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Notes from the October 31, 2010 broadcast of Meet The Press

October 31, 2010

Today’s show began with an unscheduled appearance by the president’s deputy national security adviser, John Brennan, to discuss the Yemeni bomb plot.

He said signs point to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula as the culprit. These were self-contained devices, according to Brennan, which could have detonated at any time. He also said it was unclear if the target was the plane or the final addressed destination of the packages.

Next up was a discussion with Haley Barbour, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, and Tim Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Barbour said there is “no doubt this election is a referendum on President Obama’s policies.” Kaine said, “We believe we will hold both houses of Congress.”

Barbour said, “Democrats are running from Barack Obama on healthcare reform like scalded dogs.” Kaine says Democrats still have a polling edge among registered voters, but not among likely voters. So the key will be “get out the vote” efforts.

In a pre-roundtable segment, Chuck Todd showed how Republicans can gain 8 seats in the Senate. But the 10 needed to regain control will be very difficult to achieve.

In the House, Todd said the GOP could gain 63 seats in some easy places. Anything above that could reveal real Democratic weakness. Of course, the Republicans only need 39 seats to gain House control.

The actual roundtable sounded like a re-hash of all the conventional wisdom we have heard for the last few weeks. Two interesting items:

  • Todd predicted the budget battle of 2011 could be the equivalent of the previous healthcare battle.
  • David Gregory showed a Bloomberg poll which said 16% of Americans want members of Congress to stick to their principles even if it means gridlock in DC. While 80% want members to compromise in order to get things done. However, the new House will have more liberal Democrats and more conservative Republicans than ever… making compromise all the more difficult.

Today’s Meet The Press transcript will be here.

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