POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 1/22

Virginia GOP Surprises Democrats with Redrawn Districts

Republicans in the Virginia Senate today “pushed through a surprise rewrite of the 2011 redistricting plan that erases a Democratic seat in western Virginia,” the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.

The revised plan cleared the Senate on a party-line vote of 20-19 as Sen. Henry Marsh (D), a 79-year old civil rights veteran, was attending President Obama’s inauguration ceremony.

Democrats “were shocked by the move, vowing to oppose the new plan in court.”

Where’s Mitt Romney?

Mitt Romney spent Inauguration Day at his home in La Jolla, CA, and had “no big plans,”NBC News reports.

Asked if Romney was likely to watch the inaugural ceremonies today, an aide said, “Doubtful.”

Dan Amira notes it’s the first time since 1997 that a presidential runner-up didn’t attend his opponent’s inauguration ceremony.

Reactions to Obama’s Second Inaugural Address

Andrew Sullivan: “If you have long believed, as I have, that this man could easily become the liberal Reagan by the end of his second term… then this speech will not have surprised you.”

James Fallows: “I was expecting an anodyne tone-poem about healing national wounds, surmounting partisanship, and so on. As has often been the case, Obama confounded expectations — mine, at least. Four years ago, when people were expecting a barn-burner, the newly inaugurated president Obama gave a deliberately downbeat, sober-toned presentation about the long challenges ahead. Now — well, it’s almost as if he has won re-election and knows he will never have to run again and hears the clock ticking on his last chance to say what he cares about. If anyone were wondering whether Obama wanted to lower expectations for his second term … no, he apparently does not.”

Ezra Klein: “In his first term, Obama changed policy. In his second, he wants to change minds.”

Chris Cillizza: “This was a speech that could only be given by someone who knew that he would never have to run for re-election again… This was Obama unbound. Distill Obama’s speech to a single sentence and that sentence is: ‘I’m the president, deal with it.'”

Ta-Nehisi Coates: “There was a time when merely stating the ideas Obama put forth would have gotten you killed.”

E.J. Dionne: “Some will no doubt think (and write) that Obama should have sought more lofty and non-partisan ground. The problem with this critique is that it asks Obama to speak as if the last four years had not happened.”

Greg Sargent: “Today, Obama all but declared ideological victory.”

The Obama Revolution

Matthew Continetti: “It is of course possible that the inauguration of a reelected president is his moment of maximum triumph. It is of course possible that Obama’s second term may turn out like George W. Bush’s, when the lyricism and passion of the second inaugural collided with the realities of strategic miscalculations and unexpected events. I have my doubts. What I do not doubt is that the generation of conservatives and Republicans who return one day to power will be forced to reckon with the consequences of the Obama revolution, just as a generation of defeated liberals were forced to confront and in some cases accept the revolution of Ronald Reagan.”

President Obama’s Second Inaugural Address

Here is the full text of President Obama’s second inaugural address on Jan. 21, 2013, as prepared for delivery: 

Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

Each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution. We affirm the promise of our democracy. We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional – what makes us American – is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

See more…

House Will Vote to Raise Debt Limit on Wednesday

In the middle of the inaugural festivities, Republican officials confirm the House will vote Wednesday “on an increase in the nation’s debt limit, a move designed to prevent a first-ever government default,” the AP reports.

“The vote marks a change in strategy for House Republicans who run the chamber and who remain adamant about reducing government spending but decided not to use the debt limit to trigger a confrontation with President Barack Obama.”

Tax Revenue Debate Not Over

White House adviser David Plouffe told ABC News that despite Republican warnings that the tax debate is over, President Obama would not accept a budget deal without additional revenue.

Said Plouffe: “We are goiing to require some more revenues. John Boehner himself said he thought there was $800 billion in revenue from closing loopholes. We’ve dealt with the tax rate issue. Now it’s about loopholes.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) had the same message on Meet the Press: “We’re going to do a budget this year, and it’s going to have revenues in it. And our Republican colleagues better get used to that fact.”

What’s Next for Jim Messina?

Though Obama re-election campaign manager Jim Messina will stay on as the unpaid national chair of “Organizing for Action” — the campaign-turned-advocacy group — he won’t be involved in the operation’s nuts and bolts, BuzzFeed reports.

“Messina’s next big move — after managing the biggest presidential campaign in the history of politics — seems as much a mystery to him as it does to his friends and political observers. He says that what he told the Montanan in 2009 — that he’d die running campaigns — still stands, but yet he readily admits that can’t see himself managing a congressional or gubernatorial race, or even another presidential race. Not in the near future, at least. And the most political of political staffers say he hasn’t quite figured out that next move.”

Who is Barack Obama?

David Maraniss: “Even now, on Day 1,460 of his presidency, the question persists: Who is he, really? There is a common refrain that Obama seems elusive, if not mysterious; less easily categorized and understood than the last Democratic president. Bill Clinton’s traits were so extra-large and variegated, for better and worse, that something in him seemed to connect to almost anybody and anything. No doubt Obama is a different breed of cat. Aspects of his political personality are less vivid than Clinton’s. But he is not overly elusive. His mystery is hiding in plain sight. There is a pattern to his behavior, just as there was with Clinton. Where Clinton was protean, Obama is more slowly evolving. People tend to forget, or underestimate, that he had scant executive experience before becoming president. Behind his veneer of ultra-cool control he was struggling to figure things out. Now, after four years, his presidential identity has started to approach its full shape, which will become clearer from now to 2016.”

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