Mark Halperin’s three things to watch for in presidential politics for Monday, February 9.
1. Watch President Obama’s primetime press conference tonight at 8 pm ET. It will get blanket coverage across the broadcast networks and cable news channels. Watch to see the tone and substance of what he says, as well as what kinds of questions he gets from the White House press corps.
2. Watch the president’s domestic trips, the first one today to Elkhart, Ind., where he’s holding a town hall meeting at 12:05 pm ET. Watch to see the questions he gets there and whether they suggest widespread support for the bill from those it’s aimed at helping. Democrats argue that he has more support in the country than he does in Congress, so watch to see whether that’s true and if Obama can help them leverage the former against the latter. Watch to see how that trip goes.
3. Watch the Republican reaction to the stimulus bill. Over the weekend some Republicans suggested that they recognize the bill is going to pass and have toned down their opposition. Watch to see whether they can sustain unity and ferocity against the stimulus even as it seems to get closer to passing.