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Obama agenda: Palace intrigue – Jarrett tried to sink Pritzker?

National Journal: “President Obama has made a series of speeches in recent weeks, delighting scientists who work on controversial areas of research and advocates for reproductive and abortion rights. Then his administration disappointed them this week with a pair of decisions that would help keep over-the-counter access to emergency contraception restricted by age, despite Food and Drug Administration scientific findings that the medication was safe to offer without such limitations.”

But NBC’s Michael O’Brien reports: “President Barack Obama said that he was ‘comfortable’ with new federal regulations making emergency contraception available to women and girls over the age of 15, but said more study was needed to see whether it was safe to allow access to the ‘morning after’ pill for girls younger than that.”

Said Obama: “The rule that’s been put forward by the FDA, Secretary Sebelius has reviewed. She’s comfortable with it; I’m comfortable with it.”

As far as the Justice Department’s decision to appeal it, he deferred to Justice.

Buzzfeed says Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett didn’t want Penny Pritzker to the Commerce secretary nominee: “There is no love lost between the two women, people who know both say: Indeed, Jarrett tried to torpedo the appointment, someone she made the case to told BuzzFeed. And their tense relationship could help define the Administration's attempts to mend ties with the business world that frayed badly during the first term.”

More: Pritzker “tried to manage relationships with business leaders who felt shut out by a president who didn't want to golf with them and complained of populist rhetoric. Unhappy with Jarrett, many directed their complaints to Pritzker, people familiar with the tensions say. And when Obama began seriously to consider her as Commerce Secretary, Jarrett tried to stop it, arguing that the pick would provoke a backlash from labor leaders and progressives over Hyatt's tense relations with the union representing hotel workers.”

Solo Joe: “Vice President Joe Biden is planning a new gun control offensive – one he told a group of law enforcement officials he hasn’t informed President Barack Obama about yet,” Politico writes. “Biden, who will appear Friday night at a South Carolina Democratic dinner, told the officials during a meeting Thursday that he is planning trips around the country to stump for the expanded background checks and gun trafficking laws that failed to pass the Senate last month….

“And Biden volunteered that he ‘hasn’t really discussed’ his plans with Obama and plans to lead the gun control charge, according to a person who attended the meeting.”

Since we’re in commencement season, USA Today takes a trip down memory lane and looks at presidents’ commencement speeches through the years.