Saturday: The President has no public events scheduled
Sunday: The First Family will attend Christmas in Washington at the National Building Museum
Monday: The President will travel to Redford, Michigan for an event on the economy at the Daimler Detroit Diesel plant
Tuesday and Wednesday: The President will attend meetings at the White House
Thursday: The President will host a Hanukkah reception at the White House
Friday: The President will attend meetings at the White House
Business Insider: As negotiations on a deal to avert the “fiscal cliff” enter the final three weeks, Republicans face a stark reality: The American public continues siding with President Barack Obama and Democrats on the issues crucial to any potential deal.
Polls taken over the past month have continually shown that a post-election bump for the President, combined with the relative unpopularity of Republicans, gives Obama a lot of leverage in the debate.
…. The kicker lies in the difference in approval ratings between Obama and Congressional Republicans. Obama’s approval rating hit an astounding 57 percent in Friday’s AP survey. Meanwhile, Congress has a 23 percent approval rating.
NYT: Fifty-eight years after it banned discrimination in public education, the Supreme Court has set the stage for the defining civil rights decision of this era — agreeing to hear two cases challenging laws that define marriage to exclude couples of the same sex. To us, and a growing number of Americans, the right course seems clear: that the justices continue the march toward real equality.
…. Public opinion is shifting on this issue as more people recognize the inherent wrong in a last bastion of official discrimination. The most important hearts and minds to be won at this point belong to the nine justices.
Washington Post: Former Florida governor Charlie Crist said late Friday night that he is now a Democrat.
The Republican governor-turned independent Senate candidate’s move was widely anticipated, especially in advance of a potential 2014 run for his old office. Crist endorsed President Obama for reelection this year and has aligned with Democrats over the last two years.
2:45 ET: Michelle Obama speaks at a campaign event at Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware
5:45 ET: Michelle Obama speaks at a campaign event at Cuyahoga County Community College, Cleveland
NYT Editorial: There are many unanswered questions about the vicious assault in Benghazi last month that killed four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. And Congress has a responsibility to raise them. But Republican lawmakers leading the charge on Capitol Hill seem more interested in attacking President Obama than in formulating an effective response.
It doesn’t take a partisan to draw that conclusion. The ugly truth is that the same people who are accusing the administration of not providing sufficient security for the American consulate in Benghazi have voted to cut the State Department budget, which includes financing for diplomatic security. The most self-righteous critics don’t seem to get the hypocrisy, or maybe they do and figure that if they hurl enough doubts and complaints at the administration, they will deflect attention from their own poor judgments on the State Department’s needs.
Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport, October 13 (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
Washington Post: President Obama is regarded as significantly more honest and trustworthy than Mitt Romney in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll — a finding that could inform the incumbent’s strategy heading into the second debate of the general election Tuesday night.
Fifty-five percent of likely voters said that Obama is “honest and trustworthy,” while 41 percent said he was not. For Romney, on the other hand, 47 percent said he could be described as honest and trustworthy, while an equal 47 percent said that he could not.
…. But in the handful of swing states identified by the Post (along with Democratic-leaning Ohio), Obama’s lead is even more pronounced on the question. Fifty-six percent of swing-state voters said the incumbent is honest and trustworthy, while just 44 percent said the same of Romney.
Virginia Gazette: …. The president arrived at the office, where he came into the lobby carrying a stack of pizzas …. he introduced himself to a small group of campaign workers in the lobby before heading into a back room, where 11 volunteers were phone banking. Obama introduced himself to the volunteers before taking a seat between Alexa Kissinger and Suzanne Stern to make his own phone calls to local volunteers. “I’ve got to get to work,” Obama said.
After joking with Stern about “old school” phones Obama …. then called Ellen and Chuck Hawkins. “Is this Ellen?” Obama asked. “Ellen this is Barack Obama.” Hawkins seemed not to believe she was getting a call from the president of the United States.
“It is. It is. Really, truly,” Obama said. “I’m over here in the Williamsburg office. They have told me some of the great folks that have been doing work, and I know you and Chuck have been working so hard.”
After making phone calls Obama, shook hands with and hugged a line of roughly 20 volunteers standing outside in front of the office, before heading back to Kingsmill to continue preparing for the debate.
With campaign volunteer Suzanne Stern at a campaign office in Williamsburg, October 14 (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
…. greeting supporters outside the Williamsburg campaign office (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
NYT: BOSTON — When the ceiling collapsed in the Big Dig tunnel here, Gov. Mitt Romney was at his vacation home in New Hampshire. When the Bush administration warned that the nation was at high risk of a terror attack in December 2003, he was at his Utah retreat. And for much of the time the legislature was negotiating changes to his landmark health care bill, he was on the road.
During Mr. Romney’s four-year term as governor of Massachusetts, he cumulatively spent more than a year – part or all of 417 days – out of the state, according to a review of his schedule and other records. More than 70 percent of that time was spent on personal or political trips unrelated to his job, a New York Times analysis found.
Reuters: U.S. retail sales rose in September as Americans bought more cars and gasoline, while a gauge of consumer spending pointed to stronger-than-expected economic growth in the third quarter.
Retail sales increased 1.1 percent, the Commerce Department said on Monday, beating expectations after an upwardly revised 1.2 percent rise in August.
…. The details of the report showed broad strength across retailers, with sales of motor vehicles and parts up 1.3 percent … Other categories were also strong, with sales at electronics retailers up 4.5 percent, while sales at food and beverage stores rose 1.2 percent.
2:10: President Obama participates in a town hall hosted by Univision (Live on Facebook – and here)
President Barack Obama and Burmese Opposition Leader Aung San Suu Kyi pet Bo, the Obama family dog, at the conclusion of their meeting in the Oval Office, Sept. 19, 2012. Attendees included Danny Russel, Senior Director for Asian Affairs, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)