Tales from the Trail

Swing state ad from hawkish Democrats hits Romney on foreign policy

A group of hawkish Democrats with close ties to President Obama’s re-election campaign announced on Thursday a new swing state television advertisement attacking Mitt Romney on national security and foreign policy issues.

The 60-second advertisement by the Truman National Security Project is part of a low six-figure media buy and is set to run in veteran-heavy Ohio, one of a handful of states that could prove pivotal to the Nov. 6 election.

The advertisement oscillates between press footage and a montage of young veterans speaking directly to a camera questioning Republican White House candidate Mitt Romney’s ability to keep Americans safe in a dangerous and unpredictable world.

“We deserve a Commander in Chief that understands what is at stake,” says Army Veteran Keith Johnson. “You don’t seem to have a plan, Mr. Romney.”

It jabs Romney for not mentioning in his nomination acceptance speech the war in Afghanistan and says the former governor of Massachusetts seems to be “grasping after straws” on tough foreign policy issues.

How Obama’s Nobel speech played in Washington

NOBEL-OBAMA/For a man who just won the Nobel Peace Prize, President Barack Obama didn’t look all that happy as he strode to the lectern in Oslo. He had that downturned smile that was almost an acknowledgement of all the critics who say the award is premature — especially for a commander-in-chief who has just vowed to send 30,000 more U.S. troops into harm’s way in Afghanistan.

The speech itself didn’t make much of a splash on morning television in Washington. None of the major TV networks carried it live, though CNN did, cutting away from Obama from time to time to show an audience listening attentively, with a few eyelids drooping. But viewers didn’t have many options if they wanted to see the speech as it happened. They could see a blink of Obama sandwiched in between the televised feature stories — Dillie the Deer, a taped interview with first lady Michelle Obama, a duel interview with Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman to promote their new movie.

The Washington Post ran a live feed on its Web site; after the speech ended, there was a story and a photo slide show. The New York Times posted a text of the address. The Drudge Report – a one-stop online gateway for some in Washington — ran two small headlines about the Nobel ceremony (“Obama defends US wars as he accepts peace prize…” and  ”Norwegians Incensed Over Obama Snubs…”) over the main story. Just after the speech it was “SNOW DRIFTS TO 15FT!” but later it changed to “DEMS TO LIFT DEBT CEILING BY $1.8 TRILLION!”

Bush daughter to be TV reporter

Teacher, author and now television correspondent.

Not a bad resume for a former first daughter .

Former President George W. Bush’s daughter Jenna Hager, a Baltimore teacher, is joining NBC’s “Today” crew as a correspondent, the show’s executive producer Jim Bell told AP on Sunday.

Hager, 27, will work out of NBC’s Washington bureau, but she won’t be covering politics. Nor does she intend to talk about her eight years under public scrutiny known mostly as one of the Bush Twins.

“I hope to focus on what I’m passionate about because I think I’d do the best job on them — education, urban education, women and children’s issues and literacy,” Hager said.

Obama in bed with the press?

President Barack Obama poked fun at his close relationship with the press on Friday and teased radio and TV correspondents their industry “was more relevant than ever,” despite more and more Americans turning elsewhere for news.

Obama said he had trouble coming up with fresh jokes after delivering a similar routine just five weeks ago at the annual White House correspondents dinner, a glitzy affair attracting big Hollywood stars.

“The jokes may not be as good, but neither is the guest list,” Obama said at the Radio and Television Correspondents  Associations Dinner. “For me, there’s no contest. Why bother hanging out with celebrities, when I can spend time with the people who made me one?”

Does Obama get too much media coverage?

obama-media.jpgNEW YORK - Few would doubt that Barack Obama has attracted more media coverage than his Republican rival John McCain, fueling suspicion that journalists are biased towards Obama. 

A Rasmussen Reports survey in July found that 49 percent of voters believe most reporters are trying to help Obama. Just 14 percent believed most reporters were trying to help McCain and 24 percent said most reporters tried to be objective.

Obama’s seventh appearance this year on the cover of Time magazine, compared to two for McCain, renewed those charges this week. Read our story on that here.

Fox News calls Obama’s wife “baby mama”

Fox News Channel has raised the ire of Barack Obama supporters again, this time for referring to the Democratic candidate’s wife Michelle as his “baby mama.”

Fox ran a graphic reading “Outraged liberals: Stop picking on Obama’s baby mama!” during a June 11 segment about planned Republican attacks on the candidate’s outspoken spouse.

According to the Urban Dictionary, “baby mama” is slang for the unmarried mother of a man’s children.