As expected, the Florida commission tasked with deciding its 2012 primary date has decided on the date that it was supposed to be all along. January 31, 2012.
And the very situation the National Party Committees hoped to avoid, is going to happen, as the first four states, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina are expected to move their primary or caucus events earlier in to January. Florida, as its leadership wanted, will likely be the fifth contest next year.
"That process included discussion of a range of dates from January 3rd to March 6th or later, so this compromise of January 31st properly reflects the importance Florida will play on the national stage," said Lenny Curry, chairman of the Republican Party of Florida.
The first reaction was from New Hampshire, which will move up its filing deadline for its primary to the end of October, from mid-November.
"Because we cannot rule out the possibility of conducting the primary before the end of this year, we are, regrettably, as we were four years ago, forced to move the presidential candidates filing period to October," said New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner in an ominous statement.Continue »
With all the speculation about possible late entrants into the Republican nomination race, including N.J. Gov. Chris Christie and Fox News analyst Sarah Palin, we've been asked a lot about the deadlines - how long can a potential candidate wait to be a real candidate?
First, remember we still don't even know for sure when the primaries will be. There remains the chance that some states could move from February to January, and any filing deadlines for the ballots could conceivably move too. But it's more than just legal deadlines - a campaign apparatus has to be there, too.Continue »
Florida appears poised to schedule its Republican primary in late January, earlier than national party officials want, setting off a chain reaction that would send Iowa voters to make their choice for president the first week of 2012.
A spokesperson for Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon tells CBS News that the commission appointed to select the state's presidential primary date is expected to announce on Friday that the Florida primary will be January 31, 2012.
The commission had been looking at a February 21 date, but Florida officials moved their target date forward this week after reports over the weekend that Missouri, Colorado and Georgia were looking to get a headstart on Florida.
The staff of the Florida governor, Senate president and House speaker, all Republicans, who each appointed 3 of the 9 members on the panel, have been discussing the move and are pushing for the January 31 timetable, the earliest possible date that the commission could pick for the primary, aides said.Continue »
"A healthy 30-year-old young man has a good job, makes a good living, but decides, you know what? I'm not going to spend $200 or $300 a month for health insurance because I'm healthy, I don't need it. But something terrible happens, all of a sudden he needs it. Who's going to pay if he goes into a coma, for example? Who pays for that?" asked host Wolf Blitzer.
Paul, a medical doctor, first responded by saying American society is primed to believe government would pay for it.
"Well, in a society that you accept welfarism and socialism, he expects the government to take care of him,' he said.
When pressed on the question, Paul responded: "That's what freedom is all about, taking your own risks," to applause from many tea party backers in the audience.Federal Reserve in bullseye at Tea Party debate
Perry and Romney trade jabs on Social Security
Bachmann blasts Perry for HPV vaccine mandate Continue »
Underlying President Obama's strict message for Congress last night was hope in the greater good. Beyond the real policies he laid out to help put Americans back to work, his plan is full of hope. Hope that Washington can fix itself to provide much needed confidence to the economy.
The American Jobs Act he said, "will provide a jolt to an economy that has stalled, and give companies confidence that if they invest and if they hire, there will be customers for their products and services." He acknowledged that while Washington will not drive the economy, it can help and he laid out the game: "The question is whether, in the face of an ongoing national crisis, we can stop the political circus and actually do something to help the economy," he stated.
While many of his plans will have direct impact on many Americans, by preserving the payroll tax cut or extending unemployment benefits, and economists are weighing on the greater impact, the immediate impact of his plan will reassure the country that Washington can get anything done to address its concerns.
Americans are scared. The economy is struggling and talk of a double-dip recession is prevalent. Daily headlines suggest serious economic calamity in Europe and fear of another global meltdown. At the same time, all headlines about Washington focus on gridlock, political struggles, and an inability to tackle the problems facing the country. Remember the downgrade of the nation's credit rating by Standard & Poor's was as much about the political gridlock preventing a serious plan to deal with the nation's looming debt as it was about the debt itself.
For the president, his push is to restore the confidence in Washington. Regardless if you think government is the answer or not, some government is a natural cure. Government action to tackle a problem begets confidence that things will get better because it gives Americans hope that the system can work and that its elected leaders feel their collective pain. And can get something done to address it.
Mr. Obama is hoping any action can break the partisan deadlock and restore the hope that something can be done. He's accomplished a lot in his term, most of which he gets little credit, but he campaigned on hope and right now hope is the best thing he can get.
Republicans, as party of no, have absolutely succeeded in eroding the confidence of government. Opposing the president succeeded in eroding the confidence of his policies as well. The Republican party took some policies it had once believed in, stimulus spending and many aspects of health care, and opposed them for political gain. That worked. Without confidence in the economy, the biggest stimulus package would fail because for people to spend money, they need to feel confident in their lot, without that confidence, consumer spending grinds to a halt. Even the president's plan to restore confidence in the financial system with unprecedented reforms was derided as more government. If government can't instill confidence in a free market that nearly destroyed the global economy by hoping to prevent it from happening again, who can?
So Mr. Obama is hoping for a big jolt of economic confidence. Anything passed by the Republican House and the Democratic Senate to jumpstart the economy would provide it. As CBS News analyst John Dickerson wrote today, the gambit for the White House is that they can either convince Republicans to act, helping to put real policies in place and to help restore that much needed confidence, or take the blame for failure. The White House seems optimistic, but not entirely confident that will work.
While there are serious disagreements about the role of government, some of the basic ideas for job creation are not that different between the two sides.
On Thursday, President Obama will make his plan known, but today it was top Republican contender Mitt Romney's turn."President Obama's strategy is a payphone strategy, and we're in a smartphone world," Romney said in a speech in Las Vegas. "What he's doing is stuffing quarters into the payphone and wondering why it's not working -- It's not connected, Mr. President." (watch a portion of Romney's speech at left)
In an op-ed that appeared in USA Today this morning, the former Massachusetts governor said the unemployment rate shows a failure of Mr. Obama's leadership on the economy. However, his proposals show some common ground with the current occupant of the White House.Continue »
The White House seemed happy to be rebuffed by the House Republicans who after hitting the lowest approval rating ever recorded, should have done anything in their power to get back in the good graces of the public.
It's clear that the next 15 months will be utterly painful, disgusting and at times distasteful. The election season is nearly in full swing with congressional Republicans and presidential contenders on the warpath and Democrats and the White House on the defensive.
The July-into-August debt debacle left nearly every American with a bad taste in their mouth and angrier than ever that Washington just doesn't get it.Continue »
Of all the policies discussed during Thursday night's Republican presidential debate, one issue has a bit more history than the rest. In fact, some of the most contentious policy debate tonight was about a 222-year old federal statute. In fact, it's in the Bill of Rights.
Long a hallmark of Republican policy, states' rights is an issue born in the 10th Amendment to the Constitution. "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people," it says.
But what it means is open to interpretation and tonight, the leading candidates for the Republican nomination found different meanings and different uses for the concept. The two biggest areas of dispute were over health care policy and gay marriage.
First, on health care policy, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney invoked the 10th in defense of his state's health care plan that other candidates said was a basis of President Obama's federal health reform law.Continue »
Updated 6:45 p.m. ET
Months after Sarah Palin rode her constitution-themed bus into New Hampshire just as Mitt Romney was kicking off his campaign, the former Alaska Governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate appears to be at it again.
In an email sent to supporters, Palin said she would travel to Iowa this week to visit the Iowa State Fair.
"The heartland is perfect territory for more of the One Nation Tour as we put forth efforts to revitalize the fundamental restoration of America by highlighting our nation's heart, history, and founding principles," she wrote.Continue »
After all the politicking, Washington now turns to its favorite pastime, the blame game. Republicans blame Democrats. Democrats blame Republicans. No one honestly ever accepts the blame themselves.
But in the case of the downgrade of America's credit rating by Standard and Poor's, there is plenty of blame to go around. The blame is not fully about who racked up the charges on the nation's credit card, but more about the inability of our elected officials to deal with paying it off.
"The downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges," said S&P in their analysis. "We have changed our view of the difficulties in bridging the gulf between the political parties over fiscal policy, which makes us pessimistic about the capacity of Congress and the Administration to be able to leverage their agreement this week into a broader fiscal consolidation plan that stabilizes the government's debt dynamics any time soon."Continue »
Fear and worry seem to be worthy terms of a global economic crisis, but with Washington hobbled by its own "self-inflicted" crisis on the debt, underscoring much of the concern is the lack of leadership on the economy from every side of government.
"The debt ceiling drama significantly undermined the confidence of consumers, businesses and investors," said Mark Zandi, the chief economist of Moody's Analytics in an interview.Continue »
Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel famously said "you never want a serious crisis to go to waste." He was, of course, talking about using the pressure of a crisis to achieve what would not be possible in a more relaxed atmosphere.
The debt limit crisis wasn't that crisis. It was a crisis of Washington's own making and one that most would agree Congress failed to adequately address because the the United States still faces looming budget deficits and the possibility of a downgrade to its credit rating.
"Congress has taken a positive first step by enacting a strong down payment on deficit reduction and putting in place a process to achieve additional savings, but the plan doesn't do enough to stabilize our debt, nor does it make any meaningful structural reforms to address our nation's long-term fiscal problems," said fiscal commission co-chairs Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles. Their plan, mostly ignored since its release late last year, would have cut $4 trillion from deficit spending in the coming decade and would eliminate many tax loopholes that primarily benefit the top third of earners.Continue »
Here's why: while it may look to many in his party as a raw deal, Mr. Obama succeeded in showing leadership in the end by brokering any deal to solve the crisis, showed he was willing to compromise and take less than he wanted, and showed he was serious about tackling the looming debt crisis facing the country.
With a trillion dollars in cuts to federal spending, and more on the way, all sides succeeded in showing they weren't initially just kicking the can down the road, or whistling past the graveyard, though everyone also acknowledges that there still has to be some serious conversations about government spending and priorities in the years to come - and the establishment of a congressional super committee could begin to do just that.Continue »
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Friday morning that he will bring his own debt bill to the Senate floor tonight. Previously, Reid and Republican Senate Leader, Mitch McConnell, were giving room to the House to act, knowing that the Boehner bill did not have a chance in the Senate, as all 53 Senate Democrats pledged opposition, as had a few Republican senators.
Reid said his bill, which has about the same number of short term cuts in spending as the Boehner bill does, but takes into account savings from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and raises the debt ceiling over $2 trillion that would take the country through the end of 2012. The Boehner bill raises the debt limit $900 billion and would require another vote on the debt ceiling early next year.Continue »
If governing was as simple as deciding how to get from point A to point B (which for this purpose is, say, raising the debt ceiling), the debt ceiling legislation could be written, voted on, and signed by the president in a matter of hours.
But the fear of growing debts has made the idea of raising the debt ceiling a necessary evil, and most agree that cutting spending should be a part of the answer. And with every policy goal, there is a political goal, so yes, we all know where that has gotten us.
But let's take a quick look at the politics of raising the debt ceiling in a big way versus a short-term measure. A "grand bargain"-like package with significant spending cuts and reforms could put off another debt ceiling increase vote for years. (Reminder: Even the House GOP's Ryan plan, with its long-term spending cuts, would have required raising the debt ceiling by trillions of dollars over the next decade.)
The White House has been pushing for a deal to get through the next two years or so.
"The only bottom line that I have is that we have to extend this debt ceiling through the next election, into 2013," President Obama said on Friday night.Continue »