Morning Must Reads: Governors

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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie shares a toast with his table mates as President Obama plays host to a dinner for the National Governor’s Association in Washington on February 27. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

–A federal government shutdown won’t happen this week, but that doesn’t mean anyone can spot budget consensus on the horizon.

–No one has budged in Wisconsin’s deadlock. After enormous weekend protests, the die-hards remain camped in the capitol.

–The Star-Ledger’s ed board gives Chris Christie credit for not going after collective bargaining. Mike Bloomberg takes a similar angle in The New York Times.

–The Washington Post writes up the pitfalls of, as Joe put it, organizing “against the might and greed…of the public?”

–BusinessWeek runs through the ol’ “nation as corporation” thought exercise, which isn’t particularly illuminating for either, but did remind me of this sentence from a recent Steven Pearlstein column on the tried and true story templates journalists fall back on when they’re at a loss: “Back when I was working at Inc. magazine in the mid-1980s, we loved nothing better when approaching a public-sector issue than to ask how the private sector would handle it.”

–Newt Gingrich will reportedly be announcing a presidential exploratory committee “within 10 days.” Out on the trail, he hopes for forgiveness.

–As it turns out, Haley Barbour unnecessarily discussed paying “more attention to the girls than to [Martin Luther] King.” The speech never happened.

–State budget pain knows no party, but although Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman is mentioned in this piece, no Republican governor is quoted warning against aid cuts. It’s a dynamic worth watching with the National Governors Association meeting in Washington.

–Former Obama economics adviser Christina Romer, bemoaning what she sees as timidity at the Fed: “Monetary policy makers are all [inflation] hawks now.”

–Karl Rove and the ascendant American Crossroads get a treatment in New York Magazine. A taste:

“What happened in 2010 had nothing to do with Karl and nothing to do with American Crossroads and everything to do with the political environment,” Dowd says. “Karl maintains a lot of the myth in a world not based totally in facts.”

The same, he says, goes for the 2012 presidential election. “The reason why a Republican is nominated won’t be because of Karl,” he says. “That doesn’t mean he won’t create a narrative.”

But creating a narrative is perhaps Rove’s greatest talent. He rewrote a Connecticut blue blood as a Texas good ol’ boy, a persona Rove himself inhabits like a Method actor, gamely dropping red-state signifiers like “Git’r done!” And as Republican candidates come and go, Rove will act as a narrator on TV while he kicks up millions for American Crossroads.

–Someone claiming to represent hacktivist collective Anonymous says they took down the website of the the Koch-funded Americans For Prosperity.  Color me skeptical.

–On Obama and Omaha.

–Tim Pawlenty, who has a real shot at corralling a certain corner of the base in a small field, makes overtures to the Tea Party.

–And the Weekly Standard, which usually directs its satire at Democrats, pokes fun at him.

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