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Notes From the July 24, 2011 Broadcast of Meet The Press

July 24, 2011

Today’s broadcast began with host David Gregory trying to nail down White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley on whether or not the president would accept a short-term or two-part plan on the debt ceiling and deficit reduction. Daley mostly danced. But he did say that, at a minimum, the plan must get the debt ceiling problem solved until 2013.

When asked about why politicians might be able to solve the problem later when they can’t solve it today, he said, “Hope springs eternal.”

Daley said there has already been “enormous damage” done to the US image as the AAA, gold standard in the global economy.

He said the people voted for divided government, not dysfunctional government, but too often he faces a “my way or the highway” attitude from Republicans. He used the FAA layoffs as an example.

Daley says he is convinced Congressional leaders will not allow default, but we are in a moment when markets worldwide are questioning whether the political system in DC can actually compromise and reach agreement.

Next up, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) illustrated exactly why world markets are in a state of alarm about the US. He immediately called the president’s position on the need for a 2013 deal on the debt ceiling “ridiculous.”

Coburn offered nothing new and very little hope of compromise. If the Asian markets were watching Meet The Press this morning, the collapse may begin in a few hours.

In the roundtable, former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) says politics reflects society. By this he means we will see the emergence of a new governing coalition in this country based on independents. Republicans and Democrats are being rejected in every poll. The last three elections have each seen the party in power thrown out.

Doris Kearns Goodwin agrees and calls for passionate centrists to step forward.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) and freshman Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) both came across as thoughtful, passionate people who could perhaps transcend political party dynamics. In fact, I bet if we let the two of them draft a debt ceiling/deficit reduction plan, they would come up with something 70% of Americans would support.

Unfortunately, back here in the real world, Daley and Coburn are the people in charge. And it is unclear if they can pull America back from the brink.

Today’s Meet The Press transcript will be here.

Also follow the show on the MTP Facebook page, track Twitter feeds from host David Gregory, Meet The Press, and Executive Producer Betsy Fischer, watch the midweek PressPass interview, and don’t forget Gregory’s blog.

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