Everyday we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation in and outside Washington.
It is getting to know you day at the White House, and like any relationship the biggest challenge is building trust. President Obama and the two GOP congressional leaders, Speaker-to-be John Boehner and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell simply do not have any professional or personal relationship to rely on in the legislative battles ahead. Forget trying to assign blame; this "trust deficit" is a chronic problem in today's Washington. And progress on big issues suffers as a result.
On to the bullet points: John picks up where I leave off in his No. 1. Not a healthy idea, but maybe he is on to something. John's No. 3 is part of the same issue/debate and why groups like the new "NoLabels" spring up trying to encourage adult conversation. Without progress on John's first and third points, you can forget about any real discussion about the BIG issue he mentions in No. 2. Erick takes after reports the attorney general is part of the lobbying campaign for the World Cup, and in his No. 2 shows where the federal workforce debate heads next now that President Obama has embraced a pay freeze. Erick's third point is a reminder that whatever the global debate, climate change is not the driving topic in our politics that many thought it would be back when President Obama took office. Enjoy the day. - John King
RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:
- The United States Attorney General is not in his office dealing with Wikileaks. No, he is off to Switzerland to lobby for the World Cup for 2022. I hope he has better luck than the President and the 2016 Olympics.
- First a pay freeze. When can we get federal layoffs? Why should a federal job be safer than a private sector job in tough times?
- The UN will get better optics in Cancun than Copenhagen for a global warming summit, but it still won't make a difference.
Senior Political Columnist for TheDailyBeast.com John Avlon:
- The Slurpee Summit Has Arrived – We'll see if any substantive progress can be made on issues reportedly ranging from the START Treaty to taxes, or if its all just photo op bipartisanship. I've got a column on CNN.com calling for Obama and Boehner to have a 'cigarette summit.' It's a stupid habit that they've both been known to indulge – so turn it into an asset: have an off camera smoke and begin a candid conversation, and start to get to know each-other as people instead of partisan caricatures.
- The Deficit Commission Gets Ready to Vote – The Bowles Simpson Commission is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a specific set of proposals culled from the draft plans circulated earlier this month. Establishment Washington considers the effort DOA and the proposals have come under considerable fire from both the right and – especially – the left. But this embattled panel is the best chance we're going to have for serious deficit and debt reform in the near future. Here's a column I did on the subject today for The Daily Beast.
- New Poll Shows Demand for Bipartisanship and Skepticism – Today, the senate voted down a two-year ban on earmarks supported by the President and Mitch McConnell. 'Don't Ask, Don Tell' hearings are proceeding without serious optimism for reform and even the START Treaty seems stalled despite the support from former GOP Secretary of States and the military. No wonder a new McClatchy poll shows that over 70% of Americans want the two parties to work together – but a similar number are skeptical it will actually happen. That disconnect is a source of growing citizen frustration and its the reason I helped co-found a new group called No Labels with folks like Mark McKinnon, Lisa Borders, Jon Cowan, David Frum and David Walker, which will be officially launched in December.