Tales from the Trail

Washington Extra – Say cheese

Civility isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and last night it meant watching lawmakers smile with their teeth but not their eyes.

The day after the State of the Union it has become clear that the forced Kumbaya moment is being shrugged off for a return to the comfort of political sniping. But no one expected that rearranging the deck chairs would lead to a lasting group hug. OBAMA/

Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin — the state President Barack Obama chose for his day-after trip to the heartland — said when Obama mentions investment he means “government spending and government control. And that is the definite wrong direction.”

Obama visited Manitowoc, Wisconsin, to promote his agenda of creating jobs and reining in spending, as the Congressional Budget Office painted a worsening deficit picture.

Obama said he came to Manitowoc “to glimpse the future” and that he had not known beforehand about the city’s own Sputnik moment in 1962. (Coincidence? Fade to Twilight Zone music).

Feingold trails in new Reuters-Ipsos poll

USALiberal stalwart Russ Feingold trails his Republican challenger by 7 percentage points in a new Reuters-Ipsos poll of Wisconsin’s Senate race released on Tuesday.

With less than a month to go before the Nov. 2 elections, Republican Ron Johnson leads Feingold, a Democrat, 51 percent to 44 percent among likely voters.

That’s good news for Republicans, who are counting on a Wisconsin victory to help win control of the Senate. Not so good for Democrats, who could see the three-term incumbent swept out of office due to worries about the economy.

Who doesn’t want to be seen with whom?

Congress is in recess and lawmakers are gearing up for midterm elections in November.

The Republican National Committee decided to liven up a slow mid-August Monday with a video taking aim at Democrats who might not want to stand too close to President Barack Obama and his sagging approval ratings. 

It was done as a take-off on the Steven Slater exit from his job as flight attendant — showing Democrats in hotly-contested races sliding down an emergency chute from a plane that has Obama on board.