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FROM THIS EPISODE

After months of debate about gun control, immigration and government spying, President Obama has begun an effort to turn Washington’s attention back to the economy.  We’ll hear about today’s first speech in a new public relations campaign as Republicans take aim at all his priorities, new and old. Also, Egypt's military calls for protests as the US delays F-16s, and Washington, DC is being called a “gilded capitol” where politicians and media figures form a celebrity culture that influences national policy.  We’ll talk with the author of a new book on insiders called This Town.

Banner image: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

This Town

Mark Leibovich

Producers:
Christian Bordal
Kerry Cavanaugh
Katie Cooper
Evan George
Anna Scott
Caitlin Shamberg

Today's Talking Point 'This Town,' a Scathing Insider's View of Washington 10 MIN, 47 SEC

There’s no index in Mark Leibovich’s new book on Washington insiders, so “those players wishing to know how they come out will need to read the book.”  In This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral—Plus Plenty of Valet Parking—in America’s Gilded Capital, Leibovich details how politicians and media figures have become celebrities and how that influences the making of national policy. Leibovich is chief national correspondent for the New York Times Magazine.

Guests:
Mark Leibovich, New York Times (@MarkLeibovich)

Main Topic Obama Renews Focus on Economy as Partisan Battles Loom 32 MIN, 51 SEC

Bill Clinton made “it’s the economy, stupid” a rule of American politics.  Now Barack Obama says Washington “has largely taken its eye off the ball.” Nobody disagrees, but Republicans were trashing the President’s latest “pivot” to jobs and the Middle Class even before today’s “major speech” was delivered. We’ll hear what Mr. Obama has to say as he kicks off another public relations campaign.  What about job growth, stimulus spending and the sequester? 

Guests:
Jim Tankersley, Washington Post (@jimtankersley)
Gerald Seib, Washington Bureau Chief, Wall Street Journal (@GeraldFSeib)
Heidi Shierholz, Economist, Economic Policy Institute (@EconomicPolicy)
Doug Holtz-Eakin, American Action Forum (@djheakin)

Making News Egypt's Military Calls for Protests as US Delays F-16s 7 MIN, 43 SEC

In light of Egypt’s military takeover, President Obama is delaying the sale of four F-16 fighter jets to that country.  Today in Cairo, commanding General Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi called for massive demonstrations on Friday to give him a mandate to crack down on violence and “terrorism.” Kareem Fahim reports from Cairo for the New York Times.

Guests:
Kareem Fahim, New York Times (@kfahim)

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