Related Content: Barack

At Least He Didn’t Call Him Moneybags

On The Radar

Yesterday President Obama said he "wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth." This line was widely interpreted as a not-so-subtle dig at Mitt Romney, the wealthy son of a wealthy father. At first glance, that seemed plausible, though perhaps too subtle. The president's campaign would like you to think Romney was born with silver tea, soup, demitasse, grapefruit, and runcible spoons—not to mention that funny silver ladle we use just on Thanksgiving—in his mouth. But upon second look, the president wasn't talking about his Republican challenger. He was just talking.

Obama’s Approval Numbers Climb

On The Radar

The recent run of positive economic news, modest though it may be, appears to be sinking in with voters and giving President Barack Obama his best approval numbers in a while. The latest Gallup tracking poll shows more people approving of Mr. Obama’s job performance than disapproving, by a 49%-45%. Those numbers are not overwhelming, but the trend is unmistakably good for Mr. Obama; it’s the first time he’s been in positive territory since the start of this year.

Obama's State of Union Must Strike a Balance on Congress

On The Radar

For weeks, President Obama and his top advisors have been meeting around the gleaming table in the Roosevelt Room, debating what to include in the State of the Union address that will double as the national opening of the president's reelection year. Now, as they polish the final drafts, a key question remains: how rough to be in attacking what Obama calls a "do-nothing Congress" — the members of which will be arrayed in front of him as he speaks Tuesday night.

Obama's 2011: Defiance Sets Tone for '12

On The Radar

What did President Obama learn about governance in 2011? His detractors say "not enough." But his Democratic base thinks he's finally listening to them, and looking tougher as a result. It was a year in which the economy and Congress were both stalled, and Americans were roughly divided about the job the president was doing. Obama began the year by talking up spending freezes, smaller deficits and "winning the future" for the American economy.

Why Tea Party Freshmen Caved on Payroll Tax Deal

On The Radar

Conservative Tea Party-affiliated lawmakers spent weeks vowing to oppose the short-term compromise bill extending payroll tax cuts and unemployment insurance. But in the end, the bill glided through the House, just before Christmas. The final moments of this latest congressional showdown were fascinating not because of what happened but because of what didn't happen.
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Obama Approval Rating Shows Signs of Rebound in Two Polls

On The Radar

President Barack Obama’s approval ratings are showing signs of rebounding following some recent positive economic data and after months of aggressively promoting his jobs plan and criticizing his Republican opposition. Forty-nine percent of Americans approve of how Obama is handling his job, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll and another conducted for CNN.
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House Speaker Foresees Extension of Payroll Tax Cuts

On The Radar

House Speaker John Boehner told USA TODAY on Monday that he was optimistic that payroll tax cuts and unemployment benefits would be extended — despite a congressional stalemate that could result in millions of Americans losing both in the new year.
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Christian Group Struggles over Gingrich Endorsement

On The Radar

Newt Gingrich's marital problems have come back to haunt him in Iowa where Christian conservatives are split over whether they can look beyond his past infidelities and endorse him for the January 3 caucuses. The Family Leader, one of the state's most influential evangelical groups, is in intense debate about whether to back Gingrich, a front-runner in the contest to choose the Republican to face Democratic President Barack Obama in November.
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Obama Professes Satisfaction With Payroll Tax Deal

On The Radar

President Obama triangulated, truncated and equivocated on his way to a pale compromise with lawmakers over the payroll tax. On Saturday, with Senate approval behind him and House action a question mark next week, he professed satisfaction with a result that will benefit 160 million Americans -- for eight weeks in 2012. "I'm glad that both parties in Congress came together," the president declared. "And I want to thank them for ensuring that as we head into the holidays, folks at home don't have to worry about their taxes going up."

Hate Washington? Join The Club

Gwen's Take

Welcome to my hometown. There are few places in the world that people hate so much, yet expend such extraordinary effort trying to get to.

Myself, I find much to love about Washington. The monuments are pretty. The green spaces are well-manicured. The museums are astounding (and mostly free). And it is just Southern enough to produce good food and good people.

But if there is one thing that never seems to change, it is that the rest of the country has come to hate the caricature the city has become.