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Mike Allen's Playbook interprets the White House strategy behind Obama's widely panned Oval Office speech last night: "West Wing Mindmeld: Whenever we do something like this, our focus is always on communicating directly with the American people, in an unfiltered way. We don't waste those opportunities to throw bones to the pundits."

Ezra Klein's Wonkbook has Klein's reaction to the speech: "The optimistic take, at least for environmentalists, is that this is the language and approach Obama uses when he really means to legislate. The pessimistic take is that Obama shied away from clearly describing the problem, did not endorse specific legislation, did not set benchmarks, and chose poll-tested language rather than a sharper case that might persuade skeptics."

ABC's The Note links to the New York Times' coverage of oil executives testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where they publicly blamed BP for poor management that culminated in the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Chris Cillizza's Morning Fix reports that California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman is depositing another $50 million of her own fortune into her race. Whitman has already far outspent California's historically high-spending candidates, a strategy that opens her up to criticism: "She has already been targeted by Democratic-affiliated groups for her spending, and one labor-backed organization has launched a bus tour featuring an actress dressed as 'Queen Meg,' a parody of the candidate and her free-spending campaign."

The Daily Beast's Cheat Sheet points to the Washington Post's report of an unprecedented streak of drug violence in Mexico. Over the past five days, hundreds of people have been killed in executions, prison riots, and highway ambushes replete with burning buses. President Felipe Calderón issued a 5,000-word manifesto defending his war on crime.   

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Nicole Allan is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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