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The Plum Line: September 5, 2010 - September 11, 2010

Open Thread

Seems the consensus is that Obama's presser yesterday was way too boring, substantive and unemotional to produce an abrupt and massive enough turnaround in the polls to guarantee in advance that Dems hold their majority. What else is happening?...

By Greg Sargent  |  September 11, 2010; 8:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (222)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Hittin' back: In another sign that the Illinois Senate race has become a brutal, hard-fought contest, Dem Alexi Giannoulias is up with a hard hitting spot responding to Republican Mark Kirk's attack ad from yesterday: The Giannoulias spot hammers...

By Greg Sargent  |  September 10, 2010; 4:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (65)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup , Political media , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , economy  
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Obama again speaks up for `Ground Zero mosque'

As you know, it has become widely accepted that President Obama walked back his original support for Cordoba House, and in the process, made a hash of his message about it. Though he never originally flat out endorsed the Islamic...

By Greg Sargent  |  September 10, 2010; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (93)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Steele: Small businesses don't need lines of credit [UPDATED]

The Democratic National Committee is jumping on a remark Michael Steel just made on Fox News, in which he seemed to suggest that small businesses don't need lines of credit. Steele, in the course of ripping into the small business...

By Greg Sargent  |  September 10, 2010; 2:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (85)
Categories:  economy  
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Did Obama hint he's going to appoint Elizabeth Warren?

One interesting nugget from Obama's presser: He seemed to hint strongly that he is leaning towards appointing Elizabeth Warren as his key Wall Street consumer cop, which would throw a big bone to liberals who strongly support her and want...

By Greg Sargent  |  September 10, 2010; 12:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  Financial reform , economy  
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Dear Dems: You can win the argument over Bush tax cuts

With more and more Beltway types predicting that Dems may put off the vote over the Bush tax cuts until after the election, I thought it would be useful to pull together all the polling that shows this is an...

By Greg Sargent  |  September 10, 2010; 10:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (106)
Categories:  2010 elections , House Dems , House GOPers , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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The Morning Plum

* Why Dems must not punt on ending tax cuts for rich: Digby patiently explains that if Dems blow this one, they will be squandering a major opportunity to explain, and build the case, for "progressive economics." * And the...

By Greg Sargent  |  September 10, 2010; 8:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Morning Plum , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , economy  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* The kooky Florida pastor finally drops his plans to burn the Koran, and will meet next week with the Imam behind Cordoba House. Good news, but a question: What if the media hadn't inflated the Koran-burning stunt into an...

By Greg Sargent  |  September 9, 2010; 6:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (133)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , economy  
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Obama heading to Wisconsin -- but Feingold won't be there

Barack Obama is heading to Wisconsin as part of a major campaign swing through important battleground states -- but Senator Russ Feingold won't be there to campaign alongside the president because he has votes scheduled for that day, Feingold's spokesman...

By Greg Sargent  |  September 9, 2010; 4:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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What qualifies as unacceptable for a major party nominee?

"What qualifies as over the line? What qualifies as an unacceptable position for a major party nominee to hold in this year's elections?" That quote comes from Rachel Maddow, framing the question very well during this segment on Sharron Angle's...

By Greg Sargent  |  September 9, 2010; 3:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (86)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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More House Dems balking at ending Bush tax cuts for rich

Even as President Obama is mounting a strong stand in favor of letting the Bush tax cuts for the rich expire, and even as he's signaling that it will be a major campaign issue, more and more vulnerable House Dems...

By Greg Sargent  |  September 9, 2010; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (67)
Categories:  economy  
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Opposition to 'mosque' directly linked to anti-Islam sentiment, poll shows

We now have clear evidence that there's a direct link between public anti-Islam sentiment and public opposition to the construction of Cordoba House, a.k.a. the "Ground Zero mosque." The evidence can be found in the internals of the new Washington...

By Greg Sargent  |  September 9, 2010; 11:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (130)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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The Morning Plum

* Would Obama veto temporary extention of tax cuts for rich? There's a great deal to chew over in President Obama's new interview with ABC News, but one nugget worth highlighting is his refusal to vow a veto if Congress...

By Greg Sargent  |  September 9, 2010; 8:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (87)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Senate Dems , economy  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Who says Republicans won't meet Obama half way? Mitch McConnell's office tells Sam Stein that Republicans are open to a compromise that would keep the Bush tax cuts in place for two years, as long the tax cuts are...

By Greg Sargent  |  September 8, 2010; 5:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (105)
Categories:  2010 elections , Happy Hour Roundup , House GOPers , Senate Republicans , economy  
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Reid campaign: Angle is crazy and a liar

As I've noted here before, what's striking about the Nevada Senate race is that the primary source of ammo Harry Reid has employed against Sharron Angle -- really, the only source of ammo -- has been nothing other than her...

By Greg Sargent  |  September 8, 2010; 3:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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The coming war among Dems

It's coming. There's been a lot of consternation on the Internets about the possibility that the White House may pick a Republican to succeed Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff, as a good-faith bipartisan gesture towards the GOP. It's an...

By Greg Sargent  |  September 8, 2010; 2:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (147)
Categories:  2010 elections , Health reform , economy  
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Peter Orszag clarifies "rift" with Obama admin over Bush tax cuts

Yesterday, former White House budget director Peter Orszag made big news by appearing to break with the Obama administration over the Bush tax cuts in an Op ed for The New York Times. Orszag argued that we should "extend the...

By Greg Sargent  |  September 8, 2010; 12:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
Categories:  economy  
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Can Dems use Tea Party against GOP on 17th amendment?

Here's something to keep an eye on: The Tea Party push to repeal the 17th amendment is becoming an issue in some of the hardest fought House races. Vulnerable Dem incumbents are now beginning to air ads hammering GOP opponents...

By Greg Sargent  |  September 8, 2010; 10:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
Categories:  2010 elections , House Dems , House GOPers  
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The Morning Plum

* Framing the fall: The big question: Will even the starkest framing of the elections enable Dems to cut through public anger over the economy, and persuade voters that they face a choice between giving current policies a chance to...

By Greg Sargent  |  September 8, 2010; 8:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (58)
Categories:  2010 elections , House Dems , House GOPers , Morning Plum , Political media , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Howard Kurtz says the onus is on the GOP to "humanize" Speaker-in-waiting John Boehner, because he "comes off as a permanently bronzed, country club Republican, reflexively saying no to everything the administration wants." Are we sure Boehner would view...

By Greg Sargent  |  September 7, 2010; 5:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (83)
Categories:  2010 elections , Happy Hour Roundup , Health reform , House Dems , House GOPers , Senate Republicans , economy  
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The Democrats' dilemma on the economy

This new Harry Reid ad is noteworthy, because it perfectly captures the Dem dilemma: How do you frame a message on the economy, when it's doing so badly on your own watch? The Reid campaign's solution: Acknowledge how bad things...

By Greg Sargent  |  September 7, 2010; 3:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , economy  
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David Plouffe to Dems: Don't despair, get to work!

Thanks to his work as the architect of Barack Obama's stunning victory in 2008, few political strategists command the respect of the Dem rank and file to the degree David Plouffe does. So Plouffe is now trying to buck up...

By Greg Sargent  |  September 7, 2010; 2:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  2010 elections , House Dems , House GOPers , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Sharron Angle again refuses to disavow "domestic enemies" claim

I don't know how much clearer I can make this. Sharron Angle is the national GOP's candidate in what is arguably the most high-profile Senate race in the country. On the day she announced her candidacy in 2009, Angle clearly...

By Greg Sargent  |  September 7, 2010; 12:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Axelrod: Voters aren't (yet) buying our Bush message

As I noted below, polling data clearly reveals that voters have yet to buy the core Dem message that a vote for the GOP is a vote to return to Bush's economic policies. Now this thesis is being confirmed by...

By Greg Sargent  |  September 7, 2010; 11:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
Categories:  2010 elections , economy  
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Voters aren't listening to Dem message about GOP and Bush

What if voters are simply not buying the central Dem message that a vote for the GOP is a vote to return to the Bush policies that ran the economy into the ground? What if the GOP has already achieved...

By Greg Sargent  |  September 7, 2010; 10:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (92)
Categories:  2010 elections , economy  
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The Morning Plum

* You have two months to turn things around, Dems: The new Washington Post/ABC News poll paints a very bleak picture for Democrats, with time fast running out before election day. Highlights: * Republicans hold a slight edge on the...

By Greg Sargent  |  September 7, 2010; 8:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
Categories:  2010 elections , House Dems , House GOPers , Senate Republicans  
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Labor Day Roundup

Hey all, a few links to get warmed up before resuming full-time blogging tomorrow morning... * New product! President Obama is set to kick off this fall by rolling out a new plan to invest in infrastructure spending, and he...

By Greg Sargent  |  September 6, 2010; 9:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (113)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , House Dems , House GOPers , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Tea Party , economy  
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Sunday Open Thread

I hope you're enjoying your holiday, all. The next eight weeks are going to get pretty hectic and crazy....

By Greg Sargent  |  September 5, 2010; 8:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (128)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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