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from Tales from the Trail:

Obama tweaks Republicans at governors lunch

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President Obama leaped into political frays on a whole bunch of different levels when he addressed state governors at a White House luncheon.

Of singular interest was his mention of Republican Mitt Romney, a potential 2012 presidential candidate who is OBAMA/spending time these days defending the healthcare overhaul he executed as governor of Massachusetts.

The plan has been criticized by Romney's potential 2012 rivals as little different from the Obama plan that Republicans want to repeal.

Obama got into it by saying he wants states to have flexibility under the healthcare law.

from Tales from the Trail:

Washington Extra – Action or inaction

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Pizza as a predictor?

CONGRESS GUNFIRECongress returns next week and will decide by action or inaction whether the federal government shuts down.

The White House sounded a note of optimism (which at this point is the only way to go -- best to save the podium pounding for when it gets down to the wire).

from Tales from the Trail:

White House has a new social secretary – and it’s a man

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USA-CHINA/

President Barack Obama's White House has named its third social secretary in just over two years and made history. It's the first man  ever to fill the position in the 110 years it has existed.

Jeremy Bernard, who is now based in Paris as a senior advisor to the U.S. ambassador in France,  was named to replace Julianna Smoot as social secretary, the person responsible for organizing social events at the White House as small as a tea with first lady Michelle Obama or as large and elaborate as a state dinner for the president of China.

from Tales from the Trail:

Washington Extra – Club CEO

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At one point, business isn't just about money.

President Barack Obama just assembled corporate heavyweights to advise him on the economy. OBAMA/

It was the president's latest move to show that he is trying to get the economy rolling and is reaching out to business.

from Tales from the Trail:

2012 White House race may lose one tradition: candidates from the Senate

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Barack Obama did it. So did Joe Biden, John McCain, Hillary Clinton and scores of others. They all ran for the White House while sitting members of the U.S. Senate.

The 2012 presidential campaign, however, may feature for the first time in more than a half-century no U.S. senators. USA/

from Tales from the Trail:

Obama ‘grappling’ on gay marriage, Nadler to introduce respect bill

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President Barack Obama has ordered the U.S. government to stop defending in court the Defense of Marriage Act, a law that bars gay marriage, but his personal views are not so clear.

CALIFORNIA-GAYMARRIAGE/White House spokesman Jay Carney emphasized that there was a distinction between Obama's personal views and the legal issue.

from Tales from the Trail:

2012 Republican sweepstakes: Thune out, waiting for Huntsman

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The Republican field for the 2012 presidential race has not yet crystallized, but it will start taking shape over the next few months with every announcement from a (real or rumored) potential presidential hopeful.

One to cross off the list -- Republican Senator John Thune said he won't be running.  He posted the announcement on his Facebook page, saying he plans to continue representing South Dakota in the Senate.

from Tales from the Trail:

Washington Extra – New guy

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The crowds, the anticipation, the time checks...

Jay Carney's first appearance behind the podium in the White House press room as President Barack Obama's new press secretary had all the markings of a mini-movie premiere... Beltway style. USA/

As the hands on the clock passed 12:30 p.m. the tweeting began -- he's late! On the first day!

from Tales from the Trail:

New White House press secretary Carney sounds a few familiar notes

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President Barack Obama's new press secretary, Jay Carney, took a few phrases out of his predecessor's playbook during his first stint at the White House podium.

It turns out that he, like Robert Gibbs, is not an economist. And he doesn't want to speculate. And he refers you to the (insert relevant department here) for further details on questions that were not entirely on his radar. USA/

from Tales from the Trail:

Washington grow up? Don’t hold your breath

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President Barack Obama said he wants a mature discussion between politicians of all stripes as the White House and members of Congress try to make tough decisions on spending and taxes necessary to run the government and deal with a ballooning budget deficit.obama1

"My hope is that what's different this time is, is we have an adult conversation where everybody says here’s what's important and here’s how we’re going to pay for it," Obama told a news conference Tuesday.

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