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Posted at 5:47 PM ET, 12/20/2010

Afternoon Fix: Obama may sign "don't ask, don't tell" repeal into law on Wednesday; Haley Barbour spokesperson responds to uproar over civil rights remarks

By Chris Cillizza

A quartet of top GOP consultants are starting up their own political communications consulting firm; Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour's (R) spokesperson pushes back against uproar over civil rights comments; and President Obama could sign the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" into law as early as Wednesday.

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* Republican consultants Todd Harris, Heath Thompson, Malorie Miller and Lori Raad are forming their own political communications consulting firm; a formal announcement will come after the first of the year. Together, the quartet has consulted for a host of top Republicans including Florida Sen.-elect Marco Rubio, Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.) and John McCain (Ariz.), former President George W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush as well as the Republican National Committee and the national Republican Senate and House campaign committees.


* A spokesperson for Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) responded to the uproar over Barbour's comments regarding the Civil Rights era, accusing a reporter of "trying to paint the governor as a racist" and arguing that "nothing could be further from the truth."

* Former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton has endorsed former Ambassador to Luxembourg Ann Wagner's bid for Republican National Committee chairman. In a statement, Bolton said that Wagner "is exactly what our National Republican Party needs to win in 2012."

* Minnesota Republican Rep.-elect Chip Cravaack said that he will serve no more than four terms in Congress and prefers to serve only three.

* New Hampshire Republican Sen. Judd Gregg told reporters this afternoon that he's leaning toward supporting the New START Treaty but wants to "make sure our side gets a fair hearing."


* President Obama will likely sign the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" into law on Wednesday morning, according to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

* The Senate's new January schedule includes a two-week state work period from Jan. 10-21, giving the new Republican-led House center stage in Washington for much of January.

* Fox News Channel and the Republican Party of Florida will host a GOP presidential primary debate. The debate is scheduled for October 2011 and will take place at an Orlando location yet to be determined.

* Vice President Joe Biden has appointed Amy Dudley to serve as his new deputy press secretary. Dudley, a former press secretary to Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.), will succeed current Deputy Press Secretary Annie Tomasini, who is departing at the end of the year for a position at Harvard University.

* Afternoon Fix will be taking a break for the holidays. We'll see you back here in the new year.


So long to ya, 2010.

With Felicia Sonmez and Aaron Blake

By Chris Cillizza  | December 20, 2010; 5:47 PM ET
Categories:  Afternoon Fix  
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