A pen, a phone, a duck, ObamaCare

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Politics,Chris Stirewalt,Power Play

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Buzz Cut:
• A pen, a phone, a duck, ObamaCare
• Baier Tracks: Bailout squeeze play
• Moving the ObamaCare goalposts, again
• Brown out, will Schweitzer light them up?
• Shut your beak, yo

President Obama
bragged Tuesday that he had “a pen” and that had “a phone” and wouldn’t wait for Congress to act in order to implement his second-term agenda. But given the fact that Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., is willing to meet with Obama in private at the White House tonight but not in appear in public with him in her home state today, how credible are the president’s increasing claims of not being a lame duck? Quack, quack. Hagan faces increasingly long odds in winning a second term thanks to upset in her state over Obama policies, particularly the unpopular health law. Once upon a time, Obama nearly won North Carolina in 2008 and picked Charlotte for his re-election kickoff in 2012, but now the state is looking redder and redder. Obama is there to sell a jobs training program, but the visit is doing far more to expose the vulnerabilities of Obama-backing Democrats in midterm elections.

[On the agenda - Sources say that topic for tonight’s White House huddle between Obama and Senate Democrats is laying out Obama’s income inequality message ahead of the Jan. 28 State of the Union address.]

The National Republican Senatorial Committee blasts Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., for not joining President Obama for his visit today to the Tar Heel state. In a release the NRSC says, “In 2011 when Obama visited North Carolina, Hagan jumped at the opportunity to campaign alongside the president. Now, as President Obama's approval rating tanks, as folks in North Carolina and across the country continue to disapprove of the way that he has handled the economy and ObamaCare, the only time Hagan will likely appear side by side with Obama is behind closed doors in Washington.”

“The New York Times details major worries by Democrats about a series of attack ads dealing with the health law, suggesting that vulnerable Democrats still do not believe they are anywhere near out of the woods on the issue. Which brings up the question: If the House passed legislation banning a bailout of insurance companies (as appears increasingly likely) then would the pressure on red state Democrats be too intense on the Senate side? It was the plan of Republicans who wanted to put the squeeze on the same Democrats during the government shutdown - which failed.   Could the equation work this time?   We'll see.” – Bret Baier.    

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Chris Stirewalt
FOX News