Mark Z. Barabak and Carla Rivera write in the Los Angeles Times: "President Obama offered a laudatory assessment Wednesday night of his early days in office, suggesting the worst of the economic crisis has passed and Americans have regained some of their old confidence...'It's safe to say we have stepped back from the brink, that there is some calm that didn't exist before,' he told a crowd sprinkled with celebrities, including actors Jamie Foxx, Marisa Tomei and Kiefer Sutherland....The president qualified his remarks, however, so as not to seem unduly optimistic or indifferent toward the millions of Americans still struggling to get by -- many of whom lost their jobs after the economic bill passed. 'This is just the beginning,' Obama said."
Jeff Zeleny writes for the New York Times: "President Obama arrived at a back-to-back fundraising dinner and concert on Wednesday night and raised $4 million for the Democratic National Committee. He basked in the glow of his Hollywood supporters and thanked them for making his candidacy possible. 'If it weren’t for you,' Mr. Obama told a celebrity-filled crowd gathered at The Beverly Hilton, 'we would not be in the White House.'"
William Branigin writes in The Washington Post: "President Obama touted his clean energy and economic stimulus plans yesterday at an Air Force base near Las Vegas, pointing to the base's vast array of solar panels as a model for the nation as it seeks to reduce its dependence on foreign oil."
Binyamin Appelbaum and Zachary A. Goldfarb write in The Washington Post: "Senior administration officials are considering the creation of a single agency to regulate the banking industry, replacing a patchwork of agencies that failed to prevent banks from falling into the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, sources said. The agency would be a key element in the administration's sweeping overhaul of financial regulation, which officials hope to unveil in coming weeks, including the creation of a new authority to police risks to the financial system as well as a new agency to protect consumers, according to three people familiar with the matter."
Philip Elliott writes for the Associated Press: "President Barack Obama has picked a major Democratic fundraiser as ambassador to Britain, a theology professor to represent the United States at the Vatican and a former member of the 9/11 Commission to be the top U.S. diplomat in India."
Rachel L. Swarns writes in the New York Times about a "frank and down to earth" Michelle Obama: "For generations, first ladies have doled out details of their personal and family lives to humanize themselves and their husbands. But historians and political analysts say Mrs. Obama is offering a new twist by discussing the everyday realities she faces as a professional woman who is raising young children and nurturing a marriage while juggling an active schedule. In doing so, they say, she is fashioning a more intimate rapport with the public, particularly with a modern generation of working mothers, who often recognize themselves in her reflections about the struggle to balance work and family life."
Johanna Neuman reports for the Los Angeles Times on a vice presidential ad lib at the Air Force Academy commencement ceremonies yesterday: "Biden noted that heavy winds were gusting through the ceremonies. One of his two teleprompters had toppled over. Alluding to the jokes of Obama's reliance on the speech-facilitators, Biden added, 'What I am going to tell the president when I tell him his teleprompter is broken. What will he do then.'"
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