What a difference a few years makes. George W. Bush was a delight with Jay Leno—revealing a new painting, cracking jokes about Putin, and only indirectly tweaking Obama.
Context is everything, especially when it comes to the appearances of former presidents on late-night talk shows, so it’s hardly a surprise that George W. Bush was perfectly charming Tuesday night on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.Former first lady Laura Bush, who eventually joined her husband on the couch, was even more perfectly charming.Gone was the president who lost the popular vote to Al Gore by half a million ballots but was handed the White House anyway by the Republican majority on the Supreme Court; whose national security team ignored actionable intelligence about a coming al Qaeda attack on the United States; who entangled the nation in a costly, bloody preemptive war against Iraq under false pretenses, using cooked-up evidence; who terribly mishandled the occupation of that damaged and alien country, causing even more death and destruction; who sanctioned official torture and other human rights violations but didn’t get Osama bin Laden; who, at the start of his second term, tragically botched the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina; and who presided over a massive financial meltdown that sent Wall Street tumbling into the abyss and resulted in one of the worst recessions in American history.
In 2008, he seemed like the coolest cat to hit the national scene in a long time, almost scientifically engineered to appeal to idealistic young Americans. How times have changed.
It’s like totally official, now, bro: Even the young Americans who were central to Barack Obama’s election in 2008 and 2012 are sick of the president, with a large and growing majority disapproving of the job he’s doing. In this, they’re just like their elders.A new Quinnipiac Poll finds that only 36 percent of voters between the ages of 18 and 29 approve of the job the president is doing while fully 54 percent of the kids give him the thumbs down (10 percent didn’t know or care enough to respond to the topic).
He’s no Northeastern squish or kooky libertarian. And the Wisconsin governor’s record could put him ahead of the 2016 pack—just don’t ask him to lead a national anti-union campaign.
If presidential campaigns were won on paper, Scott Walker would have it made.There are no fears the governor of Wisconsin is some kind of moderate Northeastern squish, as conservatives paint Chris Christie. He has no kooky libertarian strain, as the establishment fears Rand Paul possesses. He doesn’t preen like Ted Cruz, hasn’t betrayed Republican orthodoxy like Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio has.Instead, Walker took an ax to one of the Republican Party’s favorite bugaboos—government workers, and more important, the labor unions that protected them.
The Clintons joined President Obama at JFK’s grave today. Their fates have never been more intertwined—Bill is Obama’s life raft, and if Obama can recover, Hillary will benefit.
President Kennedy, in the months before his death, established the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and on Wednesday President Obama awarded this highest civilian honor to President Clinton, among other notables, including Oprah Winfrey, feminist leader Gloria Steinem, and country music singer Loretta Lynn. Later that day, the Obamas and the Clintons visited the Kennedy gravesite to pay homage to the forever young president 50 years after he was struck down.
Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson sank $150 million into GOP efforts in 2012, but his new uphill battle to ban Internet gambling pits him against many Republicans—including Chris Christie.
GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson was one of the biggest players in the 2012 Republican primary, bankrolling much of Newt Gingrich’s presidential bid, giving Mitt Romney’s PAC $20 million, and eventually donating nearly $150 million to GOP candidates and causes. But Adelson’s newest lobbying effort to ban Internet gambling puts him at odds with at least four Republicans with 2016 presidential aspirations and threatens to supercharge the GOP family feud with all the drama of a high stakes poker match.
He loves rap music, the Tea Party, and Cartagena, Colombia. Now Florida’s self-described ‘hip-hop conservative,’ Trey Radel, faces an arraignment on misdemeanor cocaine charges.
At 2:44 p.m. on October 29, freshman Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) tweeted that he “had some fun in the past few wks.” What kind of fun was he having? “On or about October 29, 2013, within the District of Columbia, Henry J. Radel III did unlawfully, knowingly and intentionally possess a quantity of cocaine, a controlled substance,” a charging document alleged Tuesday. The congressman has been formally charged with misdemeanor cocaine possession and will be arraigned Wednesday in District of Columbia Superior Court.
Zimmerman's recent arrest for domestic violence, and attempt to pin the blame on his girlfriend, should put an end to the debate over Trayvon Martin's killing.
You didn’t have to be a George Zimmerman skeptic to not be surprised as his recent arrest. In the months since his acquittal in the killing of Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman has been stopped for speeding (three times) and faced police questioning over an altercation with his ex-wife, Shellie Zimmerman, who said he punched her father and threatened her with a gun. Monday’s news fits the pattern. After smashing a table, threatening his girlfriend, Samantha Schiebe, with a loaded shotgun, and barricading her out of the home, police took him into custody and charged him with domestic violence.
On the eve of talks the president hopes will halt Iran's quest for a nuclear weapon, six Republican senators are trying to introduce new sanctions.
Defying the wishes of President Obama, six Republican senators Tuesday proposed an amendment to a defense spending bill that would introduce a new round of sanctions on Iran on the eve of diplomatic talks the president hopes will end Iran’s quest for a nuclear weapon.The amendment, offered by Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Il.) and co-sponsored by five other Republican senators, including Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as well as Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Sen.
Americans are unhappy with the Affordable Care Act, unhappy with President Obama, and kind of wish they had elected Romney instead.
At first glance, today’s poll from the Washington Post and ABC News is total vindication for Republicans who urge total rejection of the Affordable Care Act. In addition to the 57 percent who oppose the law—up eight points from last month—63 percent of Americans disapprove of Obama’s handling of the implementation.I’ll be the first to say that we should look to the economy as the driving force in the president’s standing. Still, it’s important not to under-emphasize the impact of the disastrous health care rollout.
Mary Cheney’s straight family members keep talking about ‘compassion’—a word that sounds nice but is typically used by the right to convey pity for the morally diseased.
No wonder Mary Cheney is pissed. Over the last two days, she and her wife, Heather Poe, have been talking about gay marriage in the language of equality, discrimination, and basic rights. Everyone else in the Cheney family, by contrast, has been talking about “compassion.”“I love my sister and her family and have always tried to be compassionate towards them,” explained Liz Cheney on Sunday. “I believe that is the Christian way to behave.” Added parents Dick and Lynne yesterday, “Compassion is called for, even when there is disagreement about such a fundamental matter.
If the New Jersey governor signs a bill providing in-state tuition benefits to children of undocumented immigrants, he’ll anger the very people he needs to win the GOP nomination.
It’s not easy being Chris Christie. And it just got tougher.Now the New Jersey governor doesn’t just have to deal with Sarah Palin calling his weight “extreme” or Rand Paul calling him a “moderate.” (Remember when being a moderate was a good thing?) Christie’s got a new challenge, one that could have a profound impact on his presidential ambitions: whether to sign into law a measure that will provide in-state tuition benefits to children of undocumented immigrants.
His apology for the disastrous Obamacare rollout was nice, but the public needs daily updates and vivid examples to break through the media-manufactured panic.
I try to limit myself to no more than four sports analogies a year, just to keep the clubby-male-pundit thing to a minimum. But this is unavoidably one of those times. Right now in the Obamacare Bowl, it’s like one of those points early in a football game where the other team has scored three quick touchdowns via some unusual circumstances, the old blocked punt and such. So boom, it’s 21-0. But it’s still the first quarter—say, 3:32 left in the first quarter.
When the war on terror has lost the founder of Blackwater, counterterrorism efforts could be in real trouble. Why Erik Prince thinks the national security state has become too big.
Erik Prince is not the kind of man one expects to make the case for slashing U.S. intelligence and military budgets. After 9-11, his company, Blackwater, expanded exponentially, winning contracts to protect diplomats and politicians in Iraq and to train and work with CIA paramilitary teams hunting terrorists. In an interview Monday, Prince said the national security state he once served has grown too large.“America is way too quick to trade freedom for the illusion of security,” he told The Daily Beast.
The hits keep coming! Embattled Toronto mayor Rob Ford reached a new level of viral infamy when he crashed into a fellow council member. Watch and cringe.
Ford’s downward spiral continued Monday when he plowed into a woman—nearly knocking her over—at a meeting of city council members working to strip him of his remaining powers. Those in attendance at the meeting were heard shouting “Shame! Shame!” at Ford, who has admitted to smoking crack while in office (he said he was drunk) and recently discussed oral sex in graphic terms on live TV. The vote, which a majority of council members have already supported, will cut Mayor McCrack’s office budget by 60 percent and allow his staff to join the deputy mayor.
A long-simmering feud between the former veep’s daughters—one gay, the other against gay marriage—has exploded on social media. And poor Dick is caught in the middle.
God help me, I actually feel sorry for Dick Cheney.No, not because of that whole selling-his-soul-to-Satan business. Lots of people in this town do that. And, for the most part, it seems to be working out pretty well for the former VP. (As has been noted, the man looks damn good for someone of his age and cardiac history.)But my heart does go out to Dick over the escalating gay-marriage spat between his daughters, Liz and Mary.For those not keeping track: This year, in hot pursuit of a Wyoming Senate seat, Liz has repeatedly felt compelled to state her disapproval of gay marriage.
Saturday was the deadline to fix the site. Did they do it, and if so, does it even matter? The Sunday talk shows look at the practical and political future of Obamacare.
Two consecutive failed presidents haven’t taught us anything—like David Brooks, we want to ‘strengthen the presidency.’ It’s time we shed our secret longing for a mighty ruler.