WASHINGTON (CNN) - If you think U.S. presidents are immune to traffic jams, think again.
President Barack Obama hit traffic early Sunday afternoon as he headed south on I-95 from the White House to Fort Belvoir, a military base in northern Virginia, where Obama was scheduled to play a round of golf.
According to the pool report, the president's motorcade hit a large traffic jam at the "Sprinfield interchange," where interstates 95, 395 and 495 all intersect. That stretch of road is known for bottlenecks.
After slogging through bumper to bumper conditions for 15 minutes, the motorcade cut across traffic and left the highway at exit 166.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Between uncertainty about her appearance at a big fundraiser and a war of words with a late night TV talk show host, former Republican vice presidential nominee Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was back dominating political headlines last week.
Did the media over do it with too much Palin coverage?
On CNN’s Reliable Sources, Howard Kurtz asked three political reporters to weigh in on just that question.
The journalists largely agreed that the wall-to-wall coverage of Palin, former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and last week’s annual Republican fundraiser was justified because of all the interest in Palin’s possible presidential aspirations.
"[T]his is one case where it's not the press’ creation," Time Magazine’s Mark Halperin told Kurtz. “A lot of Republican sources that all of us talked to were very unhappy with what Governor Palin did and the confusion in her political operation.”
“And it goes to a larger question,” continued Halperin, “is she doing what she needs to do now in order to be a plausible presidential candidate in 2012? Her relationship with the National Republican Party, confusion in her operation, a lack of confidence in her and those around her is what was at issue there; not gossip and not the rivalry with Newt Gingrich. And that's a legitimate issue and one the people covered.”
Air America’s Anna Marie Cox agreed.
“[I]t was not about Sarah versus Newt. It was more about Sarah versus sort of the apparatus of the GOP - and her relationship with them and the lack of professionalism in her operations,” Cox said Sunday.
The National Review’s Jim Geraghty had a different take, suggesting that the media’s dissatisfaction with the governor’s political staff was coloring the coverage Palin received about the GOP fundraising dinner last week.
“When a reporter doesn’t get a phone call returned, that grates on them,” Geraghty said to Kurtz. “And that may, in one form or another, get reflected in the coverage.”
The four journalists were uniformly critical of late night talk show host’s David Letterman’s recent off-color humor about Palin’s family.
The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.
For the latest political news: www.CNNPolitics.com.
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