TPMDC Morning Roundup

Obama Under Scrutiny For Clues On Deficit In Speech
Reuters reports: “President Barack Obama aims to rise above party politics in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, but he must prove he is serious about tackling the budget deficit that could unleash a bitter partisan fight.”

Obama’s Day Ahead
President Obama and Vice President Biden will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9:30 a.m. ET. Obama will deliver the State of the Union Address at 9 p.m. ET.A Skeptical GOP Is Obama’s Top Target
Roll Call reports: “Tuesday night is all about the audience. When President Barack Obama delivers his second State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress, he will have a special charge: winning over Republicans still skeptical about whether he is willing to compromise and be an ally in the fight to create jobs, reduce the deficit and get the budget back in the black.”

Pitch For Rebuilding Infrastructure Carries Political Challenges
The New York Times reports: “When President Obama uses his State of the Union address on Tuesday to rally America to “outbuild” other nations, he will face an unusual challenge: getting Republicans to embrace public works projects again as the kind of worthy bacon they have traditionally fought to bring home, and not as wasteful pork that should be spurned.”

Darrell Issa vs. Elijah Cummings Feud Heats Up
The Washington Post reports: “Congress may be getting ready for a big bipartisan kumbaya moment at tonight’s State of the Union address, but don’t expect many smiles between Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the House lawmakers chiefly responsible for oversight of federal agencies and top government officials. A meeting Monday between the Issa and Cummings, the respective chairman and ranking member on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, didn’t go well. And in a jab meant in part to raise questions about Cummings’s leadership, Issa plans to sit tonight with Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), the committee’s former chairman.”

Clinton Backs Calderon’s Drug Fight On Mexico Trip
Reuters reports: “U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered strong support for Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s war on narcotics traffickers on Monday even as drug-related violence shows no sign of abating. Making her second visit to Mexico in less than a year, the U.S. secretary of state arrived in the central colonial city of Guanajuato as State Department cables released by WikiLeaks revealed U.S. doubts about Mexican intelligence gathering.”

GOP To Push For D.C. Gay Marriage Ban
The Hill reports: “House conservatives say they will pursue legislation that would ban gay marriage in the nation’s capital. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee (RSC), told The Hill that he will push for a vote on the controversial issue in the 112th Congress. The RSC has 175 members.”