Morning Must Reads: Stargazing

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Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy

–The administration is trying to pick off individual Republican Senators to cross the aisle on financial reform. On their list: Olympia Snowe, Scott Brown and Kit Bond.

Judd Gregg says he wants back at the negotiating table. Much of the GOP’s current argument is that opposition is the only way they can get there.

–President Obama travels to Florida today to talk NASA. Space Coast locals are wary of his plans.

–Jim DeMint continues to move outside the establishment in political endorsements; he’s backing Ken Buck over Jane Norton in Colorado.

–An interesting poll on the Tea Partiers:

Most describe the amount they paid in taxes this year as “fair.” Most send their children to public schools. A plurality do not think Sarah Palin is qualified to be president, and, despite their push for smaller government, they think that Social Security and Medicare are worth the cost to taxpayers. They actually are just as likely as Americans as a whole to have returned their census forms, though some conservative leaders have urged a boycott.

So what binds them together? A deep dissatisfaction — anger for some — with Washington and the path the country is on. That and the fact “they usually or almost always vote Republican.”

Derek Thompson notices a tidbit that should be very troubling for Democrats. Sixty-two percent of all respondents (not just Tea Partiers) think the stimulus did nothing for the economy or made it worse.

–Polling reflects the CW on Crist running as an independent: He could win.

David Halbfinger looks at the race to replace Chris Dodd and finds the invincible Richard Blumenthal stumbling. Shades of Coakley?

–There’s a ton of good stuff in today’s dead-tree TIME. I’ll let my fellow Swamplanders tell you about their stories, but here’s our colleague David Von Drehle on the Stevens seat.

CNN reports Obama will make his pick in early May.

–Elena Kagan is such a front-runner she get’s A1 treatment on how she navigates a courtroom.

–And Michael Steele has a way with words:

“I work every day in this job, as I like to put it, to turn the elephant. Now, I don’t know if you ever had to turn an elephant, but the end you have to start with is not necessarily the best place to start.”

What did I miss?