10:45 a.m. E.T.
On dealing with Sandy aftermath and the fiscal cliff, from “Morning Joe”:
JOE SCARBOROUGH: The President’s been criticized in the past for being a bit remote. There’s some nice photos of him with people on State Island and I just wonder, are you hearing on the inside that this reelection has transformed him a bit and that we can expect a different President Obama over the next four years, at least stylistically if not ideologically?
MARK HALPERIN: Well, I think, look, in terms of dealing with disaster, I think he’s been a bit underrated in how he’s dealt with them from the Comforter-in-Chief role but also from the mechanical role. These are state and local problems to solve for the most part but we all agree, most of us do, the federal government has a role. One of the things, I think, where he’s been underrated is picking the right people. Fugate is widely considered to be very good at dealing with these things at FEMA. But you saw in that video, Shaun Donovan, the Housing Secretary, also given high marks for just, kind of, technical competence, the kind that the President excels at. I think the bigger question is will he be a different kind of leader and President in dealing with Congress. One thing we haven’t talked much about is the meeting today with the Congressional leaders at the White House on the fiscal cliff. It’s in that meeting today and in the ongoing relationship with John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, where, I think, for the foreseeable future, his presidency really sits because he’s going to have to be a different kind of leader with them. He talked about it in the press conference a bit the other day. He needs to reach out to them the way he’s reached out to people on Staten Island, and dealt with the two governors, Christie and Cuomo, who are two pretty demanding governors as well and, based on their public and private comments, been very happy with the President’s leadership and his government.
Watch the video above.