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White House

 

« Hill Leaders React To Obama's Anti-Extremism Plan | Blog Home Page | Obama Outlines Strategy For Auto Industry »

Strategy Memo: Big Day for Detroit

One day before he leaves for Europe, President Obama's schedule reflects some of his biggest domestic challenges. He'll announce the administration's plans for the auto industry this morning -- the biggest news is the resignation of GM's CEO. He'll also highlight conservation efforts when he signs the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act this afternoon. Later he'll travel to Capitol Hill to speak with House Democrats about his budget.

Vice President Biden ends his latest international jaunt in Costa Rica, where he meets with the country's president. If you missed it, be sure to read Mark Leibovich's piece in the Sunday Times profiling Biden's role in the administration. Our favorite part: the VP was not made available to comment, but the president was; he said Biden can "help stir the pot." Also, a 2016 bid is NOT ruled out.

The Senate today begins consideration of the budget resolution, which the House will also do this week. The House is expected to once again take up the GIVE Act, which the Senate altered and passed last week.

Check out all the Sunday talk show clips you missed, including former (and current?) rivals, Barack Obama and John McCain.

**President Obama
USA Today previews Obama's Europe trip. "Still new on the world stage at 47, Obama will meet privately with at least six presidents, prime ministers and a king in London, then five more as he travels on to France, Germany, the Czech Republic and Turkey. He'll attend three summits, deliver two major addresses and hold a roundtable with students in Istanbul. He'll take time out to see Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace and sightsee from Strasbourg to Istanbul. The goal of the trip, says Denis McDonough, deputy national security adviser, is nothing less than 'restoring America's standing in the world.'"

*President Obama spoke with the Financial Times ahead of the G20, and "played down talk of a split between the US and the leading continental European economies, notably Germany and France." Obama: "In all countries there is an understandable tension between the steps that are needed to kick-start the economy and the fact that many of these steps are very expensive and taxpayers have a healthy skepticism about spending too much of their money, particularly when it is perceived that some of the money is being spent not on them but on others who they perceive may have helped precipitate the crisis."

*AP on the GM news: The White House forced the resignation Rick Wagoner as it plans to announce a new 60-day deadline for the company to restructure. "Two people familiar with the plan said Sunday it will demand further sacrifices from the automakers and bankruptcy would still be possible if the automakers failed to restructure. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to make details public."

Washington Times: "The Obama administration has determined that neither Chrysler LLC nor General Motors Corp. can survive without dramatic changes in their businesses, and given them only weeks to completely restructure on a fast schedule that could involve a quick 'dip' into bankruptcy, senior administration officials said Sunday. ... While Mr. Obama's team has judged that GM could become viable with major sacrifices, it decided that Chrysler cannot survive as a stand-alone company, a senior administration official said. The White House did not agree to give the two Detroit automakers the additional $21.6 billion in loans they were seeking, but it did say it would give them an unspecified amount of financing if they go through with the far-reaching reorganizations the White House is demanding."

**Congress
*WaPo provides a "Budget Watcher's Guide to the Action."

*The White House wants the Senate to confirm a few more nominees this week before it takes off for a two-week recess.

*NYT's Hulse takes on reconciliation, and the GOP's sudden opposition to it: "That means critics can have a field day lampooning Republicans and asking them -- as Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent, did repeatedly the other day -- why reconciliation was such a good idea when it came to giving tax cuts to millionaires but such a bad one when it comes to trying to provide health care to average Americans."

*Lobbyist Paul Magliocchetti's firm, PMA Group, is closing after federal prosecutors raided his home and office. "More alarming to lawmakers and aides, however, is that prosecutors may turn their attention to the dinners at the Alpine and Capital Grille or other gifts they might have accepted from Mr. Magliocchetti -- potential violations of longstanding Congressional ethics rules that could lead to more serious bribery charges if linked to official acts," NYT reports.

**Campaign Stuff
*NY-20: The Albany Times-Union endorsed Democrat Scott Murphy yesterday in the March 31 special election. "On Tuesday, in a race being watched around the nation as a bellwether of next year's midterm elections, the district's voters will choose between a candidate who would work with Mr. Obama to achieve his goals, and one who would continue Washington's partisan divide. We believe voters should support Democrat Scott Murphy."

On Sunday, Murphy campaigned with New York's senators, Chuck Schumer and former Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand. AP lays out the stakes for the GOP: "A win for Tedisco, the Assembly's minority leader, could calm critics of Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele's uneven attempts to lead the party out of a slump that began with dismal federal elections in 2006 and continued in 2008."

*Bob McDonnell launched his gubernatorial campaign in Virginia on Saturday, but the Washington Post focuses on the "unprecedented battle within his beleaguered party has overshadowed the race and threatens to hamper McDonnell's campaign." GOP chair Jeff Frederick is battling calls to resign over a number of missteps, and McDonnell only recently added his name to that list.

*AP also checks in on Sen. David Vitter, who "appears to be on the rebound as he takes on a high-profile role of being critical of congressional Democrats and President Barack Obama." But Louisiana Democratic party chair Chris Whittington "said Vitter still needs to answer questions about the prostitution scandal. Whittington said Vitter also will be politically vulnerable because of his opposition to Obama's attempts to bring the economy out of a recession."

*LA Times reports on how the Republicans running for California governor are turning their back on Arnold Schwarzenegger's record. "By criticizing his painstakingly crafted budget, actively opposing several of his ballot measures and, more subtly, jabbing at his work habits and ego, Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner are striving to distance themselves from the unpopular Schwarzenegger and tap widespread GOP anger over the incumbent's broken pledge not to raise taxes. It is, in the words of a strategist involved in the race, a competition to become 'the anti-Arnold.'"

*RI Gov: Former Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R) told a church audience yesterday that he will decide by May on a run for governor, ProJo reports.

*Minnesota still has just one senator. And It could be years before it has two.

**Sports Alert: Question: How many brackets were busted yesterday with Michigan State's stomping of Louisville? Our guess is quite a few.

--Kyle Trygstad and Mike Memoli