Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
–Rand Paul was on ABC’s “Good Morning America” this morning to run a bit of damage control. It was kind of brutal. He standoffishly dodged the civil rights questions before shifting to a defense of BP and a critique of the minimum wage. Again, the merits of his small government philosophy aside, Dr. Paul appears to have a tin ear for politics outside his comfort zone.
–Interesting nugget: Yesterday’s passage of financial reform hinged on the vote of Scott Brown, and his support was secured at the 11th hour by the efforts of his Massachusetts colleague and House point-man Barney Frank.
–Senator Ted Kaufman says what a lot of people of thinking: The final bill can’t differ too much from current Senate language. The path to 60 is just too narrow, but if anyone doubts Speaker Pelosi’s whipping ability, they’re delusional.
–Edmund Andrews marvels at the fact that as lawmakers rolled the financial reform boulder up the steep hill of the Senate, it only gained mass and momentum.
—David Rogers cues up one of the looming challenges on the congressional agenda, a $190 billion tax and jobs bill:
An unwieldy amalgam of state aid, infrastructure investments, tax cuts and extended jobless benefits, the massive bill is a sleeping giant in this political year and uniquely captures the hard choices facing a government beset by record deficits and an uncertain economy.
–The L.A. Times reports California Senate candidate Chuck DeVore has engaged in some some Blumenthal-esque ambiguities when speaking about his military service.
–On a visit to Japan, Secretary of State Clinton took a fairly hard line against North Korea over the recent sinking of South Korean naval vessel.
–And Mayor Daley gets overly colorful in explaining Chicago’s gun ban.
Programming note: After today, I’ll be away until June 7.
What did I miss?