Everyday we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation in and outside Washington.
Good day, and it’s another big one in Washington. (For starters I showed Abby on the staff my 1988 Dukakis campaign Rob Lowe “Thrillcam” interview. So for a couple of hours anyway I don’t seem so old around here!). Back to the news, and it’s big: President Obama is nearing another “lame duck” session victory, as GOP support for the START Treaty with Russia grows. Today’s Bullet Points underscore the politics of this: Erick wonders if the conservatives who just helped Republicans to big midterm gains are already being ignored, while John sees this as a victory for the political center. Erick also sees internal Republican politics in a harsh media week for Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who today tried to clarify statements about the Civil Rights movement that seemed insensitive to say the least. John’s No. 3 is good context on that flap. John also weighs in on the 9/11 first responders legislation, which could be the last big battle of the lame duck. Erick notes the new Census data, which does suggest short-term political gain for the GOP, but reminds us yet again of the party’s longer-term predicament if it cannot improve its troubles with Latino voters. Enjoy the day. –John King
Senior Political Columnist for TheDailyBeast.com John Avlon:
– START Moved Forward – CNN's Dana Bash is reporting that 9 GOP senators will vote for the START nuclear arms treaty – that's enough to hit the 67-mark necessary for treaty approval. A good day for bipartisanship again in this lame duck.
– 9/11 First Responders Bill – The heat's on for the passage of this bill, much improved with GOP input from Rep. Pete King and others. With strong support from New York's two Democratic senators, as well as Rudy Giuliani and Mayor Mike Bloomberg, we have an civic obligation to care of those who took care of their fellow citizens in the aftermath of the attack.
– Haley Barbour Apologizes – But is it too little to late? In an interview with the Weekly Standard, Barbour took a very benign view of the “White Citizens’ Councils” of the fifties and sixties, which were established to support what was then known as “massive resistance” to desegregation. Now he's saying they were “totally indefensible.” This is the ugly underside of realignment rearing its head – as William Faulkner said about the South, "the past is never dead. It's never even past."
RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:
– Senate GOP caves on START. Conservatives are wondering what they have to do to get the GOP's attention.
– There is a dribble of negative oppo flowing out on Haley Barbour. People want to know who is doing it. I think we need to look at potential primary rivals, not Democrats.
– There will be some new seats in Congress next year thanks to redistricting. Advantage to the GOP.