Not too much news today...
1. Here's the real headline: couched in a warning to President Obama, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) offered his support today for a "trigger" to a public health insurance plan, bolstering the White House's attempts to corral Midwestern Democratic senators ahead of the president's Wednesday night address. Speaking on CNN's State of the Union with John King, Nelson said that he could support a "true trigger, one that would only apply if there isn't the kind of competition in the business that we believe there would be." Nelson is as azure-colored and scruffy as a Blue Dog Democrat can get in the Senate, and he has been hostile to a public option of any type. But today, he's essentially given the president permission to write a mechanism into the health bill that would require the "market" to become more competitive over time, lest it be overtaken by a government-subsidized plan. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) said she was open to a trigger.
2. David Axelrod, the president's senior adviser, offered no specifics and very little insight into the president's comments on Wednesday. He repeated the basic administration formulation on the public option -- the president wants to ensure competition and quality and likes a public plan but won't veto a bill without it -- only to have the press write another "White House Backs Down on Public Option" story, which prompted Axelrod to insist to the Associated Press that the White House had not changed its position. Robert Gibbs, the president's press secretary, suggested that the speech on Wednesday would be light on veto threats and heavy on get 'er dun.
3. On Van Jones, a variety of administration officials offered a tepid defense of the former adviser for green jobs and said that President Obama did not fire Jones and had not paid much attention to the Beckiverse (Glenniverse?)'s crusade to oust him.
4. Rudy Giuliani told NBC's David Gregory that he was still considering a run for governor of New York.
5. Various commentators expressed unease and bewilderment at the thought that a presidential address to school children is controversial.
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