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

The Freddie Gray case

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Show Comments
Republicans debated Saturday night. The South Carolina GOP primary and the Nevada Democratic caucuses are next on Feb. 20. Get caught up on the race.
The Post's Dan Balz says...
Rarely has the division between Trump and party elites been more apparent. Trump trashed one of the most revered families in Republican politics and made a bet that standing his ground is better than backing down. Drawing boos from the audience, Trump did not flinch. But whether he will be punished or rewarded by voters was the unanswerable question.
GOP candidates react to Justice Scalia's death
I don't know how he knows what I said on Univision because he doesn't speak Spanish.
Sen. Marco Rubio, attacking Sen. Ted Cruz in Saturday night's very heated GOP debate in South Carolina. Soon after, Cruz went on a tirade in Spanish.
The Fix asks The State's political reporter where the most important region of the state is.
The State's Andy Shain says he could talk about Charleston, which represents a little bit of everything the state has to offer from evangelicals to libertarians, and where Ted Cruz is raising more money than anywhere else. In a twist, Marco Rubio is drawing strong financial support from more socially conservative Upstate. That said, Donald Trump is bursting all the conventional wisdom in the state. So maybe the better answer to this question is, "Wherever Trump is."
Past South Carolina GOP primary winners
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the first state in the South to vote, where he faces rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
South Carolina polling averages
The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
62% 33%
The complicated upcoming voting schedule
Feb. 20

Democrats caucus in Nevada; Republicans hold a primary in South Carolina.

Feb. 23

Republicans caucus in Nevada.

Feb. 27

Democrats hold a primary in South Carolina.

Upcoming debates
Feb 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

March 3: GOP debate

on Fox News, in Detroit, Mich.

March 6: Democratic debate

on CNN, in Flint, Mich.

Campaign 2016
Where the race stands

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