Monthly Archives: January 2011

The Luncheon Society/MSNBC’s Richard Wolffe on his new book, “Revival, The Struggle for Survival in the Obama White House”/Los Angeles—Café Del Rey/December 6, 2010

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There are times when Luncheon Society gatherings come blessed with unbelievable serendipitude; our evening dinner in Santa Monica with MSNBC’s Richard Wolffe underlined our luck.

Hours earlier, President Obama announced that he had struck a deal with the Republicans to extend the Bush era tax cuts for another two years, including those who made above $250,000 per year. There would be much to discuss.

It was a compromise that ran counter to promises from his 2008 campaign.  A number of progressive commentators, along with many around our table, howled with cries of “betrayal,” and “weak.”  However, as I scribbled a few recollections a month later, it appears that the President has rebuilt his fortunes, recaptured his momentum, and even may have gotten the last laugh. 

First, when any deal is struck between Congress and the White House, the President (by virtue of the gravitas of the office) earns the lion share of the accolades. Like baseball, the tie goes to the runner.  Second, by removing the tax cut extension issue as a thorn, it opened the door for some landmark legislation, including the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the New START Treaty, the Food Safety Bill, the Defense Authorization bill , and a continuing resolution to keep funding the federal government. Continue reading