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Posted at 5:00 PM ET, 12/14/2010

Afternoon Fix: Obama says people don't think he has changed Washington; Romney opposes tax cut package; Franken says Obama 'punted on first down'; Sherrod Brown to switch vote

By Chris Cillizza

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Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said that he's leaning toward voting for the tax-cut package after voting Monday against ending debate. "I voted against cloture because I wanted to continue to try to find a way to send a message to the House that there are allies here, in addition to the conversations there," Brown said. The senator, who is up for reelection in 2012, added that he changed his mind after speaking with his minister and reading letters from constituents who are struggling amid the economic downturn.


* President Obama told a Colorado TV station: "I don't think there's a sense that I've been successful" at changing the way Washington does business.

* Potential GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has come out in opposition to President Obama's tax cut compromise. Meanwhile another potential candidate, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), appears to be criticizing Romney. Thune voted for the package.

* Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said President Obama "punted on first down" when it comes to the tax cut compromise and that the 'yes' vote was the hardest Franken has had to cast in the Senate.

* Fresh off an expensive and victorious cycle, American Crossroads has resumed spending money against Democrats, launching $400,000 worth of radio ads urging 12 of them to vote for an extension of the Bush tax cuts.

* Former New Jersey Republican National Committeeman David Norcross and former Wisconsin Committeeman Mike Grebe wrote a letter today in support of Wisconsin GOP Chairman Reince Priebus's campaign for the RNC chairmanship. Separately, Iowa Committeeman Steve Scheffler announced his support for Priebus.


* A supporter of Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) writes that the senator told her she is "concerned" about the prospect of having to run against Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) in 2012.

* Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the Senate may have to return after Christmas to finish up this Congress's business.

* Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel began testifying today at a hearing to determine if he meets the residency requirement to run for mayor of Chicago.

* Outgoing South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) won't rule out a future run for political office.

* Former Rock Island Mayor Mark Schwiebert (D) and state Rep. Mike Boland (D) both say they may run against Rep.-elect Bobby Schilling (R-Ill.) in 2012. Outgoing Rep. Phil Hare (D-Ill.) might also seek a rematch.


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By Chris Cillizza  | December 14, 2010; 5:00 PM ET
Categories:  Afternoon Fix  
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