Tales from the Trail

Palin using her star power against selected House Democrats

March 24, 2010

MOTOR-RACING/

Sarah Palin really has the 2010 congressional elections in her cross hairs now.

As President Barack Obama signed healthcare reform into law, the potential 2012 Republican White House wannabe was out on Facebook with her own campaign to unseat 20 House Democrats who voted for the legislation. The page identifies targeted congressional districts via a map of the United States dotted by white and red cross hairs.

Company dispenses with lobbyists and launches bid for Congressional seat

March 15, 2010

USA/

Murray Hill is running for Congress to rid Washington of lobbyists and weak-kneed politicians once and for all. And there may be no better candidate, for Murray Hill is not a frail human being but a company.

Coffee Party USA takes on the Tea Party

March 3, 2010

America’s conservative Tea Party movement may be on the boil, but the left is brewing up its own version in The Coffee Party USA.

A ‘Cougar’ may be stalking Bayh’s empty Senate seat

February 18, 2010

MUSIC-HALLOFFAME/

After rocking the house for decades, could Rock and Roll Hall of Famer John Mellencamp rock the U.S. Senate?

Counting population: Census road tour begins

January 4, 2010

Road trip!

The Census Bureau on Monday launched the “2010 Census Portrait of America Road Tour” to reach out and convince everyone living in the United States to be counted in its once-a-decade population survey, which can alter political districts and affect where billions of dollars in federal funds are spent. USA/

The First Draft: White House “gate-crashers” say they’re suffering

December 1, 2009

They passed through layers of White House security to attend a lavish state dinner, got themselves photographed with the president and vice president and posted pix on Facebook. 
 OBAMA-DINNER/SECURITY   
It was supposed to be an experience to last a lifetime. But now, Michaele and Tareq Salahi, the couple at the center of one of the most embarrassing White House security breaches of all time, say their lives have been destroyed by falsehood and gossip.
    
“Devastated. Shocked,” is how beautiful, blond, former NFL cheerleader Michaele recalls her reaction to the morning-after headlines in an interview with NBC’s Today show. And Tareq? “Very saddened,” he says.
    
According to the White House, the Salahis were not on the invitation list. But they insist they were invited and predict that e-mails now in the hands of the Secret Service will exonerate them in the end. 
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In the meantime, their lives are a one-syllable word for perdition.
    
Tareq: “Our lives have really been destroyed.” 
    
Michaele: “Everything we’ve worked for — for me, 44 years — destroyed.”
    
The U.S. media have made the Salahis out to be self-promoting social climbers who crashed the White House dinner while Michaele was auditioning for a new reality TV show called “The Real Housewives of Washington.” There have even been reports they tried to cash in on their exploits by demanding big bucks in exchange for media interviews.
    
A camera crew from the cable-TV channel, Bravo, did follow them to the edge of the White House grounds on the night of the dinner. But the bit about paid interviews is dead wrong, says Michaele: “At no time … have we ever even talked about doing that with anyone.”
    
Whether the Salahis are charged depends on a Secret Service probe to figure out just what happened. The Salahis tell NBC they hope to clear their name by sharing those e-mails as soon as the Secret Service says they can. When might that be? “We hope within the next several days,” Tareq says. 

The First Draft: Before Obama’s speech, Sarah Palin brings up “death panels”

September 9, 2009

PALIN/As Washington focuses on President Barack Obama’s address to Congress on healthcare reform, another voice is demanding to be heard — or at least read — on this same subject.

The First Draft: Reviews flood in after Obama’s Cairo speech

June 4, 2009

OBAMA-EGYPT/He’s been preparing for this moment since long before he came to the White House, so President Barack Obama might wonder how his Cairo speech to the Muslim world went over. He wouldn’t have to wait long — within minutes after he ended his address, the reviews started flooding in.

Facebook becomes posterboard for inaugural festivities

January 20, 2009

WASHINGTON – For those not among the throngs in the U.S. capital for the inaugural festivities for Barack Obama, many have turned to Facebook to describe how they were watching the ceremonies or their state of excitement about the new president.