In other news today . . .
President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner failed to reach a deal on the budget last night, but the president, who appeared in the White House briefing room at 10:45 pm, suggested the two sides were close. POLITICO offers three reasons why a shutdown may not occur.
Obama is starting to road test some themes for 2012, saying Washington’s entrenched political culture has kept the nation from moving forward. But Sen. John McCain is suggesting a theme for Republicans: Obama hasn’t delivered on his promise for change. The president plans to lavish the $1 billion he intends to raise on TV ads, Reuters reports.
Obama is going to make some major national security appointments this summer, with Defense Secretary Gates, Joint Chiefs Chairman Mullen, Afghanistan commander Petraeus, and Afghanistan Ambassador Eikenberry all expected to retire or rotate out of their current jobs. Meanwhile, Gates says U.S. troops may remain in Iraq past the date they are expected to leave.