POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 11/21
Jeffrey Toobin: “The most important action the Senate takes in January may not involve any legislation at all. Early next year, when the latest group of senators convene for the first time, the ‘world’s greatest deliberative body’ may finally do something worthy of its nickname: reform the filibuster.”
“The filibuster long ago shed its association with the principled stand of dedicated outsiders; Mr. Smith left Washington decades ago. Rather, the opposition parties of the past couple of decades–and especially the Republicans in the Obama era–have transformed the filibuster from a weapon deployed in extraordinary circumstances into a routine part of Senate business. In recent years, it’s become the rule, rather than the exception, that the majority has to muster sixty votes to get anything done. With fifty-three Democrats in the Senate (fifty-five starting next year), this means that Republicans have been able to slow the upper body to a virtual standstill.”
Greg Sargent: “When all the votes are counted, could Mitt Romney really end up achieving perfect poetic justice by finishing with 47 percent of the national vote? Yup. Dave Wasserman of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report says new votes in from Maryland put Romney at 47.56 percent. He predicts with certainty that with all of New York and California counted, Romney will end up below 47.5 percent of the vote. Rounded, of course, that would put the final tally at 51% to 47%.”
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) tells ABC News that he is interested in a potential run for president in 2016.
“While Paul is quick to add that he isn’t ready to make a decision about a presidential bid yet, he is not hesitant to say that the Republican Party needs a new message,” including on immigration, defense spending and marijuana.
Said Paul: “I think we have to go a different direction because we’re just not winning and we have to think about some different ideas.”
The founder of “Unskewed Polls” has launched a new website alleging that President Obama did not legitimately carry Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida, but instead won those states — and the election — thanks to voter fraud, TPM reports.
After months of speculation, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) announced he ” won’t seek another term as governor, meaning whatever his political future holds is likely be oriented around Washington rather than the State Capitol,” the Virginian Pilot reports.
Said Warner: “I loved being Governor, but I have a different job now — and it’s here, in the United States Senate.”
Warner’s decision effectively makes Terry McAuliffe the likely Democratic frontrunner for the 2013 gubernatorial nomination.
Greg Sargent: “Some leading liberals and Dems are hoping the White House — if the fiscal talks break down — will prove willing to let us all go over the fiscal cliff and let all the Bush tax cuts expire. That way Dems could return in 2013 and pass the tax cuts for those under $250,000 again — the Obama tax cuts for the middle class! — while leaving taxes on the rich at Clinton-era levels.”
However, the AP reports that the White House regards this idea “frostily.”
The Washington Post has an interesting report on the Obama campaign’s voter database which pairs voting records with political donation histories and vast amounts of personal but publicly available consumer data.
“Campaign workers added far more detail through a broad range of voter contacts — in person, on the phone, over e-mail or through visits to the campaign’s Web site. Those who used its Facebook app, for example, had their files updated with lists of their Facebook friends along with scores measuring the intensity of those relationships and whether they lived in swing states. If their last names seemed Hispanic, a key target group for the campaign, the database recorded that, too.”
“To maintain their advantage, Democrats say they must guard against the propensity of political data to deteriorate in off years, when funding and attention dwindles, while navigating the inevitable intra-party squabbles over who gets access now that the unifying forces of a billion-dollar presidential campaign are gone.”
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said that 2013 could be a “very good year” for the U.S. economy if politicians can strike a quick deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff,Reuters reports.
“The powerful central bank chief called for a credible long-term framework to put the federal budget on a sound path, but warned against action that would needlessly add to the headwinds facing the economy.”
Wonk Wire: A fiscal cliff solution will avoid another recession.
“We’ve got to be a kind of pro-science and pro-technology party. And I think Marco Rubio is just that. On the Earth question, I guess I have to read more closely in terms of getting a better understanding, but, yeah, kind of a strange response, I guess.”
President Obama “is preparing to expand the fiscal cliff fight beyond the confines of Washington, travelling the country and leaning on Democratic activist groups to help apply political pressure,” the Huffington Post reports.
“The goal, organizers said, is to keep engaged the activists and followers who have stood with Obama through two campaigns, and to begin applying external pressure to the president’s negotiations with congressional Republicans.”
“And so, top Obama operatives are gaming out ways to squeeze political capital out of the 2012 elections, aiming to affect the lame-duck session in Congress. Obama previewed the strategy in a conference call with activists after the election, saying that a second term that will include some barnstorming across the country.”
BuzzFeed reports Obama “will not repeat what is widely seen as a mistake of his first term: switching off his grassroots operation at the behest of Congressional Democrats, who bridled at its organizing in their districts.”
After watching Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) fell into the trap laid nicely by a reporter asking him about the age of the Earth, Marc Ambinder notes the answer is not a “mystery” as Rubio claimed. The Earth is “about 4.5 billion years old, give or take a few million.”
Nonetheless, “there’s a way for Christian conservatives who believe in the literal (or proximately literal) truth of the Bible to answer the question without denying science. Denying science is not just a position; it is fundamentally a denial of modernity, which is why it is so, well, stupid, to the ears of elites, and even to the ears of folks who just know that geology isn’t a just-so story.”
Matt Lewis: This was a problem Rubio could have easily avoided.
Smart Politics finds that when the 113th Congress convenes in January, 29.4% of the Democratic caucus will hail from either California or New York — up from a previous all-time high of 28.1% recorded after the Republican tsunami of 2010.
“While California and New York are two of the three most populous states in the country, it is important to note that the number of representatives from the two states collectively has remained relatively flat over the last 50 years. Since 1962, New York and California have accounted for between no less than 18.2 percent and no more than 19.1 percent of all seats in the nation’s lower legislative chamber.”Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics