Today, CNN's John King and our JKUSA crew are out in Natchez, Mississippi getting a tour of flooded areas impacted by rising waters. Make sure to tune in tonight @ 7p ET, we'll be LIVE from Butte LaRose, Louisiana.
From the Field: CNN's John King puts on a pair of waders to get a first-hand look of flooding near the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Natchez, Mississippi. The first photo shows John in waist-high water in an area that's normally used as a basketball court on station grounds.
Every day we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation inside and outside Washington.
RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:
– Is Daniels in or out? I'm hearing from several people that he has made up his mind and will run. Today he said he has not made up his mind. Is he going to become the Mario Cuomo of 2012? Everyone wanted Cuomo to run in 1992 and he bailed.
– Newt Gingrich continues to walk back his comments on Paul Ryan's Medicare plan and the individual mandate.
– We have hit the debt ceiling. The world has not stopped. We have not defaulted on our bills. So what's the big deal?
Senior Political Columnist for TheDailyBeast.com John Avlon:
– Special Election in California Today: With all the attention lavished on NY-26, the special election to fill Jane Harman’s seat in CA-36 has been all but ignored. This is a significant race because it is the first primary that will be held under the state’s new open primary law which is a top-two primary, allowing anyone to run in this Democratic-leaning district. If no one reaches 40%, a run-off will be held in June.
– Huntsman Gets Unexpected Boost in SC: Mike Huckabee’s 2008 campaign co-chairman, Mike Campbell, son of still-revered Republican governor of the Reagan era, has stated that he will back Jon Huntsman if the former Ambassador and Utah Governor runs for president. This unexpected news could have reverberations through the primary field. Romney is considered a non-starter in SC; Huntsman however could prove surprisingly competitive in the Palmetto State, especially in a fractured field.
– Newt Throws Ryan Budget Under Bus, Gets Run Over Himself: Newt’s decision to attack Paul Ryan’s budget plan as “Republican Social Engineering” on Meet the Press this weekend, drew immediate blowback as a betrayal of the kind of big idea deficit reduction plan the old Newt would have supported. It turns out that back in March, Newt had praised the Ryan plan in an interview with PJTV at the Conservative Principles Conference in Iowa, describing it as “a very bold budget that includes entitlement reforms, it includes very significant cuts in government spending.” For the time being, we'll focus on that flip-flop and not the dog-whistle politics of Newt saying that the 2012 election will be about questions of 'American identity.'
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