The New York Times previews Obama's visit today to Elkhart County, IN. "If there are glimmers of economic improvement in the official statistics out there somewhere, it is hard to find them along the streets of this county, a place best known for making recreational vehicles and all their parts and pieces and where the rise in unemployment was among the sharpest in the nation the past year."
Video: President Barack Obama visited hard-hit Elkhart, Ind., in the midst of congressional debate over his stimulus proposal.
"Venturing back to a region reeling in deep unemployment, President Barack Obama's latest mission in Indiana is to show that the costly stimulus plan he lobbied for is producing tangible help -- $2.4 billion in taxpayer grants to create electric cars and tens of thousands of jobs," the AP writes, adding, "His stop in Wakarusa, Ind., is part of a concerted economic campaign that also will see Vice President Joe Biden and four Cabinet secretaries holding events in five states. As Congress breaks for the summer, the public message war is on. Obama wants to persuade Americans that his economic agenda is working but also that it will take time to produce the number that people really want: more jobs."
The front-page centerpiece photo on the Boston Globe is President Clinton seated next to North Korea's Kim Jong Il with this headline: "Clinton wins pardons in N. Korea." The Globe called it "a dramatic 20-hour visit" for President Clinton. Some of the background: "About 10 days ago ... [Al] Gore, who cofounded Current TV, the San Francisco-based media company that employs Ling and Lee, called the former president to ask him to undertake the trip. Clinton agreed, as long as the Obama administration did not object.
The Los Angeles Times: "Contrary to North Korean claims, the official denied that Clinton had offered Kim an apology. He said the administration doesn't intend to ease up on the North Koreans now that they have released the journalists, but will continue trying to enforce United Nations sanctions imposed this spring after North Korean nuclear and missile tests. In contrast to the U.S. portrayal of the trip as a private mission, the North Koreans gave it the imprimatur of a state visit, issuing a formal photograph of Kim and Clinton seated side by side to mark the occasion."
"President Barack Obama walked a careful line in arranging the release of two American journalists imprisoned in North Korea, sending former President Bill Clinton but keeping his distance to deflect GOP criticism," The Hill's Bolton reports. "A congressional source briefed on Clinton's negotiations told The Hill that the Obama administration asked Clinton to meet with Kim Jong-il after the North Korean leader rejected the administration's offer to send former Vice President Al Gore."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke to NBC's Andrea Mitchell about her husband's mission while in Kenya. "Perhaps they [North Korea] will now be willing to start talking to us within the context of the six-party talks about the international desire to see them denuclearize," she said on "Today." Secretary Clinton also refuted a report by the government-owned North Korean news agency that President Clinton delivered an apology from Obama about the incident. "That is not true," Secretary Clinton said. "That did not occur."