"President Obama told Oprah Winfrey on Sunday night he gives himself a 'good, solid B-plus' for his first 11 months in the Oval Office. On what was billed as Oprah's 'White House Christmas Special,' Obama credited his administration with getting the economy on track, winding down the Iraq war and making the right call for a temporary surge in Afghanistan. He also said America has 'reset' its prestige in the world and made progress toward halting development of nuclear weapons in Iran and North Korea. Passage of health care reform would boost his grade to an A-, he said. Until Americans get back to work, he said, 'I can't give myself the grade I'd like.'"
Today, Obama meets with executives from the 12 largest banks, makes a statement on the economy, and meets with Lebanon's prime minister.
"Citigroup is repaying $20 billion in bailout money it received from the Treasury Department, in an effort to reduce government influence."
From Obama's "60 Minutes" interview last night, the New York Daily News leads with: "President Obama says ramping up the Afghan war is the right thing to do, but admits he might adjust his timetable if the surge strategy isn't working this time next year."
The Boston Globe from Copenhagen: "[D]espite a multitude of impasses, conflicts, and dramas playing out in hotel lobbies, restaurants, and meeting halls in Denmark's frigid capital city, hope remains the dominant mood here as the effort to strike a worldwide climate deal ticks into its final five days. Even if a final agreement that sets firm greenhouse-gas emissions targets is not achieved by Friday, many environmentalists, academics, and scientists say, the groundwork to reach one next year appears to be getting done."
"As the United States steps up the hunt for Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, some of the terrorist network's veteran operatives are leaving the region and flocking to Yemen, where an escalating civil war is turning the nearly lawless Arab nation into an attractive alternative as a base of operations, according to US and foreign government officials," the Globe also writes.