Tales from the Trail

The First Draft: Bill Clinton on race and the healthcare debate

September 22, 2009

Bill Clinton has tons of respect for Jimmy Carter. But he doesn’t agree that racism is a driving factor behind angry opposition to President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform agenda. OBAMA/

Obama brings the Olympics to the White House

September 16, 2009

OBAMA/OLYMPICSPresident Obama deeply disappointed his hometown Chicago when he announced that he would not go to Copenhagen next month to personally make the city’s case for hosting the 2016 Olympics, so he and first lady Michelle Obama, who is going in his stead, on Wednesday brought the Olympics to the White House instead.

Is Justice Stevens sending early warning signal?

September 3, 2009

U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has hired only one clerk for the term starting in October 2010, instead of the usual four, fueling speculation that he may be planning to step down next summer, the New York Times reports.

Obama’s summer holiday reading list: 2,300 pages

August 24, 2009

OBAMA/President Barack Obama is squeezing some reading into his week-long Martha’s Vineyard vacation. OK, a lot more than “some.”

Obama reaches out to NASCAR nation

August 19, 2009

OBAMA/One group of Americans who failed to support Barack Obama in his race for the presidency last year were “NASCAR Dads,” white, working-class Southern men presumed to be fans of the U.S. racing circuit. The president reached out to them in a big way on Wednesday by hosting a ceremony in honor of Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR’s 2008 Sprint Cup Champion, with Johnson and an array of current drivers and former NASCAR champions.

“Happy Birthday to Us” for Obama and pressroom doyenne

August 4, 2009

President Barack Obama made a surprise visit to the White House briefing room on Tuesday to carry a plateful of six cupcakes topped by a birthday candle to Helen ThomasOBAMA/, the veteran journalist with whom he shares an August 4 birthday.

Three strikes for Obama — at the bowling alley

August 3, 2009

President Barack Obama may be struggling to boost a weak economy and push through healthcare reform, but he is making undisputed progress in one area — he’s raised his bowling score from an embarrassing 37 — out of a possible 300 — to a 144.

McCain opposes former rival’s first Supreme Court nominee

August 3, 2009

OBAMA/Nine months after losing the U.S. presidential election to Democrat Barack Obama, Republican John McCain is still taking center stage to voice disagreement with his former U.S. Senate colleague.

Powell weighs in on Harvard case

July 29, 2009

Colin Powell says some “adult supervision” could have kept an altercation between Henry Louis Gates, a black Harvard University professor, and Sgt. James Crowley, a white policeman, from blowing up into a “federal case” about race in America.

Sen. Burris won’t run in 2010

July 10, 2009

BURRIS-SENATE/ILLINOISAfter just a few months in office and having fiercely resisted calls for his resignation, Illinois Senator Roland Burris has decided Congress is not his calling after all.The Chicago Democrat appointed to fill the Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama plans to announce on Friday he won’t seek election to a full six-year term in 2010. Word leaked out a day early, with sources in Chicago and Washington confirming Burris’ plans to forgo the midterm election.The Chicago Sun-Times broke the news, reporting that Burris had raised only about $20,000 toward what undoubtedly would have been a very expensive campaign. The newspaper also quoted a source as saying that Burris, a former Illinois attorney general, was concerned about his legacy.He entered office under a big cloud that never cleared. Burris was appointed on Dec. 30 by former Governor Rod Blagojevich, who later was impeached and indicted on corruption charges — including trying to sell Obama’s Senate seat.Burris escaped a perjury charge last month when prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence aganist him. Burris declared his appointment “perfectly legal” and said he had never offered the ousted governor anything.For more Reuters political news, click here.Photo credit: Reuters/Frank Polich (Burris reacts to audience applause after speaking at a Chicago, church in  March)