TPMDC Morning Roundup


Obama: Administration Are ‘Fierce Advocates’ For Free Market
In an interview with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, President Obama described his administration as “fierce advocates” of the free market. “The irony is, is that on the left we are perceived as being in the pockets of big business; and then on the business side, we are perceived as being anti-business,” said Obama. “You would be hard-pressed to identify a piece of legislation that we have proposed out there that, net, is not good for businesses.”

Obama’s Day Ahead
President Obama and Vice President Biden will receive the presidential daily briefing at 11:15 a.m. ET. Obama will meet with senior advisers at 12 p.m. ET. Obama will sign the economic Report of the President at 1:30 p.m. ET. Obama and Biden will meet with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner at 3 p.m. ET, and with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at 3:30 p.m. ET. Obama will meet at 4 p.m. ET with the 2009 and 2010 March of Dimes Ambassadors.Biden’s Day Ahead
Vice President Biden will attend President Obama’s daily briefing at 11:15 a.m. ET. Biden and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson will host a 2 p.m. ET conference call, with governors and mayors from across the country, to discuss stimulus implementation. Obama and Biden will meet with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner at 3 p.m. ET, and with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at 3:30 p.m. ET.

White House Predicts 95,000 More Jobs Each Month
In its new economic report, the Obama administration predicts average job growth of 95,000 more jobs each month over the next year. In his message to Congress, Obama compares this to the economy he inherited, which was losing 700,000 jobs each month: “But to understand where we must go in the next year and beyond, it is important to remember where we began one year ago.”

Bernanke: Fed Will Be Ready To Raise Interest Rates
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said that the Fed is preparing to raise interest rates back up when the economy improves, though this is not expected to happen for some time. “We have been working to ensure that we have the tools to reverse, at the appropriate time, the currently very high degree of monetary stimulus,” said Bernanke, in prepared testimony for a House Financial Services Committee hearing, which was canceled on Wednesday because of the snow. “We have full confidence that, when the time comes, we will be ready to do so.”

Reid Hoping For GOP Support On Jobs Bill; Liberals Object
The Hill reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is hoping to attract bipartisan support from Republicans on a new jobs bill, building the package around a core of tax cuts and credits for businesses: “The wooing of Republicans has drawn criticism from liberal senators, as well as union officials and left-leaning advocacy groups. The effort is similar to when Democrats last year included tax cuts in the $787 billion stimulus and drew support from only three GOP senators – one who is now a Democrat – and no Republican House members.”

Biden Questions Reach Of Palin’s Political Appeal
In an interview on Larry King Live, Vice President Biden questioned how far Sarah Palin’s political appeal can reach. “She’s an engaging person. She has a great personality,” said Biden. But he wondered how many people she appeals to. “My sense is that Sarah appeals, Gov. Palin appeals to a group of people who are generally frustrated, feel disenfranchised, are very conservative, not all of them…Tea Party people, but beyond that,” Biden said. “She has appeal beyond that as well, but I don’t know that it represents anything approaching a significant portion of the population.”