Tales from the Trail

The First Draft: After the crash, pushing for financial reform

September 14, 2009

President Barack Obama tries to revive his push for financial reform on Monday.The president heads to Wall Street on the anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers to try to make his case for stricter regulatory oversight of U.S. markets.OBAMA/He’ll also be discussing how he plans to wind up government involvement in the financial sector.The federal government took large stakes in banks and other firms over the past year as it tried to stabilize the economy in the midst of recession and financial collapse.Obama’s financial reform effort has hit resistance in Congress, as has his bid for an overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system.A new poll in The Washington Post on Monday showed public opposition to Obama’s healthcare reform is high but could ease a little if the president dropped his bid for a government-run public health plan to compete with private insurers.Obama argues a public plan is needed to ensure private insurers face enough competition to force them to control costs.The late Senator Edward Kennedy’s memoir “True Compass” is out on Monday and his sons, Representative Patrick Kennedy and Ted Kennedy Jr., spoke with the morning shows about their father and his book.Patrick Kennedy recalled the first time he became aware of the constant threats his father faced.KENNEDY/“On the campaign trail in 1980, I remember one time I was with my dad and someone took one of the (campaign) buttons … They took the pin out and they jammed his hand when he came by,” Kennedy said.”I remember the Secret Service after the event were wondering whether he’d gotten poisoned because they didn’t know it was a button he’d gotten stuck with. It was the first time that I remember ever feeling that this was something that was a daily part of his life that he had to worry about.”Patrick Kennedy said the book, completed over the past year as his father struggled with the cancer that killed him, was a revelation to him.”Everybody knows my dad wasn’t the most sentimental, emotive guy,” he said. “For us this was an enormous revelation, in a sense, because this book really was one where he talked about his feelings and emotions at various points in his life.”For more Reuters political news, click here.Photo credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (Obama meets with economic team in March); Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (People line up to sign condolence book at Kennedy’s Senate office after his death in August)

After a year’s respite, lipstick-wearing pig returns to US politics

September 9, 2009

The lipstick-wearing pig is back, making its annual appearance in the political discourse of the country.

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: Drag out that vacation a bit

August 28, 2009

For some Americans — including the president — there’s just one last week of summer before work and school get back into full swing. 

The First Draft: Kennedy dies of cancer at 77

August 26, 2009

Focus in Washington turned to memories of Edward Kennedy, the third longest serving U.S. OBAMA/senator, who died late Tuesday night after a 15-month battle with brain cancer.

Obama doesn’t want to pull plug on grandma

August 11, 2009

This just in: President Barack Obama opposes pulling the plug on your sick grandmother.

Obama doesn’t find Canadians “particularly scary”

August 10, 2009

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – The U.S. healthcare debate followed President Barack Obama down to Mexico, where he accused opponents of his overhaul plan of using Canada’s government-backed healthcare system to scare Americans away from change.

White House fights healthcare rumors with “reality check”

August 10, 2009

When in trouble, turn to the Web.

That was President Barack Obama’s strategy during his presidential campaign days, and since it worked then — he did get elected — the White House has decided to use a similar tactic on healthcare reform.

The First Draft: Assessing the first six months

July 31, 2009

It won’t be a conversation over beer in the Rose Garden, but today President Barack Obama USA-OBAMA/gathers his Cabinet together across the street at Blair House to talk about the first six months of their term.

Who does the talking in the Obama household?

July 30, 2009

President Barack Obama may run the country, but when it comes to the Obama household, he seems to suspect somebody else is in charge. 
Answering healthcare questions Tuesday at a forum sponsored by the retirees group AARP, the president suggested the first lady did the talking in his house.
Moderator: We go next to North Carolina for a question we had all week last week. I think every town hall had this one. It’s from Colin. And, Colin, go ahead and ask this question.  Go ahead, Colin.
Mary: This is his wife, Mary.
Obama: Hi, Mary.
Mary: Hi.