The networks are in a tizzy. Fox News even has a fiscal cliff countdown clock. Leave it to Washington to mess up New Years Eve (well, for those paying attention). I still have no idea what will happen but continue leaning towards an butt-covering drop kick into March after the proper posturing. Either way Obama wins. That's why he went on Meet the Press today.
And what an interview! David Gregory was masterful---at asking the first question. His follow-ups were meager but not unlike anything seen over the last four years (with the possible exception of O'Reilly's Super Bowl interviews). Hey, was David actually crying at one point? It must have been an emotional experience with all those references to Lincoln.
The Benghazi question/answer sequence was typical. Gregory asks about it, the president points to the accountability report (which is mostly a McGuffin) so he can ensure that all those unintentional clumsy missteps from the underlings will be addressed by Hillary and hey, they've already come down hard on four State employees for it.
Possible follow-ups: "How is Hillary doing? Have you spoken to her? When will she be back to work? Will she testify? Are the 4 people at State fired, demoted, suspended? Do you agree they were the only ones responsible? Why was the Ambassador in Benghazi with minimal security anyway, since it wasn't an embassy or even a consulate? You called it a bump in the road, have we restaffed the Benghazi operation yet? How long will it take the FBI to discover who did this? You said there would be retribution, can you tell us in what fashion, especially if the FBI finds links to Iraqi or Egyptian terrorists?
Instead, David asked whether O left his pal Susan Rice twisting in the breeze. And the answer was a politician's reply--Rice didn't know anything more than what she was told and the criticism was 'political'.
Possible follow-ups: "Why was Ambassador Rice sent out there if she wasn't the expert? Didn't you know it was a terrorist attack early on? You told Romney that in the second debate with Candy Crowley and the accountability report made it clear there was no protest, which was known early on. You also told 60 Minutes on September 12th that it was not the same type of thing as Cairo, which was not broadcast on their show. So why did your administration continue blaming the video?
But of course, none of those questions were asked. You all know the reasons why. Anyway, onwards towards the GOP-created cliff. Give the president his due--he has taken advantage of what has been given. And the gift continues to give.
COUNTDOWN TO -1? 12/31/12
Obama's afternoon presser was odd considering he had been teasing that a deal was close. Then he comes out with guns blazing. So WTFork? Well, one could say he's a socialist Marxist Kendonesian commie and such, or maybe this is the best indication yet of his strategy--go over the cliff so the Dems can come back in 2013 and bring a 'tax cut' bill to the floor that stops at 250K, forcing the GOP to vote against tax cuts. If the GOP dawdles the rest of the day and passes the bill tomorrow in the House--after taxes have officially gone up--it would take away that very effective bullet from Obama's arsenal.
Also, since the time between now and then includes New Years Eve and New Years Day, with few paying attention to politics, Obama, Reid and Pelosi won't have much time or audience to hit the media and accuse the GOP of going off the cliff. It could work!
SEQUESTRATION BLUES 12/31/12
There's no real fiscal cliff on the sequestration. Why? Because the government is operating under a 'Continuing Resolution' through the end of March, meaning all agencies are currently funded at previous rates and would not be subject to any draconian cuts until after March. And hey! The debt ceiling expires in March. So.... bottom line, don't get fooled by any rhetoric on cuts to the military or Head Start, etc, they cannot take effect until after March.