11:30: President Obama delivers remarks at an event at the White House attended by “middle class Americans who would see their taxes go up if Congress fails to act”
12:30: Jay Carney briefs the press
3:0: PBO & VP Biden hold a cabinet meeting
4:45: PBO & VP Biden attend a meeting with business leaders
Steve Benen: As fiscal talks continue in Washington, Republicans are already facing several disadvantages. Not only is President Obama holding a stronger hand — with looming tax hikes, he clearly has more leverage — polls show the American mainstream more likely to blame the GOP if talks fail.
But for Republicans, it gets worse. They have fairly specific policy goals in mind, but haven’t persuaded the public at all. Consider the results of the new ABC News/Washington Post poll, which I turned into a chart.
Washington Post: The White House signaled Tuesday that it will try to marshal the momentum from President Obama’s reelection triumph into another victory at the negotiating table, launching a full-fledged public relations effort to avoid a “fiscal cliff” that could jolt the nation back toward recession.
Administration officials said Obama will hit the road this week for a campaign-style series of events with ordinary Americans, including a visit to a toy manufacturer in suburban Philadelphia on Friday. That trip and others will be aimed at increasing pressure on Congress to reach an agreement on heading off a series of automatic spending cuts and tax increases that are scheduled to begin in January.
The push comes as top Democratic and Republican leaders work to avoid a standoff on the issue, which includes debate about Obama’s insistence that tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans enacted by President George W. Bush should expire.
Greg Sargent: In another big development this morning, Rep. Tom Cole is privately urging fellow Republicans to acquiesce to Dems and extend the Bush tax cuts for the middle class – then fight over the high end ones. Cole admits:
“Some people think that’s our leverage in the debate. It’s the Democrats’ leverage in the debate.”
This matters: Cole doesn’t typically break from GOP orthodoxy; it may mean GOPers really are coming to terms with who has the leverage here.
Well, the one thing you have to give the spotlight-humpers currently trying to make a meal out of the career of Susan Rice is they’re nothing if not predictable.
Rice, and acting CIA director Michael Morell, took time out of their busy schedules to go up to Capitol Hill and soothe the wounded fee-fees of John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and the inexplicable Kelly Ayotte …. who apparently has been adopted by Grumpypants and Huckleberry Closetcase because they can convince her that Susan Rice went to prom with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. So Rice and Morell give them the courtesy of a meeting that these three had no real right to demand, and this is what we get from Huckleberry when the meeting is over…..
….. This whole long con has passed now into the realm of pure McCarthyism …. No details. Nothing specific. Just John McCain, being troubled, as he has been since the country declined to make him its president…..
Steve Benen: At this point, when it comes to the political controversy surrounding the Benghazi attack, I’m no longer know what Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is complaining about. He’s raised questions, which have been answered. He’s raised theories, which have been debunked. He’s smeared Susan Rice, but he knows her only crime is sharing credible intelligence on a Sunday show.
And yesterday, the Republican senator’s descent into incoherence reached new depths.