TOP NEWS: Democracy: June 11, 2012
- The Tipping Point
- A New Job for Labor
- How Europe Could Cost Obama the Election
- Holder Appoints Prosecutors for Leak Investigations
- Push for a Fiscal Pact Picks Up Speed, and Power
Excerpts and more top stories
John Ellis, Real Clear Politics – In 2008, 43 percent of white voters cast their presidential ballots for Sen. Barack Obama. That was more than he needed to win. Today, according to the most recent FOX News poll, 35 percent of white voters say that they support President Obama’s re-election. This is what makes the 2012 presidential election too close to call.
Sasha Issenberg, Slate – The AFL may adjust its tactics after Wisconsin, but also conclude that it was a massive strategic failure that led to the embarrassing loss. As many Democrats said quietly for months, labor may have picked the wrong fight. It was unable to rally around a single candidate and wasted its energies in a contested primary.
Niall Ferguson, Newsweek – The possibility is now very real that a double-dip recession in Europe could kill off hopes of a sustained recovery in the United States. As the president showed in his anxious press conference last Friday, he well understands the danger emanating from across the pond. Slower growth and higher unemployment can only hurt his chances in an already very tight race with Mitt Romney.
Jason Ryan, ABC News - Holder appointed Ron Machen, the U.S. attorney for the District of Colombia, and Rod Rosenstein to lead the criminal investigations into recent leaks concerning a disrupted bomb plot by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and a New York Times story about President Obama ordering cyber-attacks against Iran with the Stuxnet computer worm.
Jonathan Weisman, NY Times - In an ornate room in the Capitol last Wednesday night, the Democratic senators who could hold the key to preventing a fiscal train wreck gathered for dinner and a talk with economists about their options for dealing with nearly $8 trillion in combined tax increases and spending cuts that are to be put in place automatically in January.
Manny Fernandez, NY Times - The race to succeed Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, who is retiring, has transformed Republican politics in the state, pitting Tea Party-backed activists against the Texas power structure, which is led by longtime incumbents like Mr. Perry and Mr. Dewhurst, both of whom have taken stands that have riled grass-roots Republicans and opened them to criticism that they have not been conservative enough on some issues.
E.J. Dionne, Real Clear Politics, Op-Ed - Why don’t Democrats just say it? They really believe in active government and think it does good and valuable things. (But) it’s Republicans and conservatives who usually say that Democrats and liberals believe in government. Progressive politicians often respond by apologizing for their view of government, or qualifying it, or shifting as fast as the speed of light from mumbled support for government to robust affirmations of their faith in the private sector.
Ryan Lizza, New Yorker - Obama has an ambitious second-term agenda, which, at least in broad ways, his campaign is beginning to highlight. The President has said that the most important policy he could address in his second term is climate change, one of the few issues that he thinks could fundamentally improve the world decades from now. He also is concerned with containing nuclear proliferation.
Fernanda Santos, NY Times - The contest to fill the Congressional seat vacated by Gabrielle Giffords, the Democrat who survived an assassination attempt last year, has been widely referred to as the race for “Gabby’s seat.” Her chosen successor, Ron Barber, has tried to step out from her shadow, though, saying at campaign events and in interviews that the race is, in fact, for “the people’s seat.”
Robin Bravender and Anna Palmer, Politico - Next stops for the tea party after Wisconsin: Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Fresh off last week’s seismic victory against Big Labor, conservative activists are revving up their ground game in key presidential swing states where unions have long dominated. The goal: secure big wins in the House, Senate and the White House.
Halimah Abdullah, CNN - Think this current climate of political polarization is bad? Things could get even uglier in 2013. With a third of the Senate and every seat in the House up for election this year, each side is already bragging about how likely it is they will win back or take over the next Congress. But if the past three years are any indicator, no matter if the Republicans or Democrats control the House or Senate — or both — gridlock, brinkmanship and stalemate could continue to plague the next president and frustrate the American electorate.
Rick Klein, ABC News - The first week of June began with a monthly jobs report that solidified a sense of an anemic economic recovery. Then a Democratic loss in Wisconsin, coupled with staggering Romney campaign fundraising figures, revealed the strength of political organization on the right.
Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman, Politico - The polls agree: President Barack Obama is likable. The question is whether he’s likable enough to get reelected. As much as any other factor five months before Election Day, this is one that bedevils both presidential campaigns: How much can Obama count on his relatively high personal favorability ratings to buttress him against some of the worst economic and political conditions any recent incumbent president has faced?