Daily Briefing: Elephant at the Table

Bush's approval rating slips to 45%, the lowest yet in USAT/CNN/Gallup poll; 59% see economy "getting worse." Charlie Cook wonders about backlash to congressional attention on Schiavo. [USAT]

Stem cell issue returns as House leaders agree to vote on easing restrictions on research; scholar predicts passage but Bush supporters seek defeat. [WP]

Native Americans offended by Bush's lack of response to school shooting: "The fact that Bush preempted his vacation to say something about Ms. Schiavo and here you have 10 native people gunned down and he can't take time to speak is very telling." McClellan: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who were killed." [WP]

Republicans consider "progressive indexation" for Social Security. Hubbard: "The president likes it, because it is more favorable to lower-income people than to higher-income people." [NYT]

Lawmakers, noting polls, have "low-key" response to Supreme Court's disinterest in Schiavo. [LAT]

Republican rift visible behind new immigration legislation. Card: "This elephant is sitting at the table right in front of us." [WP]

Jeb Bush increases profile among religious and social conservatives with Schiavo decisions. Professor: "If the Republican Party is looking for someone with good ties with the Christian conservative movement, he is the one who is going to have them." [NYT]

Auditors open investigation into columnist Maggie Gallagher's government contract. [WP]

FEC asks public for recommendations about regulation online campaigning. [NYT]

Putin may be annoyed by Bush's upcoming visits to two former Soviet republics. [WP]

Stray answer in Q&A on Social Security Administration's website waffles on private accounts. [NYT]

Bush retools administration for second term. [USAT]

Amtrak's board not pleased with Bush's plan for the railroad. [NYT]

African-American Democrats experiencing "resurgence of a values movement," says Sharpton. [WT]

Carter will head panel on election reform. [WP]

Barnes, Kudlow propose a Cheney presidential campaign. [WT]

Edwards makes podcasting debut; now he has something to listen to while jogging. [WP]


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