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Part two of our latest White House Insider series.

Do you mind if we switch gears just a bit?  With the short time we have left I want to throw a bunch of questions at you.  Is that ok?  Sure – fire away kidNo promise I’ll give you an answer though.

Ok – so you still think Hillary Clinton is thinking of running for President in 2012?  Yes.

What will be the biggest factor in her final decision?  The economy.  If it does not improve she is in. She will run.

How long before that decision is made by her?  By spring – a few more months or so.  But she won’t be the first to jump in against Obama.  Word is there will be a break the ice candidate.

Break the ice candidate? What is that?  Someone will step in to challenge Obama – break the ice.  That will allow Hillary to come in after and not be the party crasher so to speak.  The first candidate comes in and creates the chaos – she follows after to calm it all down and play up her experience.  She is saving the party and saving the country.  If Hillary gets into the race for president, some version of that process is how it will go down.

You know this?  How?  There is no real “know” in politics.  Things are changing – but Hillary wants in.  She wants to be president.  So, now they just have to wait and plan for the right opportunity.  That opportunity may come, and it may not.  They are looking at deciding by spring though, that much I do know.  For instance, if the scandal breaks – that would give her a prime opportunity to step in now wouldn’t it?

Yes, I guess it would.  If Hillary Clinton were to seek the presidency, would you support her?  Absolutely – I have said that to you already.  Yes, I would absolutely support her.  And I would gladly be a part of her campaign.  Hey Hillary – call me!  (laughs)

How about the new Republican Congress?  Do you think they will get those Bush tax cuts extended?  Probably.  The Democrats are trying to exclude the top bracket cuts.  Make the issue about the Republicans wanting to protect the rich.  That’s from a very old playbook, right?  The Republicans are aware of that trap, and will work to give a blanket extension for all tax payers. In the end you will see the lower brackets given the permanent extension and the upper brackets given a temporary extension – say two years.

Why two years?  Because that will work in the Democrats’ favor for 2012.  They will be able to once again say how the Republicans want to give tax cuts to the rich.  It’s a simple trap – but the Republicans are stupid enough to fall for it.  Just watch.  50/50 they actually fall for it.  Boehner…he’s not all that bright you know.

Even with Democrats like yourself being so open about it?  The “trap” that is?  Sure.  This little blog of yours won’t make one difference on that.  The media is already trying to set it up for Democrats. The messaging is already initiated.  Look for the Republicans to make the same mistake the Democrats did after 2008 – thinking the American people are on their side.  No – the American people despise both parties.  Well, now that Republicans won back the House in 2010, they can once again be painted as the party for the rich, for the bankers, for big business, etc.  With a Republican Speaker, it will make that task much easier for us.  Losing the House has made me far more hopeful that Democrats can do well – or at least much better,  in 2012.  There will be a lot of bumps along the way, but our chances have greatly improved.

You sound a lot more positive than you were before.  What happened to all the crisis in the Democratic Party talk?  Oh, the party is still in crisis, and there is going to be much more to come…what’s that saying?  First comes denial, then anger, and finally acceptance.  Maybe I’m at the acceptance stage now.  People in the party are talking, things are forming, I see a new and stronger direction for 2012 and beyond.  Unless of course, Nancy Pelosi somehow manages to keep her leadership role within the party.  That would be…incredibly stupid of us.  But you never know what Democrats are capable of right?  If Pelosi retains her position, there will be more staff leaving the White House because that will signal the party has truly lost its political compass and the White House will have been proven powerless in correcting it.  Nobody wants to work for a loser.  The poor bastards who were around for Carter – it took them years to recover their careers, and some never really did.

How likely is it she keeps her role as Democrat leader in the House?  She is out. I just cannot see it happening – her being allowed to be minority leader.  No way.  Yeah, it could happen – it’s possible, but very unlikely.  And if it does happen…well, you can throw all of my hope for 2012 out the window.  Pelosi is too mixed up in what is coming at us in the coming months.

The White House scandal?  Yes, that, and the ethics investigations of Rangel and Waters, and likely some others.  The Republicans will drag those out for optimal impact.  We know that – we’ve accepted that.  Having Pelosi out in front as the face of the party during this time would be a horrible decision.

Specifically on the White House scandal again – I was told a report was coming soon.  Something from a mainstream media outlet.  Have you heard something similar?  Where did you hear that?  Your newspaper days coming back to you now?

Just something I heard – reliably.  Have you heard anything similar?  (pause) Yes.  Many people have. This thing is percolating just under the surface right now.  Sooner – not later, the pot is gonna start boiling.  Yeah, someone is about to test the waters with this thing.  I’ve heard that.  Then again, I’ve heard that for a while now, so who knows, huh?  I’d watch yourself though – told you that before.  Be very careful who you are talking to on this.  These people don’t play nice.

But nothing more specific?  A name?  No-no-no.  Not going there – not yet. I don’t have the protection.  Read the Times.  Somebody there has sniffed it out.  And a guy over at the Post.  If the Post starts to get on it, the Times will probably go ahead and break it open, loyalty to the White House be damned.  I told you before, parts of the story have already been given out publicly here and there.  One part will lead to another and then another.  It’s underway right now.  Every week a little bit more shows itself.

You really like this cloak and dagger stuff don’t you?  (laughs)  Yeah, I suppose I do.  But I also take it seriously, and you should too.  Your blog thing is reaching the eyes and ears of some people very high up, and it’s driving them absolutely nuts. 

Ok, I gotta ask this.  And I don’t mean any disrespect to you but so many of my readers bring this up and some of them make pretty credible arguments on the subject that I’ve wanted to ask you about it for awhile…(leans forward) You got my attention – what’s the question?

The birth certificate issue…is it…is there some validity to… (eyebrows raise up) You’re going to ask me a Birther question!  (laughs)  I’m not laughing at the question, I’m laughing at how uncomfortable you are in trying to ask it!

Well, it does seem to go right into full on conspiracy stuff which I don’t like to pay much attention to.  Hey, almost every great government scandal began as a silly conspiracy right?  It’s how one side effectively discredits the other – just call them crazy.  I have done it many times.  Not so much because I enjoy it but because it works.

So…any truth to the birth certificate thing?  Hell if I know – and I’m not sure I want to know.  Do you realize the mess that would create if it was true?  There would be violence of the kind this country has not seen in our lifetimes – or at least your lifetime.  I forget sometimes how old I really am.

C’mon, you’re dancing around it.  Is there any credibility to it?  (leans back, folds arms across chest)  Look, I will say this- people seem to have spent a considerable amount of time and money keeping others from finding out.  I don’t know why more than to say this president has been very protective of almost everything in his past.  From college transcripts to medical records to writings…he’s clearly very concerned with his privacy.  I don’t necessarily fault him for that, but it does make you wonder – I understand that.  If you are asking me if Obama is an American I say yes.  I have no doubt about that.  If you are asking me if Obama was born in America…

That’s exactly what I am asking you.  Yeah…that one is a little tougher to say.  I sure as hell hope so, because if he wasn’t, and somebody is able to prove it – holy hell we got problems.

You really think President Obama might not have been born in America?  Whoa – don’t take it that far, ok?  I’m not comfortable with you putting it quite like that.  It’s not so much I don’t think he was born in America, it’s more that I am open to the possibility of that.  Or I’m at least sympathetic to people who wonder about it themselves.  But I don’t want to go there – it’s irrelevant to me.  It’s too dangerous to consider.  And it’s Obama’s own fault.  He has covered up his past.  Beyond his books, which frankly from what I have seen of him firsthand I don’t think he wrote entirely himself, there really is very little we know about the guy.  The one most responsible for all of these conspiracy stories is Barack Obama.  When you have White House staff – people who were involved in the day to day decisions coming out of the West Wing saying they have no clue who Obama really is, that shows an environment that is going to create a lot of this conspiracy stuff surrounding the president.  And how about I ask you what you believe?  Do you think Obama wasn’t born in America?

I’m not sure.  I used to ignore that talk.  Now I’m not sure.  Like you said, there has been so much cover up of his past.  Why?  And you seem to have the same kind of doubts I do.  Hmmm…I wouldn’t go quite that far.  I think you want to believe in that Birther stuff.  I don’t.  I hope to God it’s not true.  You on the other hand…

Now you’re putting words in my mouth.  I don’t want it to be true either, I am just starting to wonder if…well, it appears there is smoke and maybe there’s fire.   Fair enough.  I can understand that.

So I take it this White House scandal you’ve been talking about has nothing to do with the birth certificate issue?  No – not to my knowledge, no.  Good lord, no.  Don’t tie me up to that subject matter!  And we gotta wrap this one up, ok?

Nervous?  No – just in a hurry.  We can pick this up again when I have more to tell you.

One last question.  Make it quick please.

Who is the next to leave the White House?  You correctly predicted Summers and Emanuel before anyone else. Can you give me another prediction on who the next administration figure who is on the way out?  Sure – but there is going to be a whole rash of departures coming up you know.  Top to bottom.

Can you give me a big name – somebody important who is leaving?  You testing me?

Maybe – just seeing if you are still getting good information.  Oh – I see.  I’m only as good as my last success, is that it?

Sure – something like that.  Gibbs.

Gibbs?  Yeah – the fat -expletive- Gibbs is gone.  And good riddance.