Archive for December, 2010

Worst Year or Worst Leader?

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

Weekly there is a person named as having the worst week in Washington.  Now as we near the end of 2010 Chris Cillizza editor of “The Fix”, a Washington Post political blog, presents “Who had the worst year in Washington?”

The honor goes to Michael Steele, Chairman of the Republican National Committee.  I would nominate him as the Worst Leader ever put at the head of the Republican Party. 

Regular readers of  phillipsbillboard know last March I wrote “Michael It’s Time to Go.”  He has never gotten the message.  Steele has even declared he wants a second term as Chairman.

Members of the Republican National Committee had better show him the door.

No Show Joe

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

Last evening while reading a congressional newsletter about the day’s action I noted where newly elected Senator Joe Manchin was absent.  I thought he must be seriously ill as Senators are never absent.  There have been times when they arrived on stretcher to vote.

This morning to my amazement the Sunday Gazette-Mail reported Senator Manchin was in Pittsburgh attending a long planned family Christmas party.  His commitment to family cannot be faulted.  But likewise he made a commitment to represent West Virginians when he took office as a United States Senator. 

I recalled Senator Robert Byrd cast more than 16,000 votes with an attendance record over five decades – 97 percent – was as impressive as the number of votes he cast.

There is an unwritten rule for Members of Congress that being don’t miss a vote.  When I first went there to work my Chief of Staff colleagues told me never let your Member miss a vote.  Often constituents may not understand the complexities of a vote but they sure understand when you’re not there.

Only 48 days has passed since Senator Manchin went to Washington.

Romney Questions Tax Deal

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Governor Mitt Romney has authored a thoughtful piece in USA Today regarding the tax cut deal now under consideration in Congress.  He writes President Obama’s tax cut deal fails to deliver it full potential for creating lasting growth.  Governor Romney believes a more conservative Congress should work on a better and more effective stimulus in the next year.

Obama Outsmarts All

Friday, December 10th, 2010

I could hardly believe my eyes upon reading Charles Krauthammer’s column today.  Beyond the economic side of Krauthammer’s theory which will send most Republicans, Tea Party activist, conservative and independents off the wall is the political consequences of this maneuver. 

We all remember watching the start of his presidential campaign on that fridge day in Illinois when no one gave Senator Obama a chance.  His campaign and its strategy outsmarted the Clinton’s and everyone else.  If anyone thinks for a moment after the 2010 “shellacking” Obama is in trouble or done – they had better think again.

Capito vs. Manchin

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010


Capito vs. Manchin….The New York Times quotes Rep. Shelley Moore Capito saying”I’m continuing to look”…..NYT nor Capito indicated if her look goes beyond 2012… ..Senator Rockefeller must defend his seat in 2014.  Readers of recall when Capito told MetroNews Talkline she decided not to participate in the U. S. Senate special election “.…the U. S. Senate is a place I would like to be someday.”

Fancy holiday parties have been ended by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin…..he ask invitees to bring food products to share with those in need at this season…..the true spirit of Christmas….hometown friends say this is the caring Earl Ray Tomblin known to them.

Potential gubernatorial candidate has it backwards… an email to various lists after  a Charleston Daily Mail story she may run for Governor…..former SOS Betty Ireland suggested recipients to call and discuss…..thought candidates made the calls seeking opinions and support.

President Obama’s tax cut extension decision yesterday likely has two objectives….the first to reinvent him and secondly to show bipartisanship… is early and he was not real flexible the last two years…..Washington chatter says his supporters believe a bipartisan emphasis makes him look politically weak.

Ronald Reagan in working with Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev had the philosophy “trust but verify”… Obama is keeping check on his new friends in the Republican leadership.

Moving Back In…..looks like soon to be former Congressman Alan Mollohan is preparing for a comeback bid in 2012…..he has attended more ribbon-cuttings, local Democratic meetings, groundbreaking and other high profile events…..likely more since his May defeat than the last several years…..his Republican replacement David McKinley is a survivor & fighter….plus he is creating a strong staff and will be a favorite of the NRCC.

All appears quiet in the House Republican caucus in Charleston… that they put their interest in a special election in a letter vs. a formal petition to Governor Tomblin…..not sure how many signers…..old and new members…..but heard it was not unanimous…..remember Republicans don’t like to spend money…..hard to think they want to spend $12 million for another special election…..wonder why they favor an early election for Governor…..any chance they are working with House Speaker Thompson…..also a candidate for Governor…..not likely but politics makes strange…..

Don’t look for the Senate Democratic caucus next week to be quiet…..Senator Jeff Kessler has lead a move to put himself in the pro-tem position… question he sees the advantage to his long announced campaign for Governor….which has not gotten off the ground…..such a change could cause havoc in the Senate…..leading to committee chairs being replaced…..moving VIP Senators from the front row…..don’t look for the likes of Senator Walk Helmick who is Finance Chair to go quietly…..and others who have worked hard in the current positions given them by Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin.

Holiday Cheers…..Mike Stuart GOP Leader told The Charleston Gazette his plan for success is candidate recruitment…..political observers believe state Republicans could have benefitted from the wave of GOP success in November…..if they had put candidates on the ballot at all levels…..West Virginia Day in 2009 phillipsbillboard urged Republicans to conduct an inventory for potential candidates…..and offered a menu of where to look…..wrote about it again 7/15/09.

Seen pushing a grocery cart in a Charleston market newly elected Senator Joe Manchin and Gayle are likely setting up housekeeping again…..being a member of the most exclusive club in America…..the U. S. Senate… not like living in the Governor’s Mansion…..BTW Senator Manchin has been warned his every vote will be scrubbed as he faces re-election in 2012…..remember “a day is a year” in politics.

Why would State GOP Chair Mike Stuart make such an early commitment for a successor to RNC Chairman Michel Steele…..he was listed last month among the supporters of Saul Anuzis, Michigan National Committeeman…..does Stuart still plan to move state headquarters across from the Governor’s Mansion…..would this be a sign he plans to focus on the 2012 Senate race rather than the next Governor?

The holidays are here but politics never stops…..remember 2008 when Iowa held their presidential caucus on January 3rd.