No Republican Next In Line This Time

“Republican presidential primaries have for decades been orderly affairs, with any momentary drama mitigated by the expectation that the party would inevitably nominate its tested, often graying front-runner,” the New York Times reports.

“But as the 2016 White House campaign effectively began in the last week, it became apparent that this race might be different: a fluid contest, verging on chaotic, that will showcase the party’s deep bench of talent but also highlight its ideological and generational divisions.”

Graham Says White House Bid Possible

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) will not rule out a 2016 presidential bid, The Hill reports.

Said Graham: “I’m thinking of trying to fix illegal immigration and replacing sequestration. I will let you know if I think about running for president. It’s the hardest thing one could ever do. You go through personal hell. You have got to raise a ton of money. I’m nowhere near there.”

Asked if his response could be labeled as a “maybe,” Graham nodded and said, “That’s what it was.”

There’s no downside to saying you’re considering running for president but I’d be very surprised if Graham jumped in the race.

Democrats Have Given Up on Landrieu

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) “is running out of ways to win her runoff in Louisiana next month,” National Journal reports.

“At this point, her party isn’t swooping in to save the day: National Democrats have pulled the plug on her race. With roughly $10 million in debt from the 2014 election cycle and a pile of losses from Arkansas to Colorado, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee canceled roughly $2 million in television advertising spots it had reserved when Landrieu’s runoff race was still seen as competitive or possibly the deciding race for control of the Senate.”

Landrieu is the last Democratic senator in the Deep South. It may be quite a while before there’s another one.

Obama Kicks Off Long Fight

President Obama “did more in 15 minutes Thursday night to ignite a divisive debate across the country he had once promised to unite than at any other moment during his six years in the White House,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“As a result, Mr. Obama now faces a final two years in office likely to be consumed by a new set of legal challenges and bitter political battles that will stretch far beyond the divided halls of government in Washington.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“Shame on us as Republicans for having a body that cannot generate a solution to an issue that’s national security, that’s cultural, that’s economic. I’m close to the people in the House, but I’m disappointed in my party. Are we still the party of self-deportation?”

— Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), quoted by The Hill.

Nevada Republican Will Step Down

One day after thanking people for their support and saying he was the victim of character assassination, incoming Nevada Speaker Ira Hansen (R) sent an early morning email to his caucus declaring his intention to step down, Jon Ralston reports.

Hansen has been under fire since his controversial and racist writings over 20 years came to light last week.

It’s amusing that he thinks making his own writings known to the world is “character assassination.”

Quote of the Day

“I think the American people, you know, they’re going to want — you know, that new car smell. You know, their own — they want to drive something off the lot that doesn’t have as much mileage as me.”

— President Obama, in an ABC News interview, saying he may not play a prominent role in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Can Republicans Restrain Themselves?

Politico: “What has changed is the underlying balance of power in the party and, perhaps, the terms of debate within the GOP over how to deal with the Democratic Party and its surprisingly aggressive leader. Obama might be behaving like a usurping monarch without a mandate, in the eyes of the newly powerful GOP, but no one is seriously threatening to impeach him — as Republicans have repeatedly done in past years. Nor, despite the angry rhetoric, does there seem to be a serious possibility of government shutdown.”

“Call it thoughtfulness — or call it confusion. All in all, the mild, somewhat subdued response to Obama’s immigration move is evidence that the uncompromising GOP insurgency that so paralyzed Washington in 2013 has lost some potency.”

Marion Barry Dies

New York Times: “Marion S. Barry Jr., a sharecropper’s son and civil rights pioneer who became a flamboyant and polarizing mayor of Washington, went to prison on cocaine charges and then recaptured City Hall in one of the most improbable comebacks in the history of American politics, died early Sunday. He was 78.”

Washington Post: “Charismatic, irrepressible and engaging, Mr. Barry always seemed to get up again.”

I saw the tape: Bitch set him up.

Clinton Would Inherit 3 Million Person Mailing List

Ready for Hillary has amassed contact information from approximately 3 million people for a potential presidential campaign by Hillary Clinton, USA Today reports.

“Ready for Hillary’s list of supporters will be rented or sold to the Clinton campaign… Alternatively, Ready for Hillary will send e-mails asking for donations to go directly to the Clinton campaign, which essentially provides the campaign with donor information for free…. The list alone would be a big advantage for a presidential campaign to have on Day One, but the infrastructure assembling to support Clinton goes beyond Ready for Hillary.”

Gruber Called to Testify Before Congress

“The controversy over Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber’s ‘stupidity of the American voter’ comments reignited yesterday, as a powerful Congressional panel summoned the embattled MIT professor to testify in Washington next month,” the Boston Herald reports.

Wonk Wire: Which is dumber: Gruber’s comments of Gruber-gate?

What are the chances that Gruber calls the lawmakers stupid?

Nixon Struggles to Find Balance in Missouri

“From the very first days of the protests over the police shooting of an unarmed black man here, Gov. Jay Nixon of Missouri has been accused of hitting the wrong notes at the wrong times,” the New York Times reports.

“But politicians and others in Missouri said they were not completely surprised by the governor’s handling of the situation in Ferguson. They said his regular approach to governing — a reliance on a tight circle of loyal advisers and an unwavering faith in well-established processes — had proved particularly ill suited to the challenges of Ferguson and a protest movement that views the established processes as fundamentally exclusive and unfair.”

“Mr. Nixon’s supporters say he has been faced with a crisis nearly impossible to handle to everyone’s satisfaction.”