Susan Rice Will Run Foreign Policy From WH, Not State

Susan Rice, who withdrew from consideration as secretary of state after criticism over her Sunday talk show appearances right after the Benghazi terror attacks on 9/11/12 that left four Americans, including Amb. Chris Stevens, dead, is President Obama’s new national security adviser.  The job doesn’t require Senate confirmation, so Rice’s GOP enemies can’t do anything about it.  She who laughs last, laughs best.

The losers here — besides those GOP enemies — are John Kerry and the Syrian rebels.  Kerry because foreign policy will be concentrated at the White House now, giving him less power, and the rebels because Rice opposes intervention in the Syrian civil war, where the tide is turning in Assad’s favor.

Speaking of “power,” Obama is nominating Samantha Power to replace Rice at the U. N.

If You Fail in the GOP, They Promote You

GOP Texas Sen. John Cornyn was head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee this cycle, tasked with taking back the Senate for the GOP.  As you know, the Dems increased their majority, so Cornyn failed.

His punishment?  They’ve made him GOP Whip, the number two job after Mitch McConnell, the Minority Leader.  Affirmative action for old white guys, I guess.


Where’s Nate?

Nate is currently projecting that Obama will get 307 electoral votes and Mitt will get 231 tomorrow.

He gives the Prez an 86.3% chance of winning, and Mitt a 13.7% chance.

As for the Senate, he projects 52 or 53 seats for the Dems and 47 or 48 for the GOP.

He gives the Dems a 91.5% chance of keeping their majority and the GOP an 8.5% chance of taking it.

Quote of the Day

“On the Democratic side, we’re the victims of our own spin with [Massachusetts GOP Senator] Scott Brown.  In 2009, we said, ‘You look, he’s going to be a mess, an ideologue, he’s going to be stupid.’  Well, he hasn’t been any of those things.  She [Dem candidate Elizabeth Warren]  should be 10 points up.  It’s a problem.”

Scott Ferson, a Democratic consultant based in Boston, quoted in “Elizabeth Warren DNC speech:  Charlotte star, Massachusetts underdog,” David Catanese, Politico

Akin Staying In

A defiant Todd Akin says he’s staying in his Senate race against Claire McCaskill in Missouri.  I expect he’s furious about the hypocrisy of those in the GOP calling for him to exit.  Some of them might not agree with him that you can’t get pregnant if you’ve been raped, but the result they support is the same — no abortions for rape victims.

A huge headache for Mitt, who has now been forced to say that his administration won’t oppose abortion in case of rape.

Funny, that’s not what the GOP platform has said since 1976.  Funny, that’s not what Paul Ryan has said his whole career (he and Akin are joined at the hip on abortion).  Funny, that’s not what Mitt agreed to when he told Mike Huckabee that he would “absolutely” sign a personhood amendment, which says that a fertilized egg is a human being, an amendment so radical and bizarre that it failed to pass in Mississippi.

This is a flip where Mitt would immediately flop if he won and cave to the base, a temporary pander to try to hold the line on the already huge gender gap.  Good luck with that Mittens, we see right through you, and your little dog Ryan too.

Thank you, Todd Akin, for giving abortion rights the spotlight they deserve in this race.

Pressure on Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin

The GOP is trying to distance itself from Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin’s view that victims of “legitimate rape” don’t get pregnant and therefore have no need for abortions.*

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has said that it will pull $5 million in funding for the race if he doesn’t drop out.  Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS  has stopped running ads in Missouri.

Akin has until 5 P. M. tomorrow to drop out and let the GOP nominate another candidate, but so far he has refused to do so.

The GOP needs to win three seats to take control of the Senate if Mitt wins and four seats if Obama wins.  The Missouri seat now held by Dem Claire McCaskill was considered low-hanging fruit until Akin’s incendiary comments.

McCaskill said this morning that the comments were “a window into Todd Akin’s mind.”

They are also a window until the GOP itself.  Akin is not some weird anomaly in the party, some Tea Party guy with no government experience — he’s had six terms in the House of Representatives.

Akin really is where the party is now, he’s just more open and honest about it.  It used to be that the really fringe congressmen knew not to try for the Senate.  Now the fringe is running the party, so people like Akin can be not just one of 435, which is bad enough, but one of 100, which is far worse.

As the GOP tries to distance itself from Akin, all non-extreme Americans need to distance themselves from the GOP.

Despair and Panic in GOP

From “GOP pros fret over Paul Ryan,” Alexander Burns, Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Martin, Politico:

“You’ve heard them on television and read them on POLITICO — cheerful, defiant statements from Republican political professionals about Mitt Romney’s bold masterstroke in tapping Paul Ryan as his running mate, and turning the 2012 presidential race into a serious, far-reaching debate about budgets and the nation’s future.

“Don’t buy it.

“Away from the cameras, and with all the usual assurances that people aren’t being quoted by name, there is an unmistakable consensus among Republican operatives in Washington: Romney has taken a risk with Ryan that has only a modest chance of going right — and a huge chance of going horribly wrong.

“In more than three dozen interviews with Republican strategists and campaign operatives — old hands and rising next-generation conservatives alike — the most common reactions to Ryan ranged from gnawing apprehension to hair-on-fire anger that Romney has practically ceded the election.

“It is not that the public professions of excitement about the Ryan selection are totally insincere. It is that many of the most optimistic Republican operatives will privately acknowledge that their views are being shaped more by fingers-crossed hope than by a hard-headed appraisal of what’s most likely to happen.

“And the more pessimistic strategists don’t even feign good cheer: They think the Ryan pick is a disaster for the GOP. Many of these people don’t care that much about Romney — they always felt he faced an improbable path to victory — but are worried that Ryan’s vocal views about overhauling Medicare will be a millstone for other GOP candidates in critical House and Senate races. ”
Emphasis added.