Republicans need to go negative – If Republicans want a chance at resurgence, they must take a page or two out of President Obama’s worn playbook and veer sharply negative.But only a page or two. Republicans should not lower themselves to the level of a president who routinely lobs ad hominem political epithets their way, castigating them as intolerant, heartless and petty ogres who live only to serve their masters in the top income tax bracket.
Republican leaders’ ‘meeting’ with Obama: Seven minutes – Never let it be said that President Obama has failed to spend time with Republican leaders in seeking an alternative to automatic budget cuts that are due to hit most federal departments Friday. On Wednesday, for example, the president gave GOP lawmakers as much as seven minutes, a rare face-to-face encounter that the White House described as a “meeting.”The White House’s characterization of this momentary huddle at the Capitol as a meeting illuminates Mr. Obama’s strategy in dealing with Republicans on the budget cuts and other fiscal deadlines.
DHS official resigns after immigrants are freed – The Associated Press has learned that the Homeland Security Department official in charge of the agency’s immigration enforcement and removal operations has resigned after hundreds of illegal immigrants were released from jails because of government spending cuts.In an email obtained Wednesday by the AP, Gary Mead told coworkers that he was leaving U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the end of April. Mead is the head of enforcement and removal operations at ICE.Mead had told co-workers of his resignation in the email sent Tuesday, hours after U.S. officials had confirmed that a few hundred illegal immigrants facing deportation had been released from immigration jails due to budget cuts.President Barack Obama’s spokesman said Wednesday the White House was never consulted but described the immigrants as “low-risk, non-criminal detainees.”
White House was not involved in ICE’s decision to release detainees – The White House and the Department of Homeland Security were unaware of Immigration Customs and Enforcement’s decision to release detainees until the agency announced it, administration officials said Wednesday.”This was a decision made by a career officials at ICE without any input from the White House, as a result of fiscal uncertainty over the continuing resolution, as well as possible sequestration,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday.Personnel at Department of Homeland Security headquarters in Washington were also unaware of the decision until the announcement was made, a department official told POLITICO.
Pro-Immigration Congressional Republicans Do Not Perform Better Among Latino Voters – The Democratic Party enjoys a sizable advantage among Latino voters. It is largely taken for granted that Republicans can earn a greater share of the Latino vote if they support less restrictive immigration policies and legalization for illegal immigrants. This study examines public opinion data from 2006 to consider whether this is the case. The 2006 election is a particularly good year to examine congressional behavior on immigration and the Latino vote because House Republicans passed a strong enforcement bill that year that prompted national protests. They also turned aside efforts to legalize illegal immigrants. This study found that Latinos living in House districts represented by pro-immigration Republican incumbents were no more likely to support that incumbent than Latinos living in House districts represented by Republican incumbents with pro-enforcement records. Supporting more generous immigration policies does not appear to be a way for Republicans to increase their share of the Latino vote.
HuffPo Hit Job: Selective Edit Makes Pro-Fox News Guest Look Bigoted – Author and media observer Michael Wolff appeared on HuffPo Live on the Huffington Post to discuss Roger Ailes and Fox News. The moderator of the discussion was Alicia Menendez, daughter of embattled Senator Bob Menendez who has had quite a bit of air time on Fox News lately. Other panelists included Mao-loving Anita Dunn who as Communications Director for the Obama White House waged a war against Fox News that drew criticism even from the likes of Howie Kurtz, and Eliza Grey from left-wing The New Republic.
Senator John McCain and President-elect Barack Obama
Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum sounds the warning bells about John “MAVERICK” McCain and what the Senator mightWILL do to politically rehabilitate himself before the MSM.
McCain was once the mainstream media darling, back when he joined Democrats on a host of issues. He prized his maverick moniker and used it to propel himself onto the national scene in the 2000 Republican presidential primary. Early in the Bush years, he shored up his status as the media’s favorite Republican by opposing Bush on taxes and the environment.
But this love fest came to a halt when McCain became the front-runner for the GOP nomination. First he began to sound more like a conservative by altering his stands on immigration, the environment and taxes. Then he named Sarah Palin his running mate. It was too much for a media that had fallen head over heels for Obama. The media had a new darling.
In McCain’s mind, however, losing the presidency will not be the final chapter of his life story. He knows the path to “Big Media” redemption. Working with the man who vanquished him in November will show them all the real McCain again.
Remember, it was this onetime prisoner of war who led the charge to open diplomatic relations with Vietnam. If that past is prologue, and McCain’s legislative record is any guide, he will not just join with Obama but lead the charge in Congress on global warming, immigration “reform,” the closing of Guantanamo, federal funding for embryonic-stem-cell research, and importation of prescription drugs.
But McCain won’t stop there in his effort to rehabilitate himself in the media’s – or maybe his own – eyes. He will forge common ground on a long list of initiatives that go far beyond where he has gone before, including the stimulus package.
Alas, the two White House rivals now stand positioned to help secure each other’s place in history. The next mainstream media blockbuster could be Barack Obama and John McCain: The Movie.
John McCain will have to tread very softly since he is OLD and up for re-election in 2010. A health problem or a conservative issue faux paus could lead to a divisive Republican primary challenge in Arizona. A challenge McCain could lose.
Now, will that deter the maverick from making nice with the Democrats and President Obama and capitulating on key policy issues that differentiate the parties?
To look at President-elect Barack Obama and Sen. Lindsey Graham sitting side by side Wednesday and to hear them passing out praise, you wouldn’t know that scarcely 10 weeks ago they were at political war.
Graham, a South Carolina Republican, is a close friend of Sen. John McCain and crisscrossed the country with him during his losing presidential bid.
“I think this is a good way to get started,” Graham said as he sat with Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden before a throng of journalists at the Obama transition headquarters in Washington . “The campaign is over. I’m disappointed in the outcome, but like every American I’m excited about what awaits our country in the future.
During a 45-minute private meeting, Biden and Graham briefed Obama on their just-completed five-day trip to Afghanistan , Iraq , Pakistan and Kuwait .
The three men then met reporters against a backdrop of five American flags.
Graham told Obama that the foreign leaders they’d met are extremely enthusiastic about his inauguration on Tuesday.
“There’s a moment in time for this country to re-engage the international community, and to make sure that we have international support to stabilize Afghanistan , Pakistan and Iraq ,” Graham said.
“(Obama’s) popularity and the respect he has earned throughout the world give America a chance to re-engage not only in the region, but in a way that in the long run makes his job easier and takes the pressure off our troops,” he said.
Graham turned to Obama and added:
“That’s a compliment to you and the way you have campaigned, and the goodwill you have generated.”
McCain and Graham will be watched over the next few months. If they surrender the GOP’s ideals, the fur will fly and Flap knows who will be the chief furrier – Sarah Palin.
Yesterday a video featuring Kate Norley was released by Vetsforfreedom,org and promptly two U.S. Senators associated with the organization and the John McCain for President campaign quit.
Senators Joseph I. Lieberman and Lindsey Graham, prominent surrogates for Senator John McCainâ€™s presidential campaign, stepped down Wednesday from their positions with an independent group that released a pair of Internet advertisements attacking Senator Barack Obama on Iraq.
Mr. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, and Mr. Graham, Republican of South Carolina, were both on the policy advisory board to the organization, Vets for Freedom, which on Wednesday released its second Web advertisement in less than a week attacking Mr. Obama.
The senatorsâ€™ positions with the group, which describes itself as a grass-roots advocacy organization pushing for victory in Iraq and Afghanistan, seemed to place them in contravention of new conflict-of-interest rules released by Mr. McCainâ€™s campaign that specifically prohibit anyone â€œwith a McCain campaign title or positionâ€ from participating in a â€œ527 or other independent entity that makes public communications that support or oppose any presidential candidate.â€
After inquiries from reporters, the senators released a joint letter to Vets for Freedom on Wednesday saying they had requested a leave from their positions to come into compliance with the new policy.
â€œThis is obviously something weâ€™re working through,â€ said Brian Rogers, a spokesman for the McCain campaign. â€œThis is the kind of thing that happens when you have the strictest possible policy on these issues.â€
The new policy was meant to head off embarrassing questions about connections of members of the McCain campaign to special interests that run counter to Mr. McCainâ€™s reformist reputation. But adhering to that standard has proved complicated.