Id say the continuing decline of Hugo Chavez's health and the success of the PSUV in gubernatorial elections matters. Assuming Chavez kicks the bucket fairly soon and a new election is called for 30 days hence, it looks highly unlikely the opposition will stand much of a chance. On the domestic front Im going to say the ant-Hagel backlash doesn't matter, at least as far as influencing whether he gets nominated/confirmed and how he would perform in the job.
If the NRA's concerted efforts to discredit themselves end up succeeding, then those will have mattered.
More developments in Egypt and Syria mattered. Some economic numbers came out that were quite good, they also put Obama's win in better perspective. Also Obama has seemed to give up on the whole "grand bargain" idea in favor of a "little bargain" mainly about not lettering taxes go up on the middle class. I don't know if the NRA press conference had any real impact, but it does look like there will be at least an attempt on gun control in January (Fienstein said she's going to introduce an assault weapons ban.) And of course the world didn't end yesterday.
3rd quarter GDP being revised upwards mattered. If the economy is stronger, there's a better chance it will survive the government's pointless attempt to strangle it with massive austerity.Reports of the Democrats going wobbly on filibuster reform matters. Without significant change to Senate rules, we're doomed to repeat the obstructionism of the last 4 years.
Jonathan:Oh. Here's an analogy an Obot like me probably wouldn't be expected to raise: Obama as Hoover.Specifically, the Hoover stuck with the dysfunctional 72nd Congress (the so-called "hung parliament").
I'll go with the Benghazi report, as much for what it didn't say about the White House's involvement. And with Rice bowing out, the story will probably end there, unless someone from the White House decides to talk years from now.
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At The Washington Post
At The American Prospect