Morning Must Reads: The Hot Hand

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Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

–Bart Stupak is expected to announce his retirement today. The heat generated from an arduous year of health reform debate and his role in forging a compromise on abortion language seems to have taken their toll on the 18-year vet.

–The Southern Republican Leadership Conference continues today in New Orleans with speeches from Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal and Rick Perry. Straw poll voting gets underway too.

–Last night’s appearances by Liz Cheney and Newt Gingrich offered a plethora of red meat — the typical charges of “socialism,” “arrogance,” etc. lobbed at Obama, critiques of his approach to national security and health care. Gingrich threw in his signature grand-plan flourishes and openly toyed with a presidential run — neither a first for the former Speaker — and Cheney made an unusual choice in defending Hamid Karzai.

–Reid Wilson thinks Gingrich looked like a candidate.

–The crowd cheered wildly when Cheney mentioned Netanyahu had pulled out of next week’s nuclear summit.

–Ben Smith notes there was no mention of Katrina.

–Putting the Palin stuff aside, this interview actually provides a useful window into Obama’s thinking on Iran.

–The Democratic party’s image has taken a serious hit in the polls, closing the gap with Republicans.

Nate Silver writes that generic ballot midterm polling is actually painting a rosier picture for Democrats than is likely in real votes. If the current environment prevails, he argues Republicans could pick up 50+ seats in the House.

–The biggest factor if Democrats hope to turn it around? Economic recovery.

–The White House has got to be loving this Business Week cover. The story too.

–I’m beginning to wonder when the Romney health care stories will begin to dry up. You can only write this so many times, right?

Andrew Young joins the proud company of Eliot Spitzer and Rod Blagojevich in the Hall of Absurd Ethics Lecturers.

–Our colleague Michael Schuman says keep your pants on over prospects of China loosening up on the yuan. Consider my pants on.

–Fed chairmen like to take credit when things get better, but aren’t great at admitting missteps.

–The headline doesn’t lie, this is the most amazing Alan Greenspan painting you’re ever going to see.

–And let me join Joe in saying I’m (selfishly) sad to see Karen go, and wish her the very best at the Post.

What did I miss?