President Obama at the Democratic National Committee’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Leadership Gala in New York, June 23
President Obama’s first scheduled event in New York is at 7 p.m. at the Democratic National Committee’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Gala at the Midtown Sheraton. Actor Neil Patrick Harris will be hosting the sold-out dinner
At 8 p.m. the President attends a dinner at Upper East Side restaurant Daniel.
The President finishes the night with an appearance at a fundraising performance of the Broadway musical “Sister Act” – it’s not listed on CNN’s live streaming schedule, but will check again later.
David Ignatius (Washington Post): When President Obama announced his Afghanistan troop “surge” strategy at West Point 18 months ago, he seemed to be keeping the reality of the war at arm’s length, even as he sent more soldiers into battle.
A sign of that ambivalence was the president’s announcement, in ordering 30,000 more troops into the fight, that he would begin pulling them out in July 2011 …. this conditionality was apparently the only way Obama – a president who grew up in the shadow of the Vietnam war – felt comfortable with the decision.
….tonight, Obama announced a measured withdrawal of 10,000 of those surge troops this year – more than military commanders might have wanted but far less than war critics have been demanding. In taking this course, he took ownership of the policy more decisively.
You could argue that, in choosing his own option, Obama fully became commander in chief of this war. He opted for what he thinks has worked: an aggressive counter-terrorism assault on al-Qaeda and its Afghan allies. And he implicitly rejected the more ambitious counter-insurgency goals of some of his commanders, who had hoped that by protecting the Afghan population, the United States could “take away the oxygen” from the Taliban. For all the gains in security in Helmand and Kandahar provinces, that COIN precept hasn’t proven out.
The most persuasive argument for the approach the president embraced tonight is that it will keep enough military pressure on Taliban forces to make them consider the wisdom of a negotiated settlement of the war. That’s the crucial strategic benefit of the president’s approach – that it confounds the Taliban expectation that the United States would be gone by the end of this year. And to that extent, it makes the prospect of a negotiated settlement a little more plausible.
MSNBC: …The GOP honeymoon is over: By now, you’ve probably seen the headlines from the new NBC/WSJ poll … The GOP’s fav/unfav is 30%-44%, compared with the Democratic Party’s 38%-39% score … And the number thinking the GOP proposal to overhaul Medicare is a bad idea has increased nine points since April to 31%; just 22% believe it’s a good idea….
President Obama is at 50% or higher in every region except the South …. Obama leads Romney by six points (49%-43%) in a hypothetical general-election match up, despite all the grim economic numbers in the poll. But when you look at the Obama-vs.-Romney split by region, you see Obama’s lead over Romney is even stronger when thinking about the Electoral College.
Obama is at 50% or higher against Romney in the Northeast (54%-36%), Midwest (50%-41%), and West (55%-40%). The one place that’s bolstering Romney’s numbers is in the South, where the Republican leads by a 49%-43% margin. Similarly, Obama’s overall job-approval is above 50% everywhere outside the South.