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White House Cheat Sheet: Bye Bye Bipartisanship

The withdrawal of Sen. Judd Gregg as President Obama's nominee for commerce secretary stunned the political world and provided yet more evidence of the challenges inherent in fulfilling the chief executive's pledge to fundamentally alter the capital's partisan calculus.

In naming Gregg to Commerce, Obama had landed something of a coup by putting a conservative Republican (certainly on fiscal matters) in a Cabinet position -- a visible symbol that he was genuinely committed to doing things differently.

But, Gregg's withdrawal -- and his statement that he was simply too ideologically out of step with the administration to serve -- is clearly a setback for Obama and the cause of bipartisanship in Washington more generally.

White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel pledged in an interview with reporters late Thursday that while Gregg's move was a disappointment, it would not discourage Obama's outreach to Republicans.

"The president is always going to reach out to people of both parties," Emanuel told the Post's Mike Shear and Alec MacGillis. "That's what he's always wanted. He wants a lot of ideas."

Others, however, pointed to Gregg's decision as a sign that bipartisanship is simply not an achievable goal, that the differences between the two parties are significant and deep, and can't (and shouldn't) be reconciled by any political figure.

"We can talk about bipartisanship all day, but almost no one gets elected to be bipartisan and we have a system that does not foster cooperation," said Terry Nelson, a longtime Republican operative and one-time campaign manager for Sen. John McCain's (Ariz.) presidential bid.

Donna Brazile, campaign manager for then Vice President Al Gore's 2000 presidential bid, sounded a similar note. "I don't believe that most D.C. politicians have the 'stomach' for bipartisanship because they don't know how to define it," she said.

Among others on both sides, the finger pointing over the Gregg withdrawal was underway in full force.

"The longer the Washington Republican Party holds on to old plays from an old political playbook, fighting a popular Democratic President and a whole new set of 21st century political realities, the more likely they are to suffer in the eyes of the American people," predicted Simon Rosenberg, the head of NDN, a progressive think tank.

Not so, retorted Republican lobbyist Alex Vogel. The Gregg decision "highlights that hyper-partisan actions like taking the census and moving it into the White House are inconsistent with campaign messages about being post-partisan," he said.

What's clear is that the immediate impact of the Gregg withdrawal will be to harden partisans of both sides in their entrenched positions. Its long term impact on Obama's presidency is far more of a guessing game as, if the president makes good on his pledge to continue to reach out, the political landscape might look very different in a year's time.

For the moment, however, Gregg stands as a visible symbol of just how tough it is to break the partisan gridlock that grips Washington.

Sked Stuff: The Obamas head back to Chicago for the long holiday weekend -- the first time the First Family has been to the Windy City since early January. Obama is at his best (as this week demonstrated) when he is out of Washington as it allows him to paint the nation's capitol as part of the problem. David Axelrod, a senior adviser to the president, told the Post's Lois Romano that he thinks of himself as a "Chicagoan on assignment," adding: "I think Washington in many ways is a very insular place, a kind of echo chamber."

House Republicans Hit Airwaves on Stimulus: The National Republican Congressional Committee will begin a series of radio ads in 30 Democratic districts today using their votes in favor of Obama's economic stimulus plan as fodder. Half of the targets are Democrats elected in 2008 -- evidence that the gains made by the party over the last two elections put them in a perilous place heading into 2010. The radio ads describe the economic stimulus bill as a "wasteful pork barrel program that will cost taxpayers nearly a trillion dollars," according to a script obtained by Politico -- a sentiment that echoes the rhetoric coming out of House and Senate leaders in the last 48 hours. Although radio ads aren't typically a major expenditure, the NRCC's decision to go on offense so early in the cycle is a calculated risk; at the end of 2008, the committee had $760,000 on hand but carried a debt of $6.5 million. "Expect Republicans to continue to hold Democrats accountable for casting aside their many promises of bipartisanship and change for the politics of pork," predicted NRCC communications director Ken Spain.

North Dakota No-Go?: New polling by Research 2000 for the liberal Daily Kos site paints a rosy picture for the reelection prospects of Sen. Byron Dorgan (D) even if Republican heavyweight Gov. John Hoeven decides to run. Dorgan leads Hoeven 57 percent to 35 percent in the poll -- a wide margin given that both men are extremely well known by voters in the state. Hoeven, who was easily reelected to a third term last November with an astounding 74 percent of the vote, has said nothing publicly about his future political plans. Hoeven has turned down a Senate race once already when he declined to run against Sen. Kent Conrad (D) in 2006 but will come under pressure from state and national Republicans to make this race.

Evolution Double-Take: A Gallup poll testing peoples' knowledge of, and belief in, evolution caught the Fix's eye. Asked with which "scientific theory" Charles Darwin -- whose 200th birthday was yesterday -- is associated, 55 percent got it right with a response of "evolution" or "natural selection." Ten percent got it flat wrong while more than one in three (34 percent) didn't have an answer. Among that same national sample of 1,018 adults, fewer than two in five (39 percent) said they believed in evolution while 25 percent said they did not and 36 percent offered no opinion at all.

Countdown: Four days until Baby Fix due date...46 days until special election in New York's 20th district....85 days until the White House Correspondents Dinner, a.k.a. D.C. Prom.

Click It!: Mix a closed press speech by Obama campaign manager David Plouffe on Thursday with the Post's resident Sketcher Dana Milbank protesting in a sandwich board and you have an insta-classic. Don't believe us? Watch it. And thenwatch it again.

Say What?: "I'm in the arena. I love it." -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) to "Hardball" host Chris Matthews when asked about being a target of Republican attacks.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 13, 2009; 6:15 AM ET
Categories:  Cheat Sheet Share This:  E-Mail | Technorati | Del.icio.us | Digg | Stumble Previous: Axelrod To Bush Advisers: Butt Out
Next: Friday Senate Line: Gregg Adds to GOP Pain

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I cannot see why so many people have such a big hang-up on George Bush and his passing on faulty intelligence (He Lied?). In his short time in office Obama has made George Bush look like an ethical genius. From no lobbyists, to appointments of tax evaders, his cloudy veirson of transparency, to the biggest laugh of all the claim of being bipartisan. Oh then there is that 48hr period before voting or signing a bill or law. What a waist of hot air. We have already seen that he can not keep the democrats from raiding my grandkids future. and its only been less than a month. I wish Obama would somehow become intellectually honest and stop this political ploy of saying he wants bipartisanship. Wake up America we have elected the most liberal president in history who’s record is supper liberal as a senator and that is how he is going to govern. How could anyone not see this coming. we have to thank you John Mctitanic McCain for running such a grand(parent)campain. Mark my words the democrats will be getting drunk on the money my unborn grand kids have not even earned yet and this is only the tip of the iceberg. yes we can but No He Can't. We have a president who can not stand up to his own power hungry out of control party as they spend trillions of dollars on paybacks and pork. Right now Obama isn't leading the country the congress is. No wonder we have no bipartisanship. look at the leadership of the democrates, who is seeking bipartisanship? no wander they only waited 12 hours before they forced a vote on a holiday weekend on a 3 trillion dallor obligation. that must be the democratic version of transparency or was that bipartisan leadership a trillion in dept per republican vote sounds a little high for me. Oh don't read it just vote for it. they knew that if the people had a chance to read what was in the bill there would be an uproar and the porker of a bill could go down to defeat. no the people don't need to know is heard all throughout washington and the democratic machine keeps rolling along.

Posted by: MrWayne1 | February 15, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

you want to really get rid of "bi-partisanship" forever,then do what you gotta do- get the criminals of the Bush/Cheny regime in jail,where they belong.War criminals all,they need to pay for their crimes against humanity.They make men like tom daschle "pussycats". What he did was amatuerish compared to Bush/Cheneys horrendous acts of war.Scores of people are still dieing in Iraq and Afghan. because of them.They should be held accountable.Steroids in baseball,while deplorable, is insignificant compared to Bush protecting the Saudis after 9/11, and lieing about WMD and how Iraq was behind 9/11, not to mention Shock and Awe.
Americans need to show the civilized world we repudiate and punish our war criminals and not just theirs..

Posted by: lenteach | February 14, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

In a recent report by the WP citing a variety of individuals' responses to the change of mind of Judd Gregg, Karl Rove stated that Gregg's initial acceptance of the cabinet position showed he..."was a patriot who put country before party..."
Excuse me, but is not one supposed to put country before party? If one does, it does not make him/her a patriot. It's what is expected...especially of a politician. OK, I know we're talking politicians here, but still, if one were to blatantly put party before country, he/she would be called a "sleaze." Country before party:normal / Party before country:sleaze This is just another manner in which "patriot" has been used/abused by certain politicians and pundits to extoll, or defame (as in, "it is not patriotic to criticize the President") as they see fits their purpose.

Posted by: wyawy | February 14, 2009 1:13 AM | Report abuse

@ slicer7

Sorry for not responding more quickly. I was not online for a while. And you're not being a jerk at all, unlike most of the other commentors who just want to take potshots at their favorite enemies. Or each other.

You ask if the "census being run out of the White House" is a new thing, and if it isn't, why are the Republicans making such a big deal of it?

At the risk of sounding smarmy, the best answer to the second part of the question as phrased above would be the same as Rahm Emanuel's response to someone asking him why he thought Gregg withdrew, "I don't want to play psychologist and get in his head." I have no idea why Republicans say the things they do. I do know that they are perfectly happy to vastly misrepresent issues to suit their own purposes, or to invent issues out thin air (Google "Pelosi's mice", for example).

To answer the first part of the question, I'm sure you know that the White House, in a broad sense, has always been in charge of the Census, since the Department of Commerce is part of the Executive Branch. As to whether having White House political operatives take a larger role in the Census is new, I rather think this is the first time that's it's been publicly announced, but hardly the first time it's actually happened. One doesn't have to look very far back to see White House political operatives making political decisions about non-political issues in every department of the Executive Branch. Indeed, you'd only have to look back about a month.

Whether or not it's a good thing is another issue. I don't believe it is. I think that if the White House was so concerned about how Gregg would handle the 2010 Census, they shouldn't have nominated him in the first place. Perhaps they heard something after the nomination about Gregg's plans that worried them, or discovered far too late that Gregg was no friend of the Commerce Department in general or the Census in particular. Who can tell?

But in the end, I don't believe that Gregg withdrew because of this. There are other speculations about his withdrawal that make far more sense, all of which (pressure from the Republican congressional leadership, Abramoff problems, etc.) have been aired all over the Internet.

Posted by: wkorn | February 13, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse


It's funny how the name Democratic Party has "democracy" as its root. They need a new name that better describes what they really hold true to their hearts.

Posted by: leapin | February 13, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

The Democratic Party is the moral equivalent of the old Soviet Union. Socialism has enslaved and discouraged millions of people. Neo-Marxism will do the same. BHO’s Rahm job is more like a dictatorship than a open, accountable government.

Posted by: leapin | February 13, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Bsimon1 –

“That's bad news for the commonwealths of Massachusetts & Virginia.”

They are a disgrace to their colonial origins. They shouldn’t have representatives. It’s not too late to enforce the constitution

Posted by: leapin | February 13, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

"The Republican Party of today is the moral equivalent of the Confederate States of America of the nineteenth century. They are turning their backs on the citizens and government of America. They are not worth courting or appeasing.

Posted by: jonstephens | February 13, 2009 11:29 AM"
It's unfortunate, isn't it?

Even moderate Republican Sen. Collins has warned that if her party continues down this obstructionist, I-hope-Obama-fails path, it will be a regional party. Maybe it already is.

Right now, the GOP seems to be basically the old Confederate States less NC and VA, sadly extolling the same discredited values. It would be refreshing if progressive Republicans like Powell or Hagel would speak out at this critical time.

I think we've reached a "West Wing" Leo McGarry point, where Rahm needs to summon everyone to BHO's Oval Office and shout "Let Obama be Obama." And then each WH staffer needs to say, "I serve at the pleasure of the President."

Posted by: broadwayjoe | February 13, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

what's the white house briefing about, anyone???

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 13, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

"This is unconstitutional as the constitution states that only STATES can have representatives."

That's bad news for the commonwealths of Massachusetts & Virginia.

Posted by: bsimon1 | February 13, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Page: H1311 of the conference report
Bureau of the Census
---not much is mentioned except how much money is expended.

Bureau of the Census
For an additional amount for ``Periodic Censuses and Programs'', $1,000,000,000.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 13, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Follow BHO actions not his words which are becoming less credible. Talk to people who have immigrated to the US. I have heard both in person and in the media that they see negative developments, that they moved here to get away from, happening in this country. Watch as BHO manipulates the census to shape representation in congress and to give DC representation in congress which of course will be Dem. This is unconstitutional as the constitution states that only STATES can have representatives.

Posted by: leapin | February 13, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse


BHO (for cutting a deal on the most important economic stimulus/job package since FDR, outstanding)

Rep. Hodes (D-NH)(for being the beneficiary of Gregg's high school stunt to embarrass BHO/it just handed Gregg's Senate seat to him)

Broadcast legend Bill Press (for calling for the return of the Fairness Doctrine--his op-ed was read by Congress and several members will soon tee up legislation)

Panetta (for getting confirmed as CIA Director)

Rachel Maddow (for continued Rhodes Scholar brilliance on TV and radio)

Stephen Curry


Gregg (you embarrassed yourself, your President, and your country)

Post's Kathleen Parker (for following up her idiotic antebellum "Gone With the Wind" ode to her black nanny, with a foolish hatchet job on BHO in the Post drawing as many as 1500 negative comments (maybe more because the system shut down)/KP: say goodbye to Miss Scarlett and Big Sam on the way out)

Juan Williams (holder of a permanent loser card and multiple winner of the Michelle Maglagang/Ward Connerly "Pride" award, for recently insulting Mrs. BHO by saying she was "Stokely Carmichael in a dress"/we know BHO is for non-violence but any chance that BHO might limo over to Faux News and kick his ---?)

The Military Channel

Posted by: broadwayjoe | February 13, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

i agree go2goal. i said yesterday, you get a call from the White House, you answer it!

for those who want to read the conference report:


Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 13, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

@ wkorn:

Not to sound too much like a jerk (really, I'm not trying to be), but I just watched that episode of the West Wing, so I'm up-to-date on the whole ideological split over the census.

My question is more about the "census being run out of the White House" part. Did previous administrations do this? If not, why is the Obama Administration doing it? If it has been done before, why is Gregg (& the Rs) making such a big deal of it? On a pure word used basis, this sounds like a new development. However, I'm well aware new words and phrases are created all the time to express old arguments (McCain talked in the Senate hearings on the DC vote legislation about inherent problems with the census not getting proper representation, and census has been doing the same thing for 200+ years). So is this new, or is it old. Basic background on the issue would be helpful; it has been ten years since this last argument, after all.

Posted by: Slicer7 | February 13, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I don/t believe going along with Party lines does much for our democracy if you do not believe it is in the best interest of the country. Voting for something just because you are Democrat or Republican - just to stay with ones' political party is ridiculus. The Republican's who voted for the Stimulus are 3 of the most Porkulus senators and want something. Guess what? Later, they will get what they want. Politics as usual. Voting for something just to get what you want. And yet, the Democrats keep saying that they are trying to work with the other side. I am so tired of hearing about this attitude -especially when the President and the Democrats have this attitude- We won! So why don't you do your job for the American People instead of for the government, etc. That is what you are there for- to do a job for the American people, not to increase government and get whatever you want for the government. Sorry, but I see no change in Washington. It is still the corrupt, money hungry bunch it has been for years- no matter who has been the majority.

Posted by: rschwank | February 13, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Judd Gregg's departure is a boon for President Obama. Gregg is an unprincipled slug whose involvement with Abramoff derailed him. He tried to pass his resignation off as an act of "principle" when in fact it revealed him to be a trivial scoundrel bent on dishonestly taking advantage of his cabinet position to gain financial return in a subsequent career as a lobbyist.

Gregg and all the Republicans are American Taliban. Blinded by their bitter partisanship, they are intent on undermining the success of President Obama and bringing ruin to America. They are, quite clearly, domestic terrorists, and should be treated as the traitors they are.

Posted by: dee5 | February 13, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

hey king....do you live in one of the states that make up the United States of America????

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 13, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

okay...just announced about Citigroup and Chase freezing foreclosure "processes" ..
into March.

this is what i wanted to see.
a freezing of foreclosures. let's try to make it for 90 days.
Thank you Barney Frank.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 13, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

It is clear that the messiah is in perpetual campaign mode. While he jets around giving empty stump speeches, madman peloony is running the show all the way to the left. Spineless harry does as he is told. Barry votes present once the dust clears.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | February 13, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I think Judd Gregg made himself look pretty bad on his one......and he should resign from the US Senate.

He's insulted the office of the President - the highest elected office in our democracy. He accepts the job and then when he realizes it's going to be a tough job and not a cake walk, he quits. That's a great message to send to the youth of America...but worse, his act of treason to the Presidency sends a horrible message to the International Community.

Judd Gregg needs to resign....in total. He will never recover from this big mistake.

There's never been any bipartisanship with Republicans.....they are the one's who have declared class warfare on 90% of American's with their tax cuts for the rich. If the dems would only pay their taxes......the Republicans would be none existent as a political party....except for the Top 5% of the "have's".

Posted by: go2goal | February 13, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

This is the problem: "We can talk about bipartisanship all day, but almost no one gets elected to be bipartisan and we have a system that does not foster cooperation," said Terry Nelson, a longtime Republican operative and one-time campaign manager for Sen. John McCain's (Ariz.) presidential bid.

My solution:
It is a sad state of affairs that each party refuses to do nothing but to stand behind the party that supports them. How does anything ever get done. It is sad but true that it is in the interest of the Republican party to see Obama fail, because then they would have another chance in four years to win the majority of the votes. “Human history is the sad result of each one looking out for himself.” Julio Cortazar.

Let’s think outside the box: What Congress needs is redesigning. In my opinion, that would help improve consumer confidence more than anything. We are tired of the same old message, it is the other parties fault. Albert Einstein once stated that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. The fundamental problem with Congress is the following: For someone to be successful politician, they usually have to obtain the backing of either the Democrats or Republicans and/or have backing of lobbyist and other special interest groups. For the politician to remain in Congress he must please those that put him there. “The force of selfishness is as inevitable and as calculable as the force of gravitation.” ~Haillard

Here’s an idea let’s vote Congress men/women in by utilizing modernize technology. I think all campaigns and votes should be held similar to reality shows. Every season we are presented with a new set of candidates, they are given challenges, their history is dug into, their past achievements clearly represented and every new season we vote candidates in to the House of Republicans (of course we possibly could do this by regions and state as well- but do we really need to – after all we have state politicians as well) and do the same for candidates of the Senate. No more Democrats, no more Republicans; just representatives of the people.

This would solve three major problems: 1) the cost of campaigning 2) the non bi-partanship currently in Congress and 3) problems with taking campaign funds from special interest groups. Different, definitely; but, here’s the Catch 22, guess who would have to make it law. That’s right, our non-functioning government.

Posted by: butterfliesblossom | February 13, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I can't get over the fact that in the next 10 years we will have to spend 4 TRILLION dollars to pay back this stimulus.


How anyone can support this bill is beyond me - heck, no one voting on it will have even read it!

Posted by: playfair109 | February 13, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Bondosan @ February 13, 2009 9:47 AM: I believe that 'Zouky' made the perfect case for Republicans by his exhibit of mispellings ;)

Posted by: AMviennaVA | February 13, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Bipartisanship is good ... but the Republicans did lose the election (actually they lost the 2006 elections too). They not only lost, but were essentially creamed and reduced to being a regional party. So, as good as bipartisanship is, governance is better. The Republicans blew their chance at governance, and it is now someone else's turn.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | February 13, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

It is fair to say that there probably is not too much future to bipartisanship as an ideological committment on economic issues. There still may be a reasonable chance that President Obama will be able to restore an ideology of bipartisanship on foreign policy issues. But for economic issues the approach will have to be pragmatic. On the stimulus, there was not too much difficulty quickly obtaining the support needed for a very major piece of legislation. It also appears clear that there was little chance or potential value in making an effort to expand that support. There clearly are going to be several pieces of major legislation on economic issues that will be considered in the Obama administration. It remains to be seen how Congress will divide on those issues. But it is quite possible that the division will be significantly different on issues like regulatory reform of the financial system, health care, and entitlement reform. Of course, if President Obama is able to continue to get the same votes for all the items in his legislative agenda without any more compromise than the stimulus bill required, he is not likely to spend much effort worrying about Republicans who chose not to engage constructively.

Posted by: dnjake | February 13, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

we are not socialistic folks.
however, the elimination of commerce dept. has been on the table for just about 20 years.

the Conference Report is out.
285 pages.
Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 1 - The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
Meeting Time: 10:45p.m. on Thursday 2/12

Text of the Conference Report - Division A

Text of the Conference Report - Division B

Joint Explanatory Statement - Division A

Joint Explanatory Statement - Division B

H. Res. 168: Rule and Committee Report

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 13, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Once the peloony economy is fully integrated into the new socialist system, there will be no need for a commerce department. They can change it to the ministry of propoganda and merge it with education. It will be necessary to larn our citizens in the new ways of counting-Lib style.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | February 13, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

has anyone read the Senate Version?
it's a mess

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 13, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Those in the GOP, whose hell-bent stance is on being the Party of "NO", will find its return karma in 2010 and 2012 when the American public will also vote No! It is unfortunate for them that the GOP are on the wrong side of history and that which is good.

Posted by: dsoulplane | February 13, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

yeah scriverner -give it to me later.
make sure you CAPTURE my entry and report it to those people on the inside.

in fact, i hacked into the IRS software package and found out what msmellick's real name and address was.
i am in my car right now heading to his/her house, so watch out.

----the census is going to be mucho importante for 2010, for the new "blended households". i hestitate to even mention "blended families". what we have are "blended families within a household", that makes it a 3 to 4 income household.
But of course, we'll all throw the Census out or lie on it, won't we !!!

i read also about our debt. It's standing at 11.3 now. Economic Stabilization Act raised it from 6 to 11.3.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 13, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

It is more than apparent that the neocons are not gong to play ball and will continue to attack attack attack rather than work with the new majority. I say the heck to the neocons. I'm more than sick of their stupid fabricated truthless repugnant rhetoric and I have had all I can tolerate of their selfish childish whinning and posturing and their true desire to just cause controversy and incite hate if they can't have their way. They are sick sick sick people.!!!!!!!!

Posted by: TimeforChange | February 13, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Headline should read, "Judd Succumbs to Republican Pressures, Decides to Be an Obstuctor Rather than Be a Constructor."

There is no 'bipartisanship' in Washington. It left on the same plane as LBJ. It is time for Pres. Obama to can the idea of finding noteworthy Republican officials to serve in his administration.

Commerce is really about trade. Go after the best, most prominent, apolitical businessman he can find. An independent minded innovative thinker who has no dog in the fight. Rather than seek bipartisan support look for the best nonpartisan support. That's the course to chart. Not Democrat, not Republican, just American.

Posted by: old_sarge | February 13, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Unlike most cheat sheets common to Americans, The Obama White House cheat sheet is a detailed list on how to LIE AND CHEAT THE TAXPAYER all the while broadcasting the FRAUD that Obama is the Messiah sent to save the poor and downtrodden.

Posted by: StarsAndStripesForever | February 13, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Sometimes I'm embarrassed to be American.

Charles Darwin is on currency in England. Here, we don't even know what he did to deserve it.

And really, I hope we will someday stop using the term "believe" when it comes to evolution. It's not a faith-based principle.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 13, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Pres Obama has shown that he is open to working with the other side of the aisle, the GOP is not. We have Rove and Rush to thank for this. They clearly would rather sink the country than see Obama succeed. Shame on them.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | February 13, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

TO: TheBabeNemo

The good people on the inside are aware of your electronically delivered NLP and for whom it is likely intended. A veiled threat is a threat nonetheless. Do you underestimate them?

Posted by: scrivener50 | February 13, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Of COURSE the Republicans are against Obama's stimulus bill. Today's Republican Party is conservative. By definition, conservatives resist change. Progressives, by definition, expect, accept, and even welcome change. Progressives are pragmatic, conservatives are ideological. Conservatives look to the past for guidance, whereas progressives look at the evolving world, and adapt accordingly. The modern world is moving, changing at an ever-quickening pace. The winds of change frighten conservatives, so they cling to the things, beliefs, and traditions they know. But look back 40 years, 80 years, 120 years. The conservative positions have always, always been historical losers. The modern Republican Party will be blown away by the winds of change.

Posted by: windroad | February 13, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

The Republican Party of today is the moral equivalent of the Confederate States of America of the nineteenth century. They are turning their backs on the citizens and government of America. They are not worth courting or appeasing.

Posted by: jonstephens | February 13, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Gregg has made himself look like an idiot, while making three groups very happy: All Republicans (who can now maintain a more solid all-negative-all-the-time position), all Democrats, who won't have to suffer another Republican within the administration (and likely gain a D seat in NH in '10), and Obama, who gets to continue to trumpet "bipartisanship" without actually having to have another R in the cabinet to work around.

Obama is shrewdly setting the R's up with the public. Obama looks like the one making the "bipartisan" effort while the R's look like sore losers who won't play. Eventually the public loses all sympathy for the R's and supports Obama and the D's in simply running over the R's to govern the country.

Posted by: Stonecreek | February 13, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Do not read the bill. No time. It is urgent that we pass this before anyone figures out the fraud. Madame peloony has packed this up with every discredited notion from as far back as 20 years.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | February 13, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

@ Slicer7

I hope Mr. Cillizza can correct me if I'm wrong. My understanding of the issue about the Census has to do with the estimated 1-2 percent of Americans who do not get counted. Apparently these non-counted folks are concentrated in poorer, high-minority, urban locations.

The Republicans support just not counting them. The Democrats support using statistical methods to estimate the number and type of folks not being counted. On a strictly scientific basis, statistical estimation is not a bad way to go, although it is certainly not perfect. But the scientific merits of statistical estimation have little to do with debate.

The data from the Census is used in reapportionment -- the process of determining both the number of representatives a state gets in Congress, and how congressional districts are constructed. Clearly correcting the perceived undercount of the poor and minorities would be favored by the Democrats, and not correcting the undercount would be favored by the Republicans.

Having said that, this debate has been going on for at least 20 years. So any claim that Judd Gregg made about not knowing how Obama might feel about the Census has got to be disingenuous at best. He would have to be living in a cave to not be aware of it.

Posted by: wkorn | February 13, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

You are wasting valuable time with the Republicans. They have NEVER been able to govern. They could not run a lemonaide stand without running into the red and asking for government handouts. They are better at throwing stones. They simply make choices that make NO sense. Now they want to do NOTHING after they made the mess. Not once have the Republican came up with an idea to get the country moving except tax cuts. We tried that and it has NEVER work. While station in Iraq, we would look at a million dollar missle take out a thousand dollar building. NOW THEY WANT TO SAY NO AFTER THE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS THEY BLEW IN IRAQ.

Posted by: navydvldoc | February 13, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

cc it is bipartisan. Even dems are voting against this moronic splurge.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | February 13, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

msmellick: isn't the internet great? you can say just about anything you want.
i guess, in no way, would you say that to chris' face, uh?
internet face to face is so much different isn't it?

say it in person, you may die
say it on the internet, and all you do is bump up your alleged ego.
be nice to chris or we will have to kill you.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 13, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

DailyKos journalist "dengre" is reporting today that Gregg's withdrawal may have had something to do with the Abramoff scandal.

The MSM may have totally whiffed on this story.

Dengre's entire DailyKos article:


Posted by: broadwayjoe | February 13, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Here's a better solution: Send Census and NOAA to Interior, trade to State, NTIA and TNIS to Energy, patents to the Library of Commerce.

And then eliminate Commerce altogether.

Posted by: mattintx | February 13, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Cillizza: When R operatives say " taking the census and moving it into the White House" what are they talking about? I've been hearing rumblings about the census for about a year now, and it seems to be accompanied by eyerolls (by Ds and Rs alike). The only hard things I've heard is that Congress left it out of the "budget" (I use that work VERY lightly) last year. What's going on and why is this figuring so high in Gregg's desicion? An impartial story on this topic would be helpful.

Posted by: Slicer7 | February 13, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

It's sad to see this nation so divided. But we may have to live with it since the wounds are so deep and the division are so wide.

Posted by: ExpressReader | February 13, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

This is in general a bad column written by a professional suck-up exemplifying nothing so much as standard Washington adolescence. The public needs better reporting and commentary and we readers need to be rid of the right-wing nastiness and voluminous screwball nonsense that has poisoned the town since Reagan.

Posted by: msmellick | February 13, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse


It bears repeating: Partisanship in the defense of principled change -- not rhetoric, but real, take-'em-on change -- is NO VICE.





... coordinated multi-agency action "programs of personal destruction" manned by security/intel/revenue agents, local police nationwide, citizen vigilantes fronted by government-funded community policing and anti-terrorism programs.







Posted by: scrivener50 | February 13, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I still don't get why the media thinks it's Obama's problem that Republicans refuse to cooperate with him. If bipartisanship is dead -- which as a Democrat I don't regard as a particularly bad development, given our huge majorities -- then surely it's the Republicans' doing, not his.

Chris, why is this so hard for you to figure out?

Posted by: swallen1 | February 13, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Chris it's not a setback for Obama when Gregg accepted the position and then lied and resigned. He knew Obama's politics - they served together and it wasn't the stimulus which was debated before, yes before, he accepted the position.

Gregg looks like a fool, jerk, liar, etc.

Posted by: rlj1 | February 13, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

So let me get the logic here straight: Democratic President with largest popular margin of victory in years reaches out to the opposition to nominate a member of the opposition to his cabinet. The member actively seeks such position in the cabinet and enthusiastically accepts the nomination. After a couple of weeks, because of "principle" this same partisan politician comes to the "difficult" decision that indeed he cannot serve the president. And this is a bad reflection on the President? Where is the outrage from the high priests of Beltway punditry at this flagrant slap in the face of bipartisanship? It takes two to tango and the republicans simply do not want to dance. Moreover, they believe that their ideology is more important than the health of this country.

Soon regular folks will see the cynicism and hate that fills most of these radical rightists.

Posted by: eddiehaskel | February 13, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

An 8 point spread in a presidential election is pretty decisive. 58 percent control in the House, Senate, and at the state Governorship level is as well.

The biggest factor that the GOP has to worry about are the 70-30 splits coming down the pike with the next two voting generations. I'm someone who voted for moderate Republicans growing up in Virginia. The Virginia GOP though has lost my vote and that of many of my peers during the past several years.

The GOP has caved into the stupids, and has sold its soul to the highest bidder (including foreign interests like Aussie Murdoch's News Corp).

They've given the finger to ordinary Americans pretty much at every turn over the past several years -- and they CONTINUE to do it. Well, f-ck them.

Posted by: JPRS | February 13, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse


PLEASE seek a comment from the National Republican Congressional Committee on the facts you highlight above.

Your audience wants to read an explanation for spending $760K to promote fiscal responsibility while being $6.5M in debt.

What is the example here?

Posted by: Politicania | February 13, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse


You might make a better case for Republicans if you could learn how to spell.

It's "Bye, bye," not "By, by."

Posted by: Bondosan | February 13, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

He chose the position,

Who chose what position? Are you referring to Gregg and the Sec. of Commerce Position?

then Obama (yet again) flip-flopped and brought the census firmly under control of the White House.

Are you saying that Obama waited until Gregg accepted the nomination to reveal that he wanted the 20120 census reporting to WH staff?

What's your source(s) to justify your claims of "flip-flop?"

PS - by "this mess" the original poster was referring to the economic crisis.

PPS - your CAPS thing makes your POSTS look SILLY

Posted by: VTDuffman | February 13, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

It's high time the Obama administration started acting like the winners of November's landslide victory

LOL. LANDSLIDE victory? 52.9 percent popular vote for Obama vs. 45.7 percent popular vote for McCain is HARDLY a landslide.

Posted by: zap123 | February 13, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Republicans made this mess. If they can't be part of the solution, they need to get out of the way. I credit Obama for trying. I credit Gregg for being a jerk. Once you've accepted a nomination like this, saying you've changed your mind is not really an option. Jerk. Good riddance. People voted for change which translated means, clean house.
REPUBICANS MADE THIS MESS? Which mess? That four other candidates were tax dodgers? He chose the position, then Obama (yet again) flip-flopped and brought the census firmly under control of the White House.

But you keep being the Obama apologist. You cant say "rah rah for bipartisanship", induce a conservative Repub to servein a Cabinet Level position for Obama, then totally change direction on census policy without even consulting the Senator. Good Grief.

Its only been a few weeks into his Admin and I'm not bashing Obama. He needs time, but something is not clicking. The vetting process was/is a complete disaster and right or wrong, it is forcing the American public to scratch their collective heads...

Posted by: zap123 | February 13, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

The GOP did some strange redistricting here in Texas too. Specifically designed to give the GOP more political hold. It was so bad that when the vote came up for approval, every Democrat from the states two houses left the state. Tom DeLay and Rick Perry(current governor) were behind this. Look on Wikipedia under Texas redistricting 2003 and look at the maps after the change. It is ludicris.

Posted by: freespiritheart1 | February 13, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Republicans made this mess. If they can't be part of the solution, they need to get out of the way. I credit Obama for trying. I credit Gregg for being a jerk. Once you've accepted a nomination like this, saying you've changed your mind is not really an option. Jerk. Good riddance. People voted for change which translated means, clean house.

Posted by: SarahBB | February 13, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

oh and chris,
you simply must buy a Nemo for the new baby. Lucky fin and all.
and if you find nemo,
tell me where cause I can't find Nemo.
Nemo is not on the market too much any longer. He withdrew.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 13, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

i'll reach out to Rahm. for sure.

besides, Gregg's withdrawal doesn't mean jack. Just keeping up press that's all.

what if President Obama finds out he doesn't WANT to sign this new re-vamped senate version????

Mr Rosenberg is quite right:
"The longer the Washington Republican Party holds on to old plays from an old political playbook, fighting a popular Democratic President and a whole new set of 21st century political realities, the more likely they are to suffer in the eyes of the American people,".

whole new set of 21st century political realities.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 13, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Good-bye and good riddance! We have suffered for eight long miserable years under gop incompetence. It's high time the Obama administration started acting like the winners of November's landslide victory and not some turn the other cheek let's play nice kissy kissy roll over and play dead party they have been for the last eight years. News flash Barack, WE WON! Now get on with it!

Posted by: dem4life1 | February 13, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Census in 2010. Remember ten years ago the Republicans changed districts throughout the country to take a lead in the Census in their attempt to make a permanent Republican control in Washington happen. This is what the Gregg deal is all about. In accepting the job Gregg knew that he would control the districts in the country and would continue the Republican mapping made ten years ago. The Right was on Greggs back from the outset to make sure that he leaned to the right on the census. When the Whitehouse announced that the census would not be run in Commerce the pressure on Gregg was intense and he simply couldn't handle it. He backed out because he couldn't take the heat from the right. Nuff said!

Posted by: AZdave | February 13, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Aside from the Gregg issue, have the Republicans somehow fallen victim to a state of collective amnesia!? They want to block legislation as wasteful spending and accuse Democrats of being hyper-partisan. Where have they been these past eight years? They are really a delusional lot.

Posted by: DinahS | February 13, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

If it didn't make me so mad I'd laugh out loud at the Republicans complaining that "actions like taking the census and moving it into the White House are inconsistent with campaign messages about being post-partisan."

I live in one of several torturously designed Pennsylvania congressional districts created in the 2000 redistricting. That round of congressional mapping was run by the RNC and a smirking circle of party zealots. Their stated purpose was a permanent majority of Republicans in Congress. And so the states were carved into a crazy quilt of districts finely calculated to disenfranchise as many Democrats as possible. Look at the 1st,2nd, 6th and 13th congressional districts of Pennsylvania to see how much the Republican party values democracy and fair governance. Pittsburg was similarly d*cked-over.

I am tired of the Republican's pathetic posturing whenever they are treated the way they have treated others. Their mewling now about stuff like redistricting, deficit spending and their lack of input on major legislation makes them look ridiculous.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | February 13, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

by by sanity. By by professionalism. By by grown ups. By by money. By by safety. By by economy. By by honesty. The libs are in charge.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | February 13, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Good Riddance!! A very stupid appointment which only made sense if we picked up another senate seat in return. Since we didn't--at least not for two years--the appointment had no saving grace. Rachel Maddow had it right from the start.

Posted by: yacovelle | February 13, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

The GOP is going into full opposition mode. Their hope to quick return to power is making sure Obama fails - which means hoping this stimulus package fails - which means hoping millions of American suffer. Blinkered jerks.

Posted by: jswallow | February 13, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Gregg was trying to play Trojan Horse for the Republican Party and take charge of the 2010 Census for redistricting votes for a Republican majority and undercounting anyone who might be favorable to Democrats. When he realized that the White House wouldn’t play this game he broke his crayons and called mommy Senate to tell her he wanted to come home. Watch him run like H--- for reelection, after sending strong signals that he wouldn't.

Posted by: TeddyRoosevelt | February 13, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

I think you are WAY off base on the Bipartisanship, I still think Pres. Obama will continue to reach out to the sleaze ball republicans and they will continue to slap at him, but that's ok it will just make them look that much worse. Pres. Obama has done NOTHING wrong in this. Good grief how can you blame this on him? Look what he has done, and it is not even 3 weeks into his term. Man has any other president EVER done this much so soon...with so little support???

Look how much he has reached out to the republicans. How much did Bush reach out to the Democratic Party??

I rest my case.

Posted by: sweetlucy47 | February 13, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Gregg has embarrassed himself and, most importantly, the President in what amounted to a cheesy effort to grab the Census and gerrymander the GOP back into the majority.


Posted by: parkerfl1 | February 13, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

New polling by Research 2000 for the liberal Daily Kos site paints a rosy picture for the reelection prospects of Sen. Byron Dorgan (D) even if Republican heavyweight Gov. John Hoeven decides to run. Dorgan leads Hoeven 57 percent to 35 percent in the poll

oh yeah, kkkarl

the repuglitards are energized all right

all 35% of them

the other 65% of the country ???

they hate the repuglitard party with PASSION

the republican party is a cancer on America

Posted by: notstupid1 | February 13, 2009 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Mazel tov on Baby Fix.

You seem like an enterprising young reporter.
I would look into the Abramoff aspect to explain Gregg's sudden remembering that he's a Republican.

Posted by: Canonera | February 13, 2009 6:41 AM | Report abuse

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