under the age of 18 and by the fact that many Latino adults are not U.S. citizens.”

Interestingly, in three of these states — Arizona, Georgia and South Carolina — state lawmakers are advocating laws to deny “birthright” citizenship to children born of illegal immigrants.

Conservative Scientists Reject GOP Denial on Climate Change

The Los Angeles Times reports that a number of conservative scientists are bucking conventional wisdom that “that liberals accept climate change and conservatives don’t” by warning the public that climate change is real and seeking to debunk attacks from climate-change deniers.

“In much the same role that marriage and abortion played in previous election cycles, denial of climate change has now become a litmus test for the right. The vast majority of Republicans elected to Congress during the midterm election doubt climate science, and senior congressional conservatives — Republican and Democrat — have vowed to fight Obama administration efforts to curtail greenhouse gas emissions.”

Issa Redefines “Corrupt”

In an interview on CNN, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) defended comments he had previously made that President Obama is “one of the most corrupt presidents of modern times” by offering an alternate definition of “corrupt.”

Said Issa: “I think people misunderstand the meaning of the word corrupt, and obviously, CNN does. ‘Corrupt’, or ‘corrupted’ or ‘failure’, it’s no different than a disc drive that’s given you some bits that are wrong.”

Good Jobs Report Coming?

One sign the White House expects today’s employment report to be good news: Just a few hours after the numbers are released, AFP notes President Obama is scheduled to tour a Maryland manufacturing company and will announce a “retooled” team of economic advisers.

The Wall Street Journal reports ADP payroll data suggests an unexpected surge in new private sector jobs last month.

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

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