Lunchtime Memo

White House spokesman Jay Carney refused to call on Anthony Weiner to resign when interviewed abroad Air Force One today, instead calling the issue a “distraction” and deferring to Congressional leaders to handle it. [AP]

New York State Senate inches closer to passing marriage equality bill, with three Dems who opposed it in 2009 switching sides; undecided Republicans will be key. Governor Cuomo’s strong political standing seems to be making a difference. [NEW YORK TIMES]

Newt Gingrich’s lesbian half-sister, who has slammed his anti-gay politics in the past, defended him in an interview today as having moderated his social views (at least his tone), and argued he was unlikely to give up his bid for the presidency anytime soon. [HUFFINGTON POST]

Conservative newsman Matt Drudge and his Drudge Report have historically had outsized influence in driving the conversation on the Beltway, his blaring headlines a good indicator of who’s earning buzz among the political class at any given moment. Mitt Romney is being treated like the definitive Republican frontrunner and has garnered many positive headlines of late, suggesting to some that he’s winning the “Drudge primary.” [POLITICO]

Cass Sunstein, the University of Chicago law professor who earned plaudits from the right more than the left when he was selected as Obama’s chief regulator heading up the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, is irking some by maintaining a regulatory regime too similar to the laissez-faire one of the Bush administration. [HUFFINGTON POST]

Romney’s solidified frontrunner status leaves journalists antsy for the inevitable challenge from the right. [WSJ]

Professional doomsayer (and NYU economist) Nouriel Roubini, who is celebrated by many on the left for having “called” the 2006/7 housing market collapse and the recession that followed it, keeps up the pessimism, sounding a dark note about the next few years. [BLOOMBERG]

A fresh set of numbers from Public Policy Polling, the Democratic-affiliated firm that nailed Obama’s narrow wins in Indiana and North Carolina in 2008, suggests North Carolina will not be among those states that the president won in 2008 but are out of reach this time around; indeed, Virginia and/or North Carolina might be key in getting him to the magic number of electoral voters (270), just as Ohio was for George W. Bush in 2004. [PPP]



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