The Daily Rundown | January 25, 2013
>>> the second term shuffle continues today. president obama will announce changes to his senior staff in a little over two hours. denis mcdonough is replacing jack lew as the new white house chief of staff . tony blinkon will take over for mcdonough as the national security adviser. and jennifer palmieri will take over for pfeiffer as the white house communications director . did you catch all that? it's a lot of changes at the white house . rob knavers will become the deputy chief of staff. let's bring in my colleague, nbc news capitol hill correspondent, kelly o'donnell, former spokesman for the democratic campaign committee , and republican congressman from iowa, jim nussle . thank you, everyone, for coming on the program. doug, to you first. shake ups, nothing too unexpected here, denis mcdonough as chief of staff. what does this mean for the obama white house in the second term? these folks have been through the ringer a few times. not like dick morris type of changes. what does this mane for the obama white house ?
>> these are all people that the president trusts. they have been with him for a while. denis mcdonough is a key national security adviser, dan pfeiffer has been with the president since the campaign. jen palmieri is a very well-respected communications strategist around here. i think, really, it's an opportunity, again, that the president made clear in his inauguration speech, he really wants washington to act more. and i think he's got the people around him to help make that a reality. but they're trusted folks, they're talented, and i don't think -- i think he's going to be well served by them.
>> david, i want to get into these fiscal triple threat that we have here, which kelly can speak to quite a lot. the first seems to have been avoided with the debt limit, which is now delayed until may.
>> avoided for the time.
>> for the time. up next we have the sequester followed by government funding. bobby jindal said in his speech to republican -- in charlotte, that this fighting constantly over fiscal issues is hurting the party. it's not necessarily good ground. they should try and branch out more, because that's all people see from washington . do you agree with him on that?
>> you know, it's a great point. and i like the way he put it. because i've had this frustration myself, that the connection is missing between washington and the american people on main street , of why this is even -- a, why is this happening? and b, what does it matter? i mean, they know these are big numbers . they know the debt's not good, because they have credit cards and all those kinds of things. but i think the key here, and he mentioned it, and others have been mentioned -- i've tried to mention it, is growth. how do we get the country growing again, in the economy, especially, creating jobs. so connecting what's happening here with fiscal policy on reducing the size of government and its impact in the private sector or the debt and how we can get that under control and provide some certainty for the marketplace, i think, is a connection that republicans have to do a much better job of making.
>> and kelly , we are already seeing where the lines are being drawn in the sand with these next two fights. republicans don't want any additional revenue. democrats say, well, no, some of the revenue, you can offset the sequester, that we can agree on for government funding. it should come from some tax reform , closing loopholes. this is going to be a heck of a fight, and it could go down to the bitter end once again.
>> if you thought taxes were dealt with, apparently not. we seem to go back and forth between panic button and a pause button on capitol hill with these sorts of thing. mcconnell had thought that he had settled the issue, and speaker boehner too, with allowing higher rates and some other changes to limit some reductions, to bring in more revenue. they thought, okay, that piece is complete. well, now democrats are looking at putting a budget together that they haven't formally done, but said revenue will be in it. so that will be a huge fight. i think one of the hard parts to the publi c and we struggle with it as are complex. the fact that it leads us into the future, it's so hard for any of us to see that crystal ball and know. so the deadlines have become the way they operate. needing short-term, immediate deadlines to force people to act. and that is exhausting for the public as well as the hill and it's not always that effective.