POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 12/3
Sources close to former Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA) tell TPM that he’s thinking about running for governor next year — “but so far the preliminary discussions have remained just that.”
If Perriello does run, he’ll face former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe (D) for the Democratic nomination.
“For most Americans, interest in the results of the 2012 presidential campaign ended somewhere around the first election night projections for President Obama and the brief, stunned concession speech delivered by a gobsmacked Mitt Romney,” the Los Angeles Times reports.
“But for a small group of obsessives, the political equivalent of those who devour box scores for breakfast, a fascinating and welcome service has come from David Wasserman, a youthful and whip-smart campaign analyst with the Cook Political Report, who has become a one-man clearinghouse for presidential tabulations across the country.”
BuzzFeed gets around the off-the-record rules of last week’s debriefing of the presidential campaign staffers at Harvard by quoting participant reactions in the hallways.
I’ll have much more on the proceedings once the embargo lifts, but the characterization of one Republican who “walked out shaking his head” rings very true: “We weren’t even running in the same race. They were just amazing.”
The New York Times notes that “most Americans in 2010 paid far less in total taxes — federal, state and local — than they would have paid” in 1980, when President Reagan first pushed for a wave of tax cuts.
And even when you take the Reagan tax cuts into consideration, “tax rates at most income levels were lower in 2010 than at any point during the 1980s.”
“Mitt Romney’s shadow looms over a Republican Party in disarray,” the AP reports.
“The face of the GOP for much of the last year, the failed presidential candidate has been a virtual ghost since his defeat Nov. 6. He has quietly weathered the fallout of the campaign from the seclusion of his Southern California home… His loss and immediate withdrawal from politics, while welcomed by most, has created a leadership vacuum within his party. It’s left the GOP rudderless, lacking an overarching agenda and mired in infighting, with competing visions for the way ahead, during what may be the most important policy debate in a generation.”
The New York Times looks at White House chief of staff Jack Lew, the frontrunner to be President Obama’s next Treasury Secretary.
“If Mr. Lew gets the Treasury job, the business world will not be unhappy. He is not a creature of Wall Street, but before joining the Obama administration, he spent three years in high-level (and high-paying) jobs at Citigroup, where he oversaw a unit that lost money but also profited from betting against the subprime mortgage market. Mr. Lew was chief operating officer; in testimony before Congress, he has said he did not make investment decisions.”
“For Mr. Obama, the choice is whether he needs Mr. Lew more in overseeing the Treasury Department or in running the White House.”
The Sacramento Bee looks at how Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA), a pro-gun lawmaker, was ousted after New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg spent $3.3 million on television and mail attacks against him — three times the sum Baca and challenger Negrete McLeod (D) raised between them.
“By homing in on a loyal National Rifle Association politician, Bloomberg altered a long-standing element of American politics. Time was, a politician like Baca could cast pro-gun votes, receive NRA support and not worry about an attack from any moneyed interest that promoted gun control. No such group existed, at least not on the order of the NRA.”
Said Bloomberg aide Howard Wolfson: “It sends a message: you can lose your seat by voting against prudent gun legislation. Hopefully, members will think twice before taking these votes. They can’t just vote the NRA’s way and assume they won’t hear about it.”
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner drew a line in the sand over taxes in defense of the Obama administration’s controversial proposal to avoid the fiscal cliff, CNN reports.
Said Geithner: “There’s not going to be an agreement without rates going up. If they are going to force higher rates on virtually all Americans because they’re unwilling to let tax rates go up on 2 percent of Americans, then, I mean that’s the choice they’re going to have to make.”
The Pentagon will send hundreds of additional spies overseas as part of an ambitious plan to assemble an espionage network that rivals the CIA in size, the Washington Post reports.
“The project is aimed at transforming the Defense Intelligence Agency, which has been dominated for the past decade by the demands of two wars, into a spy service focused on emerging threats and more closely aligned with the CIA and elite military commando units.”
Bloomberg finds that just 26 out of 38 newly-elected Republican members of the House or Senate have signed the anti-tax pledge, compared with 96 out of 99 in the class elected two years ago.
Wall Street Journal: “A senior administration official said the White House would make no new offers until Republicans changed their opposition to raising top tax rates.”
A court ruled in favor of anonymous petitioners who want to block the release of investigative reports about a gathering in the Bahamas sponsored by the Florida Republican Party in which there were reportedly prostitutes involved, the Miami Heraldreports.
Witnesses questioned in the investigation say former GOP chairman Jim Greer “often had parties for men only and refused to allow women unless they were paid.”
Nate Silver notes that Republicans probably shouldn’t have been shocked that Mitt Romney lost the presidential election even though his own polls showed him ahead.
“When public polls conducted by independent organizations clash with the internal polls released by campaigns, the public polls usually prove more reliable… My database of campaign polls released to the public in United States House races found that they were about six points more favorable to their candidate than independent surveys on average — and that they were typically less accurate in the end.”