Tales from the Trail

First Draft: Obama’s Day 101 to-do list — Chrysler, flu

OBAMA/On Obama Day 101, it’s all about Chrysler.

Unless it’s about swine flu.

Efforts at a last-minute rescue deal for Chrysler appeared to be dead ahead of a midnight Thursday deadline, with holdout creditors resistant to a debt forgiveness agreement and bankruptcy looming despite President Barack Obama’s statements of optimism at a Wednesday night news conference.

An announcement from Obama was planned for noon Eastern, as the president kicks off his second 100 days with the first-ever bankruptcy filing by a Big Three U.S. automaker.

Vice President Joe Biden flooded the morning airwaves, supposedly to calm fears about a swine flu pandemic. He said he did not see the need to close the border with Mexico,  but said he would not be too crazy about his daughter taking a flight there at the moment.

“I would tell members of my family and I have, I would not go anywhere in confined places now. It’s not just going to Mexico. If you’re in a confined aircraft, when one person sneezes it goes all the way through the aircraft. That’s me,” he told NBC’s “Today” show.

“From my perspective, what it relates to is mitigation. if you’re out in the middle of a field and someone sneezes, that’s one thing. If you’re in a close aircraft or closed container or closed car or closed classroom it’s a different thing,” he said.

First Draft: Specter gives Obama anniversary gift


As he marks his 100th day in office, President Barack Obama has a new reason to celebrate — the defection of a senior Republican to his Democratic party.

Calling Arlen Specter “one tough hombre”, Obama appeared at the White House with the long-time moderate Republican and welcomed him as the “newest Democrat from the state of Pennsylvania.”

“I know that the decision that Senator Specter made yesterday wasn’t easy. It required long and careful consideration and it required courage,” Obama said.