Democrats seek ways to limit Obamacare fallout after Florida defeat
By Steve Holland and Thomas Ferraro WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama and his Democrats face the challenge of limiting fallout from Obamacare and drumming up voter enthusiasm in the November congressional elections, problem areas exposed by the loss of a Florida candidate who had led in the polls. The defeat of Democrat Alex Sink by Republican David Jolly in a special election last Tuesday has raised anxiety levels for Democrats as they struggle to hold on to control of the Senate in November and pick up seats in the Republican-held House of Representatives. The Florida race reflected turnout concerns, as Sink had been leading in the polls in the days ahead of the election. "We need to think about how to energize our base." A focus simply on turnout, however, could distract party leaders from recognizing the dangers presented by the president's healthcare law and, with his approval rating mired in the mid-40s, his relative unpopularity.
Sun, 16 Mar 2014 07:07:07 -0400
Former Boston mayor Tom Menino has cancer: reports
The longest-serving mayor in Boston history, who stepped down early this year after 20 years in office, has been diagnosed with an advanced form of cancer, the Boston Globe reported on Sunday. Tom Menino, 71, told the newspaper that the cancer has spread to his liver and lymph nodes. I was diagnosed," said Menino, who now teaches at Boston University. And I'll be at work Monday morning." The news drew an outpouring of support from local leaders, including Menino's successor and fellow Democrat Marty Walsh.
Sun, 16 Mar 2014 10:07:51 -0400
Boston mayor skips St. Patrick's parade over exclusion of gay group
By Elizabeth Barber BOSTON (Reuters) - Boston's Irish-American mayor skipped the city's St. Patrick's Day parade on Sunday after failing to hammer out a deal with organizers to allow a group of gay and lesbian activists to march openly. Mayor Marty Walsh had tried to negotiate a deal with organizers, the conservative Allied War Veteran's Council, to allow members of MassEquality, one of Massachusetts' largest gay activist groups, to join the parade. "As mayor of the city of Boston, I have to do my best to ensure that all Bostonians are free to participate fully in the civic life of our city. Unfortunately, this year, the parties were not able to come to an understanding that would have made that possible." Despite Walsh's boycott, other prominent Democratic Boston politicians, including Representative Stephen Lynch, marched in the parade, which drew tens of thousands of spectators, some of whom expressed disappointment at MassEquality's exclusion.
Sun, 16 Mar 2014 15:33:46 -0400
In China, Michelle Obama to stay firmly in 'mom in chief' mode
By Roberta Rampton WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. first lady Michelle Obama is expected to steer clear of controversial issues such as human rights when she visits China this week but her trip could help advance a top item on her husband's foreign policy agenda: deepening Washington's ties with Beijing. The week-long trip marks only the third foreign solo trip for Obama, who has cultivated a self-described "mom in chief" image, putting her energy into raising her daughters Malia, 15, and Sasha, 12, and signature domestic policy issues such as combating childhood obesity. She has joked that her motto during her husband's White House tenure has been to "do no harm." In keeping with that cautious approach, the White House said Obama's message on the trip will focus on cultural ties between the two countries and "the power and importance of education" for young people in both countries. But her trip, which will be front-page news in China and closely parsed by media, will carry important symbolic value.
Sun, 16 Mar 2014 14:55:12 -0400
Obama national security aides meet to discuss Ukraine
By Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's national security team discussed the Ukraine crisis in a session at the White House on Saturday after a last-ditch bid to find a diplomatic solution to the Cold War-style standoff with Russia floundered. Secretary of State John Kerry, who just returned from talks with his Russian counterpart in London, was at the White House meeting along with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Obama did not attend the meeting but was being briefed about it and other developments involving Ukraine, said Laura Lucas Magnuson, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council.
Sat, 15 Mar 2014 19:27:23 -0400
Yes, Lincoln Wouldve Done Ferns
Bill OReilly attacked President Obama for making a viral video, saying the Great Emancipator wouldnt stoop so low. History proves the opposite.
Wed, 12 Mar 2014 13:48:00 -0400
For Obama and Boehner, just maybe, a way forward
The latest snowfall was a bigger story in Washington this week than Tuesdays private meeting between the estranged president and House speaker their first in more than a year. Since Barack Obama recently signaled he has all but given up on legislating with Republicans, and since John Boehner has flat out said he cant trust the president, the assumption in Washington is that the chances for big legislation anytime soon are basically zero, whether the White House breaks out the good china or not.
Thu, 27 Feb 2014 06:12:34 -0500
John Kerry finds his calling
Ten years ago this week, John Kerry barely held off John Edwards in Wisconsins Democratic primary, prolonging for another few weeks his plodding, uninspiring march to the partys presidential nomination. Kerry went on to lose an eminently winnable election, after which most Democrats in Washington expected him to disappear, like Walter Mondale or Michael Dukakis.
Thu, 20 Feb 2014 06:53:54 -0500
In New York, real populism and real choices
Democrats in Washington dont have to worry much about the kind of fratricidal disorder that plagues the modern Republican Party. But neither should they take too lightly the intraparty breach that seems to be widening in New York, where the mayor of the nations biggest city is staring down the governor of its third largest state.
Thu, 13 Feb 2014 06:55:34 -0500
Hillary's question: not if, but how
Lets be clear about this much: no matter what the soothsayers on cable TV tell you, Hillary Clinton is no more likely to clear the Democratic field and avoid a primary in 2016 than Dennis Rodman is to become her secretary of state. Walter Mondale couldnt pull that off in 1984, and Al Gore couldnt do it in 2000, and the conditions for Washington-anointed frontrunners have only gotten exponentially harder since then.
Thu, 06 Feb 2014 07:00:00 -0500
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