President Barack Obama has weathered many political storms with varying degrees of success, but the snowstorm of the century that walloped Washington this week proved he was the luckiest man on the planet. That’s according to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, still sore from endlessly shoveling snow at his own home.
Tales from the Trail
The unemployment rate fell in January to 9.7 percent, the lowest in five months and below that dreaded 10 percent in December. It also foiled analyst expectations for an increase to 10.1 percent.
Once, a first-term Democratic president failed to deliver on healthcare reform and found his party swept from office by a wave of voter anger that brought Republican Newt Gingrich to the forefront of American politics. Could this history lesson from the Clinton era be repeated?
Fresh from a stunning election victory that shook the confidence of the national Democratic Party, Scott Brown says he’s ready for a showdown with President Barack Obama — on the basketball court.
Brown, known only a few weeks ago as a dude with a truck, says he challenged Obama to hoops when the two spoke by telephone on the night the Massachusetts Republican won Teddy Kennedy’s dyed-in-the-wool-Democratic-blue seat in the U.S. Senate.
“The only time I spoke to him was election night and I did challenge him to pick his best, and I’ll take my daughter Ayla who plays for Boston College, and we’d challenge him to a little 2-on-2. I think we’d have the upper hand,” Brown said in an interview with TV comedian Jay Leno.
“He looks like he’s in great shape. It’d certainly be a tough game,” he said.
Brown didn’t mention how the president responded.
Obama, a hard-core hoophead, has shot baskets on the campaign trail, with U.S. troops in the field and with kids on the South Lawn of the White House. At 48, he would have a two-year advantage over the 50-year-old Brown. But as Sports Illustrated magazine notes, the president can’t dunk and doesn’t have a hoopster nickname.
Brown does have a nickname. At Tufts University, he was known as “Downtown Scotty Brown,” possibly for his long-distance jumpshots. And that’s not all. In a given week, Brown told Leno, he swims close to 2 miles, bikes about 95 and runs 15 or 20 miles.
The announcement that music icon Bob Dylan was coming to the White House next month for “A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement” sent us scrambling to listen to his famous song “The Times They Are A-Changin’.”
The most famous party crashers (hint red sari and tux) who so gaily chatted with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at a swank White House state dinner in November (photos still proudly displayed on Facebook), clammed up when they attended a different event on Capitol Hill Wednesday.
When it comes to showing support, bringing an entourage of people on a huge famous plane to the funeral of your friend’s mother says a lot.