Mark Halperin’s three things to watch for in politics for Friday, July 17.
1. Watch to see how the administration responds to the terrorist attacks that hit Jakarta, Indonesia, overnight. It could become a test of President Obama’s leadership or one that quickly fades. The result is largely up to the American media and how it chooses to cover the story.
2. Watch for new developments on health care today. Yesterday’s progress — or lack thereof — led to countless press reports that the movement is in trouble, even as the president engages in a lot of activity to try to push Congress and the American people hard on getting a bill all the way through both houses. Watch to see if the administration can do anything to create momentum. The president’s not expected to be very visible today, but watch to see if he makes more informal remarks on health care in an attempt to go into the weekend on a slightly better note.
3. Watch to see what key Hill Democrats say and do on health care today. Some are saying the administration is being too aggressive in its timeline on health care or isn’t pushing it in quite the right way. Watch to see if congressional leadership, in particular, seems to back off from the president’s tight set of deadlines, yielding to Democrats who want to work more slowly and make sure the bill is done right.