Tales from the Trail

The First Draft: Gripes and Goblins

October 30, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton griping about Pakistan while in Pakistan. PAKISTAN USA/

She says it was “hard to believe” that no one in Pakistan’s government knew where al Qaeda leaders were hiding. She talked about her tough talk in a series of morning television interviews, and said on CNN “trust is a two-way street.”

Do wars and transparency mix?

October 5, 2009

President Barack Obama says he wants to have the most transparent administration ever.

White House waffles on Guantanamo Bay closing deadline

September 28, 2009

President Barack Obama is finding out what his predecessor experienced — closing Guantanamo Bay is easier said than done.

McChrystal report hits Obama with tough choices in Afghanistan

September 21, 2009

The general picked by Barack Obama to finish up the war in Afghanistan has presented the U.S. president with some hard choices.

What’s the view? Obama’s “new approach” on missile defense

September 17, 2009

President Barack Obama used “new approach” a couple of times to describe a shift in U.S. missile defense policy, but his statement was so steeped in diplo-speak that it led to much initial head-scratching over what was actually new and different. OBAMA/

How long will U.S. forces be in Afghanistan? It’s a mystery…

August 13, 2009

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says it’s no secret how long U.S. forces will be in Afghanistan.

The First Draft: Sovereignty Day

June 30, 2009

IRAQWashington is a town of euphemisms, where “mistakes were made” but nobody takes responsibility, where lawmakers routinely refer to each other as “my good friend” before questioning their buddies’ sanity or moral character.

The First Draft: Hello, summer!

May 22, 2009

USA/It’s almost Memorial Day Weekend, the unofficial start of summer. No bottlenecks yet at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, the gateway to Maryland’s Eastern Shore beach towns.

The First Draft: Presidential e-mail

May 14, 2009

SUNDANCE/If you just can’t get enough of the goings and doings of President Barack Obama, can’t wait for the blog posts, Twitter tweets, Washington whispers or even the newspaper and magazine stories about the U.S. chief executive, now there’s help. You can sign up for e-mails from the president. He sent his first one Wednesday. It’s hardly a window on the inner workings of the White House but it is a new way to communicate.

The First Draft: Green shoots and budget talk

May 12, 2009

USA-OBAMA/After the Obama team’s big announcement on health care and an even bigger deficit, now comes the hard part — actually sitting down and figuring out how much it’s going to cost, and how to make it cost less. President Barack Obama’s first public appearance today is a round-table discussion with business leaders on cutting employer health care costs.