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Good morning.

There’s all sorts of things written today about what President Obama needs to do to tackle the twin challenges of unemployment and deficit reduction. In the New York Times, Helene Cooper has a news analysis noting President Obama’s own claim last year that he’d rather be a good one-term president than a mediocre two-term one. Is he willing right now to take the serious steps needed to tackle unemployment and the deficit, even if it costs him a second term? That’s his challenge now.


On the Times Op-Ed page, Tom Friedman imagines a news conference where President Obama and Republican leaders agree to revive the grand bargain. Think there’s any chance of that actually happening?


Michele Bachmann has won the endorsement of Ryan Rhodes, the founder of the Tea Party movement in Iowa. She and Tim Pawlenty have the most riding on Saturday’s Ames straw poll. As for Pawlenty, Politico points out that it’s pretty much win or go home.


And speaking of the Tea Party, Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) told a Tea Party group that the impeachment of President Obama “needs to happen.” Burgess’ beef seems to be that he doesn’t like the agenda the president is pushing. So now we throw around the I-word when we don’t agree with someone’s policies?


Finally, in Wisconsin, Republicans held onto the state senate, despite losing two seats in last night’s recall elections. Democrats were only able to win two of the three seats they needed to take control.


Hardball - Let Me Start

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