Tales from the Trail

Calm before the storm: Does silence on Warren signal decision soon?

An eerie calm has descended over the blogosphere after the feeding frenzy that broke out earlier this week on whether President Barack Obama was poised to name Elizabeth Warren to lead the new consumer financial agency.

The week started with an avalanche of stories and blogs speculating on the possibility of Obama naming Warren, a Harvard law professor, as an interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The move would have allowed Obama to avoid what would likely be a heated confirmation battle.

Senators Chris Dodd, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins expressed reservations about the temporary appointment on Tuesday, urging Obama not to bypass the Senate confirmation process.

USA/But today, there has been little grist for the mill when it comes to public comments on Warren. Sometimes in Washington, silence means something is brewing.

Snowe says “yes” to Wall St. bill

The decision is in….snowe2

Senator Olympia Snowe has ended the suspense, announcing that she will support the financial regulatory reform bill.

Snowe, a moderate Republican from Maine,  joined fellow Republicans Scott Brown and Susan Collins – the other senator from Maine — in saying “yes” to the measure that most in their party strongly oppose.

Their backing leaves Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Democrats just one vote shy of the 60 needed for the measure to advance.

Will she or won’t she?

USAThe suspense continues…

All eyes are on Senator Olympia Snowe, a moderate Republican from Maine, who has not yet decided on how she will vote on financial regulatory reform.

Snowe’s could be the crucial 60th vote after Republican Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown said on Monday that he will support the bill.

On Saturday Snowe said she hadn’t decided and that the most important thing was “to get it right.” Her view had not changed so far today, a staffer tells me.

Senate healthcare bill: Opt-out is in, Snowe is not

The opt-out is in.

USA HEALTHCARE/REIDThe Senate healthcare reform legislation will include a form of public option that would allow states to opt out of participating in a government-run insurance plan if they choose.

And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says his Democrats will support it.

“While the public option is not a silver bullet, I believe it’s an important way to ensure competition and to level the playing field for patients with the insurance industry,” Reid said.

But by including the opt-out, the Democrats lost the lone Republican senator to vote for healthcare legislation — Senator Olympia Snowe from Maine — who opted out because of the opt-out.

The First Draft: Let it Snowe, Let it Snowe, Let it Snowe

Republican Senator Olympia Snowe is having her day in the sun.

Snowe blanketed morning TV talk shows. The main question posed to the Maine moderate: How does it feel to be all alone? GERMANY/

“I have to focus on what I think is right. My constituents expect that in Maine, they want me to do what I think is right for the country, for the state,” she said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“And so I decided to set aside my own differences and try to see what was right for the country and moving forward.”

Snowe jumps ship in attempt to turn healthcare “Titanic”

Well, she did it.

IRAQ-USA/CONGRESSRepublican Senator Olympia Snowe, a moderate from Maine, jumped off the Republican steamer to vote yes on the Senate Finance Committee’s healthcare reform bill.

In explaining why she was voting against the Republican line, Snowe likened changing the healthcare status quo to “turning the Titanic around” before it hit the iceberg.

She became the first Republican to vote for changing the healthcare system, which has become President Barack Obama’s signature domestic issue.

The First Draft: H-Day

CHINADrum roll please…

Will Republican Senator Olympia Snowe, a moderate from Maine, become the first Republican in Congress to back a healthcare reform bill?

Will one or more Democrats defect from President Barack Obama’s signature issue?

The suspense is almost too much to bear… USA-HEALTHCARE

The Senate Finance Committee meets at 10 a.m. to vote on its version of sweeping healthcare reform.

Pistol Packin’ Pelosi? finger on healthcare trigger

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has put the insurance industry on notice that if congressional Democrats are forced to compromise on a government-run health insurance plan and accept a “trigger” proposed by Republican Senator Olympia Snowe, get ready for some major fire power.

Snowe has proposed a compromise that would “trigger” the creation of a new public plan should insurance market reforms fail to meet affordability and quality benchmarks.

USA/At a news conference in San Francisco, Pelosi was asked about the “trigger” idea that has gained new strength in recent days as the White House looks for a potential compromise that would help get President Barack Obama’s proposed healthcare overhaul through Congress.

The First Draft: The president keeps campaigning

Back from his overseas trip, President Barack Obama has spent this week as campaigner-in-chief.

OBAMA/Every day Obama has pushed lawmakers to approve an overhaul of the healthcare industry — the president’s top legislative priority.

And last night he made a quick trip up to New Jersey to do some political campaigning and inject some presidential charisma into Governor Jon Corzine’s struggling re-election campaign.

Obama trying hard to get healthcare back on track

President Barack Obama is pushing hard to get health care reform back on track after it veered a bit off course while he was in Europe last week.

He has spent the better part of the week pushing the issue. First he went after “nay-sayers and cynics,” warning them “don’t bet against us.”

“I just want to put everybody on notice, because there was a lot of chatter during the week that I was gone: We are going to get this done,” he said. “Inaction is not an option.”
Then he stood with nursing leaders in the Rose Garden and tried to buck people up.