On Saturday, President Obama made a surprise visit to the Lincoln Memorial, where he told onlookers: “Because Congress was able to settle its differences, that’s why this place is open today and everybody’s able to enjoy their visit. And that’s the kind of future cooperation I hope we have going forward.”
After the Sunday shows, President Obama gets this headline out of the Boston Globe: “Obama, GOP look to rein in benefits.” From the story: “President Obama will call this week for new curbs on Medicare and Medicaid spending, an aide said yesterday, while a top House Republican predicted that a bipartisan deal on reducing Social Security costs is possible this summer… The comments reflect how the political environment surrounding once-sacred social benefits for the elderly and the poor is rapidly shifting, giving hope to deficit watchdogs who anticipate that the upcoming campaign season promises to feature the most robust debate in recent memory on major social programs.”
(Question: If Paul Ryan’s budget plan doesn’t Social Security, why do Republicans expect it there to be a deal on it?)
The New York Daily News on David Plouffe’s appearance on Meet the Press: “The White House stopped just short of dismissing Donald Trump as a clown Sunday - calling him a ‘sideshow’ act with ‘zero chance’ of becoming president.”
President Obama told Hearst magazine, per the New York Daily News: "I just miss - I miss being anonymous. I miss Saturday morning, rolling out of bed, not shaving, getting into my car with my girls, driving to the supermarket, squeezing the fruit, getting my car washed, taking walks. I can't take a walk.. I just want to go through Central Park and watch folks passing by ... spend the day watching people. I miss that." As for golf: "It's the only excuse I have to get outside for four hours at a stretch," he said.
Joshua Greenman in the New York Daily News: “This budget deal is a major win for the Republicans. Like the President's concession on extending the Bush tax cuts for top-income earners, it's confirmation that the GOP currently controls the terms of this debate. They promised they'd get billions in cuts this year, and that's precisely what they delivered. Democrats never offered a clear alternative to the unsweetened tea. They'd better learn from their mistakes, because the ‘shutdown showdown’ was a spring breeze compared to the Category 5 hurricane that's on its way - a massive fight over entitlement costs.”
“Republicans argued that Obama's leadership has been largely absent -- a charge that Republicans have made before on this and other issues,” The Hill writes.
“A delegation of African leaders said Libyan leader Moammar Khaddafy has accepted their plan for a cease-fire with rebels, who will be given the proposal today,” the AP reports, adding, “The African Union’s road map calls for an immediate cease-fire, cooperation in opening channels for humanitarian aid, and the start of a dialogue between the rebels and the government. Union officials, however, made no mention of any requirement for Khaddafy to pull his troops out of cities, as rebels have demanded… The Libyan leader enjoys substantial support from countries of the African Union, an organization that he chaired two years ago and helped transform using Libya’s oil wealth. So it is not clear whether rebels would accept the union as a fair broker.”