William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – AT 10:57 P.M. ET:

NOT OBAMA'S FAULT? – There is continued chaos in the New York area from Hurricane Sandy.  FEMA has clearly failed.  Thousands of New Yorkers are still without power...or water.  (Yes, FEMA ran out of water.)  A FEMA station was actually closed today because of the weather.  I kid you not.  Yet, none of the mainstream media outlets are blaming Obama, the way they blamed Bush after Katrina.  No media bias to see here, nothing to see.  And there are reports that New York City is about to begin odd number/even number gas rationing.  If your plate ends with an odd number, you can gas up on one day; with an even number, the next day.  Given the mathematical literacy of many New York public-school graduates, that may be a tough one.

THE DRONE – The story is that Iran fired on a U.S. drone in international air space at the start of the month.  Some Republicans are trying to make an issue out of it because we didn't hear of the incident until today, after the election, suggesting that electoral politics played a role in the Pentagon's silence.  Big mistake for Republicans.  An international incident, in which the president plays the commander-in-chief role, always helps the president.  Politically, I'd pass this one by.

THE ELECTORATE – We've stressed to readers the importance of learning everything about the election before making brilliant judgments.   I heard something tonight that was disturbing – that an important majority of Asian-Americans voted for Obama.  The reporter said 70%, but I want to check that.  It's a significant fact because Asian-Americans are the largest group in the immigrant stream.  They have no illegal-immigration issue, as there's no Asian nation on our border.  They tend, because of the immigration system, to be skilled, and to move up rapidly in American society.  If we are losing them already, then there is something seriously wrong with the Republican outreach operation, and it has to be corrected.  Right now.  The party is just not connecting with emerging voter groups.

WELCOME TO 2016 – The 2016 presidential sweepstakes have begun.  It's never too early.  Such fun.  Marco Rubio is heading to Iowa for some big political dinner.  I hope he enjoys the cold chicken.  Paul Ryan is diving right back into Congressional work on the financial disaster befalling us.  Hillary Clinton has disappeared again.  Word is that she will leave the administration right after Obama takes the oath in January.  Clearly, if she wanted to run in 2016 the party would almost have to give her the nomination, or infuriate its female base.  Unless, of course, there's another woman who rises to prominence.  Question:  Would Hillary want to run against Rubio, a Hispanic and magnetic vote getter?  Just thinking.  At this point, it's recreation.  In two years it'll be serious discussion.

November 8, 2012