Posts Tagged ‘election’

What K St. is Saying About the Election

Thursday, November 8th, 2012 by Geoffrey Lyons

As election night sulking and celebrating slowly ebbs outside the beltway, here’s a flavor of what the lobbying insiders are talking about:

On the “status quo election”

Republican lobbying firm Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford  in a memo to clients: “Leader Reid will have a tenuous majority from a policy perspective as several Democratic senators are philosophically closer to Republicans than many of their more progressive elected leaders.”

Lobbyist Bruce Mehlman of Mehlman, Vogel, Castagnetti: “The overwhelmingly high reelection rate of incumbents means Congress can attack the big issue logjam immediately. 2013 promises to be busier, more intense and more bipartisan than any year since 1997, with huge issues such as tax and fiscal reform actually starting to move.  Our Senate Democrats and House Republicans are already running full-speed.”

On lame ducks moving to K St.

Ivan Adler, principal at the McCormick Group:

  • “Those members who are seen [as] friendlier to business will have a much easier time getting hired by these firms than others.   The game is to get clients. You’re going to have to find people who can reach across the aisle in order to service them.”
  • If [Scott Brown] wanted to go lobby, I think he’s gold-plated.  Someone with Massachusetts interests should be looking at him.”
  • “The election has solidified the job prospects of the people working on the regulatory side, especially when it comes to ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank. Those laws are here to stay.  K Street is going to hire people who can play goalie. They are going to have to be able to stop a lot of pucks.”

Chris Jones, managing partner at CapitolWorks: “Democrats that have come from a red state and Blue Dogs will continue to be a prized commodity.”

The Hill: “Though a number of lawmakers who lost their election bids will likely enter the lobbyist pool, several senators who were already known to be leaving Capitol Hill next year — including Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) — remain the most coveted prospects for K Street.”

On the lobbying agenda

Tim Ryan, chief executive of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association: “With the election now over, it is vital that we return to the work at hand, namely, the continued implementation of Dodd-Frank and addressing the fiscal cliff.”

Tony Podesta, founder and chairman of Podesta Group: “If the [House] Speaker and the [Senate] majority leader are for it, you have got a shot at it. There won’t be any markup where you can add a few extraneous items to the bill. … The lobbying will be very narrow.  The odds of a passionate member of the leadership adding something to the bill may be low. The odds of the rank-and-file membership getting something into the bill are zero.”

Bob Van Heuvelen, founder of VH Strategies: “We are not going to be adding things to this Christmas tree. We are going to be clarifying what programs should and should not be cut. There are cuts that are going to be made, and that leads to winners and losers, which leads to the need for advocacy.  It’s going to be hard, but it’s not going to be impossible.”

Former Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.), now special counsel to Alston & Bird: “If gridlock is a drought season for our kind of work, we’re going to enter the rainy season.”

Insights and Top 3 most likely Vice Presidential candidates

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012 by Vbhotla

With the GOP primary all but over, the focus has shifted from how will the Republican primary end to who will be the eventual VP pick. Usually, when picking VPs there are two schools of thought, does the person help you govern (a Dick Chaney or Joseph Biden pick) or does the person help you win the election (Sarah Palin). Given his background and how close this election is looking, most people are expecting Romney to make an “election” pick rather than a governing one. After all, it doesn’t matter how good at governing someone is if they don’t win.

However, unlike most lists, this one is about who is the most likely (not best), which why Sen. Rubio (R–FL), for example, is not on the list. This is certainly not because he wouldn’t be a good VP candidate, so before everyone jumps up and down, let me explain.

Two points: first if you’re Rubio, why would you want to tie your extremely bright future to a candidate you could have beaten in the primary? The last VP candidate on a losing ticket that went on to become president was FDR, and that was part of the 1920 ticket with James Cox. (I must confess, I had to look this obscure stat up.) Not exactly the kind of statistic you want to hang your hat on.

Second, if you’re Romney, why do you want someone who is just going to take all the headlines and might not do all the dirty work needed from a VP candidate in the general? You’d know that Rubio is going to be thinking about running someday so that will constantly be playing into all the decisions. (Like Palin) It would be like putting two candidates on the same ticket and just hoping they would work things out. Besides, there would also be the embarrassing fear that Rubio would come off as the better candidate and syphon off an electoral vote like Bentsen did to Dukakis. Much of the same case can be made for Paul Ryan (also, who picks Representatives?). So who does make it onto the list:

1. Bobby Jindal – Since the State of the Union rebuttal, Jindal has been building a very good VP resume. (Even if he did endorse Rick Perry first) He has the sold conservative credentials that Romney would be looking for. Also, he’s proven that he isn’t afraid of getting his hands dirty and is more than able to do the traditional offensive role of a VP nominee. Moreover, he would help close the “enthusiasm gap” that Romney is currently stuck in. Lastly and most importantly, but I don’t know how to say this in a politically correct way… he isn’t white. Which, if you’re the GOP candidate against President Obama, is kind of a big deal.

2. Bob McDonnell – Romney isn’t winning the election without winning Virginia, and McDonnell is a nice compromise between new and old Republican. He can help bridge the gap with the base without going too far to the right, has some national appeal, and can point to a growing VA economy during his time in office. The recent fight in VA over abortion will be an issue, but I don’t know if it is enough to disqualify him.

3. Rob Portman – The “traditional thinking” pick, which is also why I think he is likely. Also, he helps out in a desperately needed way in Ohio, which also needs to be won for Romney to have a shot. I like Portman, but he’s as inside Washington as VP picks gets and in a year with Congressional approval in the toilet that’s not a good thing.

Final note: if his last name wasn’t Bush, I would have Jeb as my #1 pick by a landslide.