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Obama agenda: A sense of urgency

The Washington Post: "An aide to President Obama urged lawmakers on Thursday to make substantial progress on his health-care plan before he leaves on a foreign trip in mid-March, as Obama summoned wavering House Democrats to the White House for a private sales pitch. The president also made a surprise visit to insurance company chief executives, brandishing a letter from a cancer patient as he admonished them about what he has called excessive rate increases."

"Taken together, the actions reflected the sense of urgency inside the West Wing for Congress to brush aside legislative delays and election-year politics and pass the president's top domestic priority."

"Several lawmakers who were invited [to a Thursday meeting at the White House] said Obama didn't tell them what the meetings were about, but that it was fairly obvious based on the guest list. 'It's the problem children who are being invited,' said one Member who planned on attending the meeting."

On the charge that Obama has in the past spoken out against using a 50-plus-one legislative strategy, AP finds against White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, who said Obama was talking about electoral strategy. "Obama wasn't talking about polls or public opinion -- or only about electoral politics -- in the interview," the AP writes.

And: "The House Foreign Affairs Committee narrowly passed a nonbinding resolution yesterday that condemns the World War I-era killings of Armenians as genocide, despite warnings by the Obama administration that such a move would anger Turkey, a key US ally in the Middle East, and would put fragile reconciliation efforts between Turkey and Armenia at risk," the AP writes. As a result, Turkey pulled its ambassador.