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Chatting With The Eye!

By Ed O'Keefe

Here are some highlights from today's Post Politics Hour live discussion with The Federal Eye:

Clunkers: I was thinking about the "Clunkers" program on the drive to the beach this weekend, and I thought "perfect stimulus." Cities and states reap sales taxes. Local jobs at dealerships are preserved. Upstream jobs at factories and parts makers. Inventories are reduced. Auto corporations make sales numbers. And, you get an average 10 MPG increase for a quarter million cars...good for the new owner's pocketbooks and great for carbon emissions. So, I was quite surprised that GOP Senators were so opposed. Is this just more "Party of NO" or is there any rationale?

Ed O'Keefe: It appears GOP resistance goes to their core concerns with government spending and bailouts. Still, the extension passed the House with Republican support and it will likely earn some GOP votes in the Senate. Why? Because, as you said, this is arguably the best example of economic stimulus and has had an immediate impact: Ford's monthly sales climbed, auto dealers cleared out inventory, gas guzzlers are off the road and Americans spent money.

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Saint Paul, Minn.: Hi Ed -- Thanks for taking questions today. For a candidate who was known for being extremely "on message" it seems like the president is anything but these days. What's going on? Is this just part of the difficulty new presidents have transitioning from campaigning to governing, or is this is a different situation? I hesitate to put it this way, but is it possible that Obama is in over his head? What does he do now to get back on track?

Ed O'Keefe: Saint Paul, my father (a true genius) put it best:

"Obama looks like he needs a vacation."

When in doubt, remember this: "Father knows best."

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Hartford, Conn.: Jon Stewart told Energy Secy. Steven Chu "you're the first Obama Cabinet Secy. that didn't seem in coma"

Just curious, besides Hillary of course, who is the most politicaly ambitious Cabinet Secy.? Who has the best rep. around D.C.?

Ed O'Keefe: A good question! Keep an eye on any cabinet secretary who left a political position, or political career, for the cabinet: Tom Vilsack at Agriculture, Clinton at State, Kathleen Sebelius at Health and Human Services, Ken Salazar at Interior, Janet Napolitano at Homeland Security.

Parlor game players have suggested either Salazar or Napolitano could be up for the next SCOTUS nomination (more likely Napolitano at this point, who was on the confirmed short list.) Clinton, well, she's Clinton. Sebelius and Vilsack have political ambitions... remember Vilsack was the first person to launch a 2008 presidential campaign and the first to drop out. Sebelius originally wanted to run for the Senate.

So far in my interactions with the cabinet agencies, all of the staffs seem most loyal to the administration, not to their secretary. Time will tell if that changes.

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Los Angeles: Hi Ed, Do you really think that Napolitano is a serious contender for SCOTUS? I know she was on the short list recently, but her performance at Homeland Security seems to have been lackluster at best.

Ed O'Keefe: All I'm saying with my previous answer is that she was on the short list before. I've heard nothing to suggest she's going to be on the next list. But if Obama is looking to appoint someone who has a political and legal background then Napolitano, a former governor, U.S. attorney and private attorney, is certainly someone to consider.

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Boston: Hi Ed,

Seeing Bill Clinton in North Korea made me wonder if Bill Richardson is still on the planet. What is he doing these days?

Ed O'Keefe: He's still governor of New Mexico and will serve out his term, which expires in early 2011. Not clear yet what if anything he'll do after that, but many believe he'll have rehabilitated himself to the point where he could take an administration job.

Read the full chat here

By Ed O'Keefe  | August 4, 2009; 11:51 AM ET
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Comments

As always, I am tired of this administration always saying the people who do not agree with him, have to be paid organizers. I wish I were, I could use the money that I am going to be paying in taxes, and ruining my health care which is expensive. Since I am a widow after, 22 years of my husband's Parkinsons, there is no money left to send to the government for them to throw away my money, as they have already done.

Posted by: gerry11 | August 5, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

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