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Friday, February 15, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Obama in Chicago Today - continuing his effort to reach out to voters on his proposals he spoke of in his State of The Union Address.

Obama is scheduled to speak at Hyde Park Academy at 3:45 p.m. ET. Obama is expected to discuss gun violence in his remarks, including the death of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old girl who performed at Obama's inauguration and was shot a week later in Chicago. The Chicago Tribune has more here.


Democrats Propose $110 Billion Plan To Avoid Sequester - Republicans Reject It - Senate Democrats on Thursday proposed a plan to put off dramatic cuts to the Defense Department and a host of popular government programs until next January.

Democrats agreed on an approximately $110 billion package -- half tax increases and half spending cuts -- during a caucus meeting at the Capitol. Their goal is to temporarily avert the looming sequester, set for March 1, by ending agricultural subsidies -- saving the government an estimated $27.5 billion -- and cutting defense by the same amount through 2021.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed it as "a total waste of time."

"This is not a solution — even they know it can’t pass," McConnell said on the Senate floor Thursday. has more here.


Obama Holds Online Fireside Chat - yesterday, for close to an hour, President Barack Obama opened the door to eliminating the penny, blasted the GOP for delaying Chuck Hagel’s nomination as Defense secretary and dished on the minimum wage, climate change, immigration, Benghazi and even the merits of Valentine’s Day in an online fireside chat Thursday afternoon.

The Google+ hangout featured questions from bloggers and others across the political spectrum. has more here.


Republicans Filibuster Hagel Nomination - Democrats fell short with 55 votes on the cloture vote, leading some liberal Democrats to question the decision by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to not make changes to the 60 vote filibuster rule.  The Washington Post has more here.


Emanuel Considers 2016 Presidential Bid - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is reportedly considering launching a 2016 presidential bid, but the former Obama chief of staff's office attempted to throw cold water on those speculations.

Emanuel has discussed a possible run on the phone and in person with prominent party donors and fundraisers who are part of fundraising efforts for his 2015 reelection bid in Chicago.

"I heard there were some conversations with donors, especially during the inauguration,” said one unnamed "well-known Democratic politico," according to The Daily Beast.
The Daily Beast has more here.


Lautenberg Announces Retirement - Sen. Frank Lautenberg's (D-N.J.) decision Thursday to retire from the Senate opens a clearer path to the Democratic nomination for Newark Mayor Cory Booker, but a difficult primary fight could still lay ahead.

Booker (D) had already indicated he'd run whether or not Lautenberg retired, and likely faces a much easier path to the seat now that the senior senator has made the decision to bow out.

In a statement, the Newark mayor praised Lautenberg for his "legacy of service" and noted that they had worked together on issues in Newark. Booker made no reference to the 2014 Senate campaign. has more here. 


Democrats Lynch and Markey Battle for Kerry Senate Seat - Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) has the backing of the Democratic establishment, but a poll out Friday suggested that he may not have the party's nomination in the Massachusetts special U.S. Senate election sewn up just yet.
The survey from MassINC Polling Group, conducted on behalf of Boston-based public radio station WBUR, showed Markey holding a 7-point edge over Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) among Democrats and likely Democratic primary voters.


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