Interests: Politics, Government, Media, Transportation, Space, Social Media, Civic Engagement, Washington, DC Following: The Obama Presidency, Decision 2012, The 112th Congress Work: myImpact.org- a non-profit working at the intersection of social media & citizen engagement
TOP STORY: Damage Control: day one. The fallout continues from Rick Perry’s embarassing performance in last night’s Republican presidential candidates debate. Here’s the latest from The Washington Post,
“We’ve got a debater in chief right now that’s not working out so well,” said the Texas governor [today], taking a shot at President Obama’s public-speaking talents. “We’ve got to focus on the substance of what’s killing America, and it’s Washington, D.C., spending too much money and creating too much debt.”
But even as the Perry rehabilitation tour went into full swing, Republicans inside and outside his campaign were skeptical of his prospects for survival.
“We’re in one of those stop-the-fights, throw-in-the-white-towel moments,” said Alex Castellanos, a prominent Republican consultant who supported Mitt Romney in the 2008 presidential race but is not affiliated with any of the 2012 campaigns. “It was just brutal. It turns out that being president is a very hard job. I think Perry’s taken himself out of consideration now.”
TONIGHT- Perry is on the Late Show with David Letterman, after beginning the day appearing remotely on all of the morning news shows. Last night, for the first time, Perry went into the spin room after the debate to talk with reporters.
ANALYSIS: As campaign 2012 develops a new story line, it’s important to remember which stories the campaign is no longer focused on (or at least the media covering the campaign isn’t): 1/ the Herman Cain sexual harassment allegations and 2/ anything about Mitt Romney. Perry’s gaffe transforms the race- at least for this week, at least for this moment, by taking the pressure off of Cain, and keeping public scrutiny away from Mitt Romney. We’re now within 60 days of Iowa, so the weekly story lines do matter. Now is the time when public perceptions are being formed about the candidates- and although its always possible to change that conventional wisdom, it becomes increasingly more difficult.
THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION today delayed a decision on the controversial Keystone XL energy pipeline which would run across a large swath of the center of the United States and has become a lightning rod among environmental activists, until after the 2012 presidential election, as the New York Times reports:
"The move is the latest in a series of administration decisions pushing back thorny environmental matters beyond next November’s presidential election to try to avoid the heat from opposing interests — business lobbies or environmental and health advocates — and to find a political middle ground. Mr. Obama delayed a review of the nation’s smog standard until 2013, pushed back offshore oil lease sales in the Arctic until at least 2015 and blocked new regulations for coal ash from power plants."
“I support the State Department’s announcement today regarding the need to seek additional information about the Keystone XL pipeline proposal,” the president said in a statement. “Because this permit decision could affect the health and safety of the American people as well as the environment, and because a number of concerns have been raised through a public process, we should take the time to ensure that all questions are properly addressed and all the potential impacts are properly understood.”
MATERIAL FOR JAMES’ DAILY VIDEO SERIES: Another “Oops” moment occurred today..when S&P announced that it was downgrading France’s credit rating..and then announced that it had made a mistake. Just a minor detail. Here’s how the events played out, from the AP.
"In a statement, S&P says a technical error caused the automatic dissemination of a message to some subscribers of its Global Credit Portal "suggesting that France’s credit rating had been changed."
S&P says that is not the case and France’s ratings remain at “AAA,” the highest investment-grade rating, with a “Stable” outlook.
The release was sent to some S&P Ratings subscribers under the headline, “DOWNGRADE,” and a link to the France ratings. Anyone who would have clicked on the link would have seen that France’s rating was unchanged, said S&P spokesman Martin Winn in London.”
FINALLY…Billy Crystal will host next year’s Oscars, one day after Eddie Murphy announced that he was bowing out as host of the annual awards ceremony.
From the Huffington Post, “The comedy veteran and eight time Oscar host tweeted on Thursday afternoon that he would be hosting the Oscars, though he added a sarcastic aside: “Am doing the Oscars so the young woman in the pharmacy will stop asking my name when I pick up my prescriptions. Looking forward to the show.”
THE EVENING REPORT comes to you tonight from New York City, where we’re attending the 2011 Millennial Leadership Summit sponsored by Mobilize.org, an all-partisan non-profit organization built around the idea of building Democracy 2.0.