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Obama agenda: The 11th hour

“President Obama will now take a leading role in negotiations to raise the debt limit, a test of his leadership that will have profound economic effects,” The Hill writes, adding, “Obama will meet this morning with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and this afternoon with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Democratic aides characterized these meetings as an appeal to the ‘cooler heads’ in the Senate. Cantor’s sudden move was initially seen as a blow that threatened to collapse the talks. But Republican aides said Friday it was part of an expected and natural transition to the final phase, which they said would have to take place between the president and Congress’s highest-ranking leaders.”

While the New York Times editorial page and Maureen Dowd have criticized Obama for not leading on the drive for gay marriage, the paper’s Nick Confessore  has a piece suggesting that the politics of gay marriage are a bit different outside the East Coast. “After a string of defeats in recent years from California to Maine, the movement to legalize same-sex marriage is hoping its unexpected victory in New York will revive efforts to legalize gay weddings around the nation. But the movement’s success here could prove difficult to replicate. Twenty-nine states have constitutional bans on same-sex marriage, while 12 others have laws against it. And many of those states where support for same-sex marriage is high have already acted on the issue.”