Morning Must Reads: Back to Work

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(Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

–President Obama, on his way back to Washington from Hawaii, says he expects congressional Republicans to work with him.

–A flurry of reports suggest Bill Daley, former commerce secretary and current J.P. Morgan bigwig, is a finalist to join the White House as chief of staff. Daley is definitely a member of the Chicago cabal (yep, those Daleys) with ties to other windy citizens in Obama’s inner circle including David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett, but he’s also a bank exec and a Clinton vet. Liberals may not love this pick and, taken with the possible arrival of Gene Sperling, it marks a notable infusion of Wall Street blood.

Josh Green profiles Mitch McConnell. A taste:

…McConnell didn’t waste the crisis, either. He has used it to chart a path back from oblivion for the Republican Party, mainly by blocking or delaying Democratic bills and then raising an outcry about the travesties being perpetrated on the country. Democrats may have won on health care, the stimulus, Wall Street reform, and a host of other measures that made the last Congress the most productive in a generation. But, at least for now, they have lost the political battle. Significant numbers of Americans disapprove of these policies, especially the expansion of health care. Many of them have been convinced by McConnell’s skillful exertions— especially his gift for scornful neologisms, which has helped to demonize not just Democratic policies but the very manner in which they came into being.

Nate Silver Andrew Gelman chews over Tip O’Neill’s most famous aphorism.

–Rep. Mike Pence’s schedule is heavy on the Indiana dinners, point No. 2 in the ‘running for governor not president’ column. (This was No. 1)

–Nicole Russell takes a look at Minnesota health care during Tim Pawlenty’s tenure.

–Todd Zywicki argues regulation of consumer finance will push low-income Americans away from credit cards and traditional banking into the arms of payday lenders and pawnshops.

–Scientists: Torrential downpour of dead birds totally normal.

–And Dave Barry’s year in review.

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