TPMDC Morning Roundup


NYT: Obama Offered Deal To Russians On Iran, Missile Defense
The New York Times reports that the Obama Administration sent a secret letter to the Russian government last month, suggesting that the U.S. could stop development of a missile-defense system if Moscow could get Iran to back off its own nuclear-weapons development. An administration official told the Times: “It’s not that the Russians get to say, ‘We’ll try and therefore you have to suspend.’ It says the threat has to go away.”

WaPo: Clinton Pessimistic On Iran Outreach
The Washington Post reports that Hillary Clinton told the foreign minister for the United Arab Emirates that she had serious doubts as to whether the Obama Administration’s attempts to reach out to Iran could work, and appeared to suggest the White House is being realistic about it, too. A source told the Post: “She said we are under no illusions about Iran and our eyes are wide open.”

Obama’s Day Ahead: Meeting With Gordon Brown
President Obama will be speaking at the Department of Transportation at 9:45 a.m. ET this morning. Then at at 11:30 a.m. ET he will meet with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, with whom he is expected to discuss the financial crisis. At 2 p.m. ET he will speak at the Department of the Interior, and at 3 p.m. ET he will receive a delegation from the Boy Scouts. At 4:30 p.m. ET, he and Vice President Biden will meet with Robert Gates.

Biden’s Day Ahead: Discussing The Stimulus
Vice President Biden will be joining President Obama at the Transportation Department this morning, where they will both be speaking. In the afternoon, Biden will hold a conference cal with governors, and another one with mayors, to discuss the implementation of the stimulus program. Then he will join Obama for their meeting with Robert Gates.

Primary Today For Rahm’s House Seat
Today is Primary Day in the special election for Rahm Emanuel’s former House seat in Chicago. A total of 12 candidates are running in the Democratic primary, which is virtually tantamount to the election itself in this solid-blue district.

WaPo: Obama Budget Will Require Large Expansion In Federal Workforce
The Washington Post reports that President Obama’s budget, with its expansion of social programs and creation of new initiatives, will require a large increase in the size of the federal workforce. The Post cites an independent estimate that the federal labor force could grow by 100,000 people, reversing the trend since the Reagan years of shrinking it down.

The Hill: McConnell’s Earmarks Make Good Target For Dems
The Hill reports that Democrats are preparing a strong rebuttal to Republican attacks over earmarks: Namely, pointing to the earmarks that Republican Senators themselves have put in recent legislation, especially the $75 million from Mitch McConnell. Said a Republican aide: “This is exactly why it was important for Republicans last year to clean up our act — because we knew we would be in this situation and it undercuts our credibility.”

Pawlenty: GOP Needs To Be Relevant, Move Beyond Reagan
In an interview with Bloomberg News, Tim Pawlenty said the Republican Party has to move beyond just talking about Ronald Reagan. “We need to develop new Ronald Reagans and new reference points,” said Pawlenty. “It would be as if Barack Obama was going around and constantly talking about Truman or LBJ. It’s just become a reference point that isn’t as relevant for young people.”