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Obama agenda: Eulogizing Mandela

“President Obama eulogized Nelson Mandela as ‘the last great liberator of the 20th Century'’ as tens of thousands of South Africans, joyously cheering and singing despite a cold rain, mourned the passing and celebrated the life of the father of their modern nation,” USA Today writes. 

NBC News: "President Barack Obama challenged South Africa and the world on Tuesday to apply the immortal example of Nelson Mandela and lift children from poverty, spread freedom of belief and overcome inequality and cynicism. Invoking Gandhi, Martin Luther King and the American founding fathers, the president spoke of Mandela as “the last great liberator of the 20th century” — a man who, after emerging from prison, held his country whole without taking up arms.

Wall Street Journal: "More than 90 world leaders and other foreign dignitaries were seated on three large stages on the field of a soccer stadium with room for more than 90,000 people. The stadium was about two-thirds full, with people packing the covered upper deck to avoid the rain."

The Daily Rundown's Jen Brockman takes a look at the expansive and prestigous guest list that gathered to remember Mandela. 

But it wouldn’t be DC without some kind of controversy – this one over Obama shaking Cuba’s Raul Castro’s hand. Politico: “Undoubtedly in part an effort to be polite, the handshake also comes not long after Obama indicated a desire to update U.S. policies toward Cuba.”

New York Times: "President Obama, after a rocky year that leaves him at the lowest ebb of his presidency, is bringing into his White House circle the longtime Democratic strategist John D. Podesta, a former chief of staff for President Bill Clinton. Mr. Podesta, who has agreed to serve as counselor for a year, led Mr. Obama’s presidential transition in 2008 and has been an outside adviser since then. He also has occasionally criticized the administration, if gently, from his perch as the founder and former president of the Center for American Progress." 

The Hill: “Vice President Biden will announce $100 million in funding for mental health services and facilities at an event Tuesday with families of the victims of the Newtown elementary school shooting. The funds will go to help community health centers establish or expand services for those living with mental illness and addiction, according to a White House official. Grants through the Affordable Care Act will fund the hiring of new mental health professionals.” 

The Hill also says Obama will use “populism” to counterpunch against Republican efforts.

Podesta has an op-ed in Politico on income inequality.