Tales from the Trail

Barney bites reporter

WASHINGTON – Word of warning to President-Elect Barack Obama, you probably don’t want to pet First Dog Barney when you visit the White House on Monday.

President George W. Bush’s Scottish Terrier was not feeling too friendly on Thursday when a reporter tried to say hello and pet him on the White House driveway.

Barney snarled and chomped down on Reuters Television correspondent Jon Decker’s index finger, causing some minor bleeding. White House medical staff attended to Decker’s injury and he will require a tetanus shot.

Below is the video courtesy of April Ryan, the White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, and we’ll hopefully have a first-person account a little bit later. (Watch to the end of the video for a close-up shot of the incident.)

Obama is in the market for a pooch to keep a promise he made to his daughters to get a dog. But it looks like they’re aiming for a different breed.  However, when Obama visits Bush on Monday at the White House, maybe he will ask if he can keep Barney around after Jan. 20 to fend off pesky reporters.

Celebration at the White House — an election and birthday

WASHINGTON – It is a celebratory night at the White House this election night, and not just because President George W. Bush learns who will be his successor — it is his wife Laura’s birthday.

The first couple hosted a private dinner with friends and senior staff in the Old Family Dining Room at the White House and Bush gave his wife earrings to celebrate her 62nd birthday, according to White House spokeswoman Dana Perino.

The president gave a toast at the start of the dinner thanking everyone for their work and friendship, Perino said. He concluded by saying: “And may God bless whoever wins tonight.”

Bush gives Republicans a little pep talk ahead of election

WASHINGTON – President George W. Bush dropped by the Republican National Committee headquarters unannounced to give the staff a little pep talk Tuesday amid polls showing Republicans trailing in the presidential contest and scores of key congressional races one week out from the general election.

Bush, with record low popularity ratings, has largely been unseen on the campaign trail this year, relegated to participating in private fundraisers for Republican presidential hopeful John McCain and congressional candidates.

“He encouraged them to work hard for John McCain and keep turning out the vote until the final ballot is cast next week,” White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said after the 20-minute visit.  “He also took the opportunity to thank the staff for all of their efforts during this election cycle and for their support of him over the last eight years.”

Clinton says unlikely to mount another White House bid

WASHINGTON – Democrat Hillary Clinton lost a tough battle for her party’s presidential nomination this year and says she is unlikely to make another run for it.

rtr21qb1.jpgIn an interview with Fox News aired on Tuesday, she was first asked to rate on a scale of one to 10 whether she would become the next majority leader in the Senate, which she put at the bottom of the scale.

“Oh, probably zero,” she said. “I’m not seeking any other position than to be the best senator from New York that I can be.”

Meet the Obama girls

WASHINGTON – Barack Obama doesn’t like sweets, prefers minty gum to bubblegum and leaves his luggage in everybody’s way when he arrives home on a break from the malia1.jpgcampaign.
That’s the scoop from the Democratic presidential candidate’s daughters from a family interview for television’s “Access Hollywood.”

Malia and Sasha Obama have joined their parents on the campaign trail a number of times in recent weeks. They spoke for the first time in the interview which began airing on Tuesday
“When he comes home and leaves his big gigantic bag in the mudroom, sometimes I trip over it,” said Malia, who celebrated her 10th birthday while the family campaigned in Butte, Montana, on Independence Day. 

“You always put your bag on my shoes,” seven-year-old Sasha scolded her father. 
The girls joined their mother in showing that the Illinois senator does not live up to his public imagine as a fashion plate.