Tales from the Trail

Obama, a news junkie?

Lots of American presidents liked to pretend they didn’t dwell on the news — too busy attacking big problems for such a trifling. But then they would reveal themselves as news junkies (See 1992 presidential campaign and George H.W. Bush’s slogan: Annoy the Media — Re-Elect Bush).

President Barack Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, publicly boasted about ignoring most of what the press wrote and said about him. In reality, he had read the major newspapers by 6:45 a.m., while not paying much attention to television news.

OBAMA/Which brings us to Obama. He is making no bones about being a real news hound — even while holding the craven media mavens at arm’s length, as shown by his having avoided holding solo news conferences for seven months until a surprise appearance on Monday.

His news predilection is shown in small ways, like his recent speech in Tampa, Florida.

“I do also have to just mention — I’m going to mention — you know I love you in the media, but I will mention this little aspect of our media. Our friends with the pads and the pencils — last week I went to Ohio and I started saying what I’m saying now, which is, I’m going to fight for your future. And they got all worked up. They got worked up last week. They said, is he trying to change his message; is he trying to get more populist; is this a strategy that he’s pursuing to boost this, that and the other; is this something new?”

from Left field:

Baseball brings ‘em together: all 5 U.S. presidents

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It's one thing they can agree on... baseball. 

Major League Baseball is bringing all five living U.S. presidents together at next week's 80th All-Star Game.

President Barack Obama and his predecessors George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter will appear in a 7-minute video presentation as part of the U.S. sports league's all-star festivities on Tuesday in St. Louis. Baseball called it the first time all living U.S. presidents would participate in a ceremony at a sporting event.

The video address will be part of a pre-game ceremony honoring 30 men and women being recognized by MLB and People magazine for acts of giving and service to their communities. Each person represents one of the sport's 30 teams.

Bush disappointed by brother’s senate decision

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President George W. Bush says he’s disappointed that his younger brother Jeb Bush has ruled out running for a Florida Senate seat in 2010.
The former Florida governor removed himself from consideration this week, saying now is not the right time for him to return to elected office.

“I am disappointed he didn’t run. I haven’t talked to him since he made the decision,” Bush said in an interview with The Dallas Morning News on Thursday.

“I actually wanted him to run for senator, but you know … We all have different family issues you’ve got to deal with,” Bush said. The Morning News will be Bush’s hometown paper when be begins his post-presidential life at his new home in Dallas later this month.

Bush Sr. praises McCain, muses about history and his son

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine – Former President George H.W. Bush doesn’t advise his son, won’t criticize Barack Obama and wants John McCain to be the next occupant of the White House.

That was the gist on Monday after he hosted the presumptive Republican presidential candidate at the lush Bush family compound in Maine.

Bush, the 41st president of the United States, had nothing but praise for McCain, the man he hopes will succeed his son, George W. Bush.