Joe Biden (via the Hill):
Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday said Democrats would defy predictions of major losses in the mid-term elections, instead declaring that "we're going to be in great shape" and predicting continued control of the House and Senate.
"I don't think the losses are going to be bad at all. I think we're going to shock the heck out of everybody," Biden said on ABC’s "This Week."
Biden pointed to a new Las Vegas Review-Journal poll that showed Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who is viewed as highly vulnerable, up seven points on GOP foe Sharron Angle.
"The reports of our demise are premature," Biden said.
You gotta love Joe.
The latest hot political topic is the "Obama paradox" — the supposedly mysterious disconnect between the president’s achievements and his numbers. The line goes like this: The administration has had multiple big victories in Congress, most notably on health reform, yet President Obama’s approval rating is weak. What follows is speculation about what’s holding his numbers down: He’s too liberal for a center-right nation. No, he’s too intellectual, too Mr. Spock, for voters who want more passion. And so on.
But the only real puzzle here is the persistence of the pundit delusion, the belief that the stuff of daily political reporting — who won the news cycle, who had the snappiest comeback — actually matters.
This delusion is, of course, most prevalent among pundits themselves, but it’s also widespread among political operatives. And I’d argue that susceptibility to the pundit delusion is part of the Obama administration’s problem.
Trying to win over David Brooks as the outcomes-based goal is a symptom.
EJ Dionne's take on the center:
The titans of the private sector say President Obama is anti-business. Many progressives say he coddles business. How does the administration manage to pull that off?
The "center" is said to be the most comfortable place in American politics. But this assumes that the center is stable, that most people on either end of the philosophical continuum give would-be centrist politicians the benefit of the doubt and that voters actually care whether someone is "centrist.
NRCC Chair Pete Sessions: "We need to go back to the exact same agenda" (VIDEO)
Actually, we don't. But we do need to let the public know that they want to. Sessions and Cornyn are helping us do so.
The chairmen of the two Republican campaign committees defended the presidency of George W. Bush in television appearances over the weekend, a preview of the GOP's planned pushback against expected Democratic attacks on the last president.
"People had jobs when Republicans were not only in charge but George Bush was there," said National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) during an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press".
John Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" program that "Bush's stock has gone up a lot since he left office," adding: "I think a lot people are looking back with more fondness on President Bush's administration, and I think history will treat him well."
But the clinics also truly came to stand alone. In 1973, hospitals made up 80 percent of the country’s abortion facilities. By 1981, however, clinics outnumbered hospitals, and 15 years later, 90 percent of the abortions in the U.S. were performed at clinics. The American Medical Association did not maintain standards of care for the procedure. Hospitals didn’t shelter them in their wings. Being a pro-choice doctor came to mean referring your patients to a clinic rather than doing abortions in your own office.
This was never the feminist plan. "The clinics’ founders didn’t intend them to become virtually the only settings for abortion services in many communities," says Carole Joffe, a sociologist and author of a history of the era, "Doctors of Conscience," and a new book, "Dispatches From the Abortion Wars." When the clinics became the only place in town to have an abortion, they became an easy mark for extremists. As Joffe told me, "The violence was possible because the relationship of medicine to abortion was already tenuous." The medical profession reinforced the outsider status of the clinics by not speaking out strongly after the first attacks. As abortion moved to the margins of medical practice, it also disappeared from residency programs that produced new doctors. In 1995, the number of OB-GYN residencies offering abortion training fell to a low of 12 percent.
Elections have consequences, and providing safe choices for women is among the things on the table.
Meanwhile, the main event took place on CBS' "Face the Nation," as NAACP President Ben Jealous faced off against David Webb of the National Tea Party Federation. Webb said Mark Williams, the former chairman and spokesman of Tea Party Express who came under fire last week for writing a satirical letter in which he called slavery a "great gig," had been expelled from the National Tea Party Federation. Webb blasted the NAACP's "selective condemnation of racism," which he attributed to "fringe elements" within the tea party, and called on Jealous to denounce members of the New Black Panther Party for saying they want to "kill cracker babies."
"We absolutely denounce the New Black Panther Party," Jealous said, adding that the NBPP is a very small organization. "But they aren't in our group. These folks are in your groups."
Ten days ago, speaking to county judge-executives, he rejected the whole concept of the federal program that Republican U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers created to fight drugs in Eastern Kentucky, saying such efforts should be up to local governments -- a largely impractical notion in a poor but important region with which Paul seems insufficiently familiar, given those remarks and some he's made about coal.
Paul's philosophy will again collide with political practicality Thursday morning, when he and Attorney General Jack Conway, the Democratic nominee, will face off before the Kentucky Farm Bureau board of directors.
During a primary debate with Secretary of State Trey Grayson on KET, Paul said, "I don't think federal subsidies of agriculture are a good idea," and "I'm not in favor of giving welfare to business."
Those statements were remarkable for anyone seeking to represent Kentucky in Washington, even six years after the federal tobacco program was repealed.