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August 29, 2015

Posts in "Politics"

August 25, 2015

Obama, Reid and ‘the Crazies’

(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

We might never know exactly who President Barack Obama had on his mind when he called people “crazies” Monday night.

But he sure had plenty to talk about when traveling in the motorcade with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid from the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas to a high-dollar fundraiser for state Democrats and Reid’s hand-picked successor, former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto.

Full story

July 2, 2015

Obama Launches Preemptive Strike on Scott Walker, 2016 GOP Field

Obama made his case for a worker's rights agenda and against the 2016 GOP field. (Screenshot)

Obama made his case for a worker’s rights agenda and against the 2016 GOP field. (Screenshot)

President Barack Obama touted his push for a host of benefits for workers in Gov. Scott Walker’s Wisconsin — while lampooning the rest of the 2016 GOP field.

With Walker one of the frontrunners for the Republican nomination, Obama took direct aim at his policies. Although Walker greeted Obama at the airport, Obama tore into his attacks on union rights and his cuts for education.

He said neighboring Minnesota had raised the minimum wage, implemented all-day kindergarten and made it easier to go to college while raising taxes on the top two percent. Obama said the results are that Minnesota has a lower unemployment rate and $9,000 higher median income than its neighbor.

Obama said all of the Republicans running — he joked that he’s lost track of how many and suggested they could start their own Hunger Games (video) — all have the same governing agenda of giving breaks to the rich while everyone else is on their own. That’s the same policies, Obama said, that led to the 2008 financial crisis.

He even joked that the Republicans were like having a crazy Uncle Harry — somebody you love but “you don’t want to put in charge.”

And he said that the fight is also about values.

“Being an American is not about taking as much as you can from your neighbor before they take as much as they can from you,” he said. “We are not a bunch of individuals out here on our own. We are a community, we are family. We are all in this together.”

Obama also name-checked the various pieces of his worker rights agenda. That includes his push for a higher minimum wage, new overtime rules, free community college, and paid sick leave. And he also argued that his trade agenda would also boost jobs for workers.

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June 26, 2015

Same-Sex Marriage Supreme Court Decision Caps Historic Week for Obama (Updated) (Video)

Marriage equality advocates demonstrate outside the Supreme Court Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Marriage equality advocates demonstrate outside the Supreme Court Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 11:51 a.m. | Same-sex marriage will now be legal throughout the United States — putting another monumental exclamation point to President Barack Obama’s presidency.

This is arguably the high point of Obama’s entire tenure in office, with the Supreme Court justices he put on the court joining the rest of the liberal wing of the court and Anthony M. Kennedy in a 5-4 decision requiring states to issue same-sex marriage licenses. Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 10:24 a.m.
Politics, SCOTUS

March 21, 2015

Obama Waves Off Third Term

President Barack Obama won’t serve a third term. That’s one takeaway from his visit Saturday to cheer his niece’s basketball team to victory in the NCAA tournament in College Park, Md., although Leslie Robinson didn’t actually see playing time in Princeton’s 80-70 victory over Green Bay.

During a break in the action with 4:24 left to play following a hard foul, Obama waved at the Princeton student body, fronted by a row of women with T-I-G-E-R-S painted on their tummies. They in turn chanted “Four more years! Four more years!” Full story

January 21, 2015

#SOTU Pumps Up Democrats, Post-‘Shellacking II’

Obama delivers his State of the Union address in the in the Capitol's House chamber, January 20, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Obama’s defiant address has Democrats fired up. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“Barack Obama’s Back.” That was the three-word verdict from Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., after Tuesday’s State of the Union address.

It sums up, perhaps, a sense among Democrats that the newly confident, revitalized president that they’ve seen in recent weeks should have been the president on the campaign trail before the midterm elections.

“He seems to be relaxed and free,” Takano said. Full story

January 20, 2015

Excerpts From Obama’s State of the Union Address

(Larry Downing/Reuters File Photo)

(Larry Downing/Reuters File Photo)

The following is a transcript of excerpts of President Barack Obama’s Jan. 20 State of the Union address:

“We are fifteen years into this new century. Fifteen years that dawned with terror touching our shores; that unfolded with a new generation fighting two long and costly wars; that saw a vicious recession spread across our nation and the world. It has been, and still is, a hard time for many.

But tonight, we turn the page.” Full story

James K. Polk: He Might Be a Giant

The list of things President Harry S. Truman, presidential architect Karl Rove and alt-rock band They Might Be Giants have in common is probably a short one. But all three agree on one thing: James K. Polk.

“In four short years he met his every goal,” TMBG sang. Truman and Rove — among many others — sang the same tune. In “Met His Every Goal? James K. Polk and the Legends of Manifest Destiny,” Tom Chaffin, a University of Tennessee professor who is also editor of “Correspondence of James K. Polk,” sings a different tune.

Full story

January 18, 2015

Joke, Flatter, Dig In: Handling Post-Shellacking SOTUs

Clinton, right, felt the pain of his parties losing the majority. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Clinton, right, felt the pain of his parties losing the majority. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If President Barack Obama is looking to break the ice at Tuesday’s State of the Union, he could do worse than quote Harry S. Truman, who in 1947, just a few months after his party lost its majorities in the House and Senate, told the assembled Congress: “It looks like a good many of you have moved over to the left since I was last here!”

The American political system can be cruel. Someone wins, many lose. The person usually blamed for losing — the president — must speak before a room full of winners, most of whom think they can do a better job than him. But small moments of humor, grace or pugnacity still find their ways into the chief executive’s annual address. Full story

January 5, 2015

GOP: What About Robert Byrd?

The GOP is pointing to the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd to counter the White House’s dig at Republicans for keeping Rep. Steve Scalise in leadership.

Byrd travels through the walkway from the Russell Senate Office Building to the Capitol in May 2010. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Byrd travels through the walkway from the Russell Senate Office Building to the Capitol in May 2010. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Earlier Monday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said repeatedly it would “say a lot” about Republicans if they chose to have the Louisianan remain in leadership following the news he had spoken to a white supremacist group in 2002, and pointed to comments by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus about the need for the party to expand its outreach. Full story

November 6, 2014

White House May Change, Or May Not — They’re Not Telling

For the second straight day after Tuesday’s electoral earthquake remade the political map, the White House had no discernible scintilla of change in approach, other than to say that the president might change his approach. Just how, exactly, is still a mystery.

After President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he heard the voters but declined to say what he thought they were telling him, Press Secretary Josh Earnest didn’t have anything new for reporters either.

The Democrats look set to have the same leadership teams they’ve had for more than a decade on Capitol Hill, and Obama isn’t about to make wholesale changes in his own staff, Earnest suggested, though he did allow that maybe the president would “look at his team” and that some might decide to go in the normal course of events. But that’s what Earnest was saying in the weeks before the voters body slammed Democrats across the map.

Earnest said that Obama could “probably” have done a better job reaching out to Republicans, but also noted that Republicans had made opposition to all of his policies their political agenda. Now that they’ve taken over Congress, Earnest expressed some hope that they might now change their obstructionist approach and try to get some things done.

Earnest said that could start with things like transportation spending and trade — areas where both sides agree.

And he dismissed calls from the new Republican leadership for the president to forego executive actions on immigration lest he poison the well.

“The answer is yes, the president is going to take that action,” Earnest said.

The president, meanwhile, looks forward to having lunch with the leadership Friday.

Your move, GOP.

Related:

White House Dismisses David Krone’s Criticism

Pelosi’s Allies Blame Obama

Boehner Warns Obama’s Going to ‘Burn Himself’ if He Acts on Immigration

Obama Struggles to Read the Public, Congress

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By Steven Dennis Posted at 4:54 p.m.
Politics

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