Tales from the Trail

Obama’s SOTU speech as a word cloud

January 26, 2011

Below is a word cloud generated from President Barack Obama’s prepared State of the Union speech:

As Obama speaks, Democrats target GOP’s Ryan

January 25, 2011

RTXCDYH_Comp-150x150President Barack Obama may grab all the headlines with his State of the Union address. But Democrats want the GOP’s chosen responder, Paul Ryan, to share the spotlight — as poster boy for politically unpopular ideas that could be used against Republicans in 2012.

Washington Extra – Laundry list

January 24, 2011

The White House is promising that tomorrow’s State of the Union address will be something different.

Washington Extra – Light bulb

January 21, 2011

There is something oddly poetic about choosing a light bulb maker to head a team searching for economic ideas.

Obama approval ratings on the rise

January 21, 2011

Forget November’s election “shellacking,” at least for now. Things are looking up for President Barack Obama.

Would Congress swing its spending ax at the war in Afghanistan?

January 21, 2011

AFGHANISTAN/You’d think the war in Afghanistan would be the sacred cow of  federal spending. The Republicans now in charge of the House have always embraced “Support Our Troops” and “Defeat Terrorism” as two of the most serious ”Thou Shalts” of their political playbook.

Washington Extra – Braving the weather

January 20, 2011

President Barack Obama quipped that Chinese President Hu Jintao was brave for going to his hometown at this time of year. But what about the visit to Capitol Hill today?

Panda diplomacy: the remix

January 20, 2011

USAThe latest chapter in the long story of panda diplomacy was written at Washington’s National Zoo, where the Chinese government agreed to lengthen the “loan” of popular panda pair Mei Xiang and Tian Tian for another five years. Actually, the loan is conditioned on whether they produce a new heir or heiress to the cuteness of panda-dom in the next two years;  one or both could be exchanged for more fecund substitutes.

Hu’s state dinner menu as American as apple pie – corrected

January 20, 2011


The White House usually pays tribute to its state dinner guests by planning menus that pay homage to the visitors’ country.  But the Chinese delegation wanted an American experience — which they are getting in spades on Monday Wednesday night.

2012 possibility? The candidate speaks Mandarin

January 19, 2011

President Barack Obama was asked bluntly about the buzz that his Ambassador to China may turn into a Republican rival for the White House in 2012.