Mark Halperin’s three things to watch for in presidential politics for Monday, Feburary 2.
- Watch to see how the White House negotiates with Democrats and Republicans on the stimulus bill. The Obama administration is aiming to get a bill out of the Senate with some bipartisan momentum. Watch to see if there’s any progress today and for the rest of the week.
- Watch to see who President Obama picks to fill the Commerce Secretary slot. If he picks Judd Gregg, the Republican Senator from New Hampshire, it’s a brilliant political move with fallout in the Senate and Washington as a whole. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said over the weekend that Gregg has assured the GOP that he would only join the cabinet if he was sure his replacement would be a Republican. The Granite State’s governor, a Democrat, has not made any public comments on who he’s considering to appoint to the spot. Watch to see if that gets announced.
- Watch the confirmation process for Health and Human Services nominee Tom Daschle. It’s truly hanging in the balance more than the confirmation of any of Obama’s as-yet-unconfirmed nominees. The former Senate Majority Leader will head to the Hill this afternoon to meet privately with Senators to discuss the tax issues holding up his confirmation. Watch to see how they respond. Also watch to see what Sen. Baucus, a longtime rival within the Democratic party, says and does.