Entertainment and Lifestyle Editor
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Jun 13, 2011

Gingrich restarts campaign after staff exodus

BEVERLY HILLS (Reuters) – Republican Newt Gingrich restarted his troubled run for the U.S. presidency with an appeal on Sunday to Jewish voters in California after senior campaign staff abandoned him over differences on strategy.

Four days after a staff exodus known as the “Newtiny,” Gingrich told a gathering of Jewish Republicans he would continue to campaign for Americans who want change in Washington and the repeal of President Barack Obama’s policies.

May 25, 2011
via Tales from the Trail

Washington Extra – Waiting for Hugo


Grab a chair, some drinks and snacks and get ready for the show.

The United States slapped sanctions on Venezuela’s state oil giant PVDSA for trading with Iran, a move that could worsen Washington’s already sour relations with Caracas. Now we’re waiting for President Hugo Chavez to respond.

Expect a lot of noise, in typical Chavez fashion. In the warm-up act, one ally called the sanctions “ridiculous” and accused the United States of wanting to “once again…turn into the global policeman.”

May 23, 2011
via Tales from the Trail

Washington Extra – T-Paw power


Right off the starting line, Republican Tim Pawlenty is fashioning himself as the Chevy of presidential candidates. “We will not be the money champion in the race to start with. My friend, Mitt Romney, will be the front-runner in that regard,” he told NBC’s Today show. His nomination bid, he added, “may not be the BMW or the Mercedes campaign.”

Sounds like T-Paw is calling Mitt a Mercedes. But what Pawlenty isn’t saying is that he is running the Cadillac of campaigns in Iowa. The former Minnesota governor has put more troops on the ground in that early voting state than any of the other candidates combined, according to the Iowa Republican website.

May 10, 2011

Washington Extra – Road to 2013

WASHINGTON, May 10 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama asked
El Paso, Texas, today if those in Congress who walked away from
immigration reform were ready to come back to the table. If El
Paso could give an answer, it might have said: “Not until

And maybe that is what Obama is thinking too. Maybe today
we saw his game plan for a signature initiative once he is
re-elected. Call it Manifesto for 2013.

May 9, 2011

Washington Extra – Bair necessity

WASHINGTON, May 9 (Reuters) – Sheila Bair is ready to
abandon the FDIC ship. Who can blame her? She weathered five
stormy years at the helm, begrudgingly backed bailouts for
failing financial giants, talked tough on bankster pay and
butted heads with fellow regulators.

Come July 8, she’ll be off to the calmer waters of academia
or maybe a non-profit. She has street cred, but she won’t use
it to cash in on Wall Street, she has said. That would be too

May 4, 2011

Washington Extra – Of photos and firefights

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – This is not the time to trot out the trophies and spike the footballs, as President Barack Obama put it to “60 Minutes.” He has decided not to release the photos of a dead bin Laden on the grounds that they are too gory and might incite violence. The question is: will that decision come back to haunt Obama?

Most people in the world and the United States will probably accept the Obama administration’s version that “we will not see bin Laden walking on this earth again.” But a few persistent and loud voices saying, “Show me the evidence,” are capable of changing the course of matters. Just look at the “birthers” who pushed Obama to release his long-form birth certificate last week.

Apr 25, 2011

Washington Extra – Fire in the belly

WASHINGTON, April 25 (Reuters) – Haley Barbour is out. Why,
one might ask, is Mississippi’s popular governor opting against
a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012? Well,
he says he’s just not sure he’s got the “absolute fire in the
belly” that supporters deserve from their candidate.

Maybe that’s the kind of self-discovery that comes on the
pre-campaign trail, in early voting states like Iowa, New
Hampshire and South Carolina, where he had visited in recent
weeks. Perhaps he’s not alone in feeling not up for the job.
The Republican field is unusually subdued at a time in the
campaign calendar when it should be hopping with activity.

Apr 21, 2011

Washington Extra – Dollar doublespeak

WASHINGTON, April 21 (Reuters) – Talk of a “strong dollar”
is about as American as apple pie. But have you noticed that
those precious words are hardly ever uttered by Treasury
Secretary Timothy Geithner?

Maybe that is because Geithner’s boss, President Barack
Obama, doesn’t actually want a strong dollar and is aiding and
abetting its depreciation. After all, a weak greenback is good
for manufacturing exports and therefore good for the recovery
and for jobs. Those long-elusive jobs could work wonders for
Obama’s re-election.

Apr 20, 2011

Washington Extra – Freshman fling

WASHINGTON, April 20 (Reuters) – Freshmen are usually low
on the totem pole. But the 85 first-term Republicans in the
House of Representatives find themselves awash in invitations
for meetings and morning coffees with the creme de la creme of
Washington and Wall Street.

Reuters reporters Tim Reid and Rachelle Younglai report
today that the freshmen are in vogue because their fiscally
conservative views could determine the outcome of the upcoming
vote to raise America’s debt ceiling. The newcomers are told
repeatedly that a failure to raise the $14.3 trillion debt
limit will trigger economic calamity, on a global scale.

Apr 19, 2011
via Tales from the Trail

Washington Extra – Major breach


In this post-9/11, ultra-high security era, it is hard to believe that the bomb-proofing specs of a new Defense Department building in the DC area would be on public view. Then again, the Internet is a tough beast to manage.

Reuters reporters Mark Hosenball and Missy Ryan discovered the sensitive information about Mark Center — where 6,400 Defense Department personnel are scheduled to move later this year — on a public website maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers.

    • About Mary

      "Mary Milliken is Entertainment and Lifestyle Editor for the Americas since July 2013, based in Los Angeles. In 15 years with Reuters, she been bureau chief in Washington DC, the West Coast and South America and has organized news teams covering everything from presidential elections to economic crises to natural disasters. She speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese."
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