Everyday we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day’s conversation in and outside Washington.
Good day and a consequential one it is. China’s president comes calling on President Obama tonight, and this is the relationship to watch for the next 25 years. The US promises a more aggressive posture on economic, security and human rights issues. But China has more than a little leverage here, beginning with its huge holdings of US debt. When you owe the bank a lot of money, it’s hard to complain. But whatever your politics, wish the president some luck here — the China Challenge is the defining strategic question of this decade and most likely beyond. Plus, the House is back in session and health care repeal takes center stage. It’s not just political theater, but there is a big question for House Republicans once they keep their campaign promise. Will they seek incremental changes that maybe some Democrats support, or just keep the repeal chants ringing? The answer will say a lot about whether divided government means gridlock or incremental progress.
On to the bullets: Mr. Avlon opens with the China challenge, and closes with other global rumblings worthy of attention. And his health care observations smartly point to the rounds beyond the repeal vote. Mr. Erickson isn’t a fan of Leader McConnell, as he has shown in his writings and on JKUSA over the past many months. Note his jitters when his tea party favorites spend too much time with the establishment leader. It’s a fun GOP parlor game. Erick’s No. 2 is one of the big questions for the GOP on 2012, and he closes with his own take on where the health care fight will turn after the House repeal vote.
Enjoy the day. - John King
RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:
- Mitch McConnell takes Ayotte, Toomey, Johnson, and Rubio to Afghanistan. Let the co-opting attempts begin.
- Richard Lugar wants a return to the assault weapons ban. Tea Party activists might not want him to return in 2012.
- House GOP might be increasing its resolve to tie Obamacare defunding to the debt ceiling. This will be fun to watch.
Senior Political Columnist for TheDailyBeast.com John Avlon:
- China Summit – The Obama administration has been pivoting toward a tougher take on the world’s fastest rising Market Leninist state. It’s a tricky formula – our banker is also an increasingly aggressive strategic competitor.
- Health Care Repeal – Don’t call it a ‘job-killer’ - Kabuki Theater comes back to the congress with a play to the base, check the box repeal. It’s got no chance of becoming law just yet, but it’s a pre-amble to a larger fight with a Supreme Court decision on the individual mandate lurking in the wings.
- International Shake-ups – Baby Doc is back in Haiti, the freedom bug is catching in Tunisia and the votes are being counted in Southern Sudan. All of this matters and none of it has anything to do with Sarah Palin. A much needed reality check.