OBAMA AGENDA: What we still don’t know about the 8 million
The New York Times notes what we still don't know about Obamacare numbers: "The administration did not release two other crucial statistics that would help determine the success of the law: the number of people among the eight million who bought insurance for the first time and the number who paid their initial premiums."
Noted, from Obama's statement yesterday at the White House about new ACA data showing eight million sign-ups in the first enrollment period: "Democrats running for reelection this fall should "forcefully defend and be proud of the fact that millions of people ... we're helping because of something we did."
Obama also slammed Republicans again yesterday for failing to take up immigration legislation – a familiar refrain. But the Wall Street Journal writes that GOP leaders are saying privately that some immigration measures may still be on the table. "Speaker John Boehner and other senior House Republicans are telling donors and industry groups that they aim to pass immigration legislation this year, despite the reluctance of many Republicans to tackle the divisive issue before the November elections. Many lawmakers and activists have assumed the issue was off the table in an election year. But Mr. Boehner said at a Las Vegas fundraiser last month he was "hellbent on getting this done this year," according to two people in the room."
Reuters: Justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg "indicated on Thursday night that the court will ultimately have to decide the legality of National Security Agency surveillance activities."
OFF TO THE RACES: Mitt remains on the political stage
The Washington Post writes on Mitt Romney's return to the political stage: "He may not direct a high-powered political-action committee or hold a formal position, but with the two living former Republican presidents — George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush — shying away from campaign politics, Romney, 67, has begun to embrace the role of party elder, believing he can shape the national debate and help guide his fractured party to a governing majority."
Simon and Schuster announced the title of Hillary Clinton's new book due out in June: "Hard Choices."
Clinton's daughter Chelsea announced Thursday afternoon that she and her husband Marc are expecting their first child this year.
The New York Times' Ashley Parker writes that super PACs are trying to accentuate the positive in their ads. "The shift is the product of several factors — the renewed hope that positive commercials can break through the advertising clutter; lessons of the 2012 presidential race, when Mitt Romney and outside Republican groups largely failed to offer an alternate message to an onslaught of negative spots; and the increasing prevalence of stock footage made public by campaigns that makes producing positive ads easier.”
"Online gun sweepstakes have become one of the most useful tools for campaign outreach in the 2014 Republican primaries," writes the New York Times.
Former Obama aides Jim Messina and David Axelrod are consulting on opposite sides of the British general election next year, writes the Washington Post.
A Friday laugh, via NBCNews.com: "The crowing announcement that Britain's Labour Party had hired Barack Obama's campaign guru and former adviser David Axelrod to help propel it back to power distilled why it might need the strategist’s help. The release on Labour’s website misspelled Axelrod’s name in the headline: "David Alexrod joins the team."
CALIFORNIA: California Democrats are on the defensive after a spate of high-profile scandals, the Wall Street Journal notes.
DELAWARE: Beau Biden will run for governor in Delaware in 2016.
GEORGIA: GOP Senate candidate David Perdue has a potential “outsourcing” problem, MSNBC’s Benjy Sarlin reports. “As senior vice president [at Haggar Clothing Co.], Perdue was in charge of international operations at Haggar and later domestic operations as well. Under his watch, the company did what so many clothing manufacturers did at the time: closed down factory lines in America and outsourced production overseas where labor was cheap and regulations were less restrictive. That meant cutting hundreds of jobs at South Texas facilities in Weslaco, Edinburg, and Brownsville and producing clothes in countries like Mexico, where the average manufacturing employee earned about $1.50 an hour in wages and benefits.”
The U.S Chamber of Commerce is backing Rep. Jack Kingston in the Georgia Senate primary
IOWA: Remember how Clinton backers criticized the Iowa caucus system for excluding those unable to attend a weekday evening event? Iowa Democrats are eyeing changes to the system, the Des Moines Register reports.
KANSAS: After a flurry of speculation, Kathleen Sebelius tells the New York Times through a spokeswoman that she's "not considering a run for the Senate."
MASSACHUSETTS: The Boston Globe's Matt Viser: "In book, Warren explains guarded nature with the media"
Meanwhile, Warren is reiterating that she's not running for president, the Washington Post reports.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: The NH state Senate has nixed a bill to repeal the death penalty, the Union Leader reports.
*** Friday’s “The Daily Rundown” line-up: NBC’s Luke Russert interviews former Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM), Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Deputy Editor of the Rothenberg Political Report Nathan Gonzales, Roll Call’s politics editor Shira Center, NBC News’ Senior Political Editor Mark Murray and CNBC’s Eunice Yoon.
*** Friday’s “Jansing & Co.” line-up: Chris Jansing interviews Navy Lt. Arlo Abrahamson, The Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim, National Journal’s Elahe Izadi, Investigative Reporter for Reuters David Rohde, Anti-Defamation League’s Michael Salberg, Associate Professor for International Affairs at The New School Nina Khrushcheva, Democratic Strategist Angela Rye, Republican Strategist Chip Saltsman, MSNBC’s Joy Reid, and MSNBC Krystal Ball.
*** Friday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron Hall interviews GlobalPost Senior Correspondent Geoff Cain, Rosalind Osgood from the Broward County School Board, Los Angeles Magazine writer Jesse Katz, Michael Felci from The Desert Sun about Coachella, and Lisa Williams, founder of World of EPI and Positively Perfect Dolls.
*** Friday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviews the Case Foundation Chairman Steve Case, Bloomberg View’s Jeffrey Goldberg, NBC’s David Gregory, Jim Maceda, John Yang and Lester Holt and the Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart.
*** Saturday’s and Sunday’s “Weekend with Alex Witt”: As part of her weekly “Office Politics” series, MSNBC’s Alex Witt interviews MSNBC’s Tamron Hall.