Tales from the Trail

McConnell: New Obama term offers divided Washington new start

January 21, 2013

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who drew fire in 2010 when he declared that his top goal was to deny President Barack Obama re-election, quickly congratulated the president on Monday as Obama began four more years in office.

Washington Extra – Tea Party poopers

April 12, 2012

A man holds a sign during a March 24 Tea Party Patriots rally in Washington calling for the repeal of the 2010 healthare law. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Gingrich attacks Romney, a week after promising a positive campaign

December 27, 2011

A week ago, Newt Gingrich vowed to follow Ronald Reagan’s famed “11th Commandment” and withhold attacks on fellow Republican candidates for president.

Obama fundraising watch: debt, progressives, and women on the Court

May 17, 2011

President Barack Obama stayed close to the White House for another round of fundraising on Monday, attending events in Washington where tickets went for $44 to $35,800.

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.

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. 
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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: no rest for the weary?

August 24, 2009

The Obamas may be on vacation this week, but the news hasn’t taken a break. OBAMA/

Governor Sanford’s walk in the woods

June 23, 2009

When Governor Mark Sanford walks out of the woods tomorrow, he’s sure for a big surprise.

from Photographers' Blog:

Tim Geithner : What’s In Your Wallet?

May 22, 2009

What's in U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's wallet? Not much.

While testifying in front of a House Appropriations Subcommittee on Capitol Hill Thursday Geithner was shown a $50 Billion Zimbabwean bank note (rendered worthless by Zimbabwe's hyperinflation) by U.S. Representative John Culberson (R- TX) and asked if he had ever seen one himself. Geithner immediately pulled a piece of Zimbabwean currency out of his own pocket and showed it off to the committee. At the next break in the hearing I approached Geithner and asked how he happened to have a piece of foreign currency in his pocket. His response was "I often have some foreign currency in my wallet. Want to see?" He pulled a very thin and mostly empty wallet from his pocket.

Partying times 10 on Inauguration Night

January 6, 2009

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Barack Obama will be the host with the most on Inauguration Night. After his expected swearing-in ceremony earlier in the day on January 20, he’ll host seven inaugural balls and attend three more for a grand total of 10.