Paul Ryan Tells Jon Karl Obama Has No Mandate - - John Parkinson writes: Despite a devastating loss last week, Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan rejected Democratic claims of a mandate to raise tax rates on the wealthy. Asked directly whether President Obama has a mandate, Ryan told ABC News' senior political correspondent Jonathan Karl that the House Republican majority is proof that the president does not. "I don't think so, because they also reelected the House Republicans. So whether people intended or not, we've got divided government," said Ryan, R-Wis."Raising tax rates hurts economic growth and of all things we need right now, to prevent a fiscal cliff, prevent a recession, prevent a debt crisis, is we need people to go back to work," Ryan said. "There are other ways of getting more revenue into our government without damaging the economy, and that's the kind of thing we hope to achieve." "Take away the loopholes," he added. "That's a better way to do it. http://abcn.ws/QEVLbG
Things we'll see tomorrow: 1. President Obama's first press conference since months before the election. 2. A John McCain press conference on Benghazi, something he said today has the "earmarks of a cover-up."
Things we're pretty sure we'll learn tomorrow: 1. Will Nancy Pelosi remain Democrats' leader in the House? 2. Will Angus King caucus as a Republican or a Democrat? http://abcn.ws/STtbzm
Things we will never, ever understand: 1. How emails to and from a Tampa socialite ensnared successive U.S. Afghanistan commanders -
From our report on Jill Kelley - Her "social efforts on behalf of the military earned her the unpaid title of "honorary ambassador" to CENTCOM, the Defense Department's Central Command, which is based in Tampa at MacDill Air Force Base and has responsibility for directing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. A U.S. official described Kelley as a "nice, bored, rich socialite" who drops "honorary" from her title and tells people she is an ambassador." http://abcn.ws/XCBIwu
The many strands of the Petraeus affair continued to unwind in new and unexpected directions. And there are emerging mini-dramas within the soap opera.
Here are some of the storylines we're trying to sort out -
1. The initial scandal - Petraeus and Broadwell 2. The emails, apparently from Broadwell, that led to Jill Kelley 3. The emails, apparently to and from Kelley, that introduced Gen. John Allen to the playbill 4. The FBI whistleblower who called Congress 5. The frustration on Capitol Hill at being kept in the dark 6. The implications Petraeus' absence will have on the Benghazi investigation 7. The implications Petraeus' absence and Allen's hold-up will have on Obama's Natl. Security team plans.
Some more choice points:
For starters, both Petraeus and Allen were supposed to testify on Capitol Hill this week. But Petraeus is out at CIA and Allen's nomination to be Supreme Allied Commander of Europe (still the coolest title in all of government service) is on hold. http://abcn.ws/UBixSU
Petraeus has personally traveled to Libya on a Benghazi attack fact-finding mission - http://abcn.ws/ZEFbZK
The former CIA director's relationship with his biographer apparently included some Spycraft101 tactics, like communication through unsent drafts in a web-based email account, according to AP.
President Obama is backing Gen. John Allen, the commander of American forces in Afghanistan and the second top military official whose behavior with a woman has come under investigation in recent weeks.
A U.S. official said Allen may have triggered the investigation when he got an anonymous email a few months ago that was traced to Broadwell. The email had a "Kelley Patrol" return address or subject line and painted Kelley as a seductress, which Allen found alarming and mentioned to Kelley in a subsequent email, the official said.
The latest reporting from Martha Raddatz and our Pentagon team is here - http://abcn.ws/ZEsLkJ
Some of the stranger inconsequential details would be unbelievable in a movie. Broadwell's driver's license was found in a D.C. park today. The 9/11 calls apparently from Jill Kelley and posted on the Drudge Report requesting diplomatic protection are worth a listen. Petraeus' birthday was election day, when he was grappling with telling his bosses. Broadwell's birthday was on Friday, when the story broke. She was celebrating at the Inn at Little Washington, according to the Washington Post. The shirtless FBI agent emails.
Call It a Confederacy of Petitioners - Chris Good is has your secession report for the day - In the days since President Obama secured re-election, a wave of petitions from states in almost every region of the country has hit WhiteHouse.gov calling for secession from the union. … As of late Tuesday morning, petitions had been submitted for 36 states, with two petitions submitted for a handful of states. The leading petitions had gathered almost 388,000 signatures. WhiteHouse.gov requires an e-mail address for anyone who signs a petition, but nothing prevents crossover signatures on petitions from multiple states, or for residents of Virginia, for instance, signing the petition for Ohio - so the signature number is likely inflated. … By 2:20 p.m. ET, the list of signatures had grown to more than 409,000, with new petitions added for two states, Virginia and Wisconsin. Signatures had grown by 5 percent for the original 34 states. http://abcn.ws/TBXITb
Less Support for Repealing Obamacare (Is that More Support for Obamacare?) - A record low number of American voters want to see the Affordable Care Act - Obamacare - repealed, according to a new post-election poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Obamacare was not the top issue driving American to vote, although nearly seven in 10 Americans cited it as a "major factor" in their decision choosing between the candidates, according to Kaiser. Voters who listed Obamacare as a major factor were evenly split between Republican Mitt Romney, 47 percent, and President Obama, 46 percent.
Read the full Kaiser Family Foundation poll. But only 33 percent of Americans now want to see the law repealed. Romney had pledged to repeal the law and replace it with new policy. 43 percent of Americans view the law favorably and 39 percent view it unfavorably, according to the poll.
Most Americans Not Confident Fiscal Cliff will be Averted - http://abcn.ws/THuW3t (Hartfield)
Obama Gains Support Among Cubans - From Univision's Emily Deruy - . One group that has traditionally voted Republican acted more like a swing constituency this time around. Cuban-American voters in Florida backed Romney for president, but just barely. And Obama won more of the Cuban vote than previous Democratic candidates in the state. Romney edged out a win over Obama among Florida Cuban-American voters, 52-48 percent. Obama took 53 percent of the Cuban-American vote in Florida among those who voted on Election Day compared to Romney's 47 percent, according to a survey of nearly 5,000 voters conducted by Bendixen & Amandi International. Romney won among absentee and early voters, who tended to be older and more conservative. And Obama won 60 percent to 40 percent among Cuban-American voters born in the United States. http://abcn.ws/ZEo0ra
Liberals Line Up At The White House-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. http://abcn.ws/T1Cj86 (Michael Falcone and Amy Walter)