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Friday, July 31, 2009

Daily Democratic Wire 7-31-2009

George Wenschhof

Last night, President Obama sat down for a beer with Professor Gates and Sgt. Cowley - they were joined by Vice President Joe Biden. No explanation as to why Biden joined the gathering, but he did even out the color of the participants. Interestingly, Biden does not drink, he had one of those "near" beers. You can read more here.

The conversation went well and Crowley and Gates have agreed to meet privately again in the future. This is good for the subject of race relations should be an ongoing discussion among all Americans. By happenstance, the two with their families bumped into each other as they were waiting for Happy Hour and were given a tour of the White House.

I watched a press conference given by Sgt. Crowley following the Happy hour gathering and he was very good. Better, in fact, than most politicians.

Today, at lunch, the president will dine with business leaders at the White House. This is a continuation of his effort to reach out to the business community. You can read more here.

Tonight, as I reported early this week, the President joined by the Vice President will address his full Cabinet. This is the start of a two day retreat of all the cabinet secretaries to be held at the Blair House. After running a full court press for the first six months of his presidency, it seems a time out has been called. Let's see what the next play is to be called. You can read more here.


This morning, the Vice President will address the National Urban League - the conference is being held in Chicago and the theme is "Planning for the Future". You can read more here.

When I was Employment and Training Director for the National Association of Counties (NACO), all of the Public Interest Groups (PIGs, as they were called) held annual conferences for their members. Landing the vice president as a speaker is always good. Public Interest Groups are often overlooked, but they have tremendous influence in Washington.


House Energy and Commerce Committee struggle to reach agreement on health care bill - a small victory for the Obama administration prior to the August recess. Seems Blue Dog Democrats have received generous financial contributions from the insurance industry. This sausage making bill could wind up smelling and tasting bad. Stay tuned. has more on the struggles in the House here.

Senior White House Adviser David Axelrod is also holding a strategy meeting for House Democrats today - it is members only and no press. Presumably, messaging will be discussed on how to promote health care reform during the Congressional recess. You can read more here.


Commerce Department reports economy shrank at a better than expected rate - in good news for the Obama administration the gross domestic product (GDP) only reduced by 1% last quarter after falling 6.4% in the first quarter of this year. has more here.


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