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Monday, February 9, 2009

Democratic Chatter 2-9-2009

George Wenschhof Bio

Today, President Barack Obama is in Elkhart, Indiana - Elkhart, which has a population of 53,000, leads the country in unemployment. In December, the unemployment rate hit 15.3% in this town where the recreational vehicle industry is a major job source. The President will hold a town hall meeting to discuss his Stimulus bill at Concord Community High School at noon. The Indianapolis Star has more here.


Tonight, the President will hold a press conference at 8:00 PM ET - part of his push this week to sell his stimulus bill known as the America Recovery and Reinvestment Plan. He will be back at the White House and will take questions from the Press from the East Wing. Read more here.

Meanwhile, the Senate continues to debate the bill with a vote to end discussion possibly taking place tonight. 60 votes are needed and presently it looks as though there will not be more than one or two more votes than are needed. The bill would then go to a full vote in the Senate tomorrow before heading to committee to reconcile differences with the House version of the bill. After reconciliation of the bill, it would be sent to the White House for signature.


While the economy currently has the spotlight, the Obama administration is hard at work addresses the foreign policy issues facing the country - Vice-President Joe Biden just returned from a trip to Germany where he set a new tone for U.S. relations in Europe.

Also attending the conference in Munich was special envoy to Afghanistan-Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke. Holbrooke warned the stabilization of Afghanistan could be tougher than Iraq. The NY Times has more here.

An ABC-BBC-ARD German TV poll released today shows public support of U.S. plummeting in Afghanistan. In regard to is the country headed in the right direction?, the results were 40%, down from 77% in 2005. As to views favorable to the U.S.? the results were 47%, down from 83% in 2005. ABC News has more here.


Howard Dean receives support for Secretary of HHS - we reported after Tom Daschle withdrew from consideration for the cabinet position that Howard Dean should be considered. Bernie Sanders, the Independent Senator from Vermont voiced support for the former Governor of Vermont. The has more here. Others being considered are Governors Kathleen Sebelius (D-Kan.) and Phil Bredesen (D-Tenn.). Dean, the former chair of the DNC has not been considered for any positions within the Obama administration leading some to speculate there is a rift that exists.


Terry McAuliffe receives early shot across the bow at Virginia annual Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner - many look at the former national chair of the Hillary Clinton for president campaign and former DNC chair as an interloper in Virginia. One of his opponents in the Democratic primary is Brian Moran who took a swipe at Mcauliffe's bringing in national dollars to a local race and showing up after the tough battles had been waged to turn the state blue. has more here.


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