Tales from the Trail

Reuters-Ipsos Poll: Obama approval drops to 43 pct driven by Democrats

October 13, 2010

President Barack Obama’s poll numbers keep going down, and it’s not the Republicans who are to blame.

Washington Extra – Get out of town

September 29, 2010

Like schoolchildren gazing out the window on a sunny June day, Congress can’t wait for that final bell to ring. But lawmakers still need to hand in a final term paper before they can skip out the door. Instead, they’re asking the teacher for an extension. USA/

Bill Clinton emerges as leading U.S. political favorite — poll

September 29, 2010


CLINTON/Nearly a decade after his presidency ended in scandal and disgrace, Bill Clinton has emerged as the most popular figure in the U.S. political firmament, according to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll.   Except he’s not running for office.

from Summit Notebook:

Rumors of our demise exaggerated, Van Hollen says

September 22, 2010

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

from Summit Notebook:

Shift in power on the horizon in Washington?

September 20, 2010

Republicans stand poised to gain substantial influence in Congress, putting at stake billions of dollars in investment as a shift among power brokers throws legislative initiatives old and new into doubt. Reuters Washington Summit will bring together an influential line-up of insiders just weeks before Americans cast their votes, promising a must-read stream of exclusive news on the outlook for Congress and President Barack Obama's agenda. Editors and correspondents from the Reuters Washington bureau are sitting down with senior lawmakers, including GOP heavyweights in line for leadership, and regulators whose implementation of Wall Street and healthcare reform could be complicated by a change in control on Capitol Hill.

Washington Extra – Goldilocks Geithner

September 16, 2010

Not too hot, not too cold, just right.geithner18

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner performed a delicate balancing act on the Hill today. On the one hand, Geithner had to tell an increasingly angry Congress that he was serious about trying to persuade China to revalue its currency, the yuan. On the other, he wanted to head off the kind of unilateral action from Congress that could provoke a trade war, and endanger the administration’s efforts to engage Beijing on a whole slew of issues.

A new wind blowing through Senate on climate change?

September 14, 2010

For anyone mulling the chances the U.S. Congress will pass a climate change bill next year, it might be worth having a look at Republican candidates who could end up serving in the Senate starting in 2011.

You take that back, Mr. President!

September 8, 2010

Republicans are lining up to throw punches at President Barack Obama.

The Democratic president has been trading verbal barbs with House Republican Leader John Boehner over economic and fiscal policy. Obama on Wednesday took several swipes at Boehner and charged that it was the Republicans who took the country into deficit when they were running things in Washington. USA-STIMULUS/

Washington Extra – pain relief

September 3, 2010

Just a few quick thoughts ahead of the Labor Day weekend. President Barack Obama plans to unveil a package of measures to stimulate hiring and the economy next week, although we are assured this will absolutely not be a second stimulus. I guess that means it won’t have a major price tag attached, in terms of its effect on the deficit. But you also have to wonder how much effect it will have on the economy, even if Obama manages to get any of it through Congress. BAYER

Of diplomacy and baseball…

August 20, 2010

Timing is everything in diplomacy and baseball.

After months of prickly talks aimed at coaxing Israelis and Palestinians into direct peace talks, U.S. envoy George Mitchell finally had news to share.
But when the U.S. mediator par excellence took the stage for questions Friday at the State Department, reporters tossed him one out of left field.