TPMDC Morning Roundup


Obama And Biden Host Specter At White House Press Availability
President Obama and Vice President Biden publicly welcomed Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) to the Democratic Party at the White House earlier this morning — fittingly, from the Diplomatic Room. “I think that I can be of assistance to you, Mr. President,” said Specter. Obama said: “I don’t expect Arlen to be a rubber stamp. In fact, I’d like to think that Arlen’s decision reflects recognition that this administration is open to many different ideas and many different points of view.”

Obama’s Day Ahead: Town Hall In Missouri, News Conference From Washington
Following this morning’s joint statement with Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), President Obama departed Andrews Air Force Base at about 8:30 a.m. ET, headed for St. Louis, Missouri. He will arrive in St. Louis at 10:30 a.m. ET, and will hold a town hall at 11:20 a.m. ET at Fox High School in Arnold, Missouri, discussing his first 100 days in office. He will depart from St. Louis at 2 p.m. ET, arriving back at the White House at 4 p.m. ET. At 8 p.m. ET tonight, President Obama will hold a news conference.Biden’s Day Ahead
Vice President Biden will host two conference calls today to discuss stimulus implementation, one with a group of mayors and the other with a group of governors. In the afternoon, he will hold a conference call with regional reporters to discuss the first 100 days of the Obama administration.

Polls Give Obama High Marks At 100 Days
Two new national polls give President Obama solid approval ratings at the 100-day mark. The new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll gives him an approval of 61% to 30% disapproval, with a 55%-37% rating on the economy and 56%-31% on foreign policy. The new Quinnipiac poll gives him an overall rating of 58%-30%, with a 53%-38% rating on the economy and 57%-32% on foreign policy.

Sebelius Sworn In — Obama Cabinet Now Complete
Kathleen Sebelius was sworn in last night as Secretary of Health and Human Services, shortly after her 65-31 confirmation vote in the Senate. As the New York Times points out, the Obama cabinet is now officially complete, after a process that had its ups and downs as we all know.

Limbaugh: Specter’s Defection “Ultimately Good” For “Weeding Out” GOP
On his radio show yesterday, Rush Limbaugh took some joy from Arlen Specter’s defection to the Democrats: “It’s ultimately good. You’re weeding out people who aren’t really Republicans.” Limbaugh also said that Specter should take John McCain and his daughter Meghan, too.

Pelosi: First 100 Days “Just A Prelude”
In a guest piece for The Hill, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) celebrates the work of the Democratic Congress and President Obama in the past 100 days: “But it is just the prelude for the work that still needs to be done, including passing quality, accessible and affordable healthcare, tackling global warming and achieving energy independence, and restoring fiscal responsibility. In partnership with President Obama, Congress will continue to move America in a New Direction.”

Poll: McAuliffe Leads Dem Field In Virginia; GOP Nominee Leads All Dems For Now
A new SurveyUSA poll finds Terry McAuliffe with 38% in the Democratic primary for governor of Virginia, ahead of Brian Moran and Creigh Deeds at 22% each. However, GOP nominee Bob McDonnell currently leads McAuliffe 46%-39%, is ahead of Moran 46%-34%, and leads Deeds 44%-39%.