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Today on The Cycle: What we learned this week

During today's spin cycle the Cyclists look into the biggest stories of the week and give their take on "the political week that was."
/ Source: The Cycle

During today's spin cycle the Cyclists look into the biggest stories of the week and give their take on "the political week that was."

This week President Obama’s administration began to get everything into place for his second term: they started nominations for various vacant cabinet positions including Fmr. Sen. Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary, Deputy National Security Advisor John Brennan for CIA, and White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew for Treasury Secretary. There are questions on what these nominations tell us about the second term. The nomination of Hagel has sparked a lot of controversial comments and shown that the White House is ready to fight. Also, the nomination of Lew for Treasury Secretary shows how the President understands his second term is going to have a big focus on the debt limit, and this is where Lew can be most helpful.

Vice President Biden’s gun violence task force was in full swing this week meeting with victims of gun violence, members of the entertainment world,  the NRA, and today he will meet with representatives from the video game industry.  Vice President Biden met with the National Rifle Association yesterday who have stated that they are holding their ground. The NRA’s President, David Keene, said that the NRA’s meeting with the Vice President was “two sides stating their positions and then leaving.”  So with Vice President Biden set to release a full report on Tuesday will our expectations on gun control be lowered?

However to help boost his approval in America’s eyes President Obama is leaning towards a more aggressive timetable for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, than his military commander in Afghanistan had initially reported. Today, President Obama will hold a news conference with Karzai, who hope Obama will leave 15,000 U.S. troops on the ground in Afghanistan after 2014.

One thing is clear President Obama is trying to keep his approval ratings up, which is currently higher than his 2009-2012 average at 49%.  However, according to a recent Gallup poll, U.S. Presidents are typically less popular in their second term than they were in their first. So how will the president do in his second term?

Our Cyclists will discuss all of this and more during today’s Spin Cycle. What do you think was the biggest story of the week? Tell us in the “comments” section below.