Friday, July 29, 2011

Politicos Weigh in On the Debt

by contributor Brendan Kownacki

The mercury in the thermometer was not the only thing bursting through the roof on Thursday night as members of the media and Washington insiders gathered to toast Politico’s “50 Politicos to Watch.” Tension was plenty high as well with the looming negotiations of the passage of a bill to raise the debt ceiling reaching another impasse.

In a room of such well defined political high rollers, it seemed irresponsible not to have at least a few weigh in.  

ABC News’ Ann Compton, dubbed by Politico to be one of the deans of the White House press corps, said “things have changed immeasurably,” when referring to the rising amount of disputes we’re seeing between the President and the split Congress. This is the seventh president that Compton has covered so she has seen it all when it comes to policy disputes, but even with negotiations still locked and the end decision unsure, she says this is “standard operating procedure.”

Norah O'Donnell
Norah O’Donnell, who recently left her post at NBC to become Chief White House Correspondent for CBS News had a more methodical view on the situation. It’s “interesting to watch a democracy play itself out” she said.  It is after all the free choice of the voters to have a divided government that has lead to this point.

Fred and Jerri Thompson
With a Democrat in the White House and leading the Senate, but a GOP majority in the House, some level of gridlock is to be expected, but it has turned some heads to see such public disagreement between the President and the Speaker. Former Senator Fred Thompson, who Politico ranked among their “top tweeters” said “It doesn't say anything about the office [of the president] only about the man who holds it,” referring to whether or not this public rebuke is appropriate for people in such position of high power. “Don't get him confused with George Washington just because they had the same job.”

As the debate rages on, it’s anyone’s guess how this one will play out…