Last year, when an overwhelming number of Americans voted to put Barack Obama into the Presidency, the pundits praised the election as an example of how America has moved beyond the racism of the past.
Obama stormed into office with overwhelming approval numbers but — as past Presidents learned all too quickly — approval can be a fleeting thing and his popularity waned as his mistakes and missteps increased.
No President in recent history has fallen so far so fast. With his job approval rating hovering just above the dreaded 50 percent mark, more and more Americans wonder if the agent of change they thought they elected isn’t just a lackluster political hack.
Sen. Max Baucus, a leader in the troubled effort in Congress to write a health care overhaul bill, has received more campaign donations from the health industry than any elected federal official except President Barack Obama and three other senators.
Baucus, who is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has collected $3.9 million in donations from the health industry since 1989. Yet, when it comes to generous campaign contributions from doctors, drug makers, hospitals and other medical interests, the Montana Democrat has company from a group of colleagues he’s seen a lot of lately.
U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson’s oldest son defended his father against a claim by former President Jimmy Carter that the congressman’s outburst during a speech by President Barack Obama was “based on racism.”
Responding to an audience question at a town hall at his presidential center in Atlanta, Carter said Tuesday that Wilson’s outburst was also rooted in fears of a black president.
“I think it’s based on racism,” Carter said. “There is an inherent feeling among many in this country that an African-American should not be president.”
But Wilson’s son disputed that.
Sen. Max Baucus’ decision to release his long-awaited health care overhaul bill with no Republicans on board dims the chances for a bipartisan compromise on President Barack Obama’s top domestic priority.
The Senate Finance Committee chairman insisted Tuesday that he’ll keep negotiating with the three Republicans and two fellow Democrats who’ve been in closed-door talks with him for months on the bill he was to reveal Wednesday. Baucus, D-Mont., said he hopes that by the time the committee votes on the bill, as early as next week, Republicans will be there.
The meltdowns seem to come in bunches.
Serena Williams busting her racket and threatening a judge at the U.S. Open. Kanye West crashing the stage at the MTV awards and wresting the microphone away from honoree Taylor Swift.
And perhaps most notably Rep. Joe Wilson’s outburst at Barack Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress when he shouted, “You lie!” at the president.
The House GOP leadership arm-twisted Wilson into making an apology, but the obscure Republican backbencher seems to be enjoying his newfound notoriety so perhaps he will find it fortuitous that the same day the House voted to admonish him, Muntadhar al-Zeidi was released from an Iraqi jail.
President Obama has managed the unimaginable. He got tens of thousands of ordinary American citizens to leave the comfort of their homes, spend travel money they’ve been trying to watch very carefully and show up in Washington for a protest of a kind they hadn’t even dreamed of in years past. How did he accomplish this feat?