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« Briefing Notes: When Is A Bow Not A Bow | Blog Home Page | Obama, GOP Leaders Want Strings-Free Supplemental »

Strategy Memo: Good Friday

Good Friday morning. Today's White House schedule is rather light. The president will meet this morning with his entire economic team, including Fed chair Ben Bernanke. This weekend, the Obama family will attend Easter services somewhere in Washington, DC, though the White House would not say where.

Vice President Biden is home in Wilmington already, and Congress remains on a two-week hiatus.

In New York's 20th District, Scott Murphy now holds an 8-vote lead, including a 76-vote lead in absentee ballots. Six of the district's 10 counties have recorded absentee ballot counts.

**President Obama
*Wall Street Journal says today's meeting at the White House of the entire economic team "likely sets the stage for more aggressive White House action soon on the economy, despite emerging signs of hope." AP: "Obama advisers say the broad agenda was to include discussions on efforts to stimulate the economy as well as stabilize the financial sector, plus the rising unemployment rate, mortgage refinancing and the health of banks, including 'stress tests' the administration is conducting."

*Obama officially asked for a supplemental appropriation to fund wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in a letter to Speaker Pelosi last night, AP reports.

*One Member of Congress, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) has already criticized the request for funds, Politico reports.

*NY Times on Obama's refinancing pitch. "He is not a mortgage broker. But for a time on Thursday, President Obama seemed to be playing one on television, urging Americans not to miss out on rock-bottom refinancing rates. ... Seldom has the president sounded so much like the host of a late-night infomercial, stopping just shy of imploring people to call the toll-free number at the bottom of their television screens."

*Washington Post: "Slowly but surely, the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ... is beginning to percolate nationwide, six weeks after President Obama signed the legislation. Some of the money is arriving quickly, and in big chunks. ... In most cases, though, the money is working its way into the system far more gradually as officials strive to meet not only existing guidelines for programs receiving aid but also reporting requirements that have been added to make sure that stimulus funding is spent as intended and to account for the jobs it creates. As a result, White House officials say the bulk of the money will start hitting the streets later this year and early next."

*Obama and Sec. of State Hillary Clinton held a "picnic table strategy session" next to the White House swing set yesterday. ABC News has the details and brief video.

*Immigration reform advocates "are finding they have an unexpected ally in White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel," WSJ reports.

*Karl Rove, on FOX News: "I hate to say this, but he's a serial exaggerator...If I was being unkind I would say liar. But it is a habit he ought to drop."

*Ed. Sec. Arne Duncan makes stage appearance at the 9:30 Club, a music venue in NW Washington, reports Politico.

**Campaign Stuff
*NY-20: Scott Murphy (D) now leads by 8 votes after all counties have completed canvassing and recanvassing. Muphy's lead includes a 76-vote advantage among the absentee ballots that have been counted in six of the 10 counties. Essex, Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties have not yet reported counting any paper ballots.

*VA Gov: Brian Moran leads the Dem primary field by 5 points in the latest DailyKos/Research2000 poll. Our write-up on the poll is here. Also, all three Dems have now announced their 1stQ fundraising numbers. CoH: Terry McAuliffe, $2.5 million; Creigh Deeds, $1.2 million; Moran, $825,000.

*A novel idea from Gov. Pat Quinn (D) in Illinois: anyone who wants to run for the job next year has to start fundraising from scratch. "Of course, wiping the slate clean also would benefit Quinn by erasing the wide campaign fundraising lead held by potential Democratic primary foe Lisa Madigan, the Illinois attorney general."

*Politico writes that the GOP governors who took high-profile stands on the stimulus are quietly now taking the money. Govs. Sanford, Palin and Jindal "found that praise from the conservative movement in Washington meant nothing to furious state legislators of both parties."

*Hillary Clinton supporters received a fundraising e-mail yesterday from James Carville in an effort to pay off Clinton's presidential campaign debt, the NYT reports. Prizes for contributing include spending a day with Bill Clinton, attending the season finale of "American Idol," and having lunch with Carville and Paul Begala.

--Kyle Trygstad and Mike Memoli