Everybody expected plenty of tea-leaf reading about the future of the GOP on the Wednesday morning after Election Day, and MSNBC’s Morning Joe did not disappoint, with Cokie Roberts’comment that “it was not a good night for the tea party” setting off former RNC Chairman Michael Steele and former Barack Obama advisor David Axelrod.
“There’s only so much money to go around in a 2014 congressional election cycle,” Steele said, referring to the Alabama Republican primary, in which an “establishment” candidate backed by the Chamber of Commerce and wealthy contributor Joe Ricketts beat a tea party challenger. “A special election in Alabama—that’s a very different environment for a Joe Ricketts to play in. I don’t think we should overstep. Next year, we’ve got a whole different dynamic. The tea party is not going to go quietly into that good night, certainly not on the money front.”
“The fact is the business community had made a Faustian bargain with the tea party in 2010 and 2011 and 2012,” Axelrod said. “It all came home to roost in the shutdown, in the flirtation with default, and they realize, this is serious business, and we need serious people. That was reflected in where they put their money in these races.”
Axelrod also cautioned against reading too much into the effect of Obamacare on the Virginia race, and extrapolating from that a winning strategy.
“If Republicans think they can get on this Obamacare kick and win in 2014 on that, I think they’re mistaken,” Axelrod said. “If you look at the polling, even throughout all this Obamacare debacle, their numbers have not moved. They have not gained. So I think it is too facile to say, ‘We’re just going to talk about Obamacare and win this election.’ They’ve got deeper problems than that.”
Meet the Press: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R); Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D); Roundtable: Bob Woodward (Washington Post), Bill Kristol (Weekly Standard), Former Obama Senior Adviser David Axelrod and Katty Kay (BBC).Face the Nation: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA); Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI); Former CIA/NSA Director Gen. Michael Hayden; Daughter of Abraham Zapruder Alexandra Zapruder; Dick Stolley (Formerly of LIFE Magazine); Roundtable: David Sanger (New York Times), David Ignatius (Washington Post), Jan Crawford (CBS News) and John Dickerson (CBS News).
This Week: White House Senior Adviser Dan Pfeiffer; Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY); Nate Silver (FiveThirtyEight.com); Roundtable: Republican Strategist Matthew Dowd, Former “Green Jobs Czar” Van Jones, Jonathan Karl (ABC News) and Peggy Noonan (Wall Street Journal).
Fox News Sunday: Former Obama Health Policy Adviser Ezekial Emanuel; Sen.Lindsey Graham (R-SC); James Capretta (Ethics & Public Policy Center); Roundtable: Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), Julie Pace (Associated Press), Republican StrategistKarl Rove and Former Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN).
State of the Union: Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX); Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH); Roundtable: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA), Former Sen. Blanche Lincoln(D-AK), Neera Tanden (Center for American Progress) and Author David Maraniss.
60 Minutes will feature: a tour of the facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (preview); a report on the 50th anniversary of luxury car-marker Lamborghini (preview); and, an interview with University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban (preview).
In an interview on CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley this morning, host Crowley asked RNC Chairman Reince Priebus about a widely-denounced proposal for a pro-Mitt Romney outside group to run millions of dollars in race-baiting attack ads highlighting controversial statement’s by President Obama’s former pastor.
Rather than denounce the proposal or the dangers of having a small group of rich outside donors and corporations free to spend as much as they want to influence elections, Priebus blamed Obama.
After lamenting that Romney and his party had to spend a day and a half dealing with the fallout from the Super PAC proposal, Priebus told Crowley:
I know how it works. It’s the Democrats and Barack Obama that want the story out there. He wants the story to play out in the media, because for every day that [Obama adviser] David Axelrod and this President don’t have to talk about their broken promises when it comes to jobs, the debt, and the deficit — the more time they can talk about hypotheticals that may or may not come true — is a day they want to win on. So, look, this president’s got a bigger problem and his problem is no matter what he puts out there, no matter what distractions he puts out there, he can’t change the truth and escape the reality of where we are in this American economy. And it’s no good.
And it was Mitt Romney who, back in February, made similar attacks on President Obama saying: “I don’t know what is worse, him listening to Rev. Wright or him saying that we must be a less Christian nation.” When asked this week about the comments, Romney told reporters“I’m not familiar precisely with exactly what I said, but I stand by what I said, whatever it was.” This, of course, the same Romney who repudiated the Super PAC proposal as “character assassination.”
Sometime last year I gave up entirely on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Not the act itself, of course, but the name. I gave on PPACA and I gave up on ACA. President Obama himself seemed to be OK with it being called Obamacare, so I decided that’s what I’d call it too.
The campaign launched a Facebook feed Friday featuring a big “I Like Obamacare” logo. The social network rollout also included a Twitter hashtag that the campaign reported become the top trending topic in the world within hours. On the web, an “I Like Obamacare” frontpage popped up on the Obama campaign website.
In an email to supporters, Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod said it was time for Democrats to turn the “Obamacare” insult into a badge of honor. “I’m proud of it — and you should be, too,” he wrote. “Here’s why: Because it works.”
This has always seemed fine to me. We have Pell grants and Roth IRAs, so why not Obamacare? Like it or not, that’s what everyone calls it, and it’s the only widely recognized name that PPACA has. What’s more, I never thought of it as an insult in the first place. The masses have spoken, and Obamacare it is.
“‘I was out on the trail when it kind of came to me.” — GOP White House hopeful Rick Perry describing his decision to keep running.
“My wife is doing marvelous, thank you.” — Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain commenting on his family life.
“Ron Paul is disgusting.” — Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorumtelling some Fox reporters how he really feels about Ron Paul.
“The gap between his promises and his performance is the largest I’ve seen since, well, the Kardashian wedding and the promise of ’til death do us part.” — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romneyknocking Obama for his lack of commitment.
“He’s still the 25 percent man.” — Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod criticizing Mitt Romney.
“She is Bill Clinton, and he is Hillary.” — Jodi Kantor, author of an upcoming book about the Obamas, commenting on the first couple.
“It is going to be bedlam and hysteria like you have never seen.” — Meghan McCainon what will happen if Rick Santorum wins the GOP nomination.
“Some people call that kind of a program a chickenhawk and I think he falls into that category.” — Republican presidential candidate Ron Paultaking a swing at Newt Gingrich.
“You think I’m going to move and become a farmer?” — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, quoted by the New York Times, when asked if he’ll be in Iowa four years from now.
Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. This week, President Obama released his federal budget, discussing the need to take responsibility for our deficits while investing in education, to prepare our children to be competitive in the global economy and win the future. He also responded to the situation in Egypt, chatted with some Boy Scouts, and honored some of our greatest Americans.
Find out more about the topics covered in this West Wing Week
Republicans will win big, and the press coverage will be glowing. But don’t forget: At the 100-days mark in his presidency, Obama walked on water. Howard Kurtz on the media’s mood swings.
Less than two years after taking office on a wave of hope, Barack Obama is on the verge of being slapped down by the electorate.
The president is so battered, politically speaking, that some members of his own party are sprinting away from him while Republicans whack him like a piñata.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The media assured us that the guy was headed for greatness. The nation’s journalists watched him in action, and in the last days of April 2009, delivered their collective verdict.
MSNBC’s Howard Fineman said Obama was “born” to live “calmly and confidently on a global stage with the hottest lights and biggest audience…. He doesn’t seem needy, aloof or afraid. We used to call that ‘cool.’ ”
Carl Cannon, writing at Politics Daily, said this: “He is as velvety smooth as a cold glass of Guinness, this new president of ours… not to mention the good looks of a Kennedy, the even keel of a Roosevelt, the understated swagger of an Eisenhower.” Continue reading…
The GOP guru’s campaign cash binge this fall is the last gasp of a guy with rich friends. Ex-Bush aide Matt Latimer on how Rove hurt his boss, and why the right thinks he’s a fraud
Political types tend to get suspicious when those on one side of the spectrum suddenly start complimenting their supposed worst enemies—the equivalent of Seinfeld hosting a testimonial for Newman or Eliot Ness carpooling with Al Capone.
Yet in the past few weeks, the White House and even The New York Times have done exactly that—heaping praise on their longtime nemesis, Karl Rove, and his protégé, Ed Gillespie.
“These guys are great political operatives,” Obama strategist David Axelrod said, “and they will have an impact in this election.” The Times, meanwhile, extolled Rove as a “master political strategist” who is rebuilding the GOP majority. President Obama and Vice President Biden have done both men the great political favor of calling them out by name—almost ensuring them more Republican support and donations.
Unfortunately for the Democrats, this effort comes as an increasing number of conservatives—from Rush to Palin to scores of activists and high-level veterans of the Reagan Revolution—view Rove as part of the GOP’s unfortunate recent past. Indeed, they are even beginning to conclude that the oft-repeated belief that Rove is the savior of the GOP may be one of the biggest political hoaxes in American political history. At best, the man President Bush called “Turdblossom” has had a decidedly mixed record on the national level—losing the popular vote in 2000; barely beating a liberal aristocrat from Massachusetts in 2004; and, with the aid of Gillespie, presiding over the loss of both houses of Congress in 2006, and the White House in 2008. Rove and his crew, one influential conservative put it later, “left a smoking hole where the Republican Party once stood.”
“We screwed up,” says party Chairman Michael Steele. Conservatives were “bamboozled,” says former Texas GOP Chairman Tom Pauken. “Betrayed” and “hijacked,” says veteran conservative activist Richard Viguerie. The administration was a conservative “impostor,” writes commentator Bruce Bartlett. Bush operatives “were afraid of ideas,” Newt Gingrich charges. “Tokyo Rove” was a recent entry on Michelle Malkin’s website.
So, the Obama administration is convinced that the GOP, including Karl Rove, and the Chamber of Commerce funded a deluge of midterm-election ads with money from undisclosed foreign corporations. Yesterday, a Times piece questioned whether that practice is “improper, or even unusual,” but this morning on Face the Nation, White House senior adviser David Axelrod said hell yeah it is:
“Why not simply disclose where this money is coming from? And then all of these questions’ll be answered. These interest groups … are now the major force in some of these campaigns … This issue of this special-interest spending is very important. It’s never happened before, that organizations are spending this kind of money.”
So, the White House is running a new ad this week that dubs Karl Rove and Republican strategist Ed Gillespie “Bush cronies,” and calls the Chamber of Commerce “shills for big business.” In response, with a sneer visible even via e-mail, Rove told Politico: “It is sad to see the president diminish his office by these baseless attacks. Even the truth doesn’t restrain him when it comes to assaulting his enemies list.” Thus, Karl Rove is pissed. The ad’s running anyway. ‘Till next time!