Tales from the Trail

Romney on his work as a Mormon missionary: “We didn’t convert one person”

December 21, 2011

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Tuesday, where co-host Joe Scarborough asked him about his experience as a Mormon missionary in France in the 1960s. “Talk about your rejections as a missionary knocking on door, after door, after door in a hostile environment,” Scarborough asked.

from Environment Forum:

Is Michelle Obama strumming along with Gibson Guitar?

October 13, 2011

It's not often that a U.S. first lady's gift makes news -- years after the fact -- but Michelle Obama's 2009 present to Carla Bruni-Sarkozy has sparked some comment among free trade boosters and guitar pickers. The gift in question: a Gibson Hummingbird guitar.

Obama draws query by signing Patriot Act extension with auto-pen

May 27, 2011

What’s a president to do when Congress passes a bill just hours before key anti-terrorism surveillance measures are about to expire and he’s 4,000 miles away?  Auto-pen of course.

Just the right tavern to celebrate 200 years of U.S.-French military ties

February 10, 2011

Not every U.S. ally who visits the Pentagon needs to be treated to a dinner that evokes more than 200 years of peaceful military relations.

Has U.S. “missed the boat” on long-range renewable energy planning?

February 19, 2010

OBAMA/There was President Barack Obama, working a friendly crowd in Henderson, Nevada, not far from Las Vegas. And then a sympathetic comment from a French businessman who wants to see U.S. regulation of climate-warming greenhouse emissions seemed to get the president all wound up.

Game Night AND Date Night for President Obama

May 3, 2009

It was unlikely that President Barack Obama, a big basketball fan, was going to miss the seventh and final game of a hard fought NBA playoff series between his hometown Chicago Bulls and the Boston Celtics on Saturday night.  
 
get_thumbnail2But it happened to fall on one of the regular “date nights” that the U.S. leader had promised First Lady Michelle Obama upon their arrival in Washington in January. 
 
Solution: an early dinner at French restaurant Michel Richard Citronelle in Georgetown. A 14-vehicle Presidential motorcade pulled up outside the swanky restaurant, drawing hundreds of onlookers and blocking traffic as the upscale area’s Saturday night party scene got underway.  
 
The restaurant is one of Washington’s most exclusive eateries. A table was not available on its online booking system until May 29, and that was before the Obamas appearence made headlines and was widely Twittered. After the U.S. leader dined with Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty at Ben’s Chili Bowl in January, the landmark DC institution had queues outside for weeks. 
 
Although Citronelle’s website boasts that Conde Nast Traveler magazine called it “one of the world’s most exciting restaurants,” Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema was not so flattering in an October 2008 review. 
 
“Throughout a recent dinner at what used to be a four-star experience, an unmistakable joylessness courses through the fading underground dining room that bears the name of one of the country’s most esteemed chefs,” Sietsema wrote http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/restaurants/michel-richard-citronelle,795996.html#editorial-review 
 
Nonetheless, Sietsema added in his review that Richard and his staff still put on an impressive show. “I adore Citronelle’s tomato tart, which springs from a pastry base (and cucumber gelee) like a colorful bouquet. And sablefish marinated with sake, miso and mirin before hitting the broiler is about as good as that creature gets.” 
 
Like clockwork, two hours after departing the White House, the Obamas’ 14-vehicle motorcade departed cheering crowds in Georgetown and arrived home apparently in time for the Bulls-Celtics 8 p.m. tip-off. 
 
The President then took the First Lady for a brief stroll across the White House grounds, waving to photographers. Game Night could now begin. 
 
“Click here for more Reuters political coverage”

First Draft: French kiss

April 3, 2009

Can this be France? What happened to the days when cross-Atlantic gauntlets were thrown down and French fries turned into Freedom fries?

from MacroScope:

Watch out for the G20 spin

March 30, 2009

Be careful this week about buying wholeheartedy into any G20-related spin about supposedly savvy, free-spending Britain and America doing more to combat the world economic crisis than supposedly stubborn, overly cautious Germany and France. The actual figures show it is much more complex than that.

Clinton goes on charm offensive with French

February 5, 2009

clinton-kouchnerWASHINGTON – Hillary Clinton went on a charm offensive with France’s foreign minister on Thursday, fondly recalling many trips to Paris and heaping praise on the country’s education system as a model for America.
 
Clinton has played up the Transatlantic relationship this week, choosing to meet first with the foreign ministers of Britain, Germany and France in her second week as new U.S. secretary of state.
 
“I have been to France many times and I always have a good impression. I enjoy visiting in France,” the former first lady and New York senator said at a joint news conference with France’s Bernard Kouchner at the State Department.
 
She recalled meeting Kouchner’s wife “longer ago than Christine or I care to admit” and said she was impressed by the country’s preschool facilities, prompting her to return home to try and get the United States to follow France’s example.
 
“I not only have enjoyed my time in France but I have learned a lot from my visits. I look forward to returning,” she added. “As soon as possible,” gushed Kouchner, beaming at her side.
 
The Bush administration had a prickly relationship with France at the time of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, to the extent that in congressional cafeteria the words “French fries” were changed to “Freedom fries” on menus.
 For more Reuters political news, click here