Lunge Left, Feint Right, What Next? – On Monday an emboldened President Obama laid out an ambitious progressive template for governing. It was a new outlook punctuated by an eye toward equality and protecting the social safety net.
“One thing that’s pretty clear from the president’s speech yesterday — the era of liberalism is back,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., declared after meeting with the Republican caucus this afternoon, according to Sunlen Miller. “An unabashedly far-left- of-center inauguration speech certainly brings back memories of the Democratic Party of ages past.”
But then on Tuesday – Obama gave a little on the debt ceiling. The White House made clear it would not veto a short-term extension of the debt ceiling. Earlier he had said he wouldn’t accept one. That changes prospects for the three month extension Republicans in the House are expected to vote on it tomorrow.
Ron Fournier at Natl. Journal – “Obama’s inaugural address buried the brand he rode to the White House. What will take its place?…What happened to the idealistic young politician who argued against dividing the country into red and blue Americas? It seems we’re not going to see him again.” http://bit.ly/Wlr3kX
On Climate Change – No Specifics and Likely No Legislation – Jon Karl asked, “What, specifically, does he want to do that he didn’t do in the first term?
JAY CARNEY: Well, I think the president has long supported congressional action on climate change. And while it’s clear that bipartisan opposition to legislative action is still a reality, the president’s position remains the same as it was in the first term. He looks forward to building on the achievements made in the first term, and he looks at this in a broad way because this isn’t deficit reduction, for example, is not a goal unto itself. We pursue it in a way that helps our economy grow and helps it create jobs. Otherwise, it’s not worth the effort, in his mind. http://abcn.ws/10EWjlB
On Gay Marriage – No Change Yet – “Will he now begin to actively oppose Proposition 8, which the Supreme Court is set to hear,” a reporter asked Carney today.
MR. CARNEY: ”Well, as you know, the administration is not party to that case. And I have nothing more for you on it. We have, as you know, through the Department of Justice taken an active role in DOMA cases, which is why I can tell you the things I’ve told you about that. But on the Section 8 case, we’re not involved.”
That doesn’t mean progressives aren’t positively energized about what he said Monday, as Devin Dwyer writes:
“In Washington we tend to measure time by political cycles. Yesterday marked an ending to one cycle, and today the start of another. Let me take advantage of a brief pause in momentum to say GREAT JOB to all of you who worked so hard covering this last election and inauguration,” said Bureau Chief Robin Sproul, in a message thanking ABC’s DC bureau. Here here.
Obama Invigorates Progressives as Second Term Begins- A presidential campaign that was largely about jobs and the economy gave way during Monday’s inaugural ceremonies to a sweeping affirmation of progressivism and call for “collective action.”
Now, liberal allies of President Obama say they’re closely watching to see whether the second-term president follows through on issues with which he has struggled before.
Obama’s groundbreaking references to climate change and gay rights in his second inaugural address particularly surprised many progressive interest groups, which said their first-term frustrations have been replaced by a new sense of optimism. http://abcn.ws/UiqkU4
Did Beyonce Lip-Sync the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ at the Inauguration? – Say it ain’t so, B. http://abcn.ws/WkHE8B
Partying Down at the White House-The Obamas may have left the official inaugural balls at 10:05 p.m. Monday, but that doesn’t mean they had an early night.http://abcn.ws/10PVAz1 (Jonathan Karl)
Meet Jason Wu, Michelle Obama’s Fave – http://abcn.ws/VYz2YJ
First Ladies’ Inaugural Ball Gowns Past- For the 2013 inaugural ball, Michelle Obama was vibrant in another Jason Wu ruby-colored chiffon and velvet gown http://abcn.ws/VYxRZt (Jilian Fama)
Hey, Metro Riders and Denizens of DC Gridlock – Read This:
Commuting in Kabul, By Muhammad Lila – “The first thing to know about driving in Kabul is that most of the roads aren’t roads at all..” http://abcn.ws/WGuljF
Gingrich Urges Study of Mass Shooters – As Washington begins the debate to consider reforming the nation’s gun laws, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich recognized deficiencies in current law, but he emphasized the importance of holding Congressional hearings to examine mental health issues “before we go rushing off on a whole new set of rules.” http://abcn.ws/WkHgHd (John Parkinson)
Congress Set to Question Hillary Clinton on Benghazi…Finally - Four months after the attack that left four Americans dead in Benghazi, Libya, Sec. of State Hillary Clinton is set to testify about questions left unanswered in front of the House and Senate tomorrow. It will be her second time there for that purpose. Last time around, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said she told Congress “absolutely nothing.” http://abcn.ws/VRGbt4 (Sarah Parnass)
Anti-Chuck Hagel Forces Take to Airwaves – An upstart organization run by several former Romney campaign staffers is hitting the airwaves in five states with a volley of television ads aimed at squashing the nomination of former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel to be the next Secretary of Defense. http://abcn.ws/XVDk1G (Michael Falcone)
The Presidential Gum Chew – This was no subtle chew, or light mastication. It was full-on chomping. http://abcn.ws/VQFBM3 (Mary Bruce)
Biden Drops Hints of 2016 During Inauguration- Amid all the pomp and circumstance of inauguration weekend, Vice President Joe Biden showed a few of his 2016 cards as he mingled with some constituencies that would be key if he decides to run for president. http://abcn.ws/TeKFeT (Arlette Saenz)