In a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing today, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand finally had the chance to publicly question Chuck Hagel, saying she'd be focusing her time on the "most urgent issues from my perspective," which were, in order: Iran, Israel, Israel, Israel, Syria, Afghanistan, and the treatment of women in the military.(2)
Sens. Chuck Schumer and John McCain took their odd couple act to a Politico breakfast event this morning, saying their "Gang of Eight" is now meeting twice a week on immigration reform, in the hopes of crafting a bill that could get broad bipartisan support in the Senate.
"We've got to maintain the center," said McCain. "We're not seeking 100 votes, but we are seeking 80 votes."
After weeks of invective and accusation about Hillary Clinton's role in the purported cover-up of the killings in Benghazi, Republicans seem to be lowering the stakes for her testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler has an admittedly "out of the ordinary" solution to the coming fight over the debt ceiling.(15)
Sen. Chuck Schumer was more than happy to have Wayne LaPierre, the combative head of the National Rifle Association, precede him on "Meet the Press" on Sunday morning.
"I think he's so extreme and so tone deaf that he actually helps the cause of us passing sensible gun legislation in the Congress," said Schumer, a longtime foil for the NRA who has pressed for some new reforms in the week since the tragic school shooting in Connecticut.(2)
The White House and John Boehner dug in on Sunday morning, assuring their respective bases that they'll stand strong in the negotiations over the so-called fiscal cliff.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner appeared on all five Sunday shows, and insisted that President Obama's existing budget proposal was a serious first offer in the negotiations, despite the fact it contains almost nothing House Republicans have demanded as part of any potential deal, and that it's Republicans who hold the keys to the deal.
On Sunday morning, after a slow holiday news week, the Sunday shows, like so many families, gave in to conversations about the movie of the moment, Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln."
In the movie, Abraham Lincoln cajoles Congress to pass the Thirteenth Amendment, and all the guests seemed to have an idea about what Obama could learn from "Lincoln," and from other past presidents.
The suggestions included: hosting a regular cocktail hour at the White House, locking legislators in the White House, taking a cross-country train trip, playing more golf with congressional leaders, stating his case more plainly to the public, and generally being more schmoozy with Congress and also more connected to the public.
On Sunday morning, Republicans played a game of whodunnit, speculating across the Sunday shows about who might have altered the Benghazi talking points that were eventually delivered by Ambassador Susan Rice.
“The fact is that when Gen. Clapper and Gen. Petraeus signed off on those talking points, it had different language in them,” said Rep. Peter King on ABC's "This Week."
Chuck Schumer and Lindsey Graham, who announced they would be working together on immigration reform, were among a number of senators from both parties who fanned out across the Sunday shows to argue whether Democrats had won a mandate on Tuesday night, when President Obama trounced MItt Romney by more than 100 electoral votes, and Democrats gained two seats in the Senate, despite having to defend some Republican-leaning territory.
Democrats claimed there was an obvious mandate for raising taxes on the highest-earners, and got some support from conservative columnist Bill Kristol on "Fox News Sunday."
The simplest explanation of what happened to Mitt Romney, more compelling than the storm and the ground game and Nate Silver and Chris Christie and the up-ticking economy and "47 percent," even though all of those things mattered, is that there aren't enough voters now who like the agenda that the Republican Party sent Romney into the general to sell.
On Sunday morning, just two days before the second presidential debate, and a few days after the lone vice presidential debate, the focus of "Face the Nation" was squarely on Libya.
If the Sunday shows are any indication, Harry Reid's mysteriously sourced tax accusations against Mitt Romney are working.
In an upstairs ballroom of the Harvard Club this afternoon, a number of New York's most generous conservative donors urged Wisconsin recall-election-survivor governor Scott Walker to allow America to see more of him.
Asked about jobs this Sunday on ABC's "This Week," Senator Chuck Schumer defended the president's record, and then quickly pivoted to the controversial debate over contraception.
"Republicans, realizing that that's not their strong suit, are going off on these other things, women's issues and women's health and contraception," Schumer said. "And as a result, we're in a stronger and stronger position. The women's vote, latest polls show we're up by 15 percent, because they want us to focus on the economy and the middle class, and we are doing it."(1)