It’s the day after Congress voted to fully reopen the federal government and raise the debt ceiling. The senator I’m meeting, who would fall roughly in the middle of the Senate’s Republicans if they were lined up by ideology, voted with the majority. “I’m being shredded by the Tea Party radio people today,” he says, although he doesn’t seem concerned about it. “That is what it is.”
Republican Senator Rob Portman doesn’t have a committee chairmanship or a leadership post. One asset he wields in the politically divided capital is a direct line to a prominent Democrat: Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew.
Washington being Washington, the hottest relationship in town doesn’t revolve around sex or even the next presidential election: it’s the political courtship of old antagonists, Barack Obama and John McCain.
Republican Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin said today at a Bloomberg/Washington Post breakfast at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, that presidential nominee Mitt Romney needs to be more specific in telling voters how he would deal with nation’s fiscal crisis.
Ronald Reagan remains the modern Republican Party’s most durable hero. His memory will be hailed as The Great Uncompromiser by those who insist the GOP must never flag in its support for smaller government, lower taxes and conservative social values.
Chris Van Hollen, the top U.S. House Democrat on budget issues, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” airing this weekend, that any deficit-cutting deal must be “balanced” to include higher tax revenue as well as spending reductions.
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner finds himself in a familiar position: eager to resume life outside government and facing contentious negotiations with Congress over raising the federal debt ceiling.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama’s team became famous for submitting almost everything they did to rigorous A/B testing. Staff members would send different versions of a message to small groups of randomly selected supporters, determine which produced the best response and then disseminate the winning appeal to the audience at large. The campaign made choices on the basis of hard data -- even when the results violated the theories of experienced political operatives.
At a breakfast with Elizabeth Warren supporters two weeks ago, Chet Jakubiak, chairman of the Democratic town committee in Grafton, Massachusetts, took the microphone and raised an issue the candidate and her campaign rarely do.