Tales from the Trail

Obama plays to disaffected audience but most don’t blame him

January 27, 2010

USA-HEALTHCARE/OBAMA

When President Obama reaches the podium for tonight’s State of the Union address, he’ll turn to a TV audience fed up with Washington and its incessant partisan bickering. But guess what: most viewers won’t be blaming him.
    
More than 90 percent of the American public thinks there’s too much partisan infighting and 70 percent say the federal government isn’t working well, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
    
But who’s the culprit? Only 27 percent blame the president. The biggest target of public disaffection are Republicans in Congress — at 48 percent — followed by congressional Democrats at 41 percent.  Conducted Jan. 23-25, the survey of 800 adults has a 3.5 percent margin of error.
    
If the numbers are accurate, Obama’s message may find a fair amount of audience sympathy, particularly for his much-anticipated emphasis on jobs, the economy and curbs on Wall Street’s excesses.
    
Nearly three-quarters say not enough has been done to regulate Wall Street and the banking industry, while 51 percent want more emphasis on economic matters than they’ve seen up to now.
    
In fact, poll respondents are fairly optimistic about Obama’s future, with 54 percent saying he is facing either a short-term setback or no setback at all. There are even signs that his overall job approval rating has begun to edge up.

Gallup poll gives Obama some good news on terrorism issue

January 13, 2010

President Barack Obama’s approval ratings may have slipped in some polling data. But there’s a tiny bit of good news for him on an issue that his Republican critics have been whacking away at for weeks now: terrorism. USA HEALTHCARE/

Muddy manse

December 17, 2009

Selling your house? Worried about having to lower the price to get it to move?

How about a $1.275 million price reduction? That’s how much former Fannie Mae CEO Daniel H. Mudd had to cut the asking price on his 11,500 square foot, six bedroom, six full bath (plus three half baths) mansion to find a buyer.  Originally listed for $8.9 million on September 11, the transaction closed on December 11 for $7.625 million.

Deficit not my fault, Obama says

December 8, 2009

President Barack Obama doesn’t like all this flak from the Republicans who accuse him of running up the budget deficit.

Official Washington dreams of breaking out of the bubble

December 8, 2009

OBAMA/Many in Washington dream of it, few manage it.

But for the President of the United States, it is just about impossible.

We’re talking about breaking out of the bubble.

The presidency is probably the biggest bubble in town. Think about the surrounding layers: physical protection from the Secret Service, political protection from senior aides and ego protection from a multitude of sycophants.

What trumps a car bomb, a blizzard and a trip to Kabul?

December 8, 2009

GOLF-PGA/If you watched U.S. morning television or went online early today, you already know the answer to this media riddle. Top stories — a deadly car-bombing in Baghdad, a massive winter storm rolling across the United States and an unannounced flight to Afghanistan by Defense Secretary Robert Gates – took a back seat to a new development in the tabloid tale of Tiger Woods.

Student lightbulb for Obama: use stimulants to stimulate economy

December 4, 2009

EU-ENERGY/LIGHT-BULBSA student in Pennsylvania offered President Barack Obama a way to boost the economy that probably hasn’t been on the table at the White House.

The First Draft: should Obama embrace new structural reforms?

November 11, 2009

Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs are two guys who think President Barack Obama better embrace new structural reforms if he wants a growing economy that isn’t hard-wired to go bust.