After an unscheduled detour into homeland security, the White House this week plans to refocus on the economy and jobs — while holding off distractions like the racially charged comments of the Senate majority leader and the budget director's love child.
During the presidential campaign, President Obama earned the sobriquet "No Drama Obama" for his calm, unflappable demeanor. But the demands of the job and churning crises are constantly challenging that public persona. Read More
In Evelyn Waugh's novel "Scoop," the best book on journalism ever written, Lord Copper, proprietor of the Daily Beast, is followed around by a flunky who responds to every statement he makes. When Lord Copper says something that is true the flunky says, "Absolutely, Lord Copper." When he says something that is false, the flunky says, "Up to a point, Lord Copper."
American politicians and public officials are not followed around by such aides. But the press and public opinion can and often do perform the function of Lord Copper's flunky. Read More
President Obama may break a decades-old tradition of delivering the State of the Union address in January in order to give Congress more time to pass a health care reform bill that he would be able to tout in his speech.
It would be only the second time since a constitutional amendment shifted the government's timetables in 1934 for a president to move the date past January. The only president to move the date was Ronald Reagan, who delayed his address by a week in response to the Jan. 28 explosion of the space shuttle Challenger. Read More
As the House and Senate negotiate a final health care bill, they are setting their sites on raising the Medicare payroll tax on high-income earners as a way to bridge a disagreement over who should pay for the trillion-dollar legislation.
Critics say adding a Medicare payroll tax would hurt the economy and that the proposal shows the desperation of Democratic lawmakers who want to quickly strike a health care deal. But proponents say it would shield the middle class from a tax increase. Read More
Washington sex scandals ain't what they used to be.
White House budget czar Peter Orszag acknowledged that his former girlfriend had given birth to his child. But official Washington, which was once home to a cottage industry of investigators probing the private lives of public figures, greeted the news with a collective titter. Yet is was barely a decade ago that Bill Clinton -- whose sordid personal life led to the country's second impeachment -- fired a surgeon general for daring to suggest that parents should talk to their kids about masturbation. Read More
The Office of Management and Budget, best known for mathematical models and deficit forecasts, has dragged the buttoned-down Obama administration into an unlikely sex scandal.
Budget Director Peter Orszag's former girlfriend, shipping heiress Claire Milonas, gave birth to his daughter six weeks before Orszag announced his engagement to ABC News reporter Bianna Golodryga on Dec. 29.
After the scandal broke in the New York Post, Orszag and Milonas released a statement saying their relationship ended in the spring of 2009. Read More
DENVER -- Saying he needs to spend more time with his family, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter announced Wednesday he won't seek re-election this year -- a move that he said would free him politically to make "tough and unpopular decisions" in the months ahead.
A Democrat who is widely considered a rising star in the party, Ritter announced his decision at the state Capitol surrounded by three of his children. Read More
The retirements of longtime Sens. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., will likely chill the liberal agenda of the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate as they seek to avoid widespread losses in 2010.
Political experts believe the prospect of significant Republican gains in November will leave Democrats divided over what to do next when it comes to passing their biggest legislative priorities, including global warming legislation and an immigration reform bill. Read More
A year ago I was privileged to be one of several guests at a dinner with President-elect Barack Obama. One thing that struck me and others, aside from his courtesy and fluency, was his air of self-confidence. The man who had risen in just four years from state senator to president of the United States seemed sure he could master the job.
I wonder whether he is as sure now. Its seems to me that two assumptions that Obama carried into the White House — assumptions that were shared by many who hadn't voted for him — have proved to be unfounded. Read More
Facing pressure to address a burgeoning threat from extremists in Yemen, President Obama is suspending transfer of Yemenis from Guantanamo Bay prison back to their own country.
But Obama says he remains determined to shutter the detention center.
"Make no mistake, we will close Guantanamo prison, which has damaged our national security interests and become a tremendous recruiting tool for al Qaeda," Obama said. "In fact, that was an explicit rationale for the formation of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula." Read More