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Obama agenda: The stark choice

"President Hosni Mubarak’s refusal to step down on Thursday, after a day of rumors galvanized the crowds in Cairo, confronts the Obama administration with a stark choice: break decisively with Mr. Mubarak or stick to its call for an 'orderly transition' that may no longer be tenable," the New York Times says. "To some extent, Mr. Mubarak opened the door for President Obama to appeal even more directly to the protesters, some of whom have felt betrayed by the administration’s cautious approach, saying it placed strategic interests ahead of democratic values. In his speech, Mr. Mubarak said he would not brook foreign interference, suggesting that he was digging in his heels after days of prodding by the United States for 'immediate, irreversible' change."

The Boston Globe’s top story is Egypt: “Hope, disbelief, rage.”  

“The federal government’s budget deficit grew by $50 billion in January and is expected to finish the budget year as the highest in history,” AP writes.

NPR previews the coming fight over the budget. The Obama administration unveils its budget Monday.

“Vice President Joseph Biden will deliver remarks Friday as part of a leadership lecture series held at the University of Louisville, the alma mater of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell,” Roll Call writes. “The Kentucky Republican will introduce Biden at the free public event, according to Biden’s office.”

In the latest issue of National Journal, Ron Brownstein credits the soon-to-close DLC for reviving the Democratic Party after its presidential defeats in the 1980s. “As the party revived after the 1980s, the Democratic coalition didn’t evolve as the DLC anticipated: Democrats recovered more by recapturing upscale coastal voters rather than the heartland and Southern working-class whites the DLC had targeted. Yet the group’s legacy is undeniable. The DLC’s insistence that Democrats needed not just new tactics but also a new agenda was indispensable in breaking the Republican lock on the White House.”