Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Obama to meet with his Republican opponents

Look for pointed disagreements over raising the $14.3 trillion federal debt limit when President Obama meets Wednesday with the 240-member House Republican Conference.

Led by Speaker John Boehner, most of the House Republicans will troop down to the White House for a tete-a-tete, to be followed Thursday by House Democrats -- the day their caucus grows to 193 following last week's special election in New York.

The sessions follow similar meetings with Republican and Democratic senators two weeks ago and illustrate Obama in full bipartisan mode. The main goal: a meeting of the minds on what it will take to let the government continue to borrow money hand over fist.

Americans "expect their elected leaders here in Washington to come together and work out solutions to these challenges that we face, rather than talk past each other," White House press secretary Jay Carney said. "It's useful to come together in the same room, talk and listen. So that's what he looks forward to doing."

House Republicans met with the president in January 2009, shortly after he was elected, and again in January 2010. At the first, Obama sought support -- unsuccessfully -- for his economic stimulus plan. At the second, he sought support -- unsuccessfully -- for his health care overhaul. Both measures passed with Democratic votes.

Those meetings came before Republicans flexed their muscles and won a House majority last November. Now, they have virtual veto power over Obama initiatives.

"Members always appreciate an opportunity to propose and debate solutions with the president," said Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck. "But this shouldn't be viewed as a budget negotiation. No deal will be struck tomorrow. It's an opportunity to discuss priorities."

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Oprah didn't scrap dated Obama scoop

After a morning of agonizing, Oprah yesterday aired her interview with President Obama -- taped nearly a week ago -- without mentioning the stunning news that Osama bin Laden had been killed in a daring raid ordered by the president.

"Trying to decide what to do about tomorrow's show with prez that was taped last week. Show will feel dated because we taped last week. Not even a hint of Osama's demise," Winfrey tweeted Sunday night.

It was a sticky spot for the queen of daytime, a former TV news anchor who does not like to be shown up by events.
OOPS: Oprah's interview with the Obamas was taped last week so there was no mention of Osama Bin Laden's death.

But the show aired, uncut and without an Oprah intro explaining what had happened since it was taped.

The only indication was a line on the screen, "Previously recorded," that appeared several times during the show.

"The decision was made late [Sunday] night to air the original show as taped . . . with the inclusion of a notification to our viewers that the program was previously recorded," said a Harpo spokesperson.

Was there any discussion of yanking yesterday's show altogether?

"There was discussion about how to remind our viewers that today's show was pre-taped," the Harpo spokesperson said.

The interview was taped last Wednesday in Chicago.

Subjects ranged from Obama's release that morning of a copy of his long-form birth certificate to the secrets of a healthy marriage to his re-election campaign. But no mention was made during the hour of the war on terrorism.