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The Sunday Political Brunch – August 19, 2012

Analysis of the week in politics from ABC Political Reporter Mark Curtis.


Newark, New Jersey – There is nothing like the optimism of a sunrise signifying a new day and new opportunities (today’s photo is from the Newark airport, looking toward New York City). I’ve been on the road all week, but keeping an eye on the latest developments in the world of politics.

Take Your Mom to Work Day! – Republican vice-presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), took his mom Betty to a Medicare reform campaign rally in Florida on Saturday. It’s hard for people to accuse you of “stealing Medicare from Grandma” when your own 78-year-old mom is sitting right next to you. It was a good photo-op and full of symbolism. Those on the left who called it political stagecraft and a campaign prop may remember that vice-presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) also campaigned with his mom Jean in 2008.

Roll the Dice – On KGO Radio in San Francisco this week, on both “The Ronn Owens Show” and “The Brian Copeland Show,” I predicted that 2012 would be a one-state race and that this time it would be Nevada deciding the presidency. Once a Republican stalwart, the demographics of Nevada have changed dramatically over the past decade. An influx of displaced union workers from the Rust Belt looking for new opportunities, and a boom in the Hispanic population have combined to make this a toss-up state. It went for Senator Obama in 2008, but certainly could swing back to Mitt Romney in 2012. It only has six Electoral College votes, but that’s enough to decide a tight race. Having a West Coast state crown the whole shebang could mean on all-nighter on November 6.

Jersey Boy – As I head to the Republican National Convention next week in Tampa, I’ll be looking forward to the keynote speech from Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ). I was thinking of the colorful, combative Governor while visiting his state today. Whether you agree with him or not, he remains one of the most quotable, most candid and, yes, most volatile voices on the political landscape. Translation: news people like him because he makes headlines!

Slow News Day – While at the airport I listened to the most vapid report on CNN on Janna Ryan’s “ties to the Democratic Party.” The wife of Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan is also the first cousin of Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK) and the niece of former U.S. Sen. David Boren, (D-OK). Sure it’s an interesting nugget, (which has been out there for a week), but the reporter’s salacious delivery made it sound like having ties to the Democratic Party was akin to being part of the Weather Underground or Al-Qaeda. It was just weird! So her cousin’s a Democrat? Somehow I don’t think that will sink her husband’s campaign.

Hillary Watch – There was a story from former New York Times reporter Ed Klein this week suggesting that Hillary Clinton could still do a last-minute switch with Joe Biden, and become the vice-presidential candidate with President Obama. Had Mitt Romney picked a woman or a Hispanic to be his running mate, I think the Hillary-Biden swap could still in play. But with Paul Ryan on the GOP ticket, I think Mrs. Clinton remains as Secretary of State. By the way, if President Obama wins reelection, I predict Secretary Clinton will announce her resignation as of January. She will start her 2016 nomination campaign as the new year gets under way. One thing I will agree on with Ed Klein is that the Clintons (Bill in particular) want very badly to return to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue someday!

Let’s hear your thoughts and opinions. Click the comment button on www.MarkCurtisMedia.com. We’ll be greeting you this time next week, from Tampa, Florida, and the Republican National Convention.

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Jack Baillargeron August 22, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Naome did you not read the first line. Other facts to realize we cannot continue the Status quo or we will see bankruptcy that makes the current times look like a gold rush. You can keep saying how SS got raided, by all administrations, starting with LBJ, not the DOD. Well it is nice to do the military blame game; they do not determine funding or have any funding power. Only the House does period. So at least put the blame where it belongs along with both party’s. Also constantly stating the talking point of it was raided that everyone knows, is not a solution, its like talking about your car losing a wheel because of a pot hole in your driveway and whining about it for years, but never fixing the pot hole. If you cannot see the real problem with those numbers for the future, then you are burying your head in the sand. It is the biggest problem that will make Medicare and SS bankrupt if it is not changed. There is only one plan out there for the last 3 years. Ryans! The other side will not even allow it to come to the floor for debate no0t even talk about the plan they do not have. Is that right? The obvious reasoning for 55 and younger being taken out of the old system is to make sure the old system is sustainable due to the numbers in that post.
Jack Baillargeron August 22, 2012 at 02:46 PM
You assumption that the younger will not have anything is in direct conflict with your self funded. Of course they have to pay. SS should have been increased over time to match wage increases half a century ago. You have to start somewhere, unless you know how you fund something that takes in less that it puts out. Both programs have become un-sustainable becasue of that very problem along with fraud, waste and abuse. There is no magic pill, only tough solution to revamp the system for modern times.
Jack Baillargeron August 22, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Oh yea I am not advocating my benefits, I am ineligable for SS and Medicare.
Realistic voter August 22, 2012 at 11:18 PM
And all this time everyone said you played the flute!!!! Didn't know you could sing too!
Joe Sousa. August 23, 2012 at 10:08 AM
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected Wednesday that the deficit for 2012 will run $1.1 trillion, the fourth year in a row the shortfall will exceed $1 trillion. National debt closing in on $16 trillion .

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