Mark Halperin’s three things to watch for in politics for Wednesday, March 4.
1. Watch the real-world economy. Watch the stock market, corporate news and government statistics. Watch to see if there’s any sign that President Obama is beginning to help rally the economy.
2. Watch Obama and his public image as he tries to define himself. There’s been some bad publicity for the president and his administration on earmarks in the omnibus budget bill. Watch to see if he’s able to continue casting himself as a protector of the public trust and a fiscal disciplinarian.
3. Watch RNC Chair Michael Steele and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. They have very different jobs but both face big challenges this week. Steele is trying to downplay the tension that’s come across in the media between him and Rush Limbaugh, to be effective in the job he’s had for only a month. Clinton, meanwhile, continues her first trip through the Middle East as the chief U.S. diplomat. Watch to see how they both do today and for the rest of the week.