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Hotline Sort: The GOP's Libya Divide Hotline Sort: The GOP's Libya Divide

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Hotline Sort: The GOP's Libya Divide

5) Amid rifts in the caucus, GOP House leaders on Wednesday canceled plans to vote today on whether to set limits on U.S. military activities in Libya, the Wall Street Journal reports. Meanwhile, Sens. Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., and Marco Rubio pen an op-ed, R-Fla., in today's Wall Street Journal, writing: "Whatever one thinks about the constitutional questions surrounding the War Powers Resolution, or the wisdom of the original decision to intervene in Libya three months ago, the strategic reality is that our nation is now engaged in a fight. It will either end in the demise of a brutal anti-American dictator, or in his victory over us and our allies. The latter would be an extremely harmful outcome for the U.S." Republicans are seeing a growing divide within the party on intervention overseas, with many conservatives in the House advocating for a more limited approach to military intervention, while in the Senate caucus, a split can be seen between the Rubio-ites and those closer to the position of Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas. 4) Politico reports that the mystery former Detroit Red Wings players that some Michigan Republicans were courting for the Senate race are passing on the chance. Meanwhile, the Detroit News reports state House Speaker Jase Bolger says he is resisting pressure from Republicans at the state and federal levels to make a Senate bid, but in an interview, would not rule out a run. Still, the story in Michigan during the last few months has been the number of Republicans -- named and unnamed -- passing on a challenge to Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. The state is looking like it could be a major missed opportunity for the GOP. 3) Karl Rove pens an op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal titled, "Why Obama Is Likely to Lose in 2012." It's an argument that's likely to pick up some steam, at least in GOP establishment circles, making the GOP presidential nomination a whole lot more interesting. Rove's hard-boiled analysis: "While [Obama] needs to raise money and organize, he decided to be a candidate this year rather than president. He has thus unnecessarily abandoned one of incumbency's great strengths, which is the opportunity to govern and distance himself from partisan politics until next spring." 2) President Obama announced Wednesday evening his decision on a drawdown of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. But don't be fooled about the real motivation for the president's decision. National Journal Editor-In-Chief Ron Fournier writes of Obama's announcement: "Don't kid yourself. President Obama's decision to withdraw 33,000 troops from Afghanistan before he stands for re-election is not driven by the United States' "position of strength" in the war zone as much as it is by grim economic and political realities at home. A sagging economy, a soaring national debt, and an increasingly restive Congress pushed Obama to order troop reductions that are both deeper and faster than recommended by his military commanders." 1) The Hotline's latest presidential power rankings are out this morning, and Mitt Romney remains at the top, with Pawlenty at number two. Coming in at number three is someone who was not even in the top 10 last time around -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry. And the fact that he's already scheduled a speech in New Hampshire shows that, if he runs, he'll be every bit as much the national candidate as Romney. Another notable jump: Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn, who enjoyed rave reviews at the recent New Hampshire debate. The question for Bachmann: Does she possess the necessary gravitas to run with the big dogs? Check out the full rankings here.

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