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EARLYBIRD

Pundits & Editorials

Liberal commentators score Obama's second presser, while Bayh, Carper and Lincoln defend their coalition of moderate Democrats. Plus: 'Madonna, meet Britney.'

Michael Tomasky recaps President Obama's economic press conference, which he says was intended to sell the bank rescue plan and Obama's budget priorities. "Did he make those sales? Well, yes and no."

• "No one will confuse last night's press conference with FDR's fireside chats," Walter Shapiro acknowledges in The New Republic. "But it is hard for anyone, even Rush-to-judgment conservative talk-radio fans, to doubt that Barack Obama is in charge."

 

Salon's Mike Madden gives the president a glowing review for his appearance Tuesday night. "But if Obama's performance was better than his first" presidential presser, "it may have needed to be."

• "Does President Obama truly believe that he can castigate and condemn Wall Street on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and then secure its cooperation on the other days of the week?" asks political adviser Dick Morris in The Hill.

Thomas Friedman offers an "über-lesson" for Obama: "You can't be too honest in describing big problems, too bold in offering big solutions, too humble in dealing with big missteps, too forward in re-telling your story or too gutsy in speaking the previously unspeakable."

 

Foreign Affairs: Clinton Heads To Mexico

• The Los Angeles Times solicits opinion from mayors and policy experts from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, offering advice for Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on her first official visit to Mexico, which starts today.

• "The forthcoming Group of 20 meeting is a make-or-break event," writes financier George Soros in the Financial Times. "Unless it comes up with practical measures to support the less developed countries... markets are going to suffer another sinking spell."

• "In less than nine months, the 1991 Start I treaty expires," warns the New York Times, urging the adminsitration to push for a new nonproliferation deal with Russia.

• "Christopher Hill, the president's nominee for ambassador to Iraq, is a disconcerting choice to head America's largest embassy, located in the most dangerous region in the world," worries the Washington Times.

 

AIG: Populist Outrage Is A Terrible Thing To Waste

• In the New York Times, AIG Vice President Jake DeSantis offers his resignation from the company -- "there is too much bad blood."

Martin Wolf expected "the US, under a popular new president, to be more decisive than it has been. Instead, the Congress is indulging in a populist frenzy; and the administration is hoping for the best."

Thomas Frank defends the populist anger stirred up by the AIG bonus scandal: "The public outrage about performance bonuses isn't just mindless resentment; it is directed at exactly the instruments that steered the economy into the ditch and the executives who built the system."

• Citing the old maxim, "Don't get mad, get even," Cal Thomas recommends channeling the public's anger against Democratic congressional leaders such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass.

Odds and Ends

• Sens. Evan Bayh of Indiana, Tom Carper of Delaware and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas take to the Washington Post op-ed page to defend their working group of 16 moderate Democratic senators against charges of splittism and obstructionism.

• "Madonna, meet Britney," quips Kathleen Parker, laying out how the public spat between Meghan McCain and Ann Coulter reflects "the GOP's identity crisis."

• The Wall Street Journal, hailing Sen. Arlen Specter's stance against "card-check" legislation, wants no compromise legislation. Instead, business groups should "take heart that their pressure helped gain the Pennsylvania Republican's support, and keep working to kill this idea."

• "Yesterday was a great day for the people of Appalachia and for all of America," explains Robert F. Kennedy in the Washington Post. "Hope, not mining waste, is filling the valleys and hollows of Appalachia."

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