Tales from the Trail

Washington Extra

July 26, 2010

wikileakIn many ways the documents released by WikiLeaks last night merely underscored the bleak assessment of the Afghan war which General Stanley McChrystal issued last August.

Bush book promo promises candid, gripping look at president’s life

July 15, 2010

Candid… Gripping… Shattering… are words being used to promote former President George W. Bush’s memoir “Decision Points.”

Democrats in a dilemma on Bush tax cuts

July 15, 2010

Conventional political wisdom says that if you are going to cut taxes, do it before an election. But in a congressional election year when record deficits and a $13 trillion national debt are unnerving voters, that wisdom may not hold.

‘One of the most weird moments of my presidency’ — Bush

December 16, 2008

If you thought that shoe-throwing episode in Baghdad was odd, you’re not alone — President George W. Bush thought so too.
“It has got to be one of the most weird moments of my presidency,” he told CNN in an interview Tuesday. “Here I am getting ready to answer questions from a free press in a democratic Iraq and a guy stands up and throws a shoe.”
What was going through his mind? Not much it seems.
“I didn’t have much time to reflect on anything. I was ducking and dodging,” Bush said.
Throwing shoes at someone is considered a supreme insult in Iraq, a shoe being considered dirty. People whacked Saddam Hussein’s statue in Baghdad with shoes after it was toppled during the U.S. invasion.
Bush says he doesn’t harbor any anger toward the Iraqi TV journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi for attacking him. Al-Zaidi has been cheered by some in the Arab world for his action, but he faces potential criminal charges in Baghdad.
“I’m not even sure what his status is,” Bush said. “They shouldn’t overreact.”
Bush told CNN the most important decision he made during his presidency was “sending troops into harm’s way,” and not once but twice — in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The reason it’s the most important is because it’s the most consequential,” he said
“It is a decision that no president should ever take lightly and every president should take a lot of time thinking about it because lives will be lost,” Bush added.
Asked if he ever revisited the decision, Bush said he sometimes thought about it but usually “with a concern about whether or not we would succeed.”
“In Iraq, I was deeply concerned about whether or not we would succeed,” he said, adding that was especially true in 2006. “A lot of people in Washington were saying, let’s get out now. And I obviously chose not to do that.  But, that was a very difficult period.”
For more Reuters political news, click here.

Republicans hand Bush a goodbye defeat on auto bailout

December 12, 2008

Republicans in Congress effectively said good riddance to President George W. Bush this week, handing their unpopular leader a last big defeat by rejecting a $14 billion auto industry bailout the White House negotiated with Democrats.
“No one cares what the White House thinks,” scoffed a senior Republican leadership aide.
With Democrat Barack Obama set to replace Bush as president on Jan. 20, the aide said: “There’s frustration among Republicans that Bush doesn’t have a feel for our positions, and relief that he’s leaving.”
With Bush at the head of the party the past eight years, the Republicans’ reputation for fiscal conservatism has been shredded by record federal deficits.
Republicans, seeking to restore that reputation, say market forces, not U.S. taxpayers, should decide the fate of the auto industry. They charge the bailout would be no more than a downpayment on failure.

McCain says Bush should not be impeached

July 7, 2008

DENVER – Republican presidential candidate John McCain may be distancing himself from George W. Bush, but the Arizona senator rtx68cn.jpgdoes not believe his would-be predecessor should be impeached.

Obama’s faith initiative stirs left, right and academia

July 2, 2008

obamajuly2.jpgDALLAS – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s promise on Tuesday of a more robust approach to faith-based social programs has been blasted from the left and the right — and raised some pointed questions from academia.

Media-battered Clinton calls for greater scrutiny

May 29, 2008

hillary1.jpgSIOUX FALLS, S.D. – As a Democratic presidential candidate, New York senator and former first lady, Hillary Clinton has had her share of media scrutiny. Still, she says the news media should become a more aggressive public watchdog.

Democrats mix criticism of McCain with praise

April 2, 2008

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Republican Sen. John McCain’s personal narrative as a war hero in Vietnam has Democrats treading carefully when they criticize him.