POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 7/11
A meeting tonight between President Obama and congressional leaders “ended after about an hour and 15 minutes with no breakthroughs,” the New York Times reports, “but the two sides agreed to resume the negotiations on Monday.”
“White House officials said Mr. Obama was still determined to pursue the boldest package possible — one that would require new tax revenue as well as cuts in Medicare and other entitlement programs — but he faced unrelenting opposition from Republicans and growing qualms among Democrats.”
The Washington Post says Republican opposition to a bigger deal “continued to harden Sunday.”
Meanwhile, President Obama “has scheduled a news conference for Monday morning before the resumption of the talks.”
Newsweek: “Whatever decision Palin makes will alter the near-ideal circumstance she enjoys now. From the remove of her cyber-perches on Twitter and Facebook, and the occasional appearance on Fox News (where she is a paid contributor), Palin is able to do plenty of politicking, unfettered by the encumbrances of a declared candidacy. She has no campaign staff directing her course (a famous source of unease during her vice-presidential run) and no press secretary urging her to accommodate what she calls the ‘lamestream media.’ She and Todd are free to keep any schedule they wish.”
“Her current status as a freelance celebrity is plenty rewarding: she is reportedly paid $1 million a year by Fox, earned another $2 million for her TLC reality show, had a multimillion-dollar book deal with HarperCollins, and is a top-tier figure on the speaking circuit, able to command upwards of $100,000 per speech.”
“The Sugar Daddy has run out of sugar.”
— Sarah Palin, writing on Facebook, on President Obama’s policies.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) “said the White House and congressional leaders have stopped pursuing the major deficit-reduction deal tackling entitlement programs and an overhaul of the tax code that he and President Obama had been seeking,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
According to the Washington Post, Boehner told Obama that their plan to “go big,” and “forge a compromise that would save more than $4 trillion over the next decade, was crumbling under Obama’s insistence on significant new tax revenue.”
New York Times: “As potential elements of the plan became public, Mr. Boehner was encountering stiff resistance from fellow Republicans determined to oppose any package containing proposals that could be construed as a tax increase, worried such a deal could cost the party dearly in the 2012 elections.”
Bottom line: The breakdown of talks on a “grand bargain” isn’t nearly as surprising the fact that so many thought such a deal was even possible.
Jack Germond: “President Obama is taking an extraordinary political risk with his sudden move to bring the entitlement programs into the negotiations over the national debt. Indeed, it is by no means hysterical to suggest his re-election is at stake.”
“What the president is doing is betting that the American people will recognize both the necessity and wisdom of making changes in the Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid programs that make up the safety net for most of them. He is betting on a maturity in the electorate that has rarely been evident in this age of instant and pervasive partisanship.”
Elizabeth Warren’s calendar “sure looks like the schedule of a woman considering a Senate bid, or at least someone being courted by power players in Massachusetts and the Senate Democrats’ campaign operation in Washington,” Roll Call reports.
In recent weeks, Warren has met in person or spoken on the phone with DSCC Chairwoman Patty Murray, David Axelrod, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and a variety of Massachusetts lawmakers.
Jay Newton-Small: “Some Republican and Democratic sources point to Pelosi’s question in Thursday’s meeting as one that highlights how out of touch Pelosi has become on policy as she crisscrosses the country fundraising and recruiting candidates, working to regain the majority and her speakership. The President, these same sources suggested, could rely on House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer to deliver moderate Democrats to help pass the debt ceiling, thus circumventing Pelosi.”
The New York Times profiles American Bridge 21st Century, “a new Democratic organization that aims to record every handshake, every utterance by Republican candidates in 2011 and 2012, looking for gotcha moments that could derail political ambitions or provide fodder for television advertisements by liberal groups next year.”
“The organization has hired a dozen professional trackers… outfitted them with the latest high-tech cameras and computers and positioned them in key states where Republican candidates are busy chattering away to voters… Combined with a team of 20 researchers in a Washington “war room” that has a large rack of computer servers, the effort is part of a push by Democratic groups to bolster their opposition research. Republicans also have trackers, but so far have not assembled the kind of centralized video archive of political caught-on-tape moments that their rivals envision.”