What a difference an election makes.
In the wake of the 2010 drubbing of Democrats and the ascendancy of the Tea Party, President Obama was forced to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, angering plenty liberals in the party.
Fast-forward two years later, and today those liberal allies of the president come to the White House under much different circumstances - triumphant and assured that the president will stick by his campaign promise to rescind the tax cuts on the wealthy.
Today's meeting will include more than 10 labor and progressive leaders: Mary Kay Henry, SEIU; Lee Saunders, AFSCME; Dennis Van Roekel, NEA; Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO; Neera Tanden and John Podesta, Center for American Progress; Bob Greenstein, Center for Budget and Policy Priorities; Laura Burton Capps, Common Purpose Project; Max Richtman, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare; Justin Ruben, MoveOn; Deepak Bhargava, Center for Community Change.
"I don't think we're that worried," one labor source told The Note on the eve of today's confab at the White House. "We think the administration is resolved to roll back the Bush tax cuts for the rich after arguing against them incessantly."
But, this labor insider added, "We don't think that the Republicans will agree to that."
And another labor source said, "We were really enthusiastic about the president's frame on Friday, particularly decoupling the middle class tax cuts as something we can all agree on. It's hard to see why Democrats would give on tax rates, since they achieve it in negotiations or through expiration at year's end. At the same time, we remain concerned that the level of cuts discussed last summer could reemerge, particularly in Medicaid and Medicare."
FLASHBACK: According to the Huffington Post's Sam Stein, "AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told The Huffington Post last week that his group would oppose any deal that cuts the three big entitlement programs. 'Yes. Yes. Yes. The voters yesterday rejected that notion soundly,' Trumka said at a briefing on Nov. 7. 'The answer is, if it includes benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid, we'll oppose it.' Van Jones, co-founder of Rebuild the Dream, went further, noting that none of the progressive political institutions have 'demobilized' since the election. 'We are still on a complete fighting posture because we knew we had to win the politics in November and then on the economy in December,' Jones said. 'For the progressives who threw ourselves on hand grenades for the president over the past 24 months and especially the past six months, we are not going to be happy at all if he turns around and takes a chainsaw to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security in pursuit of some misguided so-called grand bargain.'" http://huff.to/T0ZaRs
The Note's virtual political roundtable.
ABC's RICK KLEIN: This might be a good moment to hear from the commander-in-chief. The more-stunning-by-the-day sex scandal involving David Petraeus is now shaking the foundations of the military, the CIA, and the FBI. Top generals sending explicit messages, federal agents sending shirtless photos - what, exactly, is going on? And it all comes to light just hours after the president's one and only reelection bid was sealed? The questions of timing and conduct ultimately land at the White House, where President Obama would much rather be spending political capital to steer the nation away from that approaching fiscal cliff.
with Elizabeth Hartfield ( @LizHartfield)
WHY THE FBI KEPT PETRAEUS' AFFAIR FROM THE WHITE HOUSE. ABC's Martha Raddatz, Pierre Thomas, Jonathan Karl, and Jason Ryan report: The FBI withheld its findings about Gen. David Petreaus' affair from the White House and congressional leaders because the agency considered them the result of a criminal investigation that never reached the threshold of an intelligence probe, law enforcement sources said today. The sources said agents followed department guidelines that generally bar sharing information about developing criminal investigations. The FBI's focus was on whether laws were broken, in this case whether federal cyber-harassment statutes were violated. The sources emphasized that Petraeus himself was never the focus of the investigation, nor did it turn up evidence he broke any law. The focus was on his biographer, Paula Broadwell, with whom he had the affair that ended with his resignation as CIA director last week. http://abcn.ws/RTSClb
THE ERIC CANTOR ANGLE ON THE SCANDAL. ABC's Jonathan Karl reports on how House Majority Leader Eric Cantor became aware of the David Petraeus matter, according to a senior aide to Cantor. On Saturday, Oct. 27, Cantor spoke by phone to an FBI employee who told him about an investigation, including the details about Petraeus' affair, and said he was concerned that classified information had been compromised. Karl reports Cantor then asked his chief of staff, Steve Stombres, to inform FBI Director Robert Mueller. Because the federal government was closed Monday and Tuesday of that week because to Hurricane Sandy, Stombres did not connect with Mueller's chief of staff until Wednesday, Oct. 31. Mueller took the information, but gave no indication whether there was an investigation, according to the aide. The senior aide also said Cantor did not inform anyone else. http://abcn.ws/Zx8v4k
BROADWELL LAWYERS PARTNERS AT SAME FIRM USED BY MONICA LEWINSKY. The lawyer representing the woman who was the mistress of former CIA-director David Petraeus works for the same firm as the lawyer who represented Monica Lewinsky reports ABC's Sarah Parnass. An assistant to Washington Lawyer Robert F. Muse told ABC News that Muse is representing Paula Broadwell, the biographer turned mistress of the former Afghanistan general who resigned last week after admitting their affair. Muse works at Stein, Mitchell, Muse & Cipollone, a Washington-based law firm that covers several practices, including white collar criminal defense, congressional investigations and whistleblower law. The firm boasts such high-profile clients as Lewinsky, former Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Ore., AFL-CIO officials and Ambassador Lewis Tambs in the Iran-Contra Investigation. http://abcn.ws/VZeQqv
DEMOCRATS LIKE A ROMNEY IDEA ON INCOME TAX. The New York Times' Jonathan Weisman reports: "With both parties positioning for difficult negotiations to avert a fiscal crisis as Congress returns for its lame-duck session, Democrats are latching on to an idea floated by Mitt Romney to raise taxes on the rich through a hard cap on income tax deductions. The proposal by Mr. Romney, the Republican presidential nominee, was envisioned to help pay for an across-the-board income tax cut, a move ridiculed by President Obama as window dressing to a "sketchy deal." But many Democrats now see it as an important element of a potential deficit reduction agreement - and one they can claim to be bipartisan." http://nyti.ms/ZB8Cfh
GINGRICH SOUNDS OFF ON GOP FAILURE. Almost a week after President Obama won re-election, Republicans continue to offer explanations for Mitt Romney's loss last Tuesday. ABC's Kyle Blaine reports, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who challenged Romney for the 2012 GOP nomination earlier this year, told ABC's Barbara Walters on "The View" that Republicans "fundamentally misunderstood the American people." The line drew a round of applause from the audience. http://abcn.ws/PPFW0i
TREASURIES SEE U.S. FALLING OVER CLIFF AS YIELDS CONVERGE. Bloomberg's Susanne Walker and John Detrixhe report: "The biggest Treasury rally in five months is underlining market concern that President Barack Obama and House Republicans will fail to avert $607 billion in mandated spending cuts and tax increases starting Jan. 1. Yields on 10-year Treasuries dropped the most in one day since May to 1.62 percent after Obama's re-election Nov. 6. A figure below 1.7 percent indicates that investors expect gross domestic product to shrink by 0.3 percent next year as the so- called fiscal cliff takes effect, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. 'The fiscal cliff is being priced in because it's the biggest risk facing the market right now,' Priya Misra, head of U.S. rates strategy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York." http://bloom.bg/PQJLCk
TEXAS PETITION TO SECEDE PROMPTS OBAMA COMMENT. A petition for Texas to secede from the union, submitted to the White House, reached the number of signatures needed to draw comment from the Obama administration on Monday reports ABC's Sarah Parnass. The petition appeared on a section of the White House website called "We the People" that invites users with a U.S. zip code to submit or sign petitions about policy changes they would like to see. A petition must reach 25,000 signatures within 30 days for the administration to comment on it. The petition to "Peacefully grant the State of Texas to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government," was submitted on Friday of last week. Just three days later, it zoomed past the 25,000 mark at 3:22 p.m. today and kept going. http://abcn.ws/Zy3dWv
KEY ADVISERS POISED TO LEAVE TEAM OBAMA. The Hill's Amie Parnes and Niall Stanage report: "Now that a second term has been secured, President Obama is set to lose several key members of his famously close-knit inner circle. David Plouffe, a senior adviser in the White House, is expected to depart the halls of the West Wing in the coming months, sources say. David Axelrod, the senior strategist on the Obama campaign and the political adviser closest to the president on a personal level, will be largely focused on the creation of a new politics institute at the University of Chicago. And Obama campaign manager Jim Messina, who served as a White House deputy chief of staff for operations prior to leaving for Chicago, is unlikely to return to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave." http://bit.ly/UEkGrz
IN THE NOTE'S INBOX:
-THE SHIPPING NEWS: Why are shipping interests so closely following the fiscal cliff outcome? They have good reason to worried, as CNBC's Lori Ann LaRocco explains in a new book to be released on Nov. 12, "Dynasties of the Sea: The Shipowners and Financiers Who Expanded the Era of Free Trade." Consider this: 95 percent of everything in your household moved on a ship. "There's not so much wrong with the global economy. What is wrong is that there are no leaders." said Jacob Stolt-Nielsen, Founder of Stolt-Nielsen, a shipping and seafood company. "No one seems to be able to take charge. In America, today they are just bickering about peanuts instead of getting together and discussing other changes that they can make, and find a common ground." Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics writes: "LaRocco's profiles of the colorful captains of the global shipping industry provide a unique insight into why they've succeeded and what powers global growth." http://amzn.to/SSGC2y
@GeraldFSeib: CEOs at WSJ gathering say, by a wide margin, their biggest global worry is the US fiscal cliff.
@mckaycoppins: GOP Senate aides say no way Rice gets confirmed as Sec. of State, & Kerry would have trouble getting confirmed for DOD http://www.buzzfeed.com/zekejmiller/republicans-pan-potential-white-house-push-for-ker …