Tales from the Trail

At Lincoln Memorial, Obama again makes point that government is open

President Barack Obama has found the monuments of Washington to be quite the picturesque backdrops for making the point that a government shutdown was averted.

Obama surprised visitors at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday not long after signing a short-term bill to keep the government open. A budget deal was reached shortly before Friday’s midnight deadline. USA/

“Because Congress was able to settle its differences, that’s why this place is open today and everybody’s able to enjoy their visit,” Obama told a crowd gathered at the top of the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. “And that’s the kind of future cooperation I hope we have going forward.”

It was the second monument to serve as background to his comments on the budget deal. In his late-night comments Friday after congressional leaders announced they had reached an agreement, Obama stood in front of a window with a view of  the Washington Monument and congratulated Congress on preventing monuments, national parks and other services from closing to visitors.

Obama – who called off his own family’s planned weekend trip to Williamsburg, Va., as budget negotiations seemed likely to continue into the weekend – shook hands with many of the people gathered at the Lincoln Memorial and encouraged them to enjoy their visit.

Top Democrat dismisses Beck’s ‘non-political’ rally as blatant politics

A Washington rally that will be hosted by Fox TV’s Glenn Beck and feature conservative power broker Sarah Palin drew the wrath on Friday of the chairman of the House Democratic campaign committee.

USA/Chris Van Hollen rejected organizers’ assurances that the “Restoring Honor Rally” — expected to draw thousands of members of the conservative Tea Party movement — would be “non-political.”

In fact, Van Hollen predicted the rally would be partisan and could turn off many voters.