The deteriorating situation in Egypt took center stage in the world this week, leaving hundreds dead and vexing the White House. Brian Hughes wrote Wednesday that the Obama administration was caught flat-footed by military law imposed by Cairo, before it issued a condemnation of the protester crackdown. Susan Crabtree covered the State Department's warning Thursday for U.S. citizens in Egypt to leave as soon as possible. Sean Lengell noted Friday that Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham want to suspend U.S. aid to Egypt.
Rebecca Berg spent time in Arkansas with Rep. Tom Cotton, getting a good look at the man Republicans hope can take Sen. Mark Pryor's seat:
Cotton, 36, served just seven months of his first term in the House before deciding he’s ready to move up to the Senate. Over his first congressional summer recess, he set out to oust two-term Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor in a race national Republicans believe will help them take control of the Senate.
“Some people say I’m a young man in a hurry,” Cotton said at the start of a two-day, breakneck trip across his native Arkansas. “With the problems we have, we need someone in a hurry.”
Berg followed the race closely, covering the National Republican Senatorial Committee's poll that shows a dead heat and breaking the news that Bill and Hillary Clinton plan to hit the road in Arkansas, campaigning and fund-raising for Pryor. GOP chances at reclaiming the Senate took a hit Friday when Lengell wrote that popular Rep. Dave Camp won't run for the seat opening in 2014 when Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., retires.
David M. Drucker reported Friday that the Republican National Committee passed a controversial resolution at its Boston summer meeting to boycott CNN and NBC from sponsoring 2016 Republican Presidential debates if they air planned programs about Hillary Clinton. On Thursday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie used the Boston meeting to slam Sen. Rand Paul, continuing the rift between the two potential 2016 front-runners. Steve Contorno wrote the same day that Paul's permissive stance on marijuana exacerbates Christie's tough decision on a bill giving children access to medical marijuana in the Garden State. Christie ended up expanding the program.
President Obama's week wasn't any better than his opponents'. The White House delayed another major provision of Obamacare until 2015, giving Republicans one more chance to crow about a major blow to the president's signature legislation, Hughes reported. Joseph Lawler expounded on an NBC News report indicating employers are cutting back workers' hours in response to Obamacare. Lawler also profiled the tug-of-war between the White House, which is considering Larry Summers to replace Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve chairman, and Senate liberals, who have voiced a strong preference for Janet Yellen.
Other key stories from the week in politics:
- Crabtree wrote that former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson used her personal email address to conduct official business.
- Susan Ferrechio covered the effort to push key House Republicans Raul Labrador and Kevin McCarthy to usher an immigration reform bill to the floor.
- Tim Mak reported on Alaska Sen. Mark Begich's food feud with Domino's over the pizza chain's TV commercial that claimed, “No one’s coming up with world-changing ideas over halibut." After Begich took offense, the Domino's CEO responded with an olive branch.
- Lawler looked at a survey that found the vast majority of Americans don't realize the U.S. budget deficit has been shrinking in recent years and went inside the numbers of the Bureau of Labor Statistics' report, finding that inflation is running right at the target set by the Fed.
- Contorno delved into Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli's concerns that enthusiasm among Tea Party activists is waning.
- Lengell reported that former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was sentenced to 30 months in prison after pleading guilty to misusing $750,000 in campaign money.
- Hughes analyzed how well "Lee Daniels' The Butler" did at portraying five U.S. presidents with Hollywood stars — James Marsden, as JFK, got the highest marks.