Obama Reportedly Wasn’t Pleased With Mitt Romney’s 2012 Concession Phone Call
Feb08

Obama Reportedly Wasn’t Pleased With Mitt Romney’s 2012 Concession Phone Call

The Huffington Post WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama was displeased with Mitt Romney’s 2012 Election Night concession call, and briefly considered appointing Hillary Clinton to the Supreme Court, one of his closest former advisers reveals in a new book. The adviser, David Axelrod, says Obama thought Romney suggested the president was only re-elected because he got out the black vote, according to an advance copy ofBeliever: My 40 Years in Politics obtained by the New York Daily News. Obama was “unsmiling during the call, and slightly irritated when it was over,” Axelrod writes in the book, scheduled to go on sale next week. Romney also reportedly told Obama that he had done a good job getting out the vote in Cleveland and Milwaukee, which Obama interpreted to mean black people. “That’s what he thinks this was all about,” Obama said, according to Axelrod. The 2014 Netflix documentary “Mitt” captures the moments before the call on Romney’s end and shows the former Massachusetts governor asking aides if someone has the president’s phone number. Even though Obama beat him handily, Romney apparently told Obama that he was surprised he had lost the election. Romney recently flirted with a third run for the White House, but announced last week he wouldn’t join the race. Before Romney bowed out, Obama publicly mocked him for being “suddenly deeply concerned about poverty.” “That’s great. Let’s do something about it,” Obama said. Axelrod also reveals in the book that Obama briefly considered appointing Hillary Clinton to the Supreme Court after he won the Democratic nomination in 2008. Clinton, who Obama eventually appointed secretary of state, is considered the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for president in...

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‘World’s Poorest President’ Stops His Car To Give Hitchhiker A Ride
Jan31

‘World’s Poorest President’ Stops His Car To Give Hitchhiker A Ride

  The Huffington Post Getty Images A hitchhiker was caught off-guard when a world leader offered to give him a lift. Gerhald Acosta was looking for a ride on his way home from his job at a paper mill plant in southwestern Uruguay, earlier this month. He later explained in a Facebook post that though several cars passed him, an SUV with a government license plate pulled over, according to RT.com. Upon getting inside, Acosta realized that Uruguayan President Jose Mujica and his wife, Sen. Lucia Topolansky, were in the vehicle. “I know this woman. It was Lucia, with Manuela the dog, and Pepe (Jose) in the front seat,” Acosta told El Observador, according to Fox News Latino. “I couldn’t believe it. The president was giving me a ride.” The president and his wife had been on their way to their residence when they picked Acosta up, according to El Observador. The hitchhiker said that Mujica was concerned about why Acosta, who had to return home unexpectedly, needed a ride. Acosta said that though the ride was a brief one, he was moved by the couple’s gesture. “When I got out, I thanked them profusely because not everyone helps someone out on the road, and much less a president,” he told El Observador. While Mujica’s decision to pick up the hitchhiker was a kind one, the leader is widely known for his acts of compassion. During a television interview in Montevideo last November, Mujica paused to give money to a man in need. The leader has even been nicknamed “the world’s poorest president,” thanks to his decision to donate 90 percent of his salary to charity. When speaking about the money he actually keeps, Mujica told El Mundo, according to Univision’s translation, “I do fine with that amount; I have to do fine because there are many Uruguayans who live with much...

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Mitt Romney Is Not Running For President In 2016
Jan30

Mitt Romney Is Not Running For President In 2016

The Huffington Post Former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he will not run for president in 2016. Hugh Hewitt posted text of the remarks Romney was to make on a conference call with donors discussing his 2016 plans on Friday. “After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I’ve decided it is best to give other leaders in the Party the opportunity to become our next nominee,” the prepared remarks say. Romney lost his 2008 bid for the Republican presidential nomination to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), and in 2012, ran unsuccessfully against President Barack Obama. Romney hinted recently that he was exploring a run for the presidency after months of him saying he would not make another White House bid. “I’m not running, I’m not planning on running, and I’ve got nothing new on that story,” he told Bloomberg in October 2014. But even as he denied he was interested in another campaign, Romney left the door open. Romney told donors earlier in January that he was considering running for president, and moved to reassemble his old campaign team. Romney’s potential 2016 Republican rivals had questioned whether the former governor could bring anything new to a campaign. “There are some who believe that the path to Republican victory is to run to the mushy middle, is to blur distinctions,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said in January in response to a question about Romney. “I think that recent history has shown us that’s not a path to success. It doesn’t work. It’s failed electoral strategy.” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) dismissed Romney as “yesterday’s...

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Exclusive: Hillary Clinton May Delay Campaign
Jan29

Exclusive: Hillary Clinton May Delay Campaign

Politico Getty Images Hillary Clinton, expecting no major challenge for the Democratic nomination, is strongly considering delaying the formal launch of her presidential campaign until July, three months later than originally planned, top Democrats tell POLITICO. The delay from the original April target would give her more time to develop her message, policy and organization, without the chaos and spotlight of a public campaign. A Democrat familiar with Clinton’s thinking said: “She doesn’t feel under any pressure, and they see no primary challenge on the horizon. If you have the luxury of time, you take it.” Advisers said the biggest reason for the delay is simple: She feels no rush. “She doesn’t want to feel pressured by the press to do something before she’s ready,” one adviser said. “She’s better off as a noncandidate. Why not wait?” A huge advantage to waiting would be that Clinton postpones the time when she goes before the public as a politician rather than as a former secretary of state. Polling by both Democrats and Republicans shows that one of her biggest vulnerabilities is looking political. So the Clinton camp has enjoyed watching her recede from the headlines in recent weeks as Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney have amped up their potential candidacies. One option being considered would be to announce an exploratory committee earlier — perhaps in April, at the beginning of a new fundraising quarter, in the time frame when insiders originally expected her to launch her campaign. Then the actual kickoff would be in July, near the start of the next quarter. By launching at the beginning of a quarter, supporters would have the maximum amount of time to generate a blockbuster total for their first report. The delay would pose complications for the infrastructure that has been built in anticipation of her candidacy. Ready for Hillary, a super PAC that expects to go out of business once the campaign begins, now may have to fund its data-gathering and grass-roots activities longer than expected. The danger — and a reason the plan could be scrapped — is that the comparatively leisurely rollout could fuel complaints that Clinton sees the nomination fight as a coronation. Already, her allies are contemplating the possibility that she might not have to debate before the general election....

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The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, And It Is Not What You Think
Jan23

The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, And It Is Not What You Think

The Huffington Post It is now one hundred years since drugs were first banned — and all through this long century of waging war on drugs, we have been told a story about addiction by our teachers and by our governments. This story is so deeply ingrained in our minds that we take it for granted. It seems obvious. It seems manifestly true. Until I set off three and a half years ago on a 30,000-mile journey for my new book, Chasing The Scream: The First And Last Days of the War on Drugs, to figure out what is really driving the drug war, I believed it too. But what I learned on the road is that almost everything we have been told about addiction is wrong — and there is a very different story waiting for us, if only we are ready to hear it. If we truly absorb this new story, we will have to change a lot more than the drug war. We will have to change ourselves. I learned it from an extraordinary mixture of people I met on my travels. From the surviving friends of Billie Holiday, who helped me to learn how the founder of the war on drugs stalked and helped to kill her. From a Jewish doctor who was smuggled out of the Budapest ghetto as a baby, only to unlock the secrets of addiction as a grown man. From a transsexual crack dealer in Brooklyn who was conceived when his mother, a crack-addict, was raped by his father, an NYPD officer. From a man who was kept at the bottom of a well for two years by a torturing dictatorship, only to emerge to be elected President of Uruguay and to begin the last days of the war on drugs. I had a quite personal reason to set out for these answers. One of my earliest memories as a kid is trying to wake up one of my relatives, and not being able to. Ever since then, I have been turning over the essential mystery of addiction in my mind — what causes some people to become fixated on a drug or a behavior until they can’t stop? How do we help those people to come back to us? As I got older, another of my close relatives developed a cocaine addiction, and I fell into a relationship with a heroin addict. I guess addiction felt like home to me. If you had asked me what causes drug addiction at the start, I would have looked at you as if you were an idiot, and said: “Drugs. Duh.” It’s not difficult...

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State Of The Union 2015: President Obama Goes Off Script After Applause Jab
Jan21

State Of The Union 2015: President Obama Goes Off Script After Applause Jab

  ABC News An awkward moment during the State of the Union came when unexpected applause turned into a slight against President Obama. But he turned it around and, with a smirk, added an off-script line back at his detractors. Towards the very end of the nearly hour-long speech, President Obama said, “I have no more campaigns to run,” and while he paused between sentences, some applause came shortly after. After the president realized the jab, he made one of his own. “I know ’cause I won both of ’em,” he said, referencing his two presidential elections. That drew laughter and applause from the crowd on the House floor. Unlike previous States of the Union, it was very clear whenever the president went off script because the White House released the full speech online moments before Obama took the...

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