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Posts Tagged ‘John Boehner’

How Robin Roberts’ Coming Out Reflects on a New Way of Communicating

shutterstock_52331746We’re not terribly familiar with Robin Roberts or her work on Good Morning America. More importantly, we don’t believe that her private life should be anyone’s business but her own unless she chooses to make it so.

That said, we do think that her decision to very nonchalantly reveal the fact that she has been involved in a relationship with another woman for more than a decade via yesterday’s year-end Facebook post is important enough to merit a comment.

Why? Because it reveals the changing nature of the relationship between public personalities and the people who know them by name.

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The Republican Party Teaches Itself How to Talk to Women


You may have heard that the Republican Party currently has some problems winning the votes of American women—and electing them to office. In the words of House Speaker John Boehner:

“When you look around the Congress, there are a lot more females in the Democrat caucus than there are in the Republican caucus.”

This is definitely not the first time he’s noticed, because party insiders have been talking demographic “rebranding” since a 2012 election in which Mitt Romney lost the female vote by more than 10%. One part of their solution involves “tutoring” candidates on how not to address female opponents, which is important since at least 10 2014 House races involve a female Democrat challenging a male Republican incumbent.

What is it they have to learn, exactly, to win over a group that happens to make up 54% of the electorate?

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Hank Williams Jr.: I Wrote This Crappy Statement

Hank Williams Jr. got into some hot water on Monday after he went on Fox & Friends and compared the golf game between House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama to “Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu.” The old “Obama as Hitler” stuff again. It’ll get you every time.

ESPN was having none of it and Bocephus got his dumb football anthem cut from Monday Night Football.

No surprise that Williams went ahead and quickly issued an apology on his website and Facebook page. Laughably, CNN quotes and edits the statement:

The thought of the leaders of both parties jukin’ [sic] and high fiven’ [sic] on a golf course, while so many families are struggling to get by, simply made me boil over and make a dumb statement, and I am very sorry if it offended anyone. I would like to thank all my supporters. This was not written by some publicist.

We believe 100 percent that a publicist had nothing to do with this Bocephus. CNN also got a statement from ESPN’s senior director of comms Bill Hofheimer who says the company has made no decision about future use of the song.

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*Update: Now we have dueling statements! Bocephus is hitting the all caps button to tell ESPN that he’s taking his song and his friends and his first amendment rights and leaving. And ESPN is saying “Later.” We’re going to bet that this turns into an ABC contest for the new Monday Night Football anthem.

Obama Taking the Direct Approach With Jobs Bill

Obama signing the American Invents Act in Virginia today. Photo: Jason Reed, Reuters

President Obama has been doing the legwork to promote the American Jobs Act, hoping to get it past a very divided Congress. He’s also been talking it up like a man on a mission.

Next week he’ll be in Ohio, home state to House Speaker John Boehner, making a visit to the Brent Spence Bridge, which Press Secretary Jay Carney calls “functionally obsolete,” making the case for the infrastructure work included in the act. Perhaps chosen for symbolic effect, the bridge leads to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s home state of Kentucky. And the President started his travels in House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s state, Virginia.

Where there isn’t enough symbolism to go around, the President has been saying outright and repeatedly “pass this bill.” Last week, Yahoo reported on the dozens of emails that went out detailing the support for the bill. And he even used today’s signing of a patent reform bill to push the American Jobs Act and all the jobs it can create (which some dispute). The President’s PR lesson: Stick to the message and bring a sense of urgency every time you have the chance.

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Would ‘Debt Super Committee’ Transparency Be a Bad Thing?

Sen. John Kerry is among those who have been appointed to the debt supercommittee. Photo: File photo / Associated Press

Nine of the 12 “debt super committee” members have been chosen, with House Speaker John Boehner selecting three fellow Republicans to join the other six members chosen by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Only House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has yet to make her selections.

Rep. Pelosi has asked for transparency during the super committee process, calling for sessions to be made public for visitors and available to watch online. Speaker Boehner and other organizations have made the same request.

However, The Atlantic says this could be a bad thing.

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President Obama Comes Out Strong Following Debt-Ceiling Negotiations

President Obama and Congressional leaders at the White House last month. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Finally — finally — it looks like the government is coming to some sort of resolution to the debt-ceiling standoff. The wrangling continues right to the last minute (the deadline is tomorrow people!), but reporters are already looking at the impact that discussions will have on the reputations of the parties and individual politicians.

“…[E]ven as a compromise was announced on Sunday evening, both parties were prepared to try to define the deal as staying true to their respective principles,” The New York Times writes. “How well each of them does in shaping perceptions of the outcome could have a substantial effect on the 2012 presidential race and the balance of power in Washington as the ideological fight over the size and role of government grinds on.”

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Lots of Outreach on Debt Ceiling Talk, But Still No Resolution

Photo: Saul Loeb, AFP, Getty Images

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney used today’s press briefing to denounce the GOP for its latest budget plan, which he said “becomes less and less bipartisan, more and more partisan.” On the other hand, the President’s comments today express confidence in the ability for this issue to resolve itself, a tone of optimism that The Hill says wasn’t there a week ago.

At this point, the White House and Congressional leaders are appealing to anyone and everyone (including each other) in thus-far futile attempts at ending the debt-ceiling stalemate.

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Jeff Jarvis Launches a Hashtag, Tapping Into Anger and Dropping Major F Bombs

Looks like I wasn’t the only one angry while watching the dueling addresses last night from President Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner.

CUNY professor and blogger Jeff Jarvis started a hashtag, #FuckYouWashington, that has racked up tens of thousands of comments. One thing Jarvis made clear during his appearance on The CBS Early Show (The Atlantic Wire’s coverage of the CBS coverage is pretty funny) was that he tapped into the frustration felt around the country over the government’s inability to come to a budget resolution. People felt moved to engage and participate.

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Obama Addressing the Nation Tonight; @PressSec Tweeting This Afternoon

President Obama will address the nation about the ongoing and very frustrating debt ceiling talks between Democrats and Republicans tonight at 9 p.m. The two sides have presented two different budgets with no compromise in sight despite a fast-approaching August 2 deadline. Investor worries are also having an impact on the value of the dollar, the price of gold, and the stock markets.

Press Secretary Jay Carney announced the President’s address, and took to Twitter with this comment:

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Is John Boehner Crying Too Much?

Following his teary interview on 60 Minutes, the media started analyzing the case for and against weepy public appearances, and asking questions about where all of House Speaker-elect John Boehner‘s emotion comes from.

Anderson Cooper defended Boehner on The View, saying that it’s something that makes him, and men, more human.  New York Times columnist Gail Collins asks if current Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as a woman, would be able to get away with such liberal waterworks. (Her answer is no. Sarah Palin, speaking with ABC News, seems to agree.)

The American Spectator takes a look back at politicians who have shed a tear, including Edmund Muskie, a case where crying was enough for people to “dismiss his candidacy.” AOL columnist Matt Lewis even takes a look at suspicions that Boehner has a drinking problem.

Click here for video of the 60 Minutes interview. Does Boehner need to better control his emotions?