Tales from the Trail

Standing room only at Social Security rally

Social Security rock stars? Senate Democrats held a rally that turned into almost a religious revival-type event on Capitol Hill where they were treated like rock stars by a standing-room only audience.

USA/The crowd, which included the old and disabled, embraced theĀ  lawmakers with a prolonged ovation, cries of approval and shouts of “back off Social Security.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in a battle with Republican House Speaker John Boehner over how to keep the government running when temporary funding ends April 8, gave fiery defense of the popular retirement program.

“Republicans have shown they couldn’t care less about those who have the least,” Reid said. “Their plan on Social Security is simple, and it’s this: end it. They use words like ‘privatize’ and ‘personalize.’ But they’re all code words for the same thing: ending Social Security as we know it.”

“Give ‘em hell, Harry!” one member of the crowd roared.

Reid stood with fellow Senate Democrats Tom Harkin, Al Franken and Richard Blumenthal and Bernie Sanders, an independent who routinely votes with Democrats.

Clinton hopes for success where his effort failed

Former President Bill Clinton is clearly hoping that Congress succeeds this time around where his administration failed 15 years ago.

clintonAnd perfection is not required — just get healthcare reform done. That was Clinton’s message to Senate Democrats who are now behind the steering wheel in trying to move legislation forward.

Clinton’s own effort to overhaul the healthcare system in 1994 fizzled long before reaching this far — the House of Representatives approved its version of a bill last weekend.