7:12 a.m. E.T.
How President Obama — and America — can have a great and productive 2013 (from “Morning Joe”):
JOE SCARBOROUGH: If these are his top priorities, then let the Democrats pass the President’s own top priorities. If the Democratic Senate can’t even pass the President’s top priorities, they must be outside the mainstream of middle-America. I’m not saying they are. I don’t think they are. I just am curious though if you think the Democrats in the Senate could pass the President’s top priorities, as stated in the inauguration.
MARK HALPERIN: As a snapshot today, they can’t. But if you look at this in a more dynamic way, I think there are two issues that can go first to sequence to two later issues, when Mike talked about before, picking people off. If the President can do an immigration bill and if he can do a mini-bargain on spending cuts, which, I know, you keep accusing me of being Charlie Brown running up to the football. But, I think, with this three-month delay—
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Can you explain that, by the way? How long have you been telling me the President is going to be responsible on saving Social Security and saving Medicare?
MARK HALPERIN: A long time. But I think his inner-Tom Coburn is going to come out, finally, here in the next few months.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: You have just insulted the President of the United States. Actually, he likes Tom a lot, I think.
MARK HALPERIN: The President wants legacy, and not just because of ego, but there are certain things he wants to leave office having done. Now is the time, if he wants to do gun control and he wants to do a big energy-environment bill, I think the only way to do it is to finally get bipartisan muscles working, do some populist things like cut their pay and send them home on passing a budget. Get a mini-deal, with significant spending cuts — not a grand bargain — but significant spending cuts, maybe reform of the entitlement programs. Pass a bill there. Pass a bill on immigration by Tax Day and then, in the second half of this year, move on and do a gun bill and do an energy-environment bill. And, I think, if he does that, and I don’t think that’s impossible, I think 2013 can be an extraordinarily productive year for the President and the country on shared priorities in both parties that would get the country to believe that Washington can work again. And that’s his best bet, right now, to turn the economy around because I don’t see a lot of chances, a lot of possibilities that anything Washington is going to do directly is going to bring jobs back and that is still the issue for the country.
Watch the video above.