POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 1/24

Boehner Says Obama Seeks to “Annihilate” the GOP

Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said he believes the primary goal of President Obama’s second term is to “annihilate the Republican Party,” The Hill reports.

Said Boehner: “Given what we heard yesterday about the president’s vision for his second term, it’s pretty clear to me that he knows he can’t do any of that as long as the House is controlled by Republicans. So we’re expecting over the next 22 months to be the focus of this administration as they attempt to annihilate the Republican Party.”

He added: “And let me just tell you, I do believe that is their goal — to just shove us into the dustbin of history.”  (Hmmmm ….. maybe it’s Karma or a case of what goes around comes around. Perhaps Boehner, McConnell and Cantor are reaping the rewards of vowing to make Obama a one-term president. fvm) 😊

Panetta Lifts Ban on Women in Combat

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta “is removing the military’s ban on women serving in combat, opening hundreds of thousands of front-line positions and potentially elite commando jobs after more than a decade at war,” the AP reports.

Booker Would Crush Lautenberg in Senate Primary

A new Quinnipiac poll finds Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) crushing Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) in a hypothetical Democratic primary, 51% to 30%.

Meanwhile, a Merriman River poll shows Booker leading 48% to 21%.

House Votes to Suspend Debt Ceiling

The House voted “to approve legislation suspending the debt ceiling for three months, a move that will allow the government to keep paying its bills and give lawmakers breathing room for long-term budget negotiations,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The House bill, which needs a Senate vote and the president’s signature, requires the Senate to pass a budget by mid-April and threatens to withhold lawmakers’ pay if it fails to do so.”

New York Times: “The debt ceiling legislation — mindful of constitutional hurdles imposed by the 27th Amendment on Congressional pay — would simply impound lawmaker salaries until a budget is passed or the 113th Congress ends, whichever comes first. And it would not require the House and the Senate to come to a compromise on the two spending and tax blueprints, which are likely to be very different. That will be the really difficult task.”

Financial Times: Republicans seek to avoid debt backlash.

Clinton’s Next Chapter

New York Daily News:. “For 20 years, Clinton has been a fixture in Washington, capturing the nation’s attention as First Lady, a U.S. senator from New York and secretary of state… But next week, she will reclaim her private life. After logging nearly 1 million miles and visiting 110 countries as the nation’s top diplomat, she will step down from the State Department to relax and recharge… The big question now is whether her departure from the Obama administration is her farewell to public service — or if she’ll back in four years on the same stage for her own inauguration as Madame President.”

Fox News: Will Clinton’s Benghazi testimony put questions to rest?

Is Obama on a Path Towards Greatness?

Nate Silver: “Mr. Obama ran for and won a second term, something only about half of the men to serve as president have done (the tally is 20 or 21 out of 43, depending on how you count Grover Cleveland). We can also note, however, that Mr. Obama’s re-election margin was relatively narrow. Do these simple facts provide any insight at all into how he might be regarded 20, 50 or 100 years from now?”

“Over all, there is a positive relationship between a president’s performance in the Electoral College when seeking a second term, and how the historians have ranked him. (The regression line in the chart below predicts that Mr. Obama will eventually come to be regarded as about the 17th-best president, somewhere on the boundary between good and average.) But it is an extremely rough guide — especially for the presidents who are successful in winning a second term, and who have an opportunity to enhance or undermine their reputations. Voters may judge a president’s first term, but history will judge his second.”

Capito Way Ahead in West Virginia

A new Harper Polling survey in West Virginia finds Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) well-positioned in her run for the U.S. Senate seat held by retiring Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV).

Capito leads Nick Rahall, 50% to 32%, tops Carte Goodwin (D), 53% to 19%, and beats Robin Davis (D), 51% to 24%.

Democrats Grumble About Obama’s Permanent Campaign

Beth Reinhard: “Even as Democrats relish President Obama’ second inauguration, some party leaders are worried about whether the campaign’s decision to form its own advocacy group will hamstring future generations of Democratic candidates… Some activists foresee a power struggle between the national party, which aims to elect Democrats above all else, and the new group, which aims to build the president’s legacy — and may have to pressure wavering swing-state Democrats to tow the unapologetically liberal agenda laid out in his inauguration speech.”

GOP Tries to Regroup

As the Republican National Committee meets for their annual meeting, the Charlotte Observer sets the stage:

“For most Republicans, November was grim. They lost the White House and all but one battleground state. They lost seats in Congress. They saw America’s fastest-growing minority groups reject their party. But in North Carolina it was a happier story… A presentation scheduled for Thursday is called ‘Success in N.C.: A Blueprint for the Future.’ But how much of that blueprint can be replicated is debatable.”

Good Luck, John Kerry

Thomas Friedman: “First, my congratulations and condolences to John Kerry for being nominated to be our next secretary of state. There is no one better for the job today and no worse job to have today. It is no accident that we’ve started measuring our secretaries of state more by miles traveled than milestones achieved. It is bloody hard to do big diplomacy anymore.”

Clinton More Popular Than Biden

A new ABC News-Washington Post poll finds Hillary Clinton is significantly more popular than Joe BIden.

Clinton’s favorability rating is 67% as compared to Biden’s 48%. The outgoing secretary of state also outperforms the vice president in intensity of sentiment with more than twice as many Americans see Clinton “strongly” favorably than strongly unfavorably – 35% vs. 14% – while Biden breaks even, 22% vs. 23%, in this measure.

Britain Pledges Referendum on European Union

British Prime Minister David Cameron said it is “time for the British people to have their say” amid growing public discontent about the power of the European Union., the Daily Telegraph reports.

Cameron pledged an in-out referendum in the first half of the next parliament: “It is time to settle this European question in British politics. I say to the British people: this will be your decision.”

New York Times: “The speech was a defining moment in Mr. Cameron’s political career, reflecting a belief that by wresting some powers back from the E.U., he can win the support of a grudging British public which has long been ambivalent — or actively hostile — toward the idea of European integration.”

Biden Laying the Groundwork for 2016

“Joe Biden summoned more than 200 Democratic insiders to the vice presidential residence Sunday night to chat about the 2012 triumph — but many walked away convinced his rising 2016 ambitions were the real intent of the long, intimate night,” Politicoreports.

“Biden, according to a number of advisers and Democrats who have spoken to him in recent months, wants to run, or at least be well positioned to run, if and when he decides to pull the trigger. Biden has expressed a clear sense of urgency, convinced the Democratic field will be defined quickly — and that it might very well come down to a private chat with Hillary Clinton about who should finish what Barack Obama started.”

AP: “Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton remains the heavy favorite of the Democratic party faithful, but Biden is making clear that he has no intention of closing any doors that could lead to the White House — especially if Clinton decides not to run.”

Narrow Window for Obama Agenda

“The Constitution may promise President Obama another four years in the White House, but political reality calls for a far shorter time frame: he has perhaps as little as a year to accomplish his big-ticket goals for a second term,” the New York Times reports.

“Tensions are already emerging between the White House and some Democrats about how much emphasis the president and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. should give their gun control measures and whether a drawn-out debate over the Second Amendment could imperil the rest of the party’s initiatives, particularly on immigration.”

Christie Way Ahead for Re-election

A new Quinnipiac poll in New Jersey finds voters think Gov. Chris Christie (R) deserves re-election by a stunning 68% to 24% margin, with even Democrats in favor by 47% to 43%.

Christie crushes his possible Democratic rivals. He tops Richard Codey (D), 59% to 30%, beats Barbara Buono (D), 63% to 22%, and is way ahead of Stephen Sweeney (D), 61% to 25%.

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