Blog Posts by Chris Moody

  • Republican National Committee hosts 3-day meeting to plot future

    The National Republican Committee begins a three-day meeting in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday to elect a chairman and plot a path for the party's future.

    Mere blocks from where Democrats gathered to nominate President Barack Obama for a second term at that party's national convention in September, the 168 RNC members will gather for a series of strategy sessions and are expected to re-elect Reince Priebus as chairman.

    Three months after the November election where Democrats held control of the White House and bolstered their numbers in the House and Senate, some political soul searching is expected. There will be discussions of what went wrong in 2012 and what Republicans can do better in the mid-term elections in 2014 and the next presidential contest in 2016. Working groups within the RNC are currently preparing a comprehensive report dissecting the dynamics of last year's presidential campaign, and will publish and distribute copies later this spring.

    According to a tentative

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  • Conservative groups give GOP a pass on debt ceiling hike, with strings attached

    When House Republicans vote Wednesday on a bill to temporarily lift the federal debt ceiling, they won't have enthusiastic support from the conservative movement—but they won't get hell for it either.

    Some of the most prominent conservative groups that have opposed raising the debt ceiling will give House Republicans a (one time) pass when they vote on a short-term debt ceiling extension. The mild voices of support from the ideological coalition of groups, however, come with a price: They'll give Republicans a chance, but they expect the GOP to demand a plan to balance the federal budget when they ultimately negotiate with Democrats over financing the federal government.

    Groups like the Club for Growth, Heritage Action and the American Conservative Union, which signed a letter with more than 40 other organizations last week demanding a balanced federal budget, said they will give Republicans some breathing room on the debt limit now under the assumption Republicans will stand firm on

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  • John Boehner has ‘no clue’ what he said that set off Michelle Obama

    It was the eye-roll heard 'round the world, but House Speaker John Boehner says he can't remember what he said to first lady Michelle Obama during an inaugural lunch on Monday that made her look so visibly annoyed.

    Boehner was sitting next to the Obamas at lunch after the presidential inaugural ceremonies when he turned to them and said something that made the first lady scowl and roll her eyes. The exchange was caught on tape, but the cameras did not pick up the audio.

    During a closed-door meeting of House Republicans on Capitol Hill Tuesday night, Boehner addressed the caught-on-tape interaction with Michelle Obama, saying he has "no clue" what he said.

    "He said, 'I have no clue what that was about,'" Louisiana Republican Rep. John Fleming told reporters after the meeting. "He said they were just having a casual conversation. He said he doesn't know why she rolled her eyes. It was nothing they were communicating on that would be a reason to do that, so he's not sure. Maybe she heard

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  • Crowds descend on Washington to be part of inaugural weekend

    Tim Engelskirchen sells campaign buttons in Washington, D.C. (Chris Moody/Yahoo News)

    WASHINGTON -- Tim Engelskirchen and his brother Daniel had no idea what they were getting into when they responded to a Craigslist ad seeking workers to hawk political buttons at the Democratic National Convention last summer.

    The ad took the Charlotte, N.C. residents on an unexpected five-month journey chasing presidential candidates across the country. On Monday the adventure will finally culminate with the Inauguration of President Barack Obama.

    "I said I'd go for a week or two," Tim Engelskirchen said Saturday. That was in September.

    It's now two days before Monday's public swearing-in ceremony, and Engelskirchen, in a flap cap covered in buttons and a jacket over a tie-dye shirt, is working the main entrance to Union Station. Daniel, his brother, is a few hundred feet away selling his wares near the entrance to the Metro.

    The Engelskirchens are part of a nationwide crew of button purveyors -- there were as many as 60 on his team when the campaign was at top speed -- who scour the

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  • Inaugural weekend kicks off with concert, Day of Service

    Vice President Joseph Biden participates during the National Day of Service (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

    WASHINGTON -- "You guys ready to kick off this day of doing a whole bunch of good?!"

    Tommy McFly, a spry Washington, D.C. radio host, is looking over a few hundred volunteers gathered beneath a massive heated tent that stretches for a block on the National Mall, the hub of the National Day of Service, the first official event for President Barack Obama's second Inauguration. The tent is filled with booths from government agencies and non-profits offering community service opportunities.

    Across town, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden are at work on their own projects.

    The president and first lady visited Burrville Elementary School in northeast Washington, where they helped stain bookshelves.

    "This inauguration is going to be a symbol of how our democracy works...but it should also be an affirmation that we are all in this together," Obama told a crowd at the school.

    At the DC Armory, Biden and his wife Jill spent some time putting together service packages for

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  • House GOP to Senate Democrats: Pass a budget and we’ll raise debt limit

    WILLIAMSBURG, Va.—House Republicans will approve a short-term increase of the debt ceiling and in exchange they want a budget resolution from the Democrat-led Senate, a chamber that hasn't passed a traditional budget since the early days of President Barack Obama's first term nearly four years ago. If the Senate fails to pass a budget within three months, House Republicans will withhold their paychecks, said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on Friday.

    "The first step to fixing this problem is to pass a budget that reduces spending. The House has done so and will again. The Democratic Senate has not passed a budget in almost four years, which is unfair to hardworking taxpayers who expect more from their representatives. That ends this year," Cantor said in a statement from the House Republican retreat here on Friday. "We must pay our bills and responsibly budget for our future. Next week, we will authorize a three-month temporary debt limit increase to give the Senate and House time to

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  • House Republicans meet at secretive retreat

    Republican silhouette (Linda Braucht/Getty Images)Republican silhouette (Linda Braucht/Getty Images)

    WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- A heavy drizzle is falling on the wooded golf course here at the Kingsmill Resort and Spa, where House Republicans are hidden away this week for a notably secretive retreat. Media are not allowed inside the building where the conferences is held, so reporters wait restlessly in a clubhouse restaurant separated by a puddle-filled parking lot.

    A single television inside the clubhouse room is stuck on C-SPAN 2, where retired Wyoming Sen. Kent Conrad delivers a PowerPoint presentation about the federal budget, and the bespectacled former Senate budget chairman is droning on about how his former colleagues had failed to act on debt reduction. There are graphs and long lists of bullet points. It's 9:00 a.m., far too early for such excitement.

    A bored reporter walks toward the TV and grabs the remote.

    "I can't take it anymore," he says. "I'm sorry."

    He changes the channel to CNN, which is airing a piece about Notre Dame football star Manti T'eo and "The Mystery of the

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  • Paul Ryan: Republicans will demand debt reduction deal this spring

    Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

    WILLIAMSBURG, Va.—With three major budget and spending battles looming in Congress this spring, House Republicans will insist on attaching a debt and deficit reduction package to the negotiations, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said Thursday.

    At a retreat for House Republicans here this week, lawmakers worked to map out a plan for the pending legislative hurdles, which include raising the federal debt ceiling, heading off $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts, and renewing a budget resolution set to expire. For now, party leaders are working to educate the caucus, specifically the new members, on each vote in hopes of finding a consensus within the party.

    Republicans have long insisted on tying debt reduction to budget and spending negotiations with President Barack Obama. But with polls showing the public strongly siding with Obama on those battles, it's in the GOP's interest to develop strategy to pursue that goal but avert the last minute drama of the recent "Fiscal

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  • House Republican retreat gives GOP a chance at a fresh start

    There is much to discuss at this year's winter retreat for House Republicans in Williamsburg, Va., and members are encouraged to speak freely in their quest for party unity after a lame duck session that was plagued by a series of grueling legislative battles.

    Republican lawmakers are spending the three days before the inauguration of a president they fought hard to defeat at a charming golf resort about three hours south of the nation's capital, holding a private strategy and motivational summit. The meeting offers these tired soldiers emotional and physical respite after a finish to the last congressional session that dragged into the New Year's holiday as lawmakers raced to find a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff.

    That battle is behind them, but memories still linger over how President Barack Obama succeeded in raising taxes, an exercise Republicans vowed never to take part in. Many of them played along anyway to avoid an even more severe tax increase, but the result left part of the

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  • In 2009, thousands of Inauguration ticket holders missed President Barack Obama's speech after they were told to wait for hours in a freezing tunnel in downtown Washington, D.C. Now, some are returning for another try.

    A view from inside 'The Purple Tunnel of Doom' on Jan. 20, 2009

    Rachel Slone, a Florida teacher who will lead 48 high school students on a field trip to see President Barack Obama's second Inauguration next Monday, has never told her students about the Purple Tunnel of Doom.

    Four years ago, Slone joined nearly 2 million others who flocked to the National Mall to witness the historic swearing in of the nation's first black president. She had secured a ticket from her congressman that led her to the Purple Section of the National Mall, near the front. To ensure she had the best spot, Slone arrived at 4:00 AM with a friend, and police directed her to a line that led her into a massive freeway tunnel beneath the Mall.

    There, she waited. The temperature was 19 degrees Fahrenheit.

    One hour passed and the line barely moved. By the time

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