Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Five weeks: It’s an eternity in the world of politics

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By Christopher Doering carper

Five weeks:  It may not be a lot of time for many people, but with the pivotal mid-term elections looming on Nov. 2 Delaware Senator Tom Carper said five weeks is an eternity for Democrats to use to turn the tide in their favor.

“Today, five weeks a lot happens. A lot of minds change in five weeks,” Carper, a self-proclaimed “optimist”, told the Reuters Washington Summit.

“What we have to do is to be able to remind people if there is some good news here in the next five weeks of what that is and get people to focus on the future.”

Carper, a former Delaware governor, said there is a slew of economic data coming out between now and the election that Democrats could embrace. He pointed to another unemployment report next week, and several more weekly jobless claims.

Senator Lamar Alexander tickles the ivories

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SUMMIT-WASHINGTON/ALEXANDERIn the run up to the Nov. 2 mid-term election, senior Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander has more to worry about than just the results of the vote.

Just three days before the election, Alexander has a date on center stage to play the piano with the Jackson Symphony in Jackson, Tennessee.

Rumors of our demise exaggerated, Van Hollen says

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SUMMIT-WASHINGTON/VAN HOLLENRepresentative Chris Van Hollen likes to paraphrase Mark Twain when talking about the Democratic chances in the November mid-term election.

“News of the Democratic demise is greatly exaggerated,” the man in charge of the House Democrats’ election effort told the Reuters Washington Summit. “I think the pundits have been wrong before and they’ll be wrong again. Democrats will retain a majority in the Congress. I’m very confident of that.”

Gregg sees Republican victory in November as keeping Obama in check

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SUMMIT-WASHINGTON/GREGGIf Republicans are able to capture either chamber of the U.S. Congress in the November election, they will use that power to try to block any further expansion of the federal government by the Obama administration, Republican Senator Judd Gregg said on Wednesday.

“I think clearly going into the next Congress, if you have one or the other houses controlled by the Republican party, you’re going to have much more financial discipline, there’s no question of that,” Gregg, who is from New Hampshire and is retiring after the election, told the Reuters Washington Summit.

Senator McCain: Republicans in search of message to woo angry voters

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The Republican Party is in search of a message to attract voters who are angry with just about everything — healthcare, the U.S. deficit, Wall Street bonuses, increased unemployment and home foreclosures to mention a few.

“There’s a lot of anger out there and there’s a lot of frustration,” said Republican Senator John McCain, who was defeated by Democrat Barack Obama for president last year.

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