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First 100 days: Previewing the presser

Previewing tonight's big political event, the AP says that "Obama is virtually certain to use Tuesday's prime-time news conference to continue an effort that began over the weekend: cooling the anti-AIG ferocity, now that it threatens to undermine his efforts to bail out the nation's deeply troubled financial sector." 

The Washington Post's Cillizza: "Expect Obama to follow the outline utilized in his first prime-time press conference on February 9 -- introductory remarks designed to frame the context for those watching at home followed by a dozen (or so) questions from reporters. (In his first press conference Obama took 13 questions -- five of which centered on the economy.) Obama likely will filibuster a question or two, spending considerable time expounding on his economic policies in order to limit the total number of questions asked."

In advance of tonight's press conference, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has released a Web video -- entitled "Change We Can Believe In?" -- that contrasts Obama's rhetoric on the campaign trail with some of his actions as president.   

Meanwhile, the liberal Campaign for America's Future, along with liberal blogger Jane Hamsher, will host a conference call at 11:00 am ET to announce the launch of a campaign to target conservative Democrats who are opposed to Obama's budget.

Obama meets with the Australia's PM today, but he might have hoped perhaps for a more hawkish leader. "Obama is boosting the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and pushing for more international help to end a 7-year-old war against resurgent Taliban fighters," the AP writes. "Rudd has suggested Australia is unlikely to substantially increase troop numbers in Afghanistan, saying recently that Australia's level of some 1,000 troops is 'about right.'"

The lobbyists strike back? "Irate over the demonization of their profession, lobbyists say they will push back against a new White House directive aimed at limiting lobbyists' influence on how the government doles out $787 billion in stimulus funds," Roll Call reports. "The Obama administration memo released Friday says lobbyists cannot meet or speak with executive branch officials regarding specific stimulus projects or applications. Instead, lobbyists are relegated to submitting written comments about stimulus funding, which will be posted publicly within three business days."