Tales from the Trail

The First Draft: Drawdown in Iraq

February 27, 2009

President Obama makes no small plans. One day after announcing the biggest budget deficit since World War Two, Obama flies to a Marine base in North Carolina to announce a withdrawal timetable for troops in Iraq. IRAQ/

The First Draft: Monday, Dec 15

December 15, 2008

For Detroit’s struggling automakers, the wait continues.

There will be no word on the fate of the struggling industry’s financial bailout at least until President George W. Bush is safely home later on Monday after ducking shoes in Iraq and visiting U.S. troops in Afghanistan, the White House says.
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The double life of Robert Gates

December 11, 2008

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is leading a double life these days.
 
Maybe that’s not so tough for a former spymaster but it does make for some awkward moments.
 AFGHAN-USA/GATES
As the only member of President George W. Bush’s Cabinet asked to stay on under Barack Obama, Gates has to juggle working for the current White House and preparing for the next administration with the president-elect’s transition team.
 
“There’s only one commander-in-chief at a time and so I’m not forgetting at all, for a second, who is the president until noon on Jan. 20,” the former CIA director stressed to reporters on board his plane as he flew to Afghanistan this week.
 
But Gates admitted his dual role did “create some occasional awkwardnesses.”
 
Sometimes, he recounted, he has to say: “I would love to come to this meeting at the White House but I actually have a meeting with the transition.”
 
Gates made clear he had never missed a meeting with Bush.
 
But he added: “Let’s just say that if I’m faced with a choice between attending a principals’ meeting on an issue that I think is not particularly hot and meeting with the transition folks, I’ll opt for the latter.”

Bush aircraft carrier landing redux

November 11, 2008

NEW YORK – President George W. Bush in 2003 landed aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln on a Navy jet where he delivered a speech saying major combat operations in Iraq had ended with a “Mission Accomplished” banner behind him, which later caused his administration headaches as the war dragged on.

McCain, Obama fight over soldiers’ bracelets

September 27, 2008

WASHINGTON – Republican White House hopeful John McCain tried to use a bracelet of a fallen U.S. soldier given on the campaign trail to drive home his point that he would not withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq based on an arbitrary timeline.

Palin offers to play “stump the candidate,” but game doesn’t happen

September 18, 2008

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said on Wednesday she would be ready to deal with foreign policy if she and John McCain win the White House and offered to play “stump the candidate” to test herself on specific policy issues.

Obama cancels plan to visit troops in Germany

July 25, 2008

 BERLIN – U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama dropped a plan to visit wounded U.S. troops in Germany to avoid perceptions that the stop was political.

TV anchors hunt for Obama exclusives on foreign trip

July 17, 2008

WASHINGTON – Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama drags with him a gaggle of reporters (wire services, newspaper, radio and television) wherever he goes, but when he heads overseas soon, he will have some television news stars accompanying him.

McCain, liberal groups roll out new TV ads

June 17, 2008

WASHINGTON — Republican candidate John McCain touts his independence from President George W. Bush and his plan to fight global warming in a new TV ad.

Powell not necessarily in McCain’s corner

April 10, 2008

Colin Powell was President George W. Bush’s first secretary of state, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s supporting the presidential bid of fellow Republican John McCain.