On the other hand, the Washington Post's Jeffrey Birnbaum reports that tax experts and other analysts give the tax overhaul proposals unveiled yesterday a "decent chance despite its many vocal opponents" since the President might want to champion a new domestic initiative now that his approval ratings have dropped "significantly." LINK
The Wall Street Journal's ed board is disappointed that the President's tax reform panel "didn't go far enough in lowering rates to attract enough public support," but gives the report an overall thumbs up.
R. Glenn Hubbard calls on the President to make a convincing explanation of the centrality of tax reform in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.
The New York Times says the President may receive a less-than-warm welcome on his visit to Latin America this week. LINK
Alito: confirmation prospects:
The Wall Street Journal's Jeanne Cummings reports that even if Reid wanted to filibuster Alito, it is "not at all certain that he could succeed." She Notes that any filibuster would require the support of the so-far non-committal seven Democrats who joined the Gang of 14 in the spring. LINK
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NB) says the Gang of 14 plans to meet tomorrow to "check in" on the status of the nomination: "'I have not heard any of my Democratic colleagues in the Gang of 14 talk of using the F-word -- filibuster,' Mr. Nelson said, adding that he hoped that the coalition ends up playing no role in the Alito nomination. 'We would hope that the process would work without requiring anything from us.'"
The Washington Post's Peter Baker and Charles Babington cover the White House effort to forestall a filibuster by offering unsolicited Alito courtesy calls to three Red State Democrats: Sens. Tim Johnson of South Dakota, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, and Mark Pryor of Arkansas. LINK
(Alito met with Johnson yesterday. Alito meets with Nelson today and Pryor tomorrow).
The Los Angeles Times also looks at the efforts to woo moderate Senate Democrats, with Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) at the top of the meet-and-greet list yesterday. LINK
Many Gang of 14 members have remained guarded about prospects of a filibuster, but Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) offers this: "What we may face is a divisive, bitter debate."
Elisabeth Bumiller of the New York Times writes up the "aggressive campaign" by the White House to sell Alito to the Senate and the American public, including a better planned campaign to reach the base early. LINK
And Steve Schmidt tries to calm the waters: "There were a lot of predictions of political Armageddon in the early days of the Roberts nomination that never came to pass… The expectation from the White House is that this will be a dignified process, just like the Roberts process was."
The Los Angeles Times says that Alito has some unexpected liberal supporters in former colleagues and clerks who say he is neither an ideologue or a judge with an agenda. LINK
Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution tells Newsday, "If Frist decides to detonate the nuclear option on judicial nominations, he can expect continuous disruption of the Senate and a major battle carried to the American public." LINK
The New York Observer's tireless Ben Smith writes about how Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) became the Democrats' unofficial mouthpiece on judicial nominees. (And don't miss Schumer's musings on the Warren Court.) LINK