Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves
Yesterday, a record 20 women were sworn in to the U.S. Senate. To mark the occasion ABC’s World News With Diane Sawyer had all of the female senators on for a group interview. One of the major topics of the discussion was the belief of many of the senators that they achieve better results than their male colleagues on a variety of issues including the budget, immigration reform and climate change. Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow got the ball rolling when she suggested women are more inclined to get results by working in a bipartisan manner.
“It was the first time in 2001 when we had enough women to actually be on every committee, to have a woman’s voice, a woman’s experience [and] a woman’s values on every committee. You fast forward to now, the new year. There will be six of us chairing committees and other women in the ranking member spot,” Ms. Stabenow said. “And I think the public understands to get things done, we’re the ones that want to work across the aisle to do that.”
Maine Senator Susan Collins took the argument a step further by saying if women were in charge of the Senate and in the White House there would be a solution to the budget debate that has gripped Washington.
“I think if we were in charge of the Senate and of the administration that we would have a budget deal by now,” Ms. Collins said.
Drugs & Marriage
President Barack Obama was clearly the biggest winner last night with his victory over Mitt Romney, but there were two other notable victories in this election. Same-sex marriage and openly gay candidates won in multiple states as did initiatives to allow for medical and recreational marijuana.
Journeys With Joe
Vice President Joe Biden is campaigning in Wisconsin today and he stopped for lunch this afternoon at West Side Family Restaurant in Beloit. While there, as is his custom, Mr. Biden had an interesting exchange with one of the diners. According to the White House press pool report, which was written by Politico’s Jennifer Epstein, Mr. Biden sat down with an older man and it “sounded like the man was saying that he had met John F. Kennedy during a campaign stop five decades ago.”
“I’ll tell you what, man. I’m no John F. Kennedy,” Mr. Biden said.
Mo' Money Mo' Problems
Based on a Politicker investigation, Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate is asking the Federal Election Commission to open an investigation into Paul Ryan’s congressional campaign committee. Last Thursday, we published a report detailing how Paul Ryan, who is simultaneously running for re-election in Wisconsin’s First Congressional District and on the GOP presidential ticket with Mitt Romney, may have improperly used funds from his congressional campaign for about $60,000 in expenses at the Republican National Convention. Mr. Tate’s letter to the FEC said this story shows Mr. Ryan’s congressional campaign committee “co-mingled expenditures between the Committee and the Romney Committee” in violation of federal regulations. Politicker has obtained a copy of Mr. Tate’s letter, which he is sending this week.
“As disclosed in an article published on October 25, 2012 in Politicker.com, a political website operated by The New York Observer, the Committee reported ‘$59,603.41 that was specifically identified as [Republican National] convention-related expenses between July 26 and October 17.’ A copy of the article is attached to this letter,” Mr. Tate wrote. ”A spokesperson for the Committee is quoted as stating that the bulk of such expenses were for the purchase of twenty hotel rooms for use at the Republican National Convention, although the Committee had only five staff members.”
In a new ad for his re-election campaign, Wisconsin Congressman and former Real World star Sean Duffy touts a major endorsement–his own mother will be voting for him. While most political candidates are expected to have the support of their immediate family members, in the ad, Mr. Duffy’s mother, Carol, explains she’s “a lifelong Democrat” and her Republican son “really had to earn” her vote.
“I’m voting for Sean Duffy. People might expect a mom to vote for her own son, but Sean really had to earn my vote. We don’t always agree, but I know Sean will fight to protect Medicare and that’s what matters most,” Carol says in the commercial.
Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan hasn’t stopped running for his seat in the House of Representatives. This morning, Mr. Ryan released a television ad for his race to represent Wisconsin’s First Congressional district. The ad, which will initially air for at least two weeks, features Mr. Ryan speaking with a small group of voters in what appears to be a coffee shop.
“As Americans, we deserve a choice. You, not Washington, should decide the path we take and the decisions we make. Americans can’t wait, so we won’t wait. If we act now, we can get this right,” Mr. Ryan says in the ad. “We don’t want a government-controlled society. We want a limited government that is both efficient and effective. This is our chance to restore real faith and real opportunity in America.”
Last weekend, Michelle Obama made a surprise visit to a hospital in Aurora, Colorado to meet with victims of last month’s movie theater shooting there. Her husband, President Barack Obama, also met with those affected by the horrific shooting just two days after it occurred. However, neither the president nor the First Lady has visited Oak Creek, Wisconsin where six people were killed at a Sikh Temple sixteen days after the incident in Aurora. Amardeep Kaleka, whose father was killed at Oak Creek, said he finds it “strange” his community hasn’t received more support from President Obama and Mitt Romney.
“Why wouldn’t they, at some point, make a stand. Make a stand for everybody out there who’s ever been robbed, or gunned down or has faced this hatred,” Mr. Kaleka said.
Mr. Kaleka’s father, Satwant Singh Kaleka, was president of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin. According to Mr. Kaleka, his father was shot eight times and lost all of his fingernails while wrestling with the gunman. Mr. Kaleka said he and other family members of the victims haven’t received any communication from President Obama beyond a single call to a “random” member of the congregation.
With Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan considered to be a leading contender to be Mitt Romney’s running mate, readers of the veepstakes tea leaves took note when he pulled out of a planned speech this evening and when his political action committee filed several amended reports. However, aides to Mr. Ryan told The Politicker it would be a mistake to read any greater significance into these moves.
Wisconsin is both the dairy capital of the United States and a major center for beer brewing, however, apparently Wisconsinites like their cheese way better than their brewskies. That interesting nugget was buried in Public Policy Polling’s latest survey of the Badger State, which found that 64 percent of Wisconsin residents prefer cheese to beer compared to just 18 percent of Wisconsinites who have a higher opinion of beer than of cheese.
Today, political types were spending too much time in McDonald’s and reliving the 90′s. Here’s our roundup of the day’s best Tweets from the campaign trail.