Quote of the Day: A Consequential Week as 2016 Positioning Begins
Our political Quote of the Day comes from NBC’s First Read, which notes two things (1)it was a very consequential week, and, (2) that revving sound you hear are candidates zooming into position to run for the Oval Office in 2016:
*** A consequential week: A year from now, we could look back on this first full week in March as being a pretty significant week in American politics. For starters, we saw former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush dip his toes into the 2016 waters with his media blitz to sell his new book on immigration reform. It produced some backlash, because his immigration plan (written before this year’s Senate movement on the issue) didn’t include a pathway to citizenship. We also saw Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) dip his toes in the 2016 waters, too, as he 1) mounted a highly publicized filibuster against CIA pick John Brennan (who nevertheless was confirmed yesterday) and 2) told Politico he was “seriously” considering a presidential bid. And then after Washington’s inability to avert the so-called sequester budget cuts, we saw President Obama launch a charm offensive, taking 12 GOP senators out to dinner and inviting House Budget Committee Chairman (and failed VP nominee) Paul Ryan to lunch at the White House. It remains to be seen if this recalibration will pay dividends for Obama. But if a Grand Bargain on the budget — or close to it — occurs later this year, we’ll look back on this week as being pretty consequential.
Indeed, I am truly hoping that this week’s edition of my syndicated Cagle column is quickly outdated.
*** Dipping toes into the 2016 waters: In addition to Jeb Bush and Rand Paul dipping their toes into the presidential waters, it’s worth pointing out the different ways all the potential 2016ers have done so far in the first three months of 2013. Last month, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio delivered the high-profile GOP response to President Obama’s State of the Union and has signed on to a bipartisan framework for immigration reform (that does include a pathway to citizenship). Meanwhile, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has blasted House Republicans for failing (temporarily) to provide Hurricane Sandy relief, criticized Obama and Washington for not reaching a deal on the so-called sequester, and decided to expand Medicaid in his state under the federal health-care law (which helped him get uninvited to next week’s CPAC). And back in January, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal argued that Republicans should focus less on Washington’s budget battles.
I think they forgot Rand Paul, who has (a)gotten favorable comments for his use of the old, fashioned filibuster and some of the content of his filibuster, (b)indicated he is seriously considering running.