POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 12/7

Could John Boehner Be Ousted as House Speaker?

National Journal: “Far-fetched? Perhaps. But at least one conservative group says Boehner’s hold on the speaker’s gavel should not be viewed as a done deal. It is launching an all-out effort aimed at about 100 House Republicans to see if it can find at least 17 of them angry enough, and bold enough, to block Boehner’s reelection when the new Congress commences on Jan. 3.”

 

Obama Approval Jumps After Election

A new Quinnipiac poll finds President Obama’s approval rate at 53% to 40%, his best score in three years.

Voters also trust Obama and Democrats more than Republicans, by a 53% to 36% margin, to avoid the “fiscal cliff.”

Said pollster Peter Brown: “Nothing like winning an election to boost your job approval. President Obama hasn’t had a score this good since his 52 – 40 percent approval rating May 5, 2011, right after the death of Osama bin Laden. This is only the second time in more than three years that President Obama has broken 50 percent. And voters see Republicans as more likely to be obstructionist, and have less confidence in their ability to come up with the right solution to the nation’s financial woes.”

 

Ineligible to Run But Eligible to Serve Anyway

Jon Ralston reports that a Democratic candidate in Nevada who “a judge determined is ineligible to run for an Assembly seat because he doesn’t live in the district nevertheless will be awarded the position because his party controls the house and his opponent can’t afford to fight on.”

“This absurdity is mostly the fault of Nevada’s Founding Fathers, who placed in the Constitution a provision almost as outrageous as mining’s tax protections. It’s pretty clear-cut: Sec: 6. Power of houses to judge qualifications, elections and returns of members; selection of officers; rules of proceedings; punishment of members. Each House shall judge of the qualifications, elections and returns of its own members…”

 

Mr. Burns Explains the Fiscal Cliff  😄

The Wrap has the video from Mr. Montgomery Burns of The Simpsons.

 

DeMint Wants Scott to Replace Him

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) has “made it known” in South Carolina that he wants Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC) to replace him in the Senate when he resigns early next year, The Hill reports.

The final decision will be up to Gov. Nikki Haley (R) who will appoint someone to serve until a special election in 2014.

John Avlon offers a cheat sheet of all the likely contenders.

 

DeMint Will Resign to Run Heritage Foundation

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) will resign from the U.S. Senate early next month to take the helm of the Heritage Foundation, the Wall Street Journal reports.

DeMint’s departure means that South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) will name a successor, who will have to run in a special election in 2014.

David Frum notes DeMint’s new job pays $1 million per year. The Washington Post notes he was one of the poorest senators in 2010.

 

Strategist Says Hurricane Stalled Romney Campaign

Former Romney strategist Stuart Stevens told Charlie Rose that the campaign lost momentum in the final week as Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast.

Said Stevens: “After the storm, I never had a good feeling. Not that the storm impacted things so much, per se, but these races — a race like this is a lot like an NBA game. It’s all about ball control at the end… We went from having these big rallies around the country to literally sitting around in hotel rooms and there was just nothing we could do about it.”

 

Correspondent Says Fox News Overplayed Benghazi

Fox News White House correspondent Ed Henry told the AP that Fox News probably over-covered the fallout from the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Said Henry: “I wouldn’t lie to you. I see that we’re covering Benghazi a lot, and I think that should be something that we’re asking about. We’ve had the proper emphasis. But I would not be so deluded to say that some of our shows, some of our commentators, have covered it more than it needed to be covered.”

 

Pausing the Permanent Campaign

Stu Rothenberg wants a break in media coverage of the next election cycle because “a pause would offer a little time to reflect on what happened Nov. 6 and what it might mean. It would give each of us individually some time to rethink our political assumptions and to re-evaluate our coverage.”

“Politics is fun, interesting and important, but at the end of the day, it is merely a way of picking the folks who have to make difficult decisions about public policy — including the fiscal cliff, tax reform, entitlements, the Middle East and immigration reform. … the last thing we need is longer elections and a detailed dissection about an election cycle that really won’t start to take shape until well into January, at the earliest.”

 

Why Hillary Clinton is Already the 2016 Frontrunner

Harry Enten: “I have no clue whether or not Hillary Clinton will run for the presidency in 2016, but I would argue that she would be the strongest non-incumbent frontrunner in modern history upon inspection of the primary landscape… 1. Clinton’s polling at a record 61% in the early primary field… 2. Clinton is on her way to winning the endorsement primary… 3. Clinton has organization in the early primary states… 4. Clinton isn’t going to make an idiotic statement… 5. Clinton’s got the demographics on her side.”

Joan Walsh: Think Hillary is a shoo-in? Not so fast.

 

Fiscal Cliff Deal Is In Sight But How Big?

Despite the rhetoric on both sides, First Read insists “everything out there suggests” that we’re not going off the fiscal cliff.

“But here’s the big question: Can Washington get a large deal? One option to avoid the fiscal cliff is to simply extend the Bush-era tax cuts for income below $250,000 and punt the rest of the fight until next year, which would produce another political stalemate and a potential battle over raising the debt ceiling. The other option is to construct a big deal to take care of everything now (or at least create the framework for getting it done). The first option is the easy way out, but it only postpones the fight. The second option is harder, but it’s also the opportunity for a legacy. Which option will President Obama and congressional Republicans ultimately pursue? That’s what the next two weeks are about.”

“One thing the next two weeks are NOT about is going over the cliff. If no big deal is achieved, then there will be a middle-class tax rate extension bill passed that allows rates on the top 2% to go up either to 37% or to 39%.”

Wonk Wire: Democrats exude confidence amid slow fiscal cliff talks.

 

Going Over the Fiscal Cliff Without Falling

The AP offers “a procrastinator’s guide” to pushing the deadline for the fiscal cliff, noting that the December 31 deadline “is more flexible than it sounds. Like all skilled procrastinators, from kids putting off homework to taxpayers who file late, Washington negotiators know they can finagle more time if they need it.”

“That doesn’t mean delay would be cost-free. Stock markets might tank if 2013 dawns without a deal. But Americans could be temporarily spared many of the other ill effects if Congress and President Barack Obama blow past their deadline.”

 

Boehner Has Strong Backing of GOP Caucus

House Speaker John Boehner “appears he is enjoying the broadest support of his tumultuous two-year speakership from House Republicans,” the New York Times reports.

“As Mr. Boehner digs in for a tense fiscal confrontation with President Obama, the strong embrace from a broad spectrum of the rank and file may empower him as he tries to strike a deal on spending cuts and tax increases that spares the country a recession, without costing Republicans too much in terms of political principle.”

That said, the Washington Post reports a “growing chorus of Republicans is urging House leaders to abandon their staunch opposition to higher tax rates for the wealthy with the aim of clearing the way for a broad deal that would also rein in the cost of federal health and retirement programs.”

BUT OBAMA HAS STRONG BACKING OF THE PUBLIC!

Obama Approval Jumps After Election

A new Quinnipiac poll finds President Obama’s approval rate at 53% to 40%, his best score in three years.

Voters also trust Obama and Democrats more than Republicans, by a 53% to 36% margin, to avoid the “fiscal cliff.”

Said pollster Peter Brown: “Nothing like winning an election to boost your job approval. President Obama hasn’t had a score this good since his 52 – 40 percent approval rating May 5, 2011, right after the death of Osama bin Laden. This is only the second time in more than three years that President Obama has broken 50 percent. And voters see Republicans as more likely to be obstructionist, and have less confidence in their ability to come up with the right solution to the nation’s financial woes.”

 

 

 

 

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