Rhode Island Tip Sheet: Obama’s 3rd SOTU
STATE OF THE NATION: Amid talk of a centrist agenda in the run-up to 2012, President Obama is set to deliver his third State of the Union Address tonight at 9. WRNI will carry it live . . . . O’s 3rd SOTU comes amid an increase in optimism among Americans and some other better indicators . . . . Politico calls it a new chance to connect . . . . Nate Silver wonders whether it will 1995 all over again for a Democratic president . . . . Ted Nesi is blogging from DC . . . . The Fix list of what to watch for.
STATE OF THE STATE: Governor Chafee makes his first appearance in office with the state Economic Development Corporation . . . . Chafee, reprising campaign themes and talking points, says economic development efforts need to focus on the basics . . . . Crtitics might say: “where’s the beef?” However, and even more so than for O, time is on Chafee’s side, since his next election isn’t until 2014.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY: The ProJo profiles Helio Melo, the new chairman of House Finance. Takeaway: Melo is a training manager for an outfit that runs Burger Kings, among other restaurants, and he didn’t attain a degree at URI, but he enjoys the confidence of Speaker Fox (who has a time tonight at the Marriott).
IT’S ALL ABOUT US: Old friend Jason Gay had the best take, via tweet, on the significance of Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon signing with the Tampa Bay Rays: “Very nice of Tampa to hire Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon to entertain all the Red Sox fans at Rays home games.”
GREAT NORTH: In a switch, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is moving to clamp down on health-care benefits for public employees in the Bay State.
WHY DID OLBERMANN LEAVE MSNBC?: NYT says it came after years of tension: ”Mr. Olbermann was within one move of being fired in November after he was suspended for making donations to Democratic Congressional candidates. He threatened to make an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America” to protest the suspension; Mr. Zucker was prepared to fire him on the spot if he did, according to a senior NBC Universal executive who declined to be identified in discussing confidential deliberations.”
TEA PARTY POLITICS: Mitt Romney was keeping away from the Tea Party — and he unsurprisingly won a Granite State straw poll. Tea Party fave Jack Kimball then got the nod over the weekend to lead the NH GOP.
BIRTHDAY: Catherine Welch; Meghan Grady; Matt Allen.
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