Obama agenda: Pushing for infrastructure spending

“It’s hard to find anyone who thinks President Barack Obama’s series of heavily promoted economic speeches will be the flash point that unclogs the system in Washington — including the president,” the AP writes. “A day after he kicked off the tour in Illinois and Missouri, Obama was traveling Thursday to a seaport in Jacksonville, Fla., to yet again deride the wide gulf between his vision for a new American prosperity driven by a burgeoning middle class and the intense gridlock snarling up Congress.”

Said Obama: “Here’s the thing: It will be a pretty good speech. But as we've learned, I've given some pretty good speeches before and then things still get stuck here in Washington. … Which is why I'm going to need your help.”

Looking for what Obama’s priorities for a second-term agenda will be? Look to his speech yesterday (the way one would to a State of the Union): “President Obama made clear on Wednesday that championing the middle class will be the central focus of his remaining time in office. It was the opening salvo in a campaign to cement a second-term legacy that will hinge in large part on the economy he leaves behind,” USA Today writes. “Obama laid out in broad brushstrokes his plan to focus on issues such as creating manufacturing jobs, reining in the cost of higher education and implementing his signature health care law.”

Today… “President Obama will push for new infrastructure projects and investments as he hits the road again Thursday, traveling this time to Jacksonville, Fla., for his third consecutive speech on the economy,” The Hill writes, adding, “Obama will continue to target the GOP in his speech Thursday, according to a White House official. … The White House chose the port as the site of the speech because it is home to two projects — a container terminal and a rail yard — that the administration expedited last year as part of a broader infrastructure push.”

Andrea Mitchell: “President Barack Obama will name Caroline Kennedy as his next ambassador to Japan, the White House announced on Wednesday. Obama will follow through on speculation and name the daughter of former President John F. Kennedy to her first diplomatic post. Her grandfather, Joseph Kennedy, was the U.S. Ambassdor to Great Britain before World War II.”

Kennedy has been rumored to be in the running for the job for months.