The Washington Post

A momentous week in American politics — in 10 events

It's easy amid the short-attention-span political culture that blogs (shakes fist), Twitter and cable television hath wrought to lose site of the big picture.  But, even the most cursory look-back at the week that was makes clear that these last five days were among the most memorable we have had in politics so far in 2013.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul made history this week with the 9th longest filibuster ever.

Consider the following:

* The ninth longest filibuster in history was recorded this week by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

* President Obama not only had dinner with 11 Republican senators but lunched with 2012 vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan.

* CIA director John Brennan was confirmed -- albeit after Paul's filibuster.

* The Senate Judiciary Committee marked up the gun legislation proposed by President Obama in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., shootings late last year.

* Jeb Bush made clear he has more than a passing interest in the presidential race in 2016.

* Mitt Romney explained why he lost and what he's going to do next.

* The Violence Against Women Act was reauthorized.

* The House passed a continuing resolution to fund the government beyond March 27.

* Dennis Rodman appeared on a Sunday talk show to discuss his basketball diplomacy. (No, we can't believe that actually happened either.)

* The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its February jobs report, showing the economy gaining 236,000 jobs and the unemployment rate dropping to 7.7 percent.

In short, this week had it all: history (on several fronts) was made, the partisan logjam seemed to loosen (albeit slightly) and the 2016 field began to take a bit more clear shape.

How big a week it ultimately will be remembered as depends heavily on whether the outreach President Obama did with Republicans is the early stirrings of a grand bargain to address the country's debt and spending issues or simply the latest in a series of false starts between the two sides.

If this week serves as the pivot point for the two parties to come together on a big deal, this could well go down as five of the most memorable days in recent memory in American politics. (That goes double if Paul winds up as a serious candidate for president in 2016 -- as we believe he will.)

Regardless of what happens in the future, however, this was a week that mattered in politics. Take note, political junkies. They won't all be this good.


Obama reportedly wants to complete a grand bargain on deficit reduction by the end of July.

Bill Clinton says it's time to overturn DOMA, which he signed.

Attorney General Eric Holder's response to Paul was brief. But it satisfied the senator.

Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) didn't care for Paul's filibuster.

Police are investigating a Kentucky man it says stole six figures worth of campaign contribution checks intended for the Democratic Governors Association. "While we cannot comment on an ongoing investigation, we have terminated our relationship with the vendor in question and are reviewing relevant procedures," DGA spokesman Danny Kanner said in a statement.

Senate Democrats will introduce their own stop gap funding measure.

Organizing For Action now says it won't take corporate donations.


"John Brennan confirmed as CIA director, but filibuster brings scrutiny of drone program" -- Peter Finn and Aaron Blake, Washington Post

"Cuccinelli pulls double duty as candidate, attorney general" -- Errin Haines, Washington Post

"Hopes, Maybe Misguided, That Food Will Breed Productivity in Capital" -- Jeremy Peters, New York Times



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