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Obama agenda: More stimulus?

Bloomberg News reports, “President Barack Obama’s advisers have discussed seeking a temporary cut in the payroll taxes businesses pay on wages as they debate ways to spur hiring amid signs that the recovery is slowing, according to people familiar with the matter. The idea, which is in preliminary stages of discussion, is among several being talked about at the White House as the economy holds center stage for the administration and Congress.”

Time magazine: "For now, Obama's aides have chosen to take a careful path, aiming to spur short-term growth while protecting the President from Republican charges that he is a Big Government big spender. How? In public, they talk of "leveraging the private sector" and "investing in the future," with more long-term funds for infrastructure, education and energy, not more bailouts or stimulus. The White House agrees with Boehner that long-term budget cuts and entitlement reforms could add some confidence to the markets, but some Obama aides also want more short-term stimulus to make sure the economy does not languish. "In an ideal world," says one Obama adviser, "you would still have a little more help to the economy right now."

Per a new CBS poll, Obama’s approval rating is down to 48% (after a bin Laden bounce to 57%), while Quinnipiac has it at 47% (down from 52%).

But as we wrote yesterday, what’s most instructive here is that Obama’s numbers are in the mid-to-high 40s -- which isn’t smooth sailing for an incumbent president but which also isn’t necessarily perilous (16 months out) given the current economic headwinds. Folks, we have a LONG way to go…

The Obama re-election campaign's activities are heating up. For the first time, it issued a press advisory announcing an Obama fundraiser in Miami on June 13 (the same day as the GOP presidential debate in New Hampshire). The campaign, per an official, has also announced the hiring of its political director: Katherine Archuleta, who currently serves as Labor Secretary Hilda Solis' chief of staff.

“Obama has issued just one veto every 435 days; the presidential average since 1881 is once every 20 days,” the University of Minnesota’s Smart Politics blog writes.

Here’s a portion of NBC’s Jesusemen Edoro’s dispatch of Vice President Biden’s remarks on Sunday night at the Ford Theatre Society’s annual gala: Biden applauded actress Julie Andrews and former pro basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the "Lincoln Medal" honorees of the night. "Whether it was the sweet sound of Julie's voice or the swish of Kareem's sky hook, these two people fit into the sweeping ach of Americas greatness, Biden said." Then quoting Abraham Lincoln, the vice president added, "Whatever you are, be a good one, you two are the very best at what you do." The gala included performances Avery Brooks, Scott Bakula, Richard Dreyfuss, Anika Noni Rose, the cast of the musical “Liberty Smith,” and more.