Hello, and welcome to the Political Jungle for December 30, 2012.
Today, we begin with the Kerry successor. With the Senator’s confirmation as Secretary of State all but certain, potential successors are lining up. Once Kerry resigns, and he must if he is confirmed, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick must appoint a successor who will most likely only serve until the special election. Governor Patrick is rumored to be talking to Vicki Kennedy, Ted Kennedy’s widow, Michael Dukakis, and former Senator Paul Kirk, who served as Kennedy’s replacement after his death. On the Democratic side, most political groups and figures are coming around Rep. Ed Markey, the dean of the Massachusetts congregation. Democrats are attempting to avoid a repeat of the 2010 special election, the one in which Scott Brown won an upset, and deprived the Democrats of their filibuster-proof majority. However, Democrats were able to take back the seat this year, when Sen. Scott Brown was defeated by now Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren. Many Republicans are urging Sen. Brown to run in the special election, and if he has given hints that he may. Polling has shown that Sen. Scott Brown could have an easy way back to the Senate. Polling done by the Massachusetts radio station WBUR shows that Scott Brown beats a generic Democrat by eight percentage points. Against Ed Markey, Sen. Brown would win 48% to 30%. However, Rep. Markey is largely unknown, with only 36% having an opinion.
We continue now with the Speaker election. Speaker Boehner is up for re-election as Speaker this Thursday, and there are some that wonder whether or not he may be toppled. While most believe he will not be defeated, he has been getting into trouble with his more conservative caucus. Speaker Boehner has also angered some conservatives because of how some were removed from key committees. The removed congressman believe they were removed because of how they voted against the leadership, and they allege there is a scorecard. Speaker Boehner has not ruled the scorecard, but he has not confirmed it.
A Political Jungle investigation into the 2010 Speaker election, shows that of the eighteen Democrats who voted either present or against Pelosi, only half, or nine, remain. Two hundred eighteen votes, or half plus one, is needed to be elected Speaker. Republicans will begin the Congress with two hundred thirty-three Representatives, which means they have wiggle room of fifteen members. If Democrats can get all of their members to vote for Leader Nancy Pelosi, and sixteen Republicans to vote against Boehner, we could be looking at a historic first of the Speaker coming from the minority party. However, it would require quite a bit of political capital on the Democrats’ part. The Political Jungle investigation also showed that Nancy Pelosi’s trouble came from the Blue Dog Caucus, a group of moderate to conservative Democrats. However, the caucus has been weakened through the elections, and Leader Pelosi could be helped by that. Although it is not likely, sixteen Republicans voting against Boehner is still a possibility.
Next, Grover Norquist is a frequent tweeter, but is he always an understandable one? We’ll see.
On December 27, Grover Norquist was tweeting, and judging by his activity, that is something he does quite often. Now, his one tweet from that day is a little confusing. He tweeted, “We had an election Boehner was elected Speaker. Now lame duck obama should get over it. (Also 30 GOP governors)” Now, some liberal groups poked fun at Grover Norquist, saying he was drunk from Christmas. Now, the reason they say that is because the tweet makes no sense. Regardless of your side, you should agree that something is off. But, we will try to figure out the tweet. First, Speaker Boehner was re-elected in his district, and his caucus voted to keep him, but as we reported earlier, the official vote does not come until Thursday. President Obama, too, got re-elected, so he is not a lame duck. However, Congress is in a lame duck session. Finally, Grover Norquist is correct that next year we will have thirty GOP governors. But what that has to do with the federal government is unknown. Grover’s tweet probably stems from over the debate on whether or not President Obama has a mandate to raise taxes on the richest following the election. Republicans like Grover Norquist claim he does not. One last note on the tweet, CNN analyst and TV One anchor Roland Martin commented on the tweet, questioning the tweet. He then proceeded to get into a debate with one of the other Twitter commentators.
Well, thank you for joining us on Political Jungle. The next time you’ll see us is next year. So, happy new year. Also, be sure to join us next week when we look at the Senate probabilities in 2014. Remember, stick with us because it is a jungle out there.