–Here’s some trivial President’s Day trivia: The folks at Smart Politics figured out that 20 percent of U.S. presidential elections (that would be 11) have been won by a candidate born under the astrological sign Aquarius. Before anyone gets too excited, it’s worth noting that one of the five presidents contributing to this number is FDR, who accounts for four of those elections all by himself. If you are looking to the stars for 2012 tea leaves though, there is one potential contender born in this supposedly auspicious window: Sarah Palin.
–The Washington Post has a piece this morning about the White House’s new communications strategy, and it largely outlines changes that have been apparent in recent weeks. In short, they want to recapture their glory days of the 2008 campaign: Get Obama out on the road where he’s best (i.e. all the recent town halls,) push back harder and faster against Republican criticism (thus the Gibbs/Brennan/Biden TV tour on terrorism,) and reclaim the mantle of Change with a capital “C” (see anti-bank populism, push for bipartisanship.)
–Jonathan Cohn says health reform has a heartbeat. Tired metaphors aside, it really does look like the White House expects to have a deal worked out between the House and Senate before the February 25 summit. As Kate has pointed out, this changes how Democrats and Republicans will jockey for position, and Ezra Klein sees this throwing GOPers off balance.
–Secretary of State Clinton, currently on a trip to the Mideast, has increasingly harsh words for Iran. She told an audience at Carnegie Mellon’s Doha campus Monday that Tehran is “moving toward a military dictatorship.” At least rhetorically, things seem to be escalating.
–And finally, John McCain is officially getting a primary challenge today from former congressman and conservative radio host J.D. Hayworth. It’s shaping up to be an anything-can-happen, anti-establishment year, and as McCain noted this morning: “No incumbent is safe.”
What did I miss?