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Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 11/21/2012

Thanksgiving Talking Points 2012: Impress your family at the dinner table

Time for the holiday pilgrimage back home, where you suddenly become your family’s the Inside The Beltway expert, confidante to the powerful, this close to the action. So what if you’re a deputy junior assistant? No reason to let on to how little you actually know; our Seventh Annual Thanksgiving Talking Points are just the ticket to impress the hometown crowd. And — if we learned anything from this presidential year — it doesn’t have to be true to sound convincing.

2012 Elections

• “Jim Messina (you know, my friend who was Obama’s campaign chair?) won it with metrics based on computerized analysis and social media outreach to persuadable voters in battleground states— so the debates really weren’t a serious factor.”

(J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
• “If Karl Rove just had another half billion, he could have carried Ohio.”

• “I think what really doomed Romney was the video of him dancing Gangnam Style.”

• “No, Grandma — the Colorado vote was less about smoking pot and more about the Libertarian belief in individual rights without undue government interference. . . hey, you going to finish your pie?”

The Fiscal Cliff

(Cliff Owen/AP)
• “The big battle will be the Bush tax rates on $200,000-plus incomes and cuts on Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid — and Obama thinks he has the political capital to push through rate hikes on the top 2 percent.”

• “You’ve got them confused: ‘Sequestration’ is the $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts over the next decade. ‘Defenestration’ is throwing someone — say, Todd Akin— out a window.”

• “Five bucks on a New Year’s Eve surprise: Boehner and Pelosi cut a last-minute deal, and then he starts talking about his dad’s bar and gets all weepy.”


(Rich Schultz/AP)

• “No, they’re two different people: Tammy Baldwin is the lesbian from Wisconsin; Tammy Duckworth is the Iraq war vet from Illinois.”

• “When Biden called himself a ‘homeboy’ last week, I texted him and said, “Joe, since when is an Irish Catholic from Scranton a homeboy? LOL.’ I love that guy.”


(J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
• “Paul Ryan hurt himself among GOP insiders who expected him to articulate a comprehensive budget strategy without alienating key over-55 constituencies — but, on the the other hand, he’s now got a national name and can spearhead the far right’s movement for federal entitlement reform.”

• “Newt is ducking Sheldon Adelson’s calls. Turns out those campaign buttons from Tiffany’s had real diamonds.”

• “You didn’t hear it from me, but Mitch McConnell is kind of into dressage, too.”

Petraeus Affair

(Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)
• “My buddy at the CIA says no classified documents were compromised, although Broadwell and Kelley received expedited security clearances with VIP rubber stamps through back channels at the Pentagon.”

• “To be fair to Gen. Petraeus, nobody asked, so he didn’t tell.”

• “No, mom, ‘All In’ is actually a poker term.”

Second Term Shuffle

(Baz Ratner/POOL)
• “Kerry desperately wants State after Hillary leaves, but will settle for Defense — however, the deal might fall through because Harry Reid is afraid Scott Brown has enough outside money and name recognition to retake an open seat in another special election.”

• “Right after inauguration, Obama is going to appoint Bill Clinton ambassador to the United Nations.”

• “Right after inauguration, Hillary is going to appoint Bill to be her special envoy to Iowa and New Hampshire.”


(Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
• “Rubio has the early money, but Chris Christie has media market and the fleece jacket. I gotta give the edge to Chris in Iowa.”

• “Hillary vs. Condi: You heard it here first.”

What we talked about at Thanksgivings past. . .

Thanksgiving Talking Points 2011, 11/23/11 (Supercommittees, Occupy protests, Republican presidential candidates)

Thanksgiving Talking Points 2010, 11/24/10 (Michael Steele, media suspensions, royal wedding, Sarah Palin)

Thanksgiving Talking Points 2008, 11/27/08 (Financial crisis, new first family, Orszag’s hair)

Thanksgiving Talking Points 2007, 11/21/07 (Larry Craig, Bono, Jenna’s wedding)

Thanksgiving Talking Points 2006, 11/19/06 (Nancy Pelosi, Jim Webb, Dan Snyder and Tom Cruise)

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By  |  05:00 AM ET, 11/21/2012

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