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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

BArack Obama is pictured. | AP Photo

Obama Inauguration Speech: Moving America Forward - a powerful speech as President Obama set the tone for his second term.  Not satisfied with the status quo, Obama took on the need for action in the areas of climate change, gun control, immigration, the need to help those less fortunate and became the first president to mention Gays in an inaugural speech, when he appealed for the need to treat everyone fairly.

An excerpt: “It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia, to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm.”

Below are some of the first media reactions to the speech.

New York Times: “Obama Offers Liberal Vision: ‘We Must Act’”

Washington Post: “Obama Gives Bold Vision of American Future”

Wall Street Journal: “Obama Vows Aggressive Agenda”

Associated Press: “Obama Stands His Ground on Fiscal Debates”

Los Angeles Times: “In Obama’s Inaugural Speech, A Sweeping Liberal Vision”

Politico: “Obama Dodges Entitlements”

The Hill: “Budget Tax Increases Would Put Red-State Democrats in Tough Spot”


Will Senate Pass Filibuster Reform? - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will present colleagues with options for reforming the Senate’s filibuster rules in a Democratic caucus meeting Tuesday.

Reid will not trigger the so-called nuclear option on Tuesday, as some Republicans have feared. Under the nuclear option, Reid could change the Senate’s rules with a simple majority vote.

Freshman Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) signed on to the Merkley-Udall "talking filibuster" proposal Tuesday, characterizing her move as an effort to end partisan gridlock and change the status quo. has more here.


Majority Support Immigration Reform with Pathway to Citizenship - The CNN poll found Fifty-three percent of Americans want the federal government to focus on developing a plan to allow illegal immigrants to become legal residents. has more here.


Virginia State Senate Pulls Fast One on Redistricting - Republicans took advantage of the absence of a Democratic state senator (and civil rights leader) to push their surprise legislative redistricting through what is usually an evenly divided state Senate. State Sen. Henry Marsh’s (D) trip to the inauguration of President Obama briefly made the Senate makeup 20-19 in favor of the GOP, letting Republicans launch their surprise attack. has more here.


Wasserman Schultz Expected To Be Relected DNC Chair Today - The Democratic National Committee is expected to make it official Tuesday, by formally re-electing Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida as DNC chair.

By tradition, a sitting president gets to choose who leads his party committee, and early last month President Barack Obama said he wanted the Democratic congresswoman from Florida to stay on as party chairwoman. Wasserman Schultz got some credit for helping the president narrowly carry her home state, a crucial battleground in the race for the White House, and for helping the party pick up seats in both the House and the Senate.

Wasserman Schultz's re-election by committee members will be the main order of business as the DNC holds its one day annual winter meeting. The gathering, here in the nation's capital, comes one day after Obama's second inauguration. has more here.


Israel Prime minister Netanyahu Expected To Win Third Term Today - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was expected to win a third term Tuesday in the first election in decades in which the Mideast peace process didn’t take center stage, with many Israelis focused more on economic woes than ending their conflict with the Palestinians.

The election comes at a troubled time for Israel. Netanyahu’s hard line on concessions to the Palestinians has put Israel into conflict with the international community, increasing its diplomatic isolation.

A declining economy and ballooning budget deficit mean painful government spending cuts and possible tax increases are in store for an electorate already bowed by the high cost of living. has more here.


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