Good morning! Here's what's on today's agenda:
"Criticized as Weak in Past Talks, Obama Takes Harder Line," by Peter Baker, The New York Times
"Mr. Obama, scarred by failed negotiations in his first term and emboldened by a clear if close election to a second, has emerged as a different kind of negotiator in the past week or two, sticking to the liberal line and frustrating Republicans on the other side of the bargaining table."
Tune in at 10:00 AM ET to hear The Washington Post's E. J. Dionne, Real Clear Politics' Erin McPike, and Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) discuss the fiscal cliff negotiations.
"A food stamp menu for Cory Booker," by Bobby Cervantes, POLITICO
"On Tuesday, the Newark mayor plans to live off of the equivalent of food stamps for a week. Booker, whose income doesn’t qualify him for food assistance, has promised to spend $4 on food per day for the week, which is roughly in line with USDA figures for a one-person household. That’s about $1.40 per meal, if he plans to eat three meals a day... POLITICO went to Safeway in Arlington to offer Booker some meal suggestions within his food stamp budget."
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton tried living off food stamps for a week in September. He'll weigh in.
"Hillary is Running: A Dispatch from the Saban Forum," by David Remnick, The New Yorker
"In a packed ballroom of the Willard Hotel, she was greeted with a standing ovation and then a short, adoring film, a video Festschrift testifying to her years as First Lady, senator, and, above all, secretary of state. The film, an expensive-looking production, went to the trouble of collecting interviews with Israeli politicians—Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, Tzipi Livni—and American colleagues, like John Kerry. Tony Blair, striking the moony futuristic note that was general in the hall, said, 'I just have an instinct that the best is yet to come.' The film was like an international endorsement four years in advance of the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary."
Is she or isn't she? We're asking Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) and strategist Robert Traynham.
"Homeless Man Is Grateful for Officer’s Gift of Boots. But He Again Is Barefoot." By Marc Santora and Alex Vadukul, The New York Times
"For days, his bare feet — blistered and battered — were well known. Yet precise details about him proved elusive. His name is Jeffrey Hillman, and on Sunday night, he was once again wandering the streets — this time on the Upper West Side — with no shoes. The $100 pair of boots that Officer DePrimo had bought for him at a Sketchers store on Nov. 14 were nowhere to be seen. 'Those shoes are hidden. They are worth a lot of money,' Mr. Hillman said in an interview on Broadway in the 70s. 'I could lose my life.' Mr. Hillman, 54, was by turns aggrieved, grateful and taken aback by all the attention that had come his way — even as he struggled to figure out what to do about it. 'I was put on YouTube, I was put on everything without permission. What do I get?' he said. 'This went around the world, and I want a piece of the pie.'"