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1.) Meet the three nomigos – With Sen. Joe Lieberman exiting the senatorial stage, Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham need a new figure to replace him in their clique. Perhaps that person could be New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte. When it comes to the potential nomination of Susan Rice for secretary of state, you can call Ayotte, McCain and Graham the three nomigos. TheDC’s Alexis Levinson reports:
“Following their meeting with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice on Tuesday morning, Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and Kelly Ayotte strongly disagreed with the White House’s statement Tuesday that ‘there are no unanswered questions’ regarding Rice’s initial statements on the Sept. 11 Benghazi attack. …The three left the meeting saying they were ‘more disturbed’ than when they went in, adding that many questions remained. One major question appears to be who exactly removed all references to al-Qaida from the declassified talking points Rice used to prepare for the Sunday talk shows. … Ayotte said earlier that she would put a hold on Rice’s nomination until further questions were answered.”
A hold isn’t exactly a definite “no” vote in the end. But you get the sense the three aren’t exactly thrilled at the prospect of a Secretary of State Susan Rice.
2.) Stallone for State — Tom Friedman has already attracted flak for his most recent column suggesting Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as the best pick to replace Hillary Clinton at State. It isn’t so much Friedman’s pick that has drawn ire of snarky reporters and commentators, but his inane reasoning. TheDC’s Jamie Weinstein provides a satire of Friedman’s piece:
“President Barack Obama is currently reshuffling his national security team after his re-election, and top on his list of tasks is to find a replacement for Hillary Clinton at the State Department. So far, two names have come to the fore: Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice. Both have their supporters as well as their critics, and I don’t intend to disparage either one. The always-illuminating New York Times columnist Tom Friedman put forth an innovative choice of his own for the job. But I have my own pick for the post: Fred Rogers. Yes, yes, I know what you’re thinking: ‘Jamie, not only is Mr. Rogers not seeking the job and not only does he have no foreign policy experience to speak of, but he is also dead.’ And in fact, the dead thing is actually a really good point. So scratch Mr. Rogers. Forget I even recommended him. The real person who I think should be secretary of state is Sylvester Stallone.”
Read the rest to see why Stallone deserves the job.
4.) Ranking the presidents – Churchill predicted the rise of an Al Qaida-like group? That’s what author and former presidential speechwriter James Humes writes in his new book on Churchill’s prophecies. In an interview on the book with TheDC’s Jamie Weinstein, Humes also dishes on the attributes of the four presidents he wrote speeches for:
“Nixon was the brightest. Ford and George H.W. hardly touched a word of any draft I wrote. Nixon would substantially re-write – draft after draft. Reagan was a better writer than his speechwriters, who were usually former journalists, who wrote for the eye of the printed page, not the ear. Reagan who had delivered thousands of speeches — which he wrote himself — cast his words for the listener, not the reading audience.”
Check out the full piece to see all what Churchill foresaw.