My AJC colleague Dan Malloy in Washington just finished the new book on the tea-party driven Class of 2010 of the U.S. House by Robert Draper.
“Do Not Ask What Good We Do” focuses on Republican freshmen Jeff Duncan of South Carolina and Allen West of Florida, Michigan Democrat octogenarian John Dingell. But Malloy notes that the book includes a closed-door vignette involving U.S. Reps. Phil Gingrey of Marietta and Tom Price of Roswell.
Less than a month before the Aug. 2 debt ceiling deadline, House Republican leaders had invited an economist named Jay Powell, a former Treasury Department official, to explain to the caucus the severe consequences of violating the deadline – beginning in that summer, when the government would only take in about a third of what it was obligated to spend. From Draper’s book:
“Gingrey…began by saying that until yesterday he had never heard of Powell’s Bipartisan Policy Center. ‘You did a nice job with your presentation,’ he said. ‘But we heard from Karl Rove yesterday –and frankly,’ he grinned, ‘I like him better.’ (Rove had met with Gingrey and about thirty other conservatives for breakfast the morning before, as part of a weekly ‘Theme Team’ gathering hosted by Congressman Jack Kingston [of Savannah]. Rove’s column ‘Obama Owns the Debt Ceiling Fiasco’ had just been published that same morning in The Wall Street Journal.)
“Then Gingrey proceeded to read an email off his BlackBerry, forwarded to him by a friend who was an investment broker, quoting various bankers and other sources casting doubts about the validity of the August 2 deadline. With evident satisfaction, Gingrey concluded, ‘I have made my point and will take my seat.’
“Republican Policy Committee chairman Tom Price interjected, ‘This is not the period for member statements. Unless you have a question for the gentleman, please hold your comments until the end.’
Eventually, Price voted for the compromise that raised the debt ceiling. Gingrey voted against it.
The 2008 Republican presidential ticket has found itself on opposite sides of the Indiana race between longtime U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar and his primary challenger. On Friday, former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin lined up against Lugar. From the Indianapolis Star.
Palin said she joined “commonsense conservatives in endorsing Richard Mourdock,” saying it wasn’t just Indiana but the nation “that benefits from sending the right senator to serve for the right reasons.”
“Senator Lugar’s 36 years of service as a senator are appreciated,” Palin wrote, “but it’s time for the torch to pass to conservative leadership in Washington that promises to rein in government spending now.”
McCain — who lost Indiana to Democrat Barack Obama in 2008 — is featured in a new radio ad for Lugar, rebutting charges that Lugar is Obama’s favorite Republican. He argues that Lugar “fought every day against Obama’s budget-busting proposals which have mortgaged our children’s futures” and said the senator’s “strong opposition to Obamacare helped spark Indiana’s involvement in the Supreme Court case to overturn the government’s takeover of health care.”
There’s no inkling that this might happen in Columbus next month, when Georgia Republicans gather, but the fact that it occurred on Sarah Palin’s home turf is fascinating. From the Alaska Dispatch:
After at least 12 years of the Alaska GOP being run by what those party newcomers call “establishment Republicans,” a new force is taking over: Alaska Republicans voted Russ Millette as the party’s new chairman and Debbie Holland-Brown as co-chair. They are both supporters of presidential candidate Ron Paul.
Similarly, the Boston Globe is reporting something of a revolt in Mitt Romney’s backyard:
Having all but locked up the Republican nomination for president, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney assembled a slate of delegates to support him at the Republican nominating convention in Tampa. But when Massachusetts Republicans went to their caucuses on Saturday, many didn’t vote for Mitt Romney’s picks. Less than half of Romney’s 27 chosen delegates won, and the losers included some notable Massachusetts Republicans – including former Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey and House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones Jr.
In case you missed it, below is a clip of President Barack Obama’s best line on Saturday night at the White House Correspondents Dinner. Again, Sarah Palin is the topic:
On the New York Times opinion page, Peter Bergen argues that both liberals and conservatives – for separate reasons — are turning a blind eye to this:
The president who won the Nobel Peace Prize less than nine months after his inauguration has turned out to be one of the most militarily aggressive American leaders in decades.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider