Mark Halperin’s Three Things

Mark Halperin’s three things to watch for in politics for Wednesday, May 6.

1. Watch for developments on Afghanistan and Pakistan. Obama and Biden will meet with Afghan President Karzai and Pakistan President Zardari — separately and then together — this afternoon in the Oval Office and the president is set to deliver remarks on the region afterwards at 4:15 pm ET. Watch to see what he says and what the general readout on the meetings is. Also watch to see what happens in the region today on both the military and political fronts. Watch to see if the White House can get in front of the story and try to sell whatever its plans are for the two countries to Congress and to the American people.

2. Watch for movements from the administration on health care. There are lots of ideas out there and the White House seems open to more discussion and debate. It’s still unclear whether Obama will make health care reform his big legislative goal for the rest of 2009. Watch to see if there are clues of what he might do and suggestions of how he’d want to pay for those plans. If the president decides to hold off for this year, watch to see what other legislation could fill his agenda for the rest of the year.

3. Watch for more details on the bank stress test results, which will be officially released tomorrow. The administration has to orchestrate a delicate balancing act, conveying the validity of the results without undermining confidence in the banking sector. Watch to see if they can maintain that balance today and prime the country for more specific results.

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