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The Morning Plum

* Has Obama successfully put the Katrina comparisons to rest? The political world seems to have moved on to the failed Times Square bomb, but the White House continues working to nip the Katrina meme in the bud. It'll be interesting to see if it persists.

Yesterday, after touring the Gulf, Obama said the oil spill could be a "potentially unprecedented environmental disaster," preparing people for more bad news. And perhaps anticipating more Katrina comparisons to come, Obama repeatedly stressed his administration's rapid response to it.

"We've made preparations from day one to stage equipment for a worse-case scenario. We immediately set up command center operations here in the Gulf and coordinated with all state and local governments," Obama said. "From day one we have prepared and planned for the worst, even as we hoped for the best."

* How bad is the political landscape for Dems? According to the Associated Press, things couldn't look worse:

Republicans are on offense in scores of House and Senate races as persistent economic woes and lukewarm support for President Barack Obama continue to weaken Democrats' hold on Congress.

The president and his party are determined to minimize the losses six months before the November elections. But Democrats privately acknowledge the economy and support for Obama must improve before then to avoid the defeats that could cost them control of the House and possibly the Senate.

* Important read: Rise of Tea Party movement and ferment on the right are having a profound impact on the GOP's approach to policy.

* Charlie Crist, desperately trying to capture that Joe Lieberman indy magic, claims a conversation with Lieberman persuaded him going indy could be "liberating."

* Crist isn't entirely alone: The Republican Mayor of Miami-Dade strongly defends and endorses Crist for supporting the stimulus, which is what led to his ouster from the GOP.

* Never let a crisis go to waste: Paul Krugman urges Obama to seize on the oil spill to reverse the right's ongoing victory in the PR wars over environmentalism.

* Good read: I've noted here repeatedly that when the history of the health care fight is written, Nancy Pelosi will be seen as perhaps the primary driver, and now Paul Kane explains why she may be a "towering" historical figure.

* Here's still more evidence that the race between two Dems and a Republican in the Hawaii special election could prove a liberal-nightmare version of NY-23.

* Republicans keep up demand that Obama not let Ahmadinejad into the country, even though few if any blamed Bush for the Iranian president's 2007 visit.

* Interesting Los Angeles Times piece on how both sides are pointing to crime to justify their position on the Arizona law. Teaser: Only one side has statistics on its side.

* Senate Dem strategists absorb a lesson from the health care fight (sub only): You can't count on opponents to "play fair."

* Dude, nobody's buying: Washington Times dubs John McCain a "born again border hawk."

* And Andrew Malcolm desperately searches for something, anything, in Obama's response to the spill to compare to Bush's disastrous flyover-Katrina photo.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  May 3, 2010; 8:35 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Morning Plum , Senate Republicans , Tea Party  
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