Tales from the Trail

Vice President Biden a lot like voluble Sen. Biden

January 30, 2009

biden1WASHINGTON – As a veteran Democratic senator, Joe Biden was an opinionated guy. As vice president, he is still an opinionated guy.
Which leads us to our latest installment of “Biden watch,” in which the vice president says he likes the idea of including a “Buy American” provision in the economic stimulus plan. Some lawmakers see the provision as steering U.S. trade policy into protectionist territory.
Not Biden.
“I don’t view that as some of the pure free traders view it, as a harbinger of protectionism. I don’t buy that at all. So I think it’s legitimate to have some portions of ‘Buy American’ in it,” Biden told CNBC on Thursday.
The House of Representatives approved the measure this week as part of an $825 billion bill to revive the U.S. economy. In the House version of the bill, the “Buy American” measure would require all public works projects funded by the stimulus package to use only U.S.-made iron and steel.
At the White House on Friday, spokesman Robert Gibbs was asked about the buy American provision and had a wait-and-see answer. Senate debate on the stimulus bill starts next week.
Gibbs said the Obama administration was examining the measure to see whether it violates U.S. trade obligations.
 “The administration will review that particular provision and will make a determination of it … . It understands all of the concerns,” Gibbs said.

Paint Texas blue? Kaine won’t guarantee it

January 21, 2009

WASHINGTON – New Democratic Party head Tim Kaine wants to continue to win territory from Republicans, but he’s not ready to guarantee victory in George W. Bush’s home state.

A fourth Senate Republican won’t seek reelection

January 12, 2009

WASHINGTON – Democrats came up just short of a winning a filibuster-proof majority of 60 in the 100-member Senate in last November’s election.  But they may do it in next year’s contest — thanks largely to a rising number of Senate Republicans calling it quits.

Is Caroline Kennedy qualified to be a U.S. senator?

December 30, 2008

Slightly more than half of Americans say Caroline Kennedy has what it takes to serve in the U.S. Senate, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Poll. 

Van Hollen agrees to stay as House Dem campaign chair

November 11, 2008

WASHINGTON – Like the manager of a championship baseball team, U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen has agreed to stick around to try to help chalk up another winning season.

After last week’s election, which saw Democrats expand their majority in the 435-member House of Representatives by 22 to 257, Van Hollen indicated he had had enough. He said he didn’t expect to serve another term as chairman of the House Democratic campaign committee.

No record turnout in U.S. election

November 6, 2008

WASHINGTON – The anticipated record turnout of voters in Tuesday’s U.S. election did not materialize, with the percentage of eligible Americans casting ballots staying virtually the same as 2004, a report said on Thursday. 

Lieberman offers congrats to Obama, pushes bipartisanship

November 5, 2008

WASHINGTON – Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, previously a Democrat now an independent, bucked his colleagues a lot this year including in what some considered the ultimate betrayal — backing the Republican presidential hopeful, John McCain, and for the less than kind words he had for Democrat Barack Obama.

Lieberman skips weekly lunch with irate Senate Democrats

September 9, 2008

(Corrected to reflect statement in last two paragraphs was by Reid’s spokesman, not Reid.)

Democrats wrap up their convention, tell us what you think…

August 29, 2008

rtr21sox.jpgThe last balloon has popped, the last piece confetti has fluttered to the ground and the last word has been spoken by Democrats who wrapped up their nominating convention Thursday.

Pelosi keeps Hillary’s VP embers glowing

August 5, 2008

WASHINGTON – Pundits see Hillary Clinton fading as a possible running mate for Democrat Barack Obama. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday referred to her as “the big name” who “would make a great vice president.”