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The Morning Plum

* The White House wants to know: How can it get the public to focus on the administration's isolated successes, when early tough decisions made by Obama that worked are now getting forgotten amid widespread anxiety about the ailing economy?

Today, the president will try to push the argument that in the case of the auto industry, the decision to pursue much-maligned bailouts actually paid off, and administration officials have fanned out in advance to make this case.

"Some tough decisions had to be made about the auto industry about a year and a half ago," press sec Robert Gibbs said on MSNBC this morning. "But what we're looking at now is an auto industry that for the first time since 2004, the Big Three are all reporting operating profits. And we're adding jobs for the first time in more than a decade."

The White House will focus more and more on Obama's early decisions, pushing the line that the public will eventually come around to the view that the tough calls made by the president early on were the right ones.

* David Axelrod lays out the emerging Dem balancing act: Dems must argue that voting Republican would take us back to the Bush policies that landed us in today's mess -- without appearing to want to relitigate the past.

* A near-perfect summary of Nancy Pelosi's dilemma in the midterms:

The 2006 and 2008 campaigns, which built Pelosi's power, were assaults on an established Republican order in Congress and the White House. Now in a punishing economic environment, the roles are reversed. If Democrats are to survive, aides predict the tough-minded Pelosi will face a painful chore: performing the triage needed when money runs low and old friends and allies must be cut loose to save those who have a better chance of winning.

* And this is great timing: It looks like Charlie Rangel's high profile ethics trial is set to unfold this fall, just in time for the midterms.

* But: Also in the above link, Pelosi is pointing to Rangel's travails as proof that Dems are succeeding in delivering on their promise to "drain the swamp."

* Meanwhile, the House GOP guide to campaigning this summer during the recess features Republicans from the distant past. No George W. Bush, for instance.

* And Charlie Cook says the Republican wave may have already crested.

* New Las Vegas Review Journal poll finds the Nevada Senate race deadlocked.

* An important point from Senator Sheldon Whitehouse: Even if a GOP filibuster of climate change legislation was inevitable, Dems should have staged that fight anyway. Keep that in mind for next time!

* Charlie Crist really may pull it off: A new Quinnipiac poll finds Crist leading the three-way Senate race over Marco Rubio and either possible Dem candidate.

It's Crist over Rubio and Jeff Greene, 37-32-17, or Crist over Rubio and Kendrick Meek, 39-33-13.

* Picking Elizabeth Warren to head the new consumer protection agency would go a long way towards repairing Obama's problems with the base.

* Here's today's installment in the Michele Bachmann chronicles, in which she throws her lot in with Tom Tancredo and impeach-Obama talk.

* And Sarah Palin clearly wants you to judge her book by its cover.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  July 30, 2010; 8:23 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , 2012 , Climate change , House Dems , House GOPers , Morning Plum , economy  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Happy Hour Roundup
Next: Anthony Weiner's rant captures Dem impotence

Comments

Perhaps we should compare Sharon Angle to Michele Bachmann just to warn Nevada of things to come. Those two seem to be a matched set of crazy...

Posted by: soapm | July 30, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

What else is happening...

The house voted on legislation to provide healthcare to sickened 9/11 responders...but it was defeated.


"A bill that would have provided up to $7.4 billion in aid to people sickened by World Trade Center dust fell short in the House on Thursday, raising the possibility that the bulk of compensation for the ill will come from a legal settlement hammered out in the federal courts.

The bill would have provided free health care and compensation payments to 9/11 rescue and recovery workers who fell ill after working in the trade center ruins.

It failed to win the needed two-thirds majority, 255-159. The vote was largely along party lines, with 12 Republicans joining Democrats supporting the measure."


For weeks, a judge and teams of lawyers have been urging 10,000 former ground zero workers to sign on to a court-supervised settlement that would split $713 million among people who developed respiratory problems and other illnesses after inhaling trade center ash.

The court deal shares some similarities with the aid program that the federal legislation would have created, but it involves far less money. Only the most seriously ill of the thousands of police officers, firefighters and construction workers suing New York City over their exposure to the dust would be eligible for a hefty payout.

But supporters of the deal have been saying the court settlement is the only realistic option for the sick, because Congress will never act.

"Ladies and gentlemen, you can wait and wait and wait for that legislation ... it's not passing," Kenneth Feinberg, the former special master of the federal 9/11 victim compensation fund, told an audience of ground zero responders Monday in a meeting on Staten Island.

Democratic leaders opted to consider the House bill under a procedure that requires a two-thirds vote for approval rather than a simple majority. Such a move blocked potential GOP amendments to the measure.

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2010/07/house_rejects_bill_to_aid_sick_911_responders.php?ref=fpa

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 30, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Anthony Weiner was pretty pissed about the that vote....more of this, please!

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/07/anthony-weiners-spitting-mad-rant-against-republicans-on-the-house-floor-video.php?ref=fpa

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 30, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

In his report, Charlie Cook is scratching his head trying to figure out what "defining event" could have shifted sentiment among voters away from the GOBP. He can't find a specific one.

I guess the rising anger among the long-term unemployed, the obstructionist tactics among the Senate GOBP to delay or cut off assistance, the developing "they are lazy" meme wouldn't be "one event" but I'd bet these are starting to take a toll.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 30, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I'm not on board with Weiner's rant:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/07/anthony_weiners_rant_captures.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 30, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

"without appearing to want to relitigate the past."

And there's a big part of the problem. Republicans *never* stop talking about Clinton. The only people who don't want Obama officials to talk about the causes of our multiple disasters are the ones responsible for them.

Posted by: jimeh | July 30, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

"And Sarah Palin clearly wants you to judge her book by its cover."

And a great cover it. It makes me want to vote for her, for something, even more than I already did.

@jimeh: "And there's a big part of the problem. Republicans *never* stop talking about Clinton. The only people who don't want Obama officials to talk about the causes of our multiple disasters are the ones responsible for them."

This isn't quite true. Of course, Republicans aren't going to agree with the premise that everything bad that happened is caused by Bush or GOP policies; undoubtedly, most, if not all, don't blame Republicans or conservatives (except in not doing enough to fight those dastardly Democrats) for anything that has happened. But a lot of them think running against Bush is a doomed political strategy, so they'd love Democrats to talk about how terrible Bush was as an attempt to run against them in 2010 and 2012.

On the other hand, some Republicans keep bringing up Clinton (and will probably do the same with Obama, in the far future), but it's not compelling. Saying "you should vote for me because Clinton was a liberal president 12 or 14 or 16 years ago" may appeal to a narrow strip of the base, but I don't believe it cuts a wide swathe.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | July 30, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Reid peaked two weeks ago and Angle weathered the storm. Reid is back down to 43%. Put a fork in him.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 30, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Rubio's plan to stop stimulus money would double the unemployment rate. His tax cuts for the rich, and cutting social security would also stall the economy!To create more jobs, our economy needs more economic demand. We need people who are willing to go out and buy products and services. Our economic problem is not that we lack enough people who will go out and work to create the products and services we need to have better lives. Our problem is that there is not enough demand to entice businesses to increase their work forces or buy new plants and equipment.Thanks to republicans, crying any money spent will add to the deficit, any type of government spending is bankrupting our country,wasteful and will add to deficit, the current economic crisis will carry on! Except the two Bush wars that are unwinnable and are taking our wealth and lives ,they are ok with republicans! We are screwed!

Posted by: roosboys | July 30, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Rubio's plan to stop stimulus money would double the unemployment rate. His tax cuts for the rich, and cutting social security would also stall the economy!To create more jobs, our economy needs more economic demand. We need people who are willing to go out and buy products and services. Our economic problem is not that we lack enough people who will go out and work to create the products and services we need to have better lives. Our problem is that there is not enough demand to entice businesses to increase their work forces or buy new plants and equipment.Thanks to republicans, crying any money spent will add to the deficit, any type of government spending is bankrupting our country,wasteful and will add to deficit, the current economic crisis will carry on! Except the two Bush wars that are unwinnable and are taking our wealth and lives ,they are ok with republicans! We are screwed!

Posted by: roosboys | July 30, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

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