Related Content: Alexis Simendinger

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.

Lawmakers Reach Deal on Payroll Tax

On The Radar

The ice cracked under House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday. A deal to quiet a bruising political eruption over the payroll tax finally took shape -- after relentless criticism from within GOP ranks that House Republicans had dug themselves knee-deep in quicksand. After days of thrashing and teeth-gnashing, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell offered a way out of the mess with a statement underscoring similarities between the measures in the two chambers, rather than differences.

December 9, 2011

Weekly Show

 Newt Gingrich soars past Mitt Romney in the polls in three out of four early primary states. Rick Perry makes a push, but is it now a two-man race? Plus President Barack Obama makes a push for the payroll tax cut extensions.

Obama Follows Roosevelt's Populist Path to Kansas

On The Radar

President Obama on Tuesday will visit Kansas, a conservative bastion he lost by 15 points to John McCain in 2008, to deliver populist economic arguments he hopes can carry him in his 2012 re-election bid. In a detour from the battleground-states itinerary he's followed all year, the president is visiting the state his maternal grandparents called home in an effort to echo some of the "Square Deal" sentiments first voiced in a 1910 speech by Republican Theodore Roosevelt.

"Better Buildings" Bring Obama, Bill Clinton Together Again

On The Radar

They share a high regard for the secretary of state. They love policy conundrums, government, and being best-selling authors. They know firsthand that it's the economy, stupid. And on Friday, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton will join forces in Washington to tout "Better Buildings" as a public-private initiative that can save energy, money and create (even without new legislation) somewhere between 35,000 and 50,000 jobs.

As Deficit Panel Fails, Obama Vows to Keep Mandatory Cuts

On The Radar

President Obama said Monday he will veto any attempt by Congress to undo the across-the-board spending cuts mandated for 2013 that were triggered when lawmakers' failed to agree on a more surgical plan to trim deficits over the next decade. "My message to them is simple: No. I will veto any effort to get of rid of those automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense spending. There will be no easy off-ramps on this one," Obama said from the White House briefing room.

October 14, 2011

Weekly Show

As the GOP candidates debate economics, President Obama promotes his jobs plan. But with its defeat in the Senate, what’s next? Also, the strange story of an assassination plot against a Saudi Ambassador involving Iran and a Mexican drug cartel.
Joining Gwen: Karen Tumulty, Washington Post; Michael Duffy, TIME; Alexis Simendinger, RealClearPolitics; James Kitfield, National Journal.

August 19, 2011

Weekly Show

Perry is in the race, Pawlenty is out and Bachmann won the straw poll. The GOP candidates continue to blame Obama for the sluggish economic recovery. Also, President Obama plans to announce a jobs program. John Dickerson guest hosts with: Jeff Zeleny, New York Times; Karen Tumulty, Washington Post; Alexis Simendinger,, David Wessel, Wall Street Journal.

July 8, 2011

Weekly Show

Discouraging June unemployment numbers help to frame the contentious debt ceiling negotiations.  A look at GOP presidential hopefuls and their fundraising, and the White House changes course on acknowledging suicides in the military.  Joining Gwen: Alexis Simendinger,; Jeanne Cummings, Bloomberg News; Greg Ip, The Economist; and Yochi Dreazen, National Journal

On the Radar: July 14, 2011

Legacy: On The Radar