Obama vs. Boehner — a preview of things to come and why the White House is trying to elevate the House minority leader… The GOP’s plans if they take back the House… First Read’s Rahm Watch… Michael Steele’s Excellent Adventure to Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands… Murkowski could still make a move… Joe Manchin’s counterattack… And profiling FL-24.

*** Obama vs. Boehner: President Obama’s verbal jabs at John Boehner could very well have been a preview of the next two years, if Republicans take back control of Congress this November. Here are samples of Obama’s remarks yesterday in Boehner’s home state of Ohio: “There were no new policies from Mr. Boehner [in his economic speech last month]. There were no new ideas.”… “Mr. Boehner dismissed these jobs we saved — teaching our kids, patrolling our streets, rushing into burning buildings — as ‘government jobs,’ jobs I guess he thought just weren’t worth saving.” The question has now become: Why elevate Boehner? A reasonable response: Why not? As our own NBC/WSJ poll showed, nearly six in 10 respondents believe that Republicans will have different economic ideas than Bush’s if they take control of Congress. So Democrats might as well define Boehner. What else do they have to run on at this point? The White House needs an opponent. Our poll shows Bush might not be an effective opponent anymore, so they need someone they can run against.

*** Boehner’s plans: Speaking of Boehner, Politico is reporting that House Republicans “have held a series of private discussions to plot their first moves if they win the majority in November — with plans to use spending bills and subpoenas to rein in President Barack Obama and satiate their own ravenous base… The plans presently under discussion include defunding some parts of the new health care law and delaying implementation of others, withholding some of the unspent stimulus funds, and using the oversight power of Republican-led committees to investigate the Obama administration. ‘The goal, obviously, would be to make it a one-term presidency,’ said a GOP lobbyist briefed on the talks.” This is going to be a fine line for the Republicans if they get control: Do they really want to be seen as simply an opposition party, even when in control? Over-obsessing on stopping all things Obama might not play well with indies.

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