Here’s what we’re looking at this morning:
President Obama says “the tide of war is receding” and we’ve largely achieved our goals in Afghanistan – and the troops he sent to Afghanistan as part of the 2009 surge are coming home. The president will withdraw 10,000 troops this year and another 20,000 by next summer, and says it’s “time to focus on nation-building here at home.”
Reaction from Republicans has been all over the map. Jon Huntsman seems to be staking out a position to the left of the President, perhaps trying to capitalize on the nation’s growing war-weariness. Huntsman’s calling for a bigger, quicker withdrawal while Tim Pawlenty takes up the usual hawkish stance, saying we shouldn’t leave until we’ve won. Mitt Romney is somewhere in the middle.
Democrats are winning the message war over the Republican plan to end Medicare. A new Bloomberg poll finds that Paul Ryan, the architect of the Republicans’ sweeping plan, is the third most hated Republican in the country (behind Gingrich and Palin), and nearly six in ten say they’d be worse off under his plan.
President Obama will be in New York tonight for a fundraiser with gay and lesbian supporters, and he won’t be able to avoid the imminent vote in Albany on a bill to legalize gay marriage in the state. He supports civil unions and will likely emphasize his position that states have the right to pass the laws that they deem appropriate. In any case, whatever he says tonight on the subject will be big news in the Big Apple.
And finally, it’s all in the family in Sin City… Carolyn Goodman is getting ready to succeed her colorful husband Oscar as mayor of Las Vegas. The New York Times sits down with both Goodmans and finds that, despite 49 years of marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Goodman have some very big differences.