4:15 p.m. ET: All is mostly quiet on the Obama front this afternoon -- aside from confirmation of what we already knew about Bill Richardson and Commerce -- most of the day's news is happening on or about Capitol Hill.
In advance of their next appearance before Congress, the automakers have unveiled their plans for what they would do with bailout money, should they get it. But divisions remain on the Hill over how to approach a bailout. Some members want money taken from the $700 billion financial rescue pot, others want to redirect the $25 billion previously allocated to encourage more fuel-efficient cars, and many conservatives are arguing in favor of structured bankruptcy rather than any bailout at all.
There will have to be an agreement by the end of this week, or else action must wait until next year. Steny Hoyer said today that House would not come into session next week unless a deal was at hand on the auto bailout.
In the Senate, Mel Martinez announced that he won't run for reelection in 2010, opening up a high-profile Senate seat that Democrats are sure to target. Jeb Bush's name is the most interesting one to be floated so far, though there is little reason to think he'll make the race. But if he did run and win, that would give him something to do until his first term is up in 2016? Is there another job he might be able to run for that year? Hmm ...
8 a.m. ET: It's now The Morning After, and we are being treated to one last (hopefully) burst of armchair psychoanalysis of the relationship between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama -- the vanquished and the victor, the secretary and the boss, two foes forced to live together and make it work. It all sounds like a sitcom, except for the part where we're fighting two wars, terrorism is on the march and the country has been in recession for a year.
Back in the non-personality-driven world (scratch that, Sarah Palin is involved), one of two remaining undecided Senate seats will be awarded after today's runoff election in Georgia. Two final surveys of the contest released Monday showed Saxby Chambliss leading Jim Martin by 7 and 4 points, though runoffs and special elections are notoriously difficult to poll because turnout is so uncertain.
Continuing the television theme, the Georgia race has featured more special guest stars than an episode of the Love Boat, with Palin and John McCain, among others, coming in for Chambliss and a host of prominent Democrats (even Ludacris!) working to boost Martin. Notably absent from the scene has been Obama himself -- first prize goes to the reporter who can convincingly reveal why -- though many of his campaign veterans have been on the ground in the Peach State.
On Capitol Hill, the heads of the Big Three automakers will try, try again today to convince Congress to give them a bailout. But even if they eschew private jet travel this time around and the unions make concessions, it's not clear whether the Hill and the White House can agree on a package before 43 is officially replaced by 44, who will spend today meeting with governors pleading for federal aid to fix their hemorrhaging state budgets.
Speaking of replacements and governors, we now have impending Senate vacancies in both Illinois and New York, and no reliable sign yet of who will get either job. In the Empire State, Clinton plans to stay in office until she has confirmed to her new one, as speculation continues to focus on Andrew Cuomo and a few House members (but not Nita Lowey).
The situation is no more clear in the Land of Lincoln, where Obama has already resigned and Rod Blagojevich says he'll name a replacement by the end of the year. Perhaps the governor should name a former rival to the job. Apparently that's very popular nowadays.
December 2, 2008; 8:00 AM ET
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