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November 07, 2012

Comments

Bwana

O'Malley and Cuomo will struggle not only with Biden but potentially with Hillary, too.

Dan

I'll make a bet right now that neither Biden nor Clinton will run. Biden joked about it, but he would be 74 when inaugurated and I just don't think there was even a kernel of seriousness in that joke.

Clinton is five years younger so age is not so much of an issue. I just don't think we have seen any indication she wants to make another run. She has had a remarkable career. She was a highly respected Senator. People from the Pentagon who testified before the Armed Services Committee said she was one of the best prepared and that she always asked the right questions. Her tenure as Secretary of State is another large feather in her cap. She clearly passes the Commander in Chief test. I just don't think that at this point she is going to want to run again. More chance with her than with Biden though.

Dan

Don't look for any move to replace Pelosi as Democratic Leader. Unless she decides she wants to step aside the job is hers.

You probably see her as a polarizing figure because she is such a lightning rod for folks on the right (she's great fodder for all those silly fundraising appeals that read like they are aimed at low grade morons). But I suspect that much of the animosity toward her on the right is due to the fact that she was a very effective leader. And they hate her simply because she was very effective at doing things they didn't like. Those of us who obsessively followed the enactment of the ACA know what a pivotal role she played in securing passage of the bill. It's not terribly objective to hate someone for being effective at their job, but I suspect that is the cause of much of the vitriol directed toward her.

And while we're talking the House of Representatives, I wouldn't be too thrilled that the Republicans lost ONLY a few seats. Redistricting is all that saved the Republican majority. You caught a huge break there. Nationally more people voted for the Democrat for Congress than voted for the Republican. And if the districts that existed prior to this last re-districting had still existed the Democrats would have retaken the House this time.

I'm not complaining. You play by the rules as they exist and gerrymandering is a big part of the way the game is played. I merely mention this to illustrate what a thin reed you are clinging to as you look for good news for Republicans out of Tuesday's election results.

Dan

The Senate results are very significant too. You are right to have Reid listed as a big winner. To pick up two seats while defending so much ground is pretty amazing. It makes the possibility of the Republicans flipping the Senate in 2014 a good deal less likely. And then the Republicans have to defend 24 of the 34 seats that are up in 2016.

The odds are pretty good that the first realistic opportunity for the Republicans to regain the Senate majority may be 2018.

Chris

Reid is the most powerful man in Washington right now. He can literally do whatever he wants in the Senate, he's that strong and McConnell is that weak.

Dan

I'd have to disagree with you about McConnell's position. The nature of the Senate hasn't changed. Unless the Democrats decide to adopt rules in January that eliminate the filibuster, the minority will continue to have tremendous leverage.

I don't think the Democrats will vote to eliminate the filibuster. And I don't think they should. There are sound reasons for keeping it. But the Republicans total abuse of the filibuster during the Obama administration and their cynical political bet (a bet they lost big on in last Tuesday's election) on total obstruction as a political winner for them may have created the environment in which the filibuster is eliminated. Then McConnell's power would be greatly diminished.

Fairfax Volunteer

I believe it would be a mistake of truly epic proportions for Reid to make a move at removing the filibuster. Not only is there every reason to believe there's at least a chance Democrats could lose the handful of seats necessary for the GOP to flip the chamber in 2014, but the fear of that possibility is what will keep many Democratic senators from lining up with the idea.

Come the return of Republican control, whenever that may be, the Democratic Party wants to take absolutely no risk of the Republicans passing bills as cleanly partisan as Obamacare and Stimulus II were for the Democrats in 2009.

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