McClatchy's David Lightman: "The easier step for Democrats would be to wait two months until Barack Obama is inaugurated and the 111th Congress convenes with much larger party majorities. But economic indicators are growing more dismal by the day, concerns about last month's $700 billion financial rescue plan keep surfacing and automakers warn they're in desperate need of cash."
Behind the politics: "Senators from Southern states with factories owned by Asian and European car manufacturers oppose a bailout of U.S. automakers, saying the industry can thrive without General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC," Bloomberg's Alison Fitzgerald and Jonathan D. Salant report.
A boost from Arnold: "I think that there's a way of reducing all of that, make them more fiscally responsible. And then, if they have to act together and have renegotiated those deals, then yes, you can go in there and help them out financially," Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, R-Calif., told ABC's George Stephanopoulos Sunday on "This Week."
And he wants a bailout of sorts for states: "I propose that we should get help from the federal government, if we can -- again, also, like the car manufacturers -- can prove that we have a fiscal housing order, and that we can solve our problems ourselves. But give us in this emergency kind of a situation or in this crisis, some additional money," Schwarzenegger said.
Might this help move it? (Probably not.) "Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said lawmakers will attach several conditions for Detroit automakers in return for $25 billion in federal aid," per The Hill's Alexander Bolton. "Frank said Sunday that automakers will be required to submit to Congress their plans for future economic viability and environmental efficiency."
What else does Obama get to inherit? "With coordination between leading economies effectively on hold during the American presidential transition, little was accomplished at the much-hyped summit of world leaders over the weekend besides passing the buck to incoming president Barack Obama," Politico's Victoria McGrane reports. "The Group of 20 will reconvene on April 30, Obama's 101st day in office. With the economic landscape giving way underfoot, the new president will have little time to fashion the policies that may well determine the success of his presidency."
You think? "The wave of bad economic news that helped carry Barack Obama to an election victory this month now threatens to swamp his presidency even before he takes the oath of office Jan. 20," Peter G. Gosselin writes in the Los Angeles Times. "As the Democratic president-elect scrambles to assemble an economic team, the crisis that at first seemed confined to Wall Street and the nation's financial markets has been raging through Main Street and the regular economy of labor, goods and services."
Over on the GOP side, Mike Huckabee's book is out Tuesday -- and he names names. Time's Michael Scherer: "Mitt Romney, Huckabee's principle rival in Iowa, comes in for the roughest treatment. Huckabee writes that the former Massachusetts Governor's record was 'anything but conservative until he changed the light bulbs in his chandelier in time to run for president.' . . . He mocks Romney for suggesting, during one debate, more investment in high-yield stocks as a solution to economic woes. 'Let them eat stocks!' Huckabee jokes."