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Wednesday, November 12, 2014
727 Days Until Election Day 2016
2016 Senate Landscape, DWS orders Democratic "autopsy," Obama in China and Burma, Obama makes pollution pledge with China, Congress returns, and trivia: It's Wednesday, November 12, 2014, I'm Gabe Fleisher for this packed edition of Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!
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- The Landscape Ahead Going in to the race for the Senate 2014, we always knew it would be the Republican Party’s to lose. Democrats had to defend 21 Senate seats, seven of them in states won by Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election, while Republicans had just 15 seats to defend, with only one of them won by Barack Obama in 2012.
- Now, as the 2016 cycle begins (right after the 2014 cycle ends, in my book), the tables are turned, and it’s looking like the Senate majority Republicans just won may last for just two years.
- The roles of the two parties are flipped – except for Republicans may have it worse in 2016 than Democrats had in 2014. Republicans have 24 seats up, including seven won by Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, and two held by Obama in 2008, while Democrats have just 10 seats to defend, none of which went for Mitt Romney.
- The first Democratic targets will be Republicans Mark Kirk (IL), Pat Toomey (PA), Ron Johnson (WI), Rob Portman (OH), Kelly Ayotte (NH), and Marco Rubio (FL). These are six of the seven Obama ‘08/’12 Republicans, and this group were all elected in 2010 – and their wins were more reflective of the GOP wave that year than their state’s environments. Other states Democrats are eyeing are Indiana and North Carolina, where Dan Coats and Richard Burr respectively, will be up for re-election, both in states won by Obama in 2008. Primary challenges for a number of moderate Republicans (such as Arizona’s John McCain and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski) could also wound the party’s chances of keeping the seats.
- Meanwhile, Republicans don’t see very many pick-up opportunities, although there is still the Democratic incumbents who nearly lost in 2010: Harry Reid of Nevada, whose status as Senate Majority (soon to be Minority) Leader would make him a satisfying win, and Michael Bennet of Colorado.
- DWS Takes Priebus ’12 Lead, Orders Post-Election Party Review Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), chair of the Democratic National Committee, took to YouTube Saturday to announce a “top-to-bottom assessment” of the Democratic Party, in light of poor performances in the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections.
- The review will come from “key party stakeholders and experts” Wasserman Schultz said she would tap to make up the committee, which will report at the DNC’s Winter Meeting in February.
- “It’s apparent that there are increasingly two separate electorates: a midterm electorate and a presidential electorate. We win one and we don't seem to be able to win the other,” Wasserman Schultz said in announcing the review. “That is a fundamental dynamic that we have to change.”
- This seems very similar to Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus’ order following the 2012 presidential election for an “autopsy” of his party, which resulted in a 98-page report listing ways the GOP could change their image, in hopes of looking more favorable to voters and winning more elections.
- The first step in solving a problem is recognizing you have one (or many): and it appears looking for all your party’s problems after a devastating cycle may well become a tradition around Washington.
White House Watch
- The President’s Schedule President Obama will round out his visit to China today, and then begin his next stop on the Asia trip: Burma (I use the word “today” liberally – as China time is 13 hours behind Eastern Time, which is what I’m using here):
- Tuesday (EST)
- President Obama will participate in a State Arrival Welcome Ceremony, to begin the official start of his State Visit to China with President Xi, even though he has been in the country for two days.
- At 8:15 PM, the President will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, before delivering statements with President Xi at 10:40 PM.
- Wednesday (EST)
- At 11:30 AM, Obama will attend a State Banquet hosted by Xi.
- At 3:05 AM, the President leaves Beijing for Naypyitaw, Burma, where he arrives at 8:25 AM.
- At 8:50 AM, he will attend an East Asia Summit Gala Dinner, and then will remain overnight in Burma (since it is the night at this point in Burma, and Obama will go to sleep.)
- Obama, Xi Cut Climate Deal U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping both pledged Wednesday to “slash or limit carbon emissions over the next two decades in a bid by the world’s two biggest greenhouse gas polluters to kick-start global talks to combat climate change,” according to Politico.
- This agreement comes after several round of talks between the two nations, with the pollution targets set by both Presidents, ambitious goals, not expected to be released yet.
- Obama promised that America would accelerate the pace of reduction in carbon dioxide emissions already slated through 2020, by cutting emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by the year 2025. Meanwhile, Xi pledged China would “set a target of having carbon dioxide emissions stop rising by around 2030, and possibly earlier. China would also work to get around a fifth of its energy supply from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030,” Politico reported.
- This pledge by Obama with China comes as Obama has promised to make executive orders on climate change by the end of the year, a promise he reportedly still plans to keep with a rollout of climate change actions in December.
Capitol Hill News
- Senate Status Update The U.S. Senate returns from a two-month-long recess and begins the lame-duck session that will last until the 114th Congress is sworn in on January 3.
- At 5:30 PM, the Senate will move from 10-minute speeches to morning business (which is the business of the Senate – but not necessarily in the morning). Today, the morning business will be cloture votes on two District Judge nominations: Randolph Moss of the District of Columbia and Leigh Martin May of the Northern District of Georgia.
- House Status Update The U.S. House also returns today at 2 PM. Any votes will not occur until 6:30 PM.
Question of the Day
- Today’s Question Today is a holiday for President Rutherford B. Hayes…but in what country?
- HINT: It is not the U.S., but a Spanish-speaking country: the holiday’s office name is “Presidente Hayes Day”.