Ezra Klein's Wonkbook cites Politico's summary of the Senate's energy dilemma: "Graham's situation captures the confusion and lack of vision on energy legislation. He broke off with Kerry and Lieberman last month. He said Tuesday that Lugar's bill probably couldn't get many votes. And suddenly Wednesday, Graham had become a chief co-sponsor of Lugar's bill."
Mike Allen's Playbook quotes optimism from within the White House that the oil spill will give Obama the edge he needs to achieve, by the end of the year, "a triple crown of health reform, Wall Street re-regulation and climate/energy." As for the Lugar bill, an administration official says, "There are some good things in there. It's not the overall answer, but it's certainly a step in the right direction. That certainly could be a vehicle for progress."
ABC's The Note links to a Newsweek piece describing the standoff between the White House and the Senate over appointing James Clapper as director of national intelligence: senators are stalling the appointment until the administration agrees to push through a bill granting Congress more authority to monitor intelligence activities.
Chris Cillizza's Morning Fix reports that Gresham Barrett is not going down easy to Nikki Haley in the South Carolina gubernatorial runoff. Barrett has launched a new ad and fundraising efforts despite Haley's high-profile support from the likes of Mitt Romney and the Republican Governors Association.