No big surprises, except perhaps the timing:
President Obama will unveil a sweeping set of gun-control proposals at midday Wednesday, including an assault weapons ban, universal background checks and limits on the number of bullets magazines can hold, according to sources familiar with the plans.
The announcement, to be delivered at the White House, is also expected to include a slate of up to 19 executive actions that the Obama administration can take on its own to attempt to limit gun violence. The White House has invited key lawmakers as well as gun-control advocates to appear at Wednesday’s policy rollout, according to two officials who have been invited to the event.
The rollout event looks like a revealing bit of theater. I’m going to guess right now that there won’t be a broad bipartisan showing at it, since the above proposals don’t even have unanimous Democratic support, especially the assault-weapons ban. Instead, it seems that Obama wants to surround himself with as many supporters as possible and claim it shows a broad consensus for his plans, even while Harry Reid is downplaying the likelihood that its centerpiece can pass the Democratic-controlled Senate.
Why rush the rest and get ahead of Reid on the assault-weapons ban? Obama could easily have just announced all of the EOs and been depicted as a Commander in Chief, even though — as Allahpundit pointed out earlier today — the amount of authority he can exert through EOs is very limited. If Reid isn’t fully on board, then there’s simply no way that Obama will get 60 votes in the Senate to clear cloture on this package, and some of the nays may well come from red-state Democrats eyeing the 2014 contests nervously, like Mark Pryor in Arkansas.