POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 12/10

Gingrich Says Clinton Would Be Nearly Impossible to Beat

Newt Gingrich told Meet the Press that if Hillary Clinton runs for president, the Republican party has little chance of regaining the White House in 2016.

Said Gingrich: “The Republican party is incapable of competing at that level.”

He added that she’s “married to the most popular Democrat in the country” and she would also have the backing of President Obama, who will still be a “relatively popular president.”

 

Booker Says He’s Still Mulling Bid for Governor

In a CBS News interview, Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) “did not skirt the question nor pause for a moment when asked if he had aspirations for higher office. Booker said he is considering running for either the New Jersey Senate seat or governor.”

Said Booker: “I am absolutely considering running for governor, as well as giving other options some consideration.”

 

How the Obama Campaign is Reframing Its Victory

Jason Zengerle notes the Obama campaign is still spinning: “Instead of talking about how their guy won a second term by methodically defining — and demonizing — his buffoon of an opponent, they’re gushing about the ingenuity of their apps and algorithms.”

“The Revenge of the Obama Nerds narrative does have the benefit of being true… In fact, the tech side was the only part of the Obama operation that could credibly be framed as a throwback to the old Hope and Change: Despite the slash-and-burn quality of the Obama reelection campaign as seen by America’s television viewers, the president’s 33 million Facebook fans ‘were experiencing a whole different campaign that was largely positive…’ And when you consider that Obama’s Facebook fans were themselves friends with 98 percent of Facebook users in the U.S… then the Obamanauts can plausibly argue that, for many Obama voters, maybe 2012 wasn’t that different from 2008 after all.”

“Even more important, the nerd narrative gives the Obamanauts hope for the future.”

 

Corker Suggests GOP Should Relent on Tax Increases

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) said that he’s “beginning to believe” that falling in line with President Obama’s call to raise taxes on the wealthy, then shifting the focus to reforming entitlements “is the best route for us to take” on the “fiscal cliff,” the Washington Postreports.

Said Corker: “There is a growing group of folks that are looking at this and realizing that we don’t have a lot of cards on the tax issue before year end. A lot of people are putting forth a theory and I actually think it has merit, where you go ahead give the president the two percent increase that he is talking about — the rate increase on the top two percent — and all of a sudden the shift goes back to entitlements.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) told ABC News that he is willing to accept tax rate increases as a component of a fiscal cliff deal, as long as Democrats put “significant entitlement reform” on the table.

 

IMF Chief Warns About U.S. Economic Growth

IMF head Chistine Lagarde warned that the American economy won’t grow next year without a deal on the fiscal cliff, CNN reports.

Said Legarde: “If the U.S. economy was to suffer the downside risk of not reaching a comprehensive deal, then growth would be zero. It would be much better to actually have a more comprehensive approach and to deal with all the issues.”

 

What Will Obama Do In His Second Term?

Washington Post: “Allies expect Obama to harness the combined political capital of his reelection and the outcome of the tax fight for an aggressive push to legalize millions of illegal immigrants in what could be a signature domestic achievement. But beyond that, the second-term agenda remains shrouded in uncertainty, with questions about whether he would pursue other politically charged issues such as climate change or voting rights.”

 

Clinton’s Many Choices Depend on 2016

Aides and friends tell the New York Times that Hillary Clinton’s plan “looks like this: exit the State Department shortly after Inauguration Day and then seclude herself to rest and reflect on what she wants to do for the next few years. Those who have invited her for 2013 engagements have been told not to even ask again until April or May.”

“She and her husband would like to buy a house in the Hamptons or upstate New York, several friends said, and Mrs. Clinton will finally have more time for everyday activities like exercise… She is likely to use her husband’s foundation as at least a temporary perch, several former aides said, and she has been considering a new book — not a painful examination of her failed 2008 presidential bid, as she once proposed, but a more upbeat look at her time as secretary of state.”

But Clinton “may find that her freedom comes with one huge constraint. The more serious she is about 2016, the less she can do — no frank, seen-it-all memoir; no clients, commissions or controversial positions that could prove problematic. She will be under heavy scrutiny even by Clinton standards, discovering what it means to be a supposedly private citizen in the age of Twitter.”

 

What Happened to Republican Big Ideas?

Jonathan Bernstein: “I think a large part of it is that there’s very little incentive from conservative audiences or conservative voters for policy; what gets them excited (and reaching for their wallets, in many cases) is partisan rhetoric, not policy. For the last several years, the way to get a big reaction in conservative circles is to make a teleprompter or a birther joke, not to bring up unsolved problems in the nation. Just as Swift boats and flip-flop jokes were all the rage before that, and Whitewater, Travelgate and the rest of the nonsense they threw at Bill Clinton was popular in the 1990s.”

“Of course, attack politics is always popular with partisans; Democrats certainly had their share of fun with Mitt Romney’s 47 percent, and earlier generations of Republicans enjoyed attacking Walter Mondale or Jimmy Carter (and certainly enjoyed attacking Ted Kennedy). But Republicans then (like Democrats now) also attempted to find real solutions to real problems.”

 

Obama Plans Major Push for Immigration Reform

Los Angeles Times: “As soon as the confrontation over fiscal policy winds down, the Obama administration will begin an all-out drive for comprehensive immigration reform, including seeking a path to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants… Obama wants a catch-all bill that would also bolster border security measures, ratchet up penalties for employers who hire illegal immigrants, and make it easier to bring in foreign workers under special visas.”

“Democratic strategists believe there is only a narrow window at the beginning of the year to get an initiative launched in Congress, before lawmakers begin to turn their attention to the next election cycle and are less likely to take a risky vote on a controversial bill.”

“White House officials have said the president would be ‘all in’ on the issue and would want to push for a broad bill… One of the key strategic moves still being decided is whether or not the White House sends Congress a piece of legislation or lets lawmakers take the lead.”

 

Rice Now Attacked from the Left

“It’s not just Benghazi anymore. One of the most controversial energy projects in the nation also has become a flash point in the drama surrounding who may become the next secretary of state – and it’s coming from the left instead of the right,” NBC News reports.

The Natural Resources Defense Council dug into U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s financial disclosures “and found that she and her husband have a stake in TransCanada, the company pushing for the Keystone XL Pipeline to be built… But the timing of report raises questions, as it is being surfaced by an environmental activist community that has previously given support to another potential secretary of state candidate – Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry.”

 

Walker’s Son Used Same Day Voter Registration

Although he opposes same-day voter registration, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) “accompanied his college-age son to a Wauwatosa polling place to register and vote on Aug. 14 — the day of the GOP Senate primary,” the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.

 

Crist Registers as a Democrat

Charlie Crist — the former Florida governor elected as a Republican but turned independent  — is now a Democrat, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

“He did so during a Christmas reception at the White House, where President Obama greeted the news with a fist bump for the man who had a higher profile campaigning for Obama’s reelection this year than any Florida Democrat.”

He’s widely expected to run for Florida governor again.

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