Tales from the Trail

Jury still out on Republicans, despite election victory – poll

congress1Despite winning control of the House of Representatives and making gains in the Senate, Republicans still have a way to go to truly win the hearts of Americans, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Just 41 percent of respondents said the Republican takeover of the House is a “good thing,” 27 percent said it was a “bad thing,” and 30 percent said it won’t make any difference, the poll found.

Although voters gave President Barack Obama (and his Democrats) a “shellacking” on election day, the public still has a little more faith in the president than in Republican lawmakers, according to the survey results.

Asked who do you trust to do a better job coping with the main problems the nation faces over the next few years, (Obama) or (the Republicans in Congress), 43 percent said Obama and 38 percent said Republicans.

Fifty-four percent said Republican leaders in Congress were not doing enough to compromise with Obama on important issues, compared with 40 percent who said the same about the president.

Washington Extra – Chickens come home to roost

Curses are like young chicken: they always come home to roost, to quote the title page of Robert Southey’s poem The Curse of Kehama, published in 1810.

foreclosures3The controversy over the handling of home foreclosures came back to hurt the nation’s biggest banks with a vengeance today. There may not be a lot of sympathy on Wall Street for people who missed their mortgage payments, but then again, there probably isn’t much sympathy on Main Street for the practice of “robo-signers” to approve home seizures, especially since banks probably shouldn’t have extended many of the defaulting mortgages in the first place.

Investors have no room for sentiment either way. They dumped bank stocks on fears a prolonged investigation into potentially shoddy foreclosures, one of the biggest legal probes of the mortgage industry in decades, will eat into profits. The fear: it will delay sales of bank-owned properties, draw fines from regulators, and spawn lawsuits from both homeowners and investors in mortgage-backed securities. Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan admitted it could slow down the recovery in the housing market, but said “we’re hoping it won’t kill it.”

Michelle Obama joins stump on behalf of Democratic hopefuls

michelle_2010First Lady Michelle Obama shook off the rust and hit the campaign trail – at least the campaign fundraising circuit – ahead of the November midterm elections.

Praising her husband’s accomplishments in just a year-and-a-half in office, she urged supporters to “have his back” by getting out the vote for fellow Democrats so he can pursue promised change with a friendly Congress.

Republicans are expected to make inroads in the November mid-term election.

“This is my first day out on the campaign trail. In fact, I haven’t been on the trail since a little campaign a couple of years ago,” Obama told a well-heeled crowd attending a $750-a-plate fundraiser for U.S. Senate hopeful Alexi Giannoulias.

Advice from Biden: Don’t underestimate O’Donnell and Palin

The only Democrat who has run against, and defeated, both Republicans Christine O’Donnell and Sarah Palin says don’t sell either of them short.

biden4“Take them both very seriously,” Vice President Joe Biden said Monday in an MSNBC interview.

Biden, a former senator from Delaware, defeated the state’s Republican Senate nominee in his last senate race. He also went head-to-head with Palin in 2008 when the former Alaska governor was Republican John McCain’s vice presidential running mate.