OBAMA AGENDA: Delaying the deportation review
Driving the president's day: "President Obama plans to use a speech at the West Point military academy on Wednesday to lay out a foreign policy vision for his final two-and-a-half years in office, defending his approach against a wave of criticism that he has been too passive on the world stage," the New York Times writes.
More, from the Wall Street Journal: "Mr. Obama's West Point commencement speech on Wednesday will advocate for substituting the use of American military might with other types of U.S. power, including diplomacy and economic pressure, while still reserving the option to use force. The address begins a new effort by the White House to define Mr. Obama's foreign and national security policy, after critics have seized on his reluctance to intervene in the Syrian civil war and on his limited response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's aggressiveness in Ukraine."
The AP notes that "Obama's new approach includes a $5 billion fund to help countries in the Middle East, Africa, East Asia and elsewhere fight terrorism."
Obama's Afghanistan timetable isn't fast enough for the New York Times editorial board. "His promise to end the war, made years ago, won’t be honored until he’s practically out of office."
Another stall on an immigration issue: "President Obama has delayed a review of deportation policies until the end of summer in hopes that Congress will approve a legislative overhaul of immigration laws, administration officials said Tuesday," writes the Washington Post.
ABOUT LAST NIGHT: Breaking down the Texas runoffs
The Dallas Morning News on Rep. Ralph Hall's defeat: "This was no test of tea party strength. Both sides boasted support from heavyweight conservatives. It was instead a classic test of incumbency, with Hall’s advanced age adding to the drama."
Hall's loss is getting national attention, but Texas papers are focused on the nomination of Dan Patrick for lieutenant governor, arguably the most powerful job in the state. The Houston Chronicle: 'State Sen. Dan Patrick, riding a wave of tea-party populism from relative obscurity as a Houston radio talk-show host to statewide prominence in just eight years, defeated incumbent David Dewhurst Tuesday to win the Republican nomination to become Texas' next lieutenant governor."
The Austin American-Statesman: "Patrick’s victory was a stunning achievement, far exceeding Cruz’s thrashing of Dewhurst in the 2012 runoff for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison."
The Texas Tribune's take on last night's runoffs: "Texas Republicans on Tuesday filled out their statewide slate with some of the most conservative candidates, and Texas Democrats cast aside two perennial contenders, setting the tops of their ballots for a November general election that is already generating national interest."
OFF TO THE RACES: Cotton hits Pryor over VA scandal in new ad
Jim Messina's work for David Cameron is raising some concerns among Democrats back home. The New York Times: "That role has only intensified the sense among some Obama campaign and administration veterans that Mr. Messina’s work for the Tories has crossed an ideological threshold that his consulting for casinos and corporations only approached; some of his former associates have spurned his offers to join in the campaign effort in London."
The Wall Street Journal looks at how GOP attacks on the health care law are becoming more nuanced and focused on fixing specific problems.
Per a new Washington Post-ABC poll, that Karl Rove Hillary's-health-and-age strategy didn't go over well with the public.
Ted Cruz's trip to Ukraine and Israel this week underscores his foreign policy differences with Rand Paul, writes The Hill.
ALASKA: Senate candidate Dan Sullivan is up with a new spot highlighting his work as Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources Commissioner.
ARKANSAS: A new ad from Tom Cotton hits Mark Pryor on the VA scandal, saying he helped Senate Democrats "block" a vote on the VA accountability act "and then went on a ten day vacation."
FLORIDA: The widow of congressman C.W. Bill Young says she’ll run against Republican David Jolly in 2016, the Tampa Bay Times reports. “If I’d known that the Democrats wouldn’t put anyone up on that ballot, I’d have been there myself this time,” she said. “I thought they had a candidate. I wouldn’t have been ready. But I would have run anyway.”
IOWA: The Quad City Times rounds up the big outside players - include pro-Ernst spots from the Chamber of Commerce and the Senate Conservatives Action PAC -- as the GOP Senate primary enters its final week.
A little damage mitigation here? Rep. Bruce Braley is up with an ad highlighting his career as a lawyer.
GEORGIA: Karen Handel is set to endorse Rep. Jack Kingston in the Georgia runoff contest, per the AJC.
MICHIGAN: A new Free Press/WXYZ/EPIC-MRA poll finds Gary Peters up 44-38 over Terri Lynn Land, with Peters enjoying a 14 point advantage with women.
AP: "Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation Tuesday to raise the state's minimum wage by 25% gradually over the next four years to $9.25 an hour, as Republicans controlling the state government moved to head off a November ballot measure that could have raised pay even more."
MISSISSIPPI: The Wall Street Journal writes that Sen. Thad Cochran, "powered by support from the state's top Republicans, has built a campaign versed in Twitter, quick-hit negative ads and other tools of modern electioneering to counter a challenge from state Sen. Chris McDaniel, whose campaign has been taken off-point by the arrest of four supporters."
NEW HAMPSHIRE: As Republicans look to finesse attacks on Obamacare, Scott Brown is up with a new radio ad that focuses on the new health care law’s employer mandate, arguing that the economic impact of the law will get worse, not better. “President Obama and Senator Shaheen forced on us a health care system that doesn't work,” Brown says in the ad. “It hurt families, took away their options, and next year, it gets worse. Businesses will be mandated to offer coverage, which means higher costs and fewer jobs.”
SOUTH CAROLINA: A poll paid for by Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions sees Lindsey Graham in position to avoid a runoff election in June.
VIRGINIA: Incumbent Mark Warner is up with his first ad of the cycle, which features three appearances of the word "bipartisan."
*** Wednesday’s “The Daily Rundown” line-up: NBC’s Chuck Todd interviews Secretary of State John Kerry, NBC News National Security Analyst Michael Leiter, American University’s Dante Chinni and NBC News Military Analyst Col. Jack Jacobs.
*** Wednesday’s “Jansing & Co.” line-up: Chris Jansing interviews Col. Jack Jacobs, Gen. Barry McCaffrey, Washington Post Diplomatic Correspondent Anne Gearan, Political Analyst & Grio.com Contributor Zerlina Maxwell, National Journal Staff Correspondent Elahe Izadi, and CNBC’s Mandy Drury.
*** Wednesday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron Hall interviews Colonel Jack Jacobs, Verna Jones from American Legion, and David Wood, the senior military correspondent for the Huffington Post on President Obama’s West Point commencement speech; Vanity Fair’s Mike Hogan on Seth Roger & Judd Apatow response to Washington Post’s article on the deadly rampage in California; The Washington Post’s Nia Malika Henderson on the FLOTUS food debate; and drug recovery specialist Chad Sabora & anti-drug advocate Denise Mariano on the new heroin program for New York City police officers.
*** Wednesday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviews Sen. John McCain, Col. Jack Jacobs, the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza and Eugene Robinson, Politico’s Susan Glasser and VA Tech shooting survivor Colin Goddard.
*** Wednesday’s “The Reid Report” line-up: MSNBC’s Joy Reid interviews Michael O’Hanlon from The Brookings Institution and nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Medved.