Every day we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation inside and outside Washington.
Good day, and it’s shaping up as an interesting one in the Egypt political crisis: more crowds demonstrating, and more tensions surfacing between Washington and Cairo. We spoke to a 26-year-old Egyptian American last night who told us the pro-democracy forces were getting a new wave of energy, and today at least it appears Sharief Gaber was correct. He is among those demonstrating at the Egyptian Parliament building. And CNN’s superb correspondent Ben Wedeman reports the largest crowd to date at Tahrir Square. All this as Robert Gibbs, from the White House podium, labels “unhelpful” a suggestion from Egypt’s vice president that it will be a slow transition because the country isn’t quite ready yet for democracy.
John makes note of the Egypt unrest in his first observation, and also frowns on some of the domestic political critiques of President Obama’s handing of the issue. Erick, on the other hand, enjoyed the way Newt Gingrich framed his criticism during our conversation that aired on JKUSA Monday night. Erick’s first and second points are about interesting relationships that are important in the coming debates over spending and job creation. John closes with a lament at the demise of the DLC, and the tensions around the right’s annual CPAC gathering. I was in the middle of the DLC debates of the late 80s and early 90s, when Bill Clinton used his perch with the centrist group as a springboard to the presidency. Still makes me laugh to remember Jesse Jackson turning “Democratic Leadership Council” into “Democrats for the Leisure Class” as he accused the group of abandoning the poor. Back then, Governor Clinton got the last laugh and the privilege of living in the White House for eight years.
Enjoy the day. – John King
RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:
– Barack Obama's speech to the Chamber of Commerce fell flat. Don't expect too much between them.
– Rivalry to watch: Paul Ryan v. Pat Toomey. Put your money on Toomey.
– Newt Gingrich, of all people, has delivered the best critique on the right of the Obama Administration's handling of Egypt. And he delivered it to John King last night.
Senior Political Columnist for TheDailyBeast.com John Avlon:
– The Arab Uprisings – This is still the biggest story in the world and it's still unfolding. Velvet revolutions are almost always better than violent revolutions, so slow is good – especially with an American ally in a troubled region. Anyone who tries to score domestic partisan points against the Obama administration on this issue is unserious and not a little idiotic.
– The DLC Closing Its Doors – For centrists' like me, this isn't just a beltway story. While not unexpected, it represents the end of one of the most influential think tanks of the past half-century. It helped re-center the Democratic Party after the Reagan era and led directly to the election and policies of the Clinton administration. Founder Al From left more than a year ago and Bruce Reed now serves as chief of staff to VP Biden. The DLC became less relevant in part because it was so successful – groups like Third Way and PPI will continue its efforts in the Democratic Party and yes, groups like No Labels, are extending the idea beyond one party.
– The Start of CPAC – The annual conservative conclave CPAC starts later this week in DC. This year, the controversy has been unexpected – the decision to allow the gay conservative group GoProud to be one of 50 co-sponsors of the event has spurred a divisive fight within the conservative movement. No one inside the movement seemed to object when the John Birch Society co-sponsored last year, but gays being conservative have caused the Heritage Foundation and other conservative groups to boycott, along with senators like Jim DeMint. They're not going to look much better than the conservatives who missed the boat big-time on the 1960s civil rights movement.