Tales from the Trail

First Draft: rough patch

February 4, 2009

The first presidential apology — “I screwed up”  — making the rounds today.

Obama tries to turn page on nominee woes

February 3, 2009

If you’re the United States president and two of your nominees for key government posts embarrassingly withdraw on the same day because of tax problems, what do you do?
Well, if you’re President Barack “No Drama” Obama the answer is simple — you go to a local school to read a book to a 2nd Grade school class with your wife. 

Tax issues a symbol of America’s divide

February 3, 2009

It is said that death and taxes are the two things in life that one cannot avoid.

First Draft: cooling off

February 3, 2009

Let it snow. Why should London have all the fun? Washington weather calls for a few inches, just enough for a snowball fight for hearty Midwesterners like President Barack Obama.

First Draft: black and gold

February 2, 2009

WASHINGTON – The Pittsburgh Steelers won the Super Bowl so it’s a black-and-gold kind of day.

Group of doctors, workers and insurers back Obama health reform

January 8, 2009

President-elect Barack Obama’s healthcare reform bid got an endorsement Thursday from six groups representing a range of interests from doctors, insurers and drug makers to workers, patients and consumers. 
The group unveiled an ad backing healthcare reform and announced a multimillion dollar purchase of national television air time. 
The announcement came as Obama’s choice for health secretary, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, was making his pitch for confirmation before a Senate committee.
Daschle promised to work with Congress, industry groups and ordinary citizens to build support for reform.
His approach promised to differ sharply from the one taken by former first lady Hillary Clinton in 1994, which she led the Clinton administration’s failed healthcare reform effort.
President Bill Clinton’s reform plan fell apart in part because of resistance from the health insurance industry.
But the ad blitz announced Thursday was backed by health insurance plans as well as other organziations.
The ad promotes healthcare reform as a way way of improving the quality and saving money.

The First Draft, Thursday, Jan 8

January 8, 2009

President-elect Barack Obama will use a speech on the economy Thursday to try to build support for a massive stimulus bill aimed at lifting the United States out of a deep recession. 
BUSH/Obama is warning Congress that unless it acts quickly and boldly to pass his stimulus plan, with its estimated $775 billion price tag, the country could be mired for years in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
The president-elect delivers his remarks at 11 a.m. at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, with less than two weeks to go before his inauguration.
The speech comes as some lawmakers and financial experts are beginning to raise doubts about elements of the stimulus plan.
The Washington Post quoted lawmakers, tax experts and economists as saying some of the tax cuts in the Obama plan are likely to be too expensive and ineffective.
Obama’s choice to lead the administration’s charge on health care reform goes before a Senate confirmation hearing Thursday.
Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle is expected to receive a cordial welcome from his ex-colleagues and Democratic leaders on the panel predict a smooth confirmation.
President George W. Bush travels to Philadelphia Thursday for an event touting the success of his No Child Left Behind education reform program.
The House of Representatives and the Senate hold a joint session to formally count the electoral votes from the November election, in which Obama defeated Republican rival John McCain.
The action will formally declare Obama as winner of the U.S. presidential vote.
The morning television news shows reported on Obama’s economic speech and new violence in the Middle East, where rockets from Lebanon struck northern Israel.
The attacks raised concerns about a possible second front in Israel’s two-week war against Hamas Islamists in the Gaza Strip.
U.S. stock futures dropped early Thursday on disappionting December sales by Wal-Mart, pointing to a lower open on Wall Street.
For more Reuters political news, click here.

The First Draft, Thursday, Dec. 11

December 11, 2008


It’s a tale of two cities, Washington D.C. versus Chicago.
With President-elect Barack Obama holding frequent news conferences in Chicago to appoint members of his cabinet and lay out his plans for the future and President George W. Bush keeping a low profile in Washington, Americans could be forgiven for thinking they have a new executive capital.

Republican Senate leader hangs on after close call

November 5, 2008

WASHINGTON – Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell appears to have eked out a narrow victory for re-election in Kentucky as several of his colleagues fell to Democratic challengers.