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Friday, November 7, 2014
733 Days Until Election Day 2016
It's Friday, November 7, 2014, I'm Gabe Fleisher reporting for this post-Election Day, pre-Bar Mitzvah edition of Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!
To send me questions, comments, tips, new subscribers, and more: email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about WUTP or subscribe, visit the site: wakeuptopolitics.com, or read my tweets and follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/Wakeup2Politics.
From the Editor's Desk
- President Obama has meetings with his Cabinet and congressional leadership today, and is flying to Asia on Sunday – but doesn’t seem to have anything on his schedule for Saturday.
He will not, however, be at my Bar Mitzvah tomorrow…although he did kindly RSVP. Here’s the letter the President sent me:
- (Picture in PDF. Text: “Michelle and I offer our congratulations on this milestone in your spiritual journey. We pray that the cherished memories of this special occasion will always nourish your faith. May God continue to bless and guide you throughout your life. Sincerely, Barack Obama”)
- More importantly, though, many distinguished people will be in attendance: including a number of Wake Up subscribers (!) and I am very excited for my Bar Mitzvah. All are invited to the service at 10 a.m. and luncheon following (Central Reform Congregation, St. Louis). And watch out for some politics sprinkled in, of course!
Wish me luck,
- On a similar note, many have asked me about my Bar Mitzvah studies and how I have time to practice my Torah, Hafatarah, D’var Torah (commentary), and prayers AND write Wake Up To Politics, go to school, do homework, etc.
To those of you (@joebookman, @DavidCornDC, @ToThrive, Barb Kessler, and others) who have asked me: the answer is…I DON’T SLEEP J Really, it’s a great driver for productivity – you get a lot of extra hours in!
White House Watch
- The President’s Schedule At 10:35 AM, President Obama will hold a post-election Cabinet meeting.
- At 12:40 PM, in the Old Family Dining Room of the White House, the President will sit down with House and Senate leaders from both parties. The guest list has not yet been released, but will almost definitely include House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Other lower-ranking leaders (whips and such) are expected to be invited as well, although at least one (House Majority Whip Steve Scalise) has already said he will not attend.
- Also today: President Obama will tape with Bob Schieffer in the Oval Office for Sunday’s “Face the Nation”. The show celebrates its 60th anniversary today. The 60th anniversary show will include Obama, George W. Bush (plugging his biography of his father out Tuesday), Peggy Noonan, David Gergen, Michele Norris, and Bob Woodward.
- Job Numbers October job numbers are out – and show the slow economic improvements continuing. The economy added 214,000 jobs last month – best in 8 years – and the unemployment rate is down to 5.8% - the best rate since July 2008.
Capitol Hill News
- Leadership Races Update: Same Faces, Different titles Now that Election Day has come and gone, the races for congressional leaders are heating up. But it seems like it may just be a lot of the same faces, just some with different titles. Here’s your update:
- Senate Majority Leader (Republican) Sen. Mitch McConnell (KY) has led the Senate Republicans since 2007, and now that he has led the party to the majority, there is no reason to believe he will not be elected Senate Majority Leader
- Senate Minority Leader (Democrat) There’s a different story on the Democratic side of the aisle. Sen. Harry Reid (NV) has served as Leader of the Senate Democratic Caucus since 2005, but now he is the face of the party’s across-the-board losses that resulted in a Republican Senate. The respected political analyst and moderator of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Chuck Todd said Tuesday, “I will be surprised if Democrats keep Harry Reid. I think this is going to be an open question inside the Senate Democratic Caucus.”
- Those are big comments from Todd, and make since – but the question is: who would challenge Reid? The Nevadan has already announced his intention to run for Minority Leader, and Politico has reported that “Reid’s top three deputies — Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) — all have vowed to support Reid staying on as Democratic leader, according to officials in each of those offices.”
- Durbin, the Senate Democratic Whip; Schumer, vice chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus and chair of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee; and Murray, the Senate Democratic Caucus secretary, are the Nos. 2, 3, and 4 Senate Democrats, respectively, and would be the top candidates to challenge Reid. But their apparent support for him make a Democratic overthrow of their leader quite unlikely.
- Speaker of the House (Republican) John Boehner, the House’s top Republican since 2006 and Speaker since the party won the lower chamber in 2011, has already begun campaigning for another term as Speaker.
- Each year since Boehner first held the gavel as Speaker, there has been chatter of a Republican revolution to take him down, with the Ohioan surviving the speakership election in 2013 by just three votes.
- This year is no different: chatter about Boehner’s demise, but no real candidate against him has emerged. The conservative billed as the top alternative to Boehner, Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling, has already announced he will not challenge the Speaker – for now eliminating any challenge to Boehner’s control of the House.
- House Minority Leader (Democrat) California Rep. Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to her colleagues Tuesday officially announcing her intention to run for re-election as House Democratic Leader, a position she has held for 12 years (including her time as Speaker, when she was still the chamber’s top Democrat).
- Following a Republican wave election year that saw GOP gains to their House majority, it would only make since for Pelosi to have some trouble getting elected yet again by her caucus. Yet, she too is largely out of danger.
- House Minority Whip (Democrat) Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer has joined his boss Nancy Pelosi in writing his colleagues on his intention to run for re-election as Minority Whip, and is expected to face no challenge in this attempt.
- The Hill Committees While the above may have been pretty boring, races for leadership of the Hill Committees – the groups of lawmakers dedicated to electing x party to x chamber of Congress – are usually interesting. These races can span from highly competitive to searches for anyone who will take the job (like Democrats at the beginning of the 2014 midterms, looking for anyone who would take on a tough cycle for the party.)
- Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) has already announced he will not run the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) for the third cycle, leaving that position wide open. To contenders for the chairmanship include Rep. Jared Polis (CO), who would be the first openly gay chair of the committee, and Rep. Donna Edwards (MD), who would be the DCCC’s first African-American chair.
- For the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) chair, Sen. Michael Bennett (CO) is unlikely to run again, since he faces a potentially tough race for re-election back home. To succeed him, Democrats are looking for a rising star/big-name fundraiser. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), who would certainly fill that mold, has signaled disinterest. Two senators considering runs for the post are Sens. Jon Tester (MT) and Chris Coons (DE).
- In one of the hottest leadership races this year, Sens. Roger Wicker (MS) and Dean Heller (NV) are already campaigning to lead the National Republican Senate Committee (NRSC), for what will be a tough job: defending the blue states that went red in the 2010 tea party wave.
- Finally, the NRCC (maybe you can guess what that stands for): After a lot of chatter, the top candidates to challenge incumbent Greg Walden (OR) seem to have bowed out, leaving Walden with a straight shot to a second term.