The Washington Post

Morning Bits

His successor but not a replacement. “Retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.), the Democrat-turned-independent, who has had a rocky relationship with his former party over the years, says he may back the Republican nominee in the race for his seat. Lieberman told The Hill he may endorse former Rep. Chris Shays (R-Conn.), a longtime friend. But he is not expected to make a decision before next year.”

Necessary but not sufficient. “Sure, Obama Can Fire His Staff. So Should He?”

In the past but not forgotten. “Old Texas story lines resurface as Perry goes national.”

Understandable but not realistic. “Liberal activists and academics displeased with the Obama administration’s handling of several issues popular with progressives say they are seeking candidates willing to mount a primary challenge against President Obama next year.”

Arrogant but not wonkish. “In Ron Suskind’s new book, President Obama, in an interview with the author, compares himself to Jimmy Carter. ‘Carter, Clinton and I all have sort of the disease of being policy wonks,’ he says, according to excerpts. Karl Rove, a former senior adviser to Pres. George W. Bush, tells National Review Online that he is amused by Obama’s navel gazing. ‘President Obama has himself backwards,’ Rove says. “His problem is not that he was a policy wonk: it’s that he wasn’t. He refused to get his hands dirty writing a good stimulus bill, drafting bipartisan health-care reform, or negotiating with Republicans. He found it easier to tell them ‘I won, so get lost.’ ”

Leading but unimpressive. Paul Gigot on Texas Gov. Rick Perry: “Well, he came out very strong because he can appeal to both — to several of the different strands of the Republican coalition — cultural conservatives, economic conservatives, based on his Texas record. He doesn’t have a big foreign policy record, as he showed in those debates, and hasn’t thought a lot about them, but he has the potential. But I think he’s been undermining that potential with his performance in the debates.”

Sleazy but incompetent too! “The Obama administration has a particular knack for picking losers. And then highlighting this particular loser. . . . And it is amazing. I mean, the official who was in charge of this at the Energy Department, he had to recuse himself from the Solyndra — why? Because it was his wife’s law firm that represented them. But regardless of the scandal, I do think Republicans need to make this the example of crony capitalism. Who was Solyndra’s adviser in getting this loan from the government? Goldman Sachs. I mean, really, the whole crony capitalism with the bailout and with the stimulus needs to be, I think, a focus of attention by Republicans, who then need to explain how markets really should work.”

Different parties but similar takes: Alice Rivlin, Democrat and Doug Holtz-Eakin, Republican, agree: The Fed can’t do anything much to help the economy, and we should work on long term tax and entitlement reform. They even both think the “Buffett tax” increase is not the way to go. Watch the whole thing. (Could we get these two to be the “supercommittee”?)

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.


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