- The Washington Times - Monday, December 10, 2012

Occasionally, embattled Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus gets a star and two smiley faces for bustling into action, intent on steering weary Republicans towards political productivity. He’s launched the clever Growth and Opportunity Project — the GOP’s G.O.P. — to reinvigorate the Grand Old Party and analyze what the heck went wrong on the campaign trail in 2012.

On the team to help out: former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer and Henry Barbour, nephew of former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, charged with addressing “campaign mechanics and ground game,” the party message, fundraising, potential allies, third party issues and most telling, “lessons learned from Democratic campaign tactics.”

Also on the team: Zori Fonalledas and Glenn McCall, national committee members from Puerto Rico and South Carolina, respectively, and Sally Bradshaw, a veteran senior strategist based in Florida. And optimist. “This is a time of great opportunity for the Republican Party,” she insists.

It’s the season for splashy launches, meanwhile. There’s also news from No Labels, the bipartisan gadfly group that now includes former Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman Jr. as a co-chairman. It boasts of a newly formed “Problem-Solvers Bloc” — legislators committed to working across the aisle, to be introduced next month at a bodacious event in New York City, tickets priced from $25 to $1,000. Yes, there’s a “VIP lounge.”

The group predicts the event should make “significant noise” in Washington, sending a message to President Obama and lawmakers to “stop fighting, start fixing.”

THE HISTORIC MOP-UP

“I am overnominated and underelected.”

- (Richard Nixon, to The New York Times, April 25, 1965.)

DOMESTIC ISSUES

Things might not go exactly according to protocol Tuesday for assorted diplomats around the nation’s capital, not to mention the World Bank. Domestic workers are not happy with new research from Casa de Maryland, a worker’s rights group, that reports “widespread mistreatment, hazardous working conditions, a lack of benefits and substandard pay” in Washington, and elsewhere.

“We are visiting the area employers where we have found the most prevalent and severe cases of abuse over the past decade: the World Bank and embassies. These employers are setting a bad example,” says organizer Antonia Pena.

The group will hold a news conference at 18th and H streets in Northwest, followed by an “action” to encourage employers to respect their rights. The action: Activists will deliver holiday cards to the World Bank and several embassies, “encouraging employees of the institution and members of the diplomatic community to respect the contributions and labor of their domestic workers.”

NEIL’S CAPITAL MOMENT

He’ll broadcast from a monumental set with 18 Corinthian columns and a coffered dome, the site of the Watergate hearings and the nomination of Judge Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. That would be Fox Business Network’s ace anchor Neil Cavuto, who hosts a special episode of “Cavuto” from the Russell Senate Office Building rotunda, just northeast of the Capitol.

It’s “fiscal cliff” time for Mr. Cavuto, who will parse out the possibility of a resolution before the Dec. 31 deadline. On hand to help him: Republican Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, John Hoeven of North Dakota and Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, plus Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Democrat. Airtime for this significant hour is 8 p.m.

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