Rep. Bob Brady is a big beefy Irishman who embodies, as much as anyone, the Democratic machine in Philadelphia. He's a mainstay in the House of what's left of the "Pennsylvania Corner" on the floor, and an ally of former mayor and still Gov.
When he ran for president, Barack Obama's effervescent campaign was about hope, optimism, national unity, and, above all, the future. He offered a vision of a new world cooperatively shaped by a new generation. The message was mostly positive and upbeat, in part because it was obvious that outgoing Republican President George W. Bush had made a hash of the economy and led the country into two controversial wars. Americans, Obama strategists felt, wanted the uplift of looking forward.
Grant Street is where politics is practiced in my hometown of Pittsburgh, so when I need to get my bearings on Pennsylvania politics—or politics in general—I call the people I know who work (or used to work) in the City-County Building or the Allegheny County Courthouse.
For the last three days I've been checking in with Senate sources in both parties about the financial-services bill and been told the same thing: ignore the cloture votes, there's gonna be a deal.Well, after three such votes, it now seems like it's time to make a deal—which was the plan all along, and why I predicted in the magazine this week that there will ultimately be a bill.Here's why:The big banks are willing to accept the bill, as long as they can nip and tuck it enough to suit their...
When I was a reporter in Kentucky years ago they had a standard saying in the legislature about a grandstanding member who'd be talking on the floor but not pushing for a vote: so and so "would rather have the issue than the bill." That's the approximate position most Democrats are in right now on immigration reform: they'd rather have the issue than the bill.
It only takes a few minutes for the convention wisdom to congeal here in Washington. And that was true last weekend after Arizona passed its tough (some would say draconian) immigration law.
There are those, like Ezra Klein, who think President Obama somehow wimped out in his speech at Cooper Union. But my take is different. I think that, certainly by his standards, that was a fiery populist speech—arguably, at least in tone, one of the toughest he's given as president.
Wearing a cardinal-red jacket and a knowing smile, Sarah Palin tore into President Barack Obama here in her best barracuda style, driving a crowd of 3,000 cheering southern Republican conservatives here in New Orleans into an early election-season frenzy and eliciting shouts of "Run, Sarah, Run!" A Palin speech at a GOP gathering these days—especially one like the 40th anniversary Southern Republican Leadership Conference—is the closest the party gets to a rock concert.
It's going to be a long hot summer for the Obama administration in the Senate leading up to the November mid-term election—and the heat could burn the Democrats badly on Election Day.
Who dat? It's the Republican conservatives (a redundancy) of the South, meeting here in New Orleans for a conference at the Riverside Hilton and feeling as feisty and confident at the Super Bowl–winning New Orleans Saints.
Your Gaggler is here at sunny Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., on Opening Day, where President Obama threw out a looping, carefully lofty first pitch, and the world-class Philadelphia Phillies are easily dismantling the capital city's (still) hapless home team.
Tony Perkins has given up on Michael Steele—which matters to Republicans and should matter to Steele. Perkins heads the Family Research Council, a respected traditional-values lobbying group, and he told me today that he had been working for the last year behind the scenes to advise ("prop" up might be the better term) RNC chairman Steele, whose reign so far has been nothing short of a disaster.But even before the Voyeur nightclub fiasco, Perkins told me today, he'd lost patience with Steele,...
A Democratic senator I can't name, who reluctantly voted for the health-care bill out of loyalty to his party and his admiration for Barack Obama, privately complained to me that the measure was political folly, in part because of the way it goes into effect: some taxes first, most benefits later, and rate hikes by insurance companies in between.
It's fair to say that history is being made in the Capitol, which is why, even though it is Sunday night—when this place normally is empty—the halls are alive with people, cameras, floodlights, and a sense of awe or dread.The Democrats are nervous but also almost blasé—maybe a show of confidence designed to erase their own private doubts.