Mark Halperin’s three things to watch for in politics for Monday, March 16.
1. Watch to see how the AIG bonuses play out all day. House Financial Services Committee Chair Barney Frank responded angrily this morning on NBC’s “Today,” saying the company’s $165 million in executive bonuses was “rewarding incompetence.” Watch to see how Frank’s remarks, and the story as a whole, play out today. Watch to see what kind of pressure AIG and the White House face.
2. Watch the debate over the Obama administration’s health care plans and how they might be financed. A few Obama aides tipped their hands a little bit this weekend, suggesting they would be open to the financing plan being pushed by some in Congress, eliminating employer tax deductions for health care benefits. Watch to see how that idea develops and, overall, watch to see where the health care discussion goes today and this week.
3. Watch the administration as it continues to try to define its message on the economy in the short and long terms. The focus today is on small business, with President Obama and Secretary Geithner at the White House addressing small business owners and community lenders. Watch to see how the president continues to define the country’s economic problems and how he tries to solve them.