NBCNews.com: “Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers has withdrawn his bid for consideration to succeed Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve chairman — a move that allows the administration to sidestep a potentially contentious confirmation process.”
New York Times: "After weeks of opposition to his candidacy from an array of progressives, the president’s inability to rally Congressional Democrats on Syria persuaded Mr. Summers that his most important audience — the Senate, which must confirm a Fed chairman — probably could not be won over. He concluded that the White House was also unlikely to overcome opposition to his candidacy from many of the same Democrats, who view him as an opponent of stronger financial regulation, according to supporters who insisted on anonymity to describe confidential conversations with him."
USA Today: “Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen has emerged as the favorite to win the chairman's job after former Treasury secretary Larry Summers withdrew his name from consideration Sunday.”
Another USA Today story: “The surprise was the level of skepticism about Summers from his own crowd -- Wall Street types and business economists. In a USA TODAY survey, 56% of the 42 economists said they preferred Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen for the top job. Conservatives who favor a good sound business administration wanted the quiet, liberal academic Yellen because she's closely identified with easy-money policies that have served Wall Street well.”
“President Barack Obama is seeking credit for an economic turnaround, using the fifth anniversary of the collapse of the Lehman Brothers investment bank to highlight signs of recovery and to warn against potentially market-rattling fights over the federal budget and the nation’s debt ceiling,” AP writes. “Obama was scheduled to address the state of the economy Monday in a Rose Garden speech, accompanied by a selection of Americans who the White House says have benefited from the administration’s policies.”
USA Today: “Obama, who has spent much of his recent time dealing with Syria's use of chemical weapons, will use the speech to kick off a week of events devoted to the economy and budget issues. On Sunday, the White House issued a report on its response to the financial crisis, just ahead of the speech and a new round of budget fights with congressional Republicans in the coming weeks.”
Los Angeles Times: "The U.S., Britain and France pledged Monday to push for a strong, enforceable United Nations resolution demanding that Syria give up its chemical weapons, and insisted that “all options must remain on the table” if Damascus fails to comply. The three nations, permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, want international military intervention to remain a possibility if Syrian President Bashar Assad drags his feet or refuses to abide by the resolution. But China and Russia, which also hold veto power on the council, are unlikely to agree."
Washington Post: "As negotiations to avert a U.S. strike against Syria ramped up last week, so, too, did the action on the ground. Warplanes dropped bombs over far-flung Syrian towns that hadn’t seen airstrikes in weeks, government forces went on the attack in the hotly contested suburbs of Damascus, rebels launched an offensive in the south, and a historic Christian town changed hands at least four times. At the close of a week hailed in Moscow and Washington as a triumph of diplomacy over war, more than 1,000 people died in the fighting in Syria, the latest casualties in a conflict that has killed more than 100,000 people and can be expected to claim many more."
He defended his administration’s handling of the economy on ABC’s This Week. ‘‘We came in, stabilized the situation. The banking system works. It is giving loans to companies who can get credit. And so we have seen, I think undoubtedly, progress across the board.”
He also said this on Syria and the DC media culture: "Folks here in Washington like to grade on style. Had we rolled out something that was very smooth and disciplined and linear they would have graded it well, even if it was a disastrous policy. We know that, 'cause that's exactly how they graded the Iraq War until it ended up blowing in our face." (Here’s the transcript.)
As people begin signing up for the health-care law in two weeks, “A large number of Americans continue to adamantly oppose the nation’s new health-care law and believe it will produce damaging results, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Forty-four percent of respondents call the health-care law a bad idea, while 31 percent believe it's a good idea -- virtually unchanged from July's NBC/WSJ survey. By a 45 percent to 23 percent margin, Americans say it will have a negative impact on the country's health-care system rather than a positive one.”
USA Today/Pew also have a poll out on health care: “As the health care exchanges at the heart of the law open for enrollment in two weeks, the public's views of it are as negative as they have ever been, and disapproval of the president's handling of health care has hit a new high. Confusion and misinformation about the law haven't significantly abated, especially among the law's main targets. Among the 19% polled who are uninsured, nearly four in 10 don't realize the law requires them to get health insurance next year. Among young people, whose participation is seen as crucial for the exchanges to work, just 56% realize there's a mandate to be insured or face a fine.”
The law gets a 53%/42% disapproval, the worst since it was signed. And 53% disapprove of Obama’s handling of health-care policy.
Obama golfed Saturday with Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon of ESPN’s Pardon The Interruption.