Morning Must Reads: Renminbi

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White House

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

–Ahead of this week’s G20 summit in Toronto and in wake of intensive lobbying efforts by Timothy Geithner, China has announced plans to allow its currency to float against the dollar. It’s widely viewed as a strategic concession, and the long-term impact of the decision is still largely unclear.

–American domestic policy may cast a shadow on the G20 meet. Obama hopes to have final financial reform language in hand before discussions of international regulation take off and his open letter to participants warned of withdrawing short-term stimulus too quickly.

–Some great color from Damian Paletta and Victoria McGrane on the exhausting slog through financial reform conference committee:

Several hours into another debate on financial regulation, House Democrats and Republicans locked horns Wednesday for the umpteenth time over who was to blame for the near-collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Across the rectangular arrangement of tables for the House-Senate conference committee, Sen. Christopher Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat, slowly moved his hand to his head, created an imaginary gun, and pulled an imaginary trigger.

So it goes as the 111th Congress limps into summer.

–Obama is celebrating Father’s Day today with a speech and the announcement of a new mentoring initiative at the White House. His weekend proclamation noting the holiday included an acknowledgment of families with “two fathers.” David Brody warns of an evangelical backlash.

Mark Halperin writes Republicans may be overplaying their hand on the oil spill.

–John Kerry has been relentlessly pursuing an ambitious climate measure for the energy bill, but it looks like he’s beginning to lose his colleagues and the White House is moving on. Rahm Emanuel said the administration is open to a utilities-only approach.

–Steve Schmidt makes a fairly aggressive case for Mike Huckabee 2012 in this New Yorker profile of the former governor:

“If we’re running a race against their most articulate guy,” Steve Schmidt, John McCain’s former campaign manager, told me, referring to President Obama, “we should put our most articulate guy. Huckabee’s that guy.” Schmidt, who has traded barbs with Palin since the election, said, “There’s no one who really provides a better contrast to Sarah Palin, showing her as an entertainer instead of a serious thinker—and there’s not enough oxygen for both of them.”

Steve Schmidt told me, “Really, there’s three primaries within the Republican primary. There’s the primary that’s the evangelical wing of the Party, there’s the establishment primary, and there’s usually a maverick of an insurgent category. Whoever occupies two out of the three is the nominee.” It would not take a packaging genius to put Huckabee out as an evangelical insurgent.

–2012 dark horse John Thune, with $6.6 million in his campaign coffers and no re-election challenger, has the opportunity to be a real asset to his party this cycle.

–And a reader draws my attention to this gripping GQ story recounting moments in the lives of Deepwater Horizon workers before, during and after the explosion.

What did I miss?

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