(CNN) – As the story of the Obamacare website fiasco unfolds, senior administration aides tell me that the President is "mad, frustrated and angry."
Mad that his signature legislative achievement is stuck at the gate, frustrated that he's running out of time to fix it and angry that he's got a second-term agenda now going nowhere. He's so furious, in fact, that he stepped out of character to vent to an assembled group of top aides, saying he would have delayed the website if he had known it was a mess.
Washington (CNN) - After years of characterizing the insurance industry as the bad guys in the health reform debate, the White House on Wednesday invited insurance company executives in to deliver a clear message: we need your help.
At a session led by White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, insurance executives gave the administration “a picture of what’s going on on the ground” and offered to help fix the problems.
Washington (CNN) - Multiple House Republican members and GOP leadership sources tell CNN that leaders are preparing a proposal to raise the debt ceiling temporarily while keeping the government shut down.
The sources tell CNN that House GOP leaders' plan is to formally discuss the idea with the GOP conference at a meeting Thursday morning.
Senior House Republican sources have been telling CNN since earlier this week the idea of raising the debt ceiling for four to six weeks is the most viable way out of the stalemate.
(CNN) – Just one week ago Republicans were united, railing against the man-made evil known as Obamacare. They hated it so much, they said, they would tie the funding of the government to the de-funding of the dread program. Sure, they had tried more than forty times to get rid of the plan before, but they had never done this: Attach the plan to kill it to a must-pass piece of legislation.
It was an idea borne of necessity, some now tell me. Republicans in the House had been hit over the head in their districts by ads run by conservative political action committees (paging Senator Ted Cruz, who appeared in some). The rap against them: They had not worked hard enough to slay the evil dragon. The charge, having been plastered all over TV, was levelled against them at town hall meetings over the summer. They came back to Washington very angry at Cruz and Company. And in survival mode.
Washington (CNN) - It’s an open secret that many congressional Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, were not happy with some of the past budget deals brokered by Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. They groused that they had given too much to Republicans in both the 2011 debt ceiling deal and as well as one last December focusing on the so-called fiscal cliff that pushed off only for a short time across-the-board spending cuts. And some blamed Biden - most notably Reid.
This time around, it’s Reid leading the charge for the Democrats. He’s made that point very clear, both inside and outside of the White House. As one administration official put it, "Reid is convinced he needs to stand his ground."
This isn't the idealism of 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." It isn't as dark as "House of Cards," either.
So how about settling on something lighter, like say, "Animal House," in which the dean famously says, "The time has come for someone to put his foot down. And that foot is me."
(CNN) – The dinner at Vice President Joe Biden's home Sunday night with Republican senators–which lasted from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET–was "serious and thoughtful," with discussions revolving around not only the unintended consequences of military strikes, but also the effectiveness of what the president intends to do, according to a source with knowledge of the dinner.
Biden told the dinner participants that the president had never been to the vice presidential residence before Sunday night, the source told CNN.
(CNN) – Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had no advance knowledge that her longtime friend and adviser, Huma Abedin, would speak out on behalf of her husband, Anthony Weiner, according to two sources with knowledge.
"She didn't know before she saw it on TV," one source said. Said another, "Hillary Clinton was not involved."
(CNN) - Let me just start by saying this: Redemption, political or otherwise, is a good thing. And by and large, voters are amenable to proffering forgiveness - especially when they believe the candidate is making a good-faith effort to reform, atone and emerge as a chastened and wiser person.
And so it was with Anthony Weiner, the erstwhile sexter who left Congress in disgrace two years ago to work on his problem, his life and his marriage.
(CNN) - Since President Obama seems to be a reflective soul, he must be reflecting on the irony of his latest predicament: as the man who came into office promising to change everything and who instead seems to have let much of what he promised to fix only get worse.
First, the good news: Slowly but surely, the economy is coming back. And that's no small feat, given where it was in 2009.