This Sunday, we'll examine the crisis in Libya. I'll sit down with the two administration officials leading the charge for President Obama: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. As military leadership is being transferred to NATO forces, I think the important question to ask is - to what extent will this administration have to own the outcome in Libya? Is Khaddafy in power a real option as an end to this crisis? Also, did the President overreach his Constitutional authority? This comes as members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have criticized the President's decision to unilaterally send military forces without consulting the legislature.
Plus, perspectives from our roundtable. The question of Presidential leadership looms for this administration as the White House has had to respond to numerous crises throughout the first part of 2011. Joining me will be The Washington Post's Bob Woodward; the BBC's Ted Koppel; senior fellow for the Center for a New American Security and author, Tom Ricks; and NBC News White House Correspondent, Savannah Guthrie.
Morning. Getting ready for what I think will be a compelling program to watch Sunday. I'll have White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley as well as head of the Tea Party Caucus Michele Bachmann (R-MN). It's an interesting combination as both represent major currents in Washington right now. Daley has helped the President make a move to the center politically and Bachman is a key figure pushing the GOP establishment to the right. Budget battles are taking center stage now and independent voters are following closely. We have a fragile economic recovery and a desire to reign in government spending. Getting the balance right is where the division is.
Here are some pieces that caught my eye this morning including coverage of the CAPS stunning win over St Louis last night. I was happy to be there banging on the glass!
John Dickerson writes that Mike Huckabee may end up regretting his recent comments about President Obama's roots.
We have an exciting program this Sunday. The budget battle is front and center and both sides have taken issue with the president's proposal. Republicans believe the budget is "deeply disappointing", while Democrats are upset over what it will cut. This Sunday, I'll talk exclusively with Senators from both sides of the aisle: Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill) and Republican on the Budget Committee Lindsey Graham (SC). We'll discuss what will be cut, whether or not there is room for compromise, and what is the likelihood of a government shutdown.
Also, for the latest on the situation in the Middle East, I'll talk exclusively with the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice. With the government crackdown in Bahrain, as well as protests in Yemen, Libya, Iran and others, I'll get Ambassador Rice's perspective on the issues.
Then, our roundtable will help see the bigger picture of what's happening in Washington, across the country, and around the world. Joining us: Former governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm (D); former congressman from Tennessee, Harold Ford (D); Republican strategist, Ed Gillespie; and CNBC's Rick Santelli.
Also some good reads from today's papers:
Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) - Finance Committee member and personal friend of President Obama - wrote in the Washington Post this morning, "What America needs now is not division and posturing but real leadership. Instead of campaign rhetoric, the president and Congress need to launch a campaign to educate the American people about this seminal moment in our history. How we respond to our looming debt crisis will determine whether we follow the path of previous republics that drowned under a rising tide of debt or whether we cheat history and continue the great and historical claim of American exceptionalism."
The NY Times editorializes this morning that, "In a year when governors across the country are competing to show who’s toughest, no matter what the consequences, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin stands out as the first to bring his State Capitol to a halt."
This Sunday I'll sit down exclusively with House Speaker John Boehner - his first appearance on MTP since taking his new post. Look for our discussion to cover a lot of ground. With an end to the crisis in Egypt seemingly in sight, domestic issues like spending, jobs, and the deficit are returning to the forefront.
A major theme in the Republican-controlled House is cutting government spending. In their "Pledge to America" the GOP said they would cut $100 billion from the budget in the first year. Can they keep that promise?
Also, as CPAC concludes this weekend, a slew of GOP 2012 hopefuls are in Washington to lay the groundwork for possible runs at the White House. I'll ask Speaker Boehner who he thinks his party should nominate to be the standard-bearer in the election.
Then, our political roundtable will cap off the program and help put things in to perspective. I'll be joined by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, NY Times columnist David Brooks, TIME's Mark Halperin, and newly elected Tea Party backed Congressman Bobby Schilling.
You can watch my short preview of Sunday's program below.
Below are more pics ahead of our special edition of Meet the Press honoring what would be the 100th birthday of President Ronald Reagan. We will be live from the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
Our team is already at the Reagan Presidential library in California for our special program Sunday marking the former president's 100th birthday. Our setting is historic as the pictures below show. Our table for the "roundtable" will be the very one from the Situation Room of the White House during Reagan's time in office. Our focus will be on Reagan's legacy as it applies to the modern GOP and even this President. First Read had an interesting take on an under-examined aspect of the 40th President: his pragmatism. Peggy Noonan has a fresh perspective on the man she worked for in today's WSJ. She will join me Sunday as will our Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell, former Secretary of State James Baker and former Assembly Speaker during Governor Reagan's time in office, Willie Brown.
For most of the program Sunday we will keep our focus on Egypt during these crucial days. Reagan led America out of the Cold War. Now President Obama is forced to help influence a new force gripping the Middle East. How will it end? I thought both Fareed Zakaria in Time and two Economist articles ("An end or a beginning?" and "When allies tumble") had great perspective and background in their coverage today. Also Robert Kagan and Shadi Hamid.
Sunday I will speak to Senator John Kerry about where things stand and what the administration is trying to accomplish. He's in sync with the White House. I'm also hopeful we will be able to speak to Mohammed El Baradei on the ground in Egypt. And James Baker, whom I mentioned above, will provide perspective.
It's a busy weekend for me back and forth to California. I should, however, mention I will be closely tracking the Caps (Tampa Bay tonight in a key game and the Pens on Sunday). And I give the advantage to Green Bay for the Superbowl.
Check out the pics below of our view from the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi, California, as we prepare for this Sunday's show honoring what would be President Reagan's 100th birthday. The table we will be using is from the situation room of the White House during President Reagan's time in office.