3:40: President Obama and VP Biden meet with President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico.
Steve Benen: …. Susan Rice will head to Capitol Hill today where she’s scheduled to meet with the same Republican senators who’ve spent a few weeks trying to destroy her reputation …. it now appears Rice’s nomination to replace Hillary Clinton at the State Department is practically a foregone conclusion….
…. the White House is giving McCain, Graham, and Ayotte some special attention and a way out of their own mess. They can, in other words, come out of today’s meeting saying, “We had serious questions, and we’re glad Rice took the time to answer them.” If they then drop the filibuster threat, they’d look less ridiculous.
At least, that’s the idea. In practice, the GOP campaign against Rice has always been detached from reality, and facts from Rice and Morell may not matter, but from the administration’s perspective, it can’t hurt to try.
AP: President Barack Obama plans to make a public case this week for his strategy for dealing with the looming fiscal cliff, traveling to the Philadelphia suburbs Friday as he pressures Republicans to allow tax increases on the wealthy while extending tax cuts for families earning $250,000 or less.
The White House said Tuesday that the president intends to hold a series of events to build support for his approach to avoid across-the-board tax increases and steep spending cuts in defense and domestic programs. Obama will meet with small business owners at the White House on Tuesday and with middle-class families on Wednesday.
The president will visit the Rodon Group on 2800 Sterling Drive in Hatfield. The president’s visit will cap a week of public outreach as the White House and congressional leaders negotiate a way to avoid the tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
Steve Benen: …. as of yesterday, we appear to have reached an interesting, albeit largely symbolic, threshold:
“Call it irony or call it coincidence: Mitt Romney’s share of the popular vote in the 2012 presidential race is very likely to be 47 percent…..”
…. as things currently stand, Obama’s popular vote margin of victory is 3.43%. That’s close, to be sure, but for all the talk about the razor-thin race and the speculation that this could be the tightest national election any of us have ever seen, Obama’s 2012 victory isn’t even in the top 10 of the closest presidential elections in American history.
Eugene Robinson: Maybe the fever is breaking. Maybe the delirium is lifting. Maybe Republicans are finally asking themselves: What were we thinking when we put an absurdly unrealistic pledge to a Washington lobbyist ahead of our duty to the American people?
I said maybe. So far, the renunciations of Grover Norquist’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” amount to a trickle, not a flood….
…. Republicans who signed the pledge – and who now find themselves in a box – have only themselves to blame. To boost their own political fortunes, they lied to the voters. They pretended it was possible to provide the services that Americans need and want without collecting sufficient revenue. They sold the bogus promise of not just a free lunch, but a free breakfast and supper, too.
…. President Obama has been trying to wake Republicans from this silly, self-defeating dream for four long years. Now, perhaps, a twitching of eyelids.
Dana Milbank: President-unelect Rick Santorum made his triumphant return to the Capitol on Monday afternoon and took up a brave new cause: He is opposing disabled people.
Specifically, Santorum, joined by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), declared his wish that the Senate reject the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities….
The former presidential candidate pronounced his “grave concerns” about the treaty, which forbids discrimination against people with AIDS, who are blind, who use wheelchairs and the like. “This is a direct assault on us,” he declared at a news conference.
Lee, a tea party favorite, said he, too, has “grave concerns” about the document’s threat to American sovereignty. “I will do everything I can to block its ratification, and I have secured the signatures of 36 Republican senators, all of whom have joined with me saying that we will oppose any ratification of any treaty during this lame-duck session.”