Tales from the Trail

Watch live: Obama delivers remarks on the Supreme Court’s healthcare ruling

President Obama will deliver a response to the Supreme Court’s healthcare verdict at 12:15pm ET.

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Pelosi boils down winning back the House to A-B-C

Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in the House of Representatives, says her party can take a strategy to regaining a House majority that is as simple as A-B-C.

At the Reuters Washington Summit on Wednesday, Pelosi, the Minority Leader in the House, repeated her optimistic contention that her party has a 50/50 chance of winning back control, two years after a crushing defeat in the 2010 mid-term elections.

According to Pelosi’s 2012 campaign aphorism, “A” stands for American made and promoting policies to help reignite manufacturing in the United States. “B” is to build American infrastructure, including a focus on broadband, water systems and high-speed rail. “C” is for a sense of community, including a focus on police officers, firefighters and public safety.

DNC to GOP on healthcare: Bring it on

 

The Democrats have an answer for the Republicans if the Supreme Court throws out President Barack Obama’s healthcare law on Thursday: Good luck with that.

It may be bravado in the face of what would seem to be huge disappointment, but some Democrats insist they relish the prospect of watching congressional Republicans grapple with how to deal with the massive and troubled industry. Annual U.S. spending on healthcare already totals $2.6 trillion a year. Skyrocketing costs are expected to make spending balloon to $4.8 trillion, or one-fifth of U.S. gross domestic product over the coming decade, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“It will be time for the Republicans to say what they are going to do. This is on them,” Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said on Wednesday at the Reuters Washington Summit.

Mitt Romney still a blank slate, Democrat says

Americans don’t know much about Mitt Romney, except that he’s rich and once offered to make a $10,000 bet in a Republican debate, former White House spokesman Bill Burton said at the Reuters Washington Summit on Wednesday.

Burton, who left the White House to co-found a Super PAC to raise money and create ads aimed at making sure Romney doesn’t defeat President Barack Obama in November, said people need to learn more about the presumptive Republican nominee.

“He’s a blank slate to the American people. People know very little about him -  to the extent that they know anything it’s what they’ve heard on Saturday Night Live or Jon Stewart or the things that they pass around on Facebook,” he said.

Lead a Super PAC, lose your friends

It’s not like the old days with his former colleagues at the White House and friends from the Barack Obama campaign anymore for Bill Burton.

The co-founder of the Priorities USA Action Super PAC, which is prevented by campaign finance rules from collaborating with the Obama campaign, told the Reuters Washington Summit he may spend his days raising money to get Obama re-elected, but he has very little contact with his old friends who are actually working in the administration or the re-election campaign.

Asked if he and White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer were limited to talking about sports if they get together for a beer, Burton just laughed.

This time, some Democrats are embracing “Obamacare”

 

Fierce opposition to President Barack Obama’s healthcare bill helped propel Republicans to big victories in the 2010 mid-term elections, when they won a majority of seats in the House of Representatives and cut into the Democratic majority in the Senate.

But this year, at least some Democrats are embracing the healthcare plan – touting their support for its popular provisions and attacking Republicans for opposing measures that polls show big majorities of Americans supporting.

North Dakota’s former Democratic attorney general, Heidi Heitkamp, who is running for the Senate, responded to a wave of attack advertisements against her over the healthcare law by creating an emotional advertisement of her own relating her own recovery from breast cancer to her support for the law.

Obama letter brings Democratic donors out of the woodwork

A fundraising appeal from President Barack Obama on Monday netted Democratic Congressional candidates their biggest online fundraising day ever, New York Congressman Steve Israel said at the Reuters Washington Summit.

Obama made an email appeal asking supporters to donate $3 or more to help the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The appeal raised $580,000, said Israel, chairman of the DCCC, which helps recruit and raise money for candidates for the House of Representatives.

“Our base is animated, engaged, writing checks,” Israel said. “Our grassroots participation is absolutely off the charts.”

Will the “War on Women” have legs in November?

Democrats should not hold back from the “war on women” in campaigning for the Nov. 6 election, Senator Jeanne Shaheen said, even if the economy will be on voters’ minds as they head to the polls.

“I’m old enough to remember the ’50s and before … contraceptives were widely available to people, what my mother and other women were dealing with,” the New Hampshire Democrat said on Tuesday at the Reuters Washington Summit. “I’m old enough to remember what it was like before Roe v. Wade, and I think access to reproductive health services for women is critical.  And I don’t think women in this country are planning to go back.”

Polls generally show Democratic President Barack Obama with an advantage over Republican candidate Mitt Romney among women voters, but some recent surveys have shown Romney gaining ground. Democrats have sought to maintain their advantage by advertising what they call a Republican “war on women,” which casts the party as insensitive on issues such as equal pay for women, healthcare, protection against domestic abuse and access to contraception. 

For Portman, it all comes down to beer

Rob Portman is upset about the tax laws that make a real American beer hard to find.

The senator from Ohio, who is seen as a leading candidate to be Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick, spoke out at the Reuters Washington Summit against tax policy that puts American companies at a disadvantage.

“I’m a beer drinker and I’m particularly upset by the fact there is no big U.S. beer company any more,” said Portman, a former budget director who criticized the Obama administration for failing to overhaul corporate taxes in the United States.

Campaign 2012 goes a bit peanuts and crackerjack

 Massachusetts may have a reputation as the bluest of Democratically blue states, but it is also resoundingly red — as in Red Sox nation. And President Barack Obama seemed to hit a nerve at a fundraiser in Boston on Monday night when he made a joke involving his favorite baseball team, the Chicago White Sox, at the expense of the suffering denizens of Fenway.

“Boston, I just want to say thank you for (Kevin) Youkilis,” Obama said at a fundraiser at Boston Symphony Hall, referring to the popular infielder, a fixture on two Boston World Series winning teams, who was traded from Boston to Chicago during the weekend.

The crowd, who had paid at least $250 per ticket, reacted to his comment with (friendly) boos.