Huge gains in the job market: The economy added 236,000 jobs and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7% – the lowest rate since President Obama took office. That’s much better than analysts expected and – along with other upbeat economic news – an optimistic sign for the economy as a whole. The big political question: How much credit does President Obama deserve for stewarding this economy despite Republican efforts to derail it?
One down note in the jobs report – public sector jobs felt the pinch. And while the sequester cuts, which began going into effect on March 1, are not reflected in these numbers, there are real fears that those cuts could increase the number of unemployed in the months to come.
Did Republicans force President Obama’s hand on the fiscal showdowns? Politico notes that the failure to avert the sequester shows the limits of the president’s strategy, and now his only choice is a grand bargain.
Bill Clinton is urging the Supreme Court to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, which he signed into law.
Sen. Rand Paul may have brought the debate over drones to the front pages, but it exposed a big rift in his own party. And there’s a debate going on among progressives as well – a debate which we’ll have tonight on the show.
Senator Carl Levin’s retirement in Michigan gives Republicans another chance to put a Democratic seat in play, and possibly win control of the Senate.
Yesterday, we saw how Hillary Clinton is leading the top Republican contenders for president. She’s also beating Marco Rubio among Latino voters nationwide. And with all the noise this week from Jeb Bush and Rand Paul – both likely presidential contenders – it’s a great time to lay out the political landscape for the next battle for the White House.