8 a.m. ET: Ten years ago this month, Time magazine ran an iconic cover photo of Robert Rubin, Alan Greenspan and Lawrence Summers -- the trio then working to forestall "a global economic meltdown" -- with the headline, "The Committee to Save the World." (The other nickname cited, "The Three Marketeers," never did catch on.)
It would be more than appropriate to run a similar cover today, with Summers again featured but with President Obama and Tim Geithner given more prominent placement. This week, in particular, the administration will redouble its efforts to fix what ails the world. Today, the Senate will take a key vote on its version of a massive stimulus package designed to jumpstart the U.S. economy and place a decidedly Democratic imprint on spending priorities for years to come. Tomorrow, Geithner will unveil the administration's plan for using the remaining financial bailout money to save the nation's banks. Obama himself will do campaign-style events in Indiana today and Florida tomorrow to rally support for the stimulus, and he will hold a prime-time press conference tonight for the same purpose.
Or perhaps that magazine cover should feature Ben Nelson, Susan Collins, Arlen Specter and Joe Lieberman -- the lead negotiators of the Senate's compromise stimulus package. (That photo would really send the issue flying off the newsstand shelves, wouldn't it?)
Passage of the stimulus bill is no sure thing. Most Republicans continued their drumbeat of criticism over the weekend, and the man who was the runner-up for world-saver-in-chief called the package "generational theft." Those few Senate moderates and a few governors aside, most in the GOP continue to see little political upside to backing the stimulus but much potential benefit to opposing it. The party's new head, Michael Steele, contended that Obama "is upside-down with the voters on this issue." But, distractingly, Steele also had to defend against the charge that he faces a federal probe into payments his 2006 Senate campaign made to his sister.
Or perhaps the Time cover should feature the administration's foreign policy team. As if the agenda wasn't broad enough already, Vice President Biden spent the weekend abroad busily outlining the administration's foreign policy goals. Biden promised a shift from the previous administration on Russia, Iran, NATO and more. And James Jones is here in Washington working to shape a National Security Council that will be "dramatically different" from any other NSC in history.
Of course, there is no official "Committee to Save the World," but given Obama's fondness for committees, councils and czars, we wouldn't put it past him.
February 9, 2009; 8:00 AM ET
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