Democrats Still Driving Fiscal Narrative

Stu Rothenberg: “Congressional Republicans figured that after the fiscal cliff, they’d have the advantage talking about the sequester and, down the road, the continued funding of the government.”

“Clearly, they were wrong.”

The Cloakroom: The sequester isn’t really about spending cuts at all.

Why Democrats Have an Edge on the Sequester

James Carville told Morning Joe that Democrats have a big advantage in the debate over the coming automatic budget cuts because of the word used to describe them.

Said Carville: “The sequester has an advantage, and this is kind of cruel to Republicans, but it’s true. The sequester, not many people know what it is, but it sounds stupid and cruel. Therefore people think it’s a Republican thing.”

Mississippi Lawmaker Lures Gun Makers

Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn (R) sent letters to 14 gun manufacturing companies inviting them to come to more gun-friendly Mississippi, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reports.

Said Gunn: “We need more businesses to establish home base in Mississippi. We can provide these companies with an educated workforce, a superior quality of life, an evolving education system for their children, and the peace of mind that comes with knowing we support their industry.”

Huntsman Backs Same-Sex Marriage

Jon Huntsman writes in The American Conservative that he favors same-sex marriage rights and encouraged other Republicans to join him:

“Today we have an opportunity to do more: conservatives should start to lead again and push their states to join the nine others that allow all their citizens to marry. I’ve been married for 29 years. My marriage has been the greatest joy of my life. There is nothing conservative about denying other Americans the ability to forge that same relationship with the person they love.”

Reid Says He’ll Seek Another Term in 2016

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told the Reno Gazette Journal that he will seek re-election in 2016.

Said Reid: “Sure, why not?”

Immigration Reform Threatens to Tear Apart the GOP

The Fix: “The Republican political establishment sees immigration reform as a political necessity. Much of the party’s base sees it as the end of the rule of law. And therein lies the problem for a party trying to pick itself up off the mat following an across-the-board defeat in 2012.”

“It’s not clear how Republicans can bridge the growing divide between how the establishment views immigration (a political problem that needs to be solved yesterday) and how some significant portion of the base views it (a foundational principle about not rewarding rule-breakers).”

Paul Gives Back $600K to Treasury

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) gave a $600,000 check to the U.S. Treasury, “taking the money he said he didn’t need from his office’s budget to make a tiny dent in the nation’s massive federal debt,” CNN reports.

Said Paul: “We watch every purchase. We watch what computers we buy, what paper we buy, the ink cartridges. We treat the money like it’s our money, or your money, and we look at every expenditure.”

Taking Down Rove

Michael Tackett: “For more than a decade, Republicans have looked to Karl Rove for the solution. Now, a growing number see him as the problem.”

Maggie Haberman: “After his electoral wipeout in November — and motivated by years of resentment that’s spilling over — Rove’s credibility within his own party is at an all-time low.”

The GOP’s Bad Message

Byron York: “Could the GOP message on the sequester be any more self-defeating?  Boehner could argue that the sequester cuts are necessary as a first — and somewhat modest — step toward controlling the deficits that threaten the economy.  Instead, he describes them as a threat to national security and jobs that he nevertheless supports.  It’s not an argument that is likely to persuade millions of Americans.”

Marc Ambinder: Five reasons why Republicans might risk the sequester.

Obama May Weigh in on Gay Marriage Case

The White House “is quietly considering urging the Supreme Court to overturn California’s ban on gay marriage, a step that would mark a political victory for advocates of same-sex unions and a deepening commitment by President Obama to rights for gay couples,” theAP reports.

Kerry Plans to be More Aggressive

In the three weeks since John Kerry succeeded Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, “he’s already sent unmistakable signals of his independence with a more assertive, proactive and risk-taking stewardship of America’s foreign policy — with a more sustained focus on the Middle East and Europe than his predecessor,” Politico reports.

Kerry “views the job as the apex of his up-and-down 40-year political career and aspires to a more central policymaking role in the Obama administration than Clinton, who practiced what one official called ‘odometer diplomacy’ — a focus on globetrotting to bolster America’s relationships abroad coupled with attempts to cope with an array of pop-up crises.”

Americans Favor Obama Over GOP on Most Issues

A new USA Today/Pew Research poll finds President Obama “starts his second term with a clear upper hand over GOP leaders on issues from guns to immigration that are likely to dominate the year. On the legislation rated most urgent — cutting the budget deficit — even a majority of Republican voters endorse Obama’s approach of seeking tax hikes as well as spending cuts.”

“The survey underscores the quandary for the GOP as it debates the party’s message in the wake of disappointing losses last November for the White House and in the Senate.”

Key finding: “Now just 22% of Americans, nearly a record low, consider themselves Republicans.”

These results mirror a Bloomberg poll released last night.

Controversy Takes Toll On Menendez

A new Quinnipiac poll in New Jersey finds voters disapprove of the job Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) is doing by 41% to 36%, a 15-point drop in less than a month, and by 44% to 28% say that he is not honest and trustworthy.

Updating Reaganomics

Ramesh Ponnuru: “Today’s Republicans are very good at tending the fire of Ronald Reagan’s memory but not nearly as good at learning from his successes. They slavishly adhere to the economic program that Reagan developed to meet the challenges of the late 1970s and early 1980s, ignoring the fact that he largely overcame those challenges, and now we have new ones. It’s because Republicans have not moved on from that time that Senators Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, in their responses to the State of the Union address last week, offered so few new ideas.”

Obama Hits 3 Year High as Republicans Sink to New Low

A new Bloomberg National Poll finds President Obama enters the latest showdown with Congress with his highest job approval in three years and public support for his economic message, while his Republican opponents’ popularity stands at a record low.

Key findings: 55% of Americans approve of Obama’s in office, the strongest support since Sept 2009. Meanwhile, just 35% of the country has a favorable view of the GOP, the lowest since Sept 2009.

In addition, Americans by 43% to 34% say Republicans are more to blame than and Democrats for what’s wrong in Washington.

Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics

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