Mara Liasson http://wesa.fm en NPR Poll: Obamacare More Popular Than President http://wesa.fm/post/npr-poll-obamacare-more-popular-president A new bipartisan NPR poll shows approval numbers rising for Obamacare — which is now slightly more popular than its namesake.<p><a href="http://media.npr.org/documents/2014/april/DCor_RR_graphs.pdf">Our survey</a> of likely voters, conducted for <em>Morning Edition</em> by Democrat Stan Greenberg of Democracy Corps and Republican Whit Ayres of Resurgent Republic, shows the president's health care law is still unpopular, but it might not be as heavy a millstone for Democrats as expected.<p>After a horrendous debut in October, the Affordable Care Act ended its enrollment period with more than 7 Thu, 03 Apr 2014 07:40:00 +0000 Mara Liasson 26938 at http://wesa.fm NPR Poll: Obamacare More Popular Than President Democrats Count On The Fine Art Of Field Operations http://wesa.fm/post/democrats-count-fine-art-field-operations Democrats have had great success in recent presidential elections registering, targeting and turning out their core voters. Now they're hoping to use that sophisticated field operation to to stave off defeat in this year's midterm elections.<p>They'll need all the help they can get because the Democratic hold on the Senate is looking increasingly shaky. The president is unpopular. So is Obamacare, and the number of vulnerable Democratic Senate seats is growing by the day. Mon, 24 Mar 2014 07:22:00 +0000 Mara Liasson 26351 at http://wesa.fm Democrats Count On The Fine Art Of Field Operations Obama Rolls Out White House Welcome Mat For Ukrainian Prime Minister http://wesa.fm/post/obama-rolls-out-white-house-welcome-mat-ukrainian-prime-minister Ukrainian interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is visiting the White House Wednesday. The meeting comes days before a vote in Crimea over whether to secede from Ukraine. Wed, 12 Mar 2014 21:01:00 +0000 Mara Liasson 25760 at http://wesa.fm As CPAC Opens, GOP Stars Take Turns At The Podium http://wesa.fm/post/cpac-opens-gop-stars-take-turns-podium The Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual gathering of conservative activists, routinely attracts big names in the Republican party — and this year's no different. It starts Thursday. Thu, 06 Mar 2014 21:16:00 +0000 Mara Liasson 25451 at http://wesa.fm As Deficit Anxiety Fades, Debt Rears Its Ugly Head http://wesa.fm/post/deficit-anxiety-fades-debt-rears-its-ugly-head Democrats and Republicans have exhausted themselves politically after failing to reach a grand bargain to reduce the debt. Now there's a new economic debate in Washington over economic growth, mobility and income inequality.<p>But without dealing with the debt, Republicans and Democrats might not be able to navigate even the issues they agree on.<p><strong>Moving Away From The Deficit</strong><p>In President Obama's State of the Union address last month, he all but declared victory on the federal deficit. Thu, 06 Feb 2014 23:18:00 +0000 Mara Liasson 24029 at http://wesa.fm As Deficit Anxiety Fades, Debt Rears Its Ugly Head Hoping For Hope: Obama Seeks A Return To Optimism In Address http://wesa.fm/post/hoping-hope-obama-seeks-return-optimism-address Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>Now, for more on the president's speech, we're joined by NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Hi, Mara.<p>MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hello, Audie.<p>CORNISH: So listening to Jay Carney just now, what do you think is the president's overriding goal tonight?<p>LIASSON: Well, I think his overriding goal is really to communicate a tone and an attitude. You heard Jay say that the three kind of watch words are opportunity, action and optimism. The president knows that the American people are in a very sour mood about the economy and about him. Tue, 28 Jan 2014 22:08:00 +0000 Mara Liasson 23516 at http://wesa.fm Boehner Picks Cathy McMorris Rodgers For GOP Rebuttal http://wesa.fm/post/boehner-picks-cathy-mcmorris-rodgers-gop-rebuttal Tuesday night is the State of the Union Address — the biggest opportunity President Obama gets all year to speak to the American people about his priorities. There's also another speech that night — the GOP response. On Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner announced Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers from Washington State would deliver the official rebuttal. Fri, 24 Jan 2014 10:12:00 +0000 Mara Liasson 23280 at http://wesa.fm Boehner Picks Cathy McMorris Rodgers For GOP Rebuttal White House Hires A Crisis Manager, Easing Democratic Worries http://wesa.fm/post/white-house-hires-crisis-manager-easing-democratic-worries It's not big enough to be called a shakeup, but the new hire announced this week at the White House is important: John Podesta will come on board in January as a counselor to the president.<p>Podesta is a Democratic wise man, the founder of the Center for American Progress, a policy and personnel incubator for Democratic administrations, and he just started a new think tank on income inequality — the problem President Obama says will animate his second term.<p>Podesta is also a second-term crisis management specialist. Sat, 14 Dec 2013 12:23:00 +0000 Mara Liasson 21378 at http://wesa.fm White House Hires A Crisis Manager, Easing Democratic Worries Social Security Fight Exposes Democratic Divide On Populism http://wesa.fm/post/social-security-fight-exposes-democratic-divide-economic-policy American politics is having a populist moment, with voters angry and frustrated with all big institutions in American life.<p>The backlash against big government found its expression on the right with the Tea Party. The tensions between that movement and the Republican establishment have been on full display.<p>This week saw similar tensions arise among Democrats, starting with <a href="http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304337404579213923151169790">an op-ed</a> on Monday in <em>The Wall Street Journal</em> by the leaders of the centrist Democratic think tank Third Way. Sat, 07 Dec 2013 13:05:00 +0000 Mara Liasson 20983 at http://wesa.fm Social Security Fight Exposes Democratic Divide On Populism States Aim To Cure Hyperpartisanship With Primary Changes http://wesa.fm/post/states-aim-cure-hyper-partisanship-primary-changes Several states are trying to do something about so-called hyperpartisanship by changing the way congressional districts are drawn and the way elections are held.<p>Their goal: force members of Congress to pay more attention to general election voters than to their base voters on the right or left.<p>John Fortier, the director of the <a href="http://bipartisanpolicy.org/projects/democracy-project">Democracy Project</a> at the Bipartisan Policy Center, which is working on ways to make politics less dysfunctional, says U.S. Mon, 18 Nov 2013 08:25:00 +0000 Mara Liasson 19983 at http://wesa.fm States Aim To Cure Hyperpartisanship With Primary Changes Top Pollster Sees Evidence Of Political 'Shock Wave' http://wesa.fm/post/top-pollster-sees-evidence-political-shock-wave Here's <a href="http://pos.org/2013/10/the-october-shockwave-new-insights-from-the-latest-nbcwsj-survey/">an email</a> that caught my eye Thursday. It's from Republican Bill McInturff, one of the best pollsters around and not someone known to hyperbolize. Fri, 01 Nov 2013 14:45:00 +0000 Mara Liasson 19115 at http://wesa.fm Top Pollster Sees Evidence Of Political 'Shock Wave' Lawmakers To Grill Sebelius On Affordable Care Act http://wesa.fm/post/lawmakers-grill-sebelius-affordable-care-act Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.<p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>And I'm Steve Inskeep. More hearings come today on the messy rollout of the Affordable Care Act. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will face questions from the House, Energy and Commerce Committee. Now, yesterday, the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid testified before a different committee. Wed, 30 Oct 2013 09:48:00 +0000 Mara Liasson 18963 at http://wesa.fm What's Behind The Partisan Thaw In Washington? http://wesa.fm/post/whats-behind-partisan-thaw-washington On Thursday, President Obama met with Senate Democrats. Then he met with House Republicans. And White House staff members continued talks with their counterparts from the House GOP leadership. All that talking just a day after there was radio silence between the two parties. One strong possibility for the change in attitudes is a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll that shows that the majority of Americans blame Republicans for the ongoing government shutdown and just 20 percent of people approve of the Republican party. Fri, 11 Oct 2013 00:33:00 +0000 Mara Liasson 17974 at http://wesa.fm How Political Miscalculations Led To The Shutdown Standoff http://wesa.fm/post/how-political-miscalculations-led-shutdown-standoff The standoff over the debt ceiling and the government shutdown showed signs of softening Thursday.<p>House Speaker John Boehner said he would bring a temporary hike in the debt ceiling to the House floor <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/10/10/231446056/boehner-proposes-deal-on-debt-ceiling-more-talk-on-shutdown" target="_blank">in exchange for negotiations on government spending and taxes</a>. Democrats say if the House votes to raise the debt ceiling and reopen the government, they will negotiate.<p>But how did we get to this point? Thu, 10 Oct 2013 21:12:00 +0000 Mara Liasson 17967 at http://wesa.fm How Political Miscalculations Led To The Shutdown Standoff Boehner, Obama Meet But Make No Progress On Deal To End Shutdown http://wesa.fm/post/boehner-obama-meet-make-no-progress-deal-end-shutdown Day two of the government shutdown is nearing its finish, with no end in sight. And that's in spite of talks at the White House late today. President Obama met with House Speaker John Boehner for over an hour Wednesday evening. The meeting failed to produce a deal that would end the federal government shutdown. Wed, 02 Oct 2013 23:56:00 +0000 Mara Liasson 17551 at http://wesa.fm Every Move She Makes, Pundits Are Watching Hillary Clinton http://wesa.fm/post/every-move-she-makes-pundits-are-watching-hillary-clinton When she left the Obama administration, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she just wanted to sleep late and walk her dog. But that hasn't happened.<p>The once and possibly future presidential hopeful has thrown herself into the work of her family's foundation — which gives her the ability to add to an already formidable network of donors. The Ready for Hillary superPAC announced Wednesday that it has reached <a href="https://www.readyforhillary.com/press/one-million-supporters-are-ready" target="_blank">1 million Facebook supporters</a>. Wed, 25 Sep 2013 21:52:00 +0000 Mara Liasson 17159 at http://wesa.fm Every Move She Makes, Pundits Are Watching Hillary Clinton Have Obama's Troubles Weakened Him For Fall's Fiscal Fights? http://wesa.fm/post/have-obamas-troubles-weakened-him-falls-fiscal-fights President Obama has had a tough year. He failed to pass gun legislation. Plans for an immigration overhaul have stalled in the House. Sat, 21 Sep 2013 09:29:00 +0000 Mara Liasson 16922 at http://wesa.fm Have Obama's Troubles Weakened Him For Fall's Fiscal Fights? U.K. Vote Against Syria Strike A Major Setback For Obama http://wesa.fm/post/uk-vote-against-syria-strike-major-setback-obama Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>So where does this leave the Obama administration? For more on that, I'm joined by NPR's Mara Liasson. And Mara, what's the White House reaction been to this vote in the British Parliament tonight?<p>MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Well, a White House official issued a statement tonight that said: We have seen the result of the Parliament vote. Tonight, the U.S. will continue to consult with the U.K. government. President Obama's decision-making will be guided by what is in the best interests of the United States. He believes there are core interests at stake. Thu, 29 Aug 2013 22:24:00 +0000 Mara Liasson 15708 at http://wesa.fm Republicans Pin Hopes On Senate Turnover In 2014 http://wesa.fm/post/republicans-pin-hopes-senate-turnover-2014 Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>In Washington, D.C. the next election always seems just around the corner, even in the middle of summer when it seems a long way away to everyone else. Republicans are in the Senate minority today, but about now they're feeling confident about their prospects to pick up seats and maybe even regain the majority in 2014. NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson reports.<p>MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Republican hopes are high for a Senate takeover in 2014 that would confront President Obama with a united opposition from a Republican Congress. Tue, 23 Jul 2013 09:23:00 +0000 Mara Liasson 13577 at http://wesa.fm Marco Rubio: Poster Boy For The GOP Identity Crisis http://wesa.fm/post/marco-rubio-poster-boy-gop-identity-crisis The Republican Party seems like two parties these days. In the Senate, Republicans joined a two-thirds majority to pass an immigration bill. But in the House, Republicans are balking.<p>Strategist Alex Lundry says it's hard to figure out the way forward when your party's base of power is the House of Representatives.<p>"One problem we have in the wilderness is that there are a thousand chiefs," he says. Wed, 10 Jul 2013 21:07:00 +0000 Mara Liasson 12897 at http://wesa.fm Marco Rubio: Poster Boy For The GOP Identity Crisis Surveillance Revelations Spark Lackluster Public Discord http://wesa.fm/post/surveillance-revelations-spark-lackluster-public-discord When a former IT contractor at the National Security Agency gave <em>The Guardian</em> U.S. government surveillance information, he told the paper that his only motivation was to spark a public debate about government surveillance.<p>"This is something that's not our place to decide," Edward Snowden said. Wed, 12 Jun 2013 12:01:00 +0000 Mara Liasson 11264 at http://wesa.fm Obama To Push Jobs, Education At N.C. Middle School http://wesa.fm/post/obama-push-jobs-education-nc-middle-school Transcript <p>LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST: <p>President Obama travels to Mooresville, North Carolina today. He'll highlight the town's middle school and its focus on technology and digital learning. It's part of what the White House is calling the president's Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour. Jobs and education are big issues for younger voters, one of the most sought after demographics for both parties.<p>NPR's Mara Liasson reports.<p>MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: It's not easy being a young person in today's economy. Thu, 06 Jun 2013 09:52:00 +0000 Mara Liasson 10883 at http://wesa.fm Political Takeaways: Headaches For The White House http://wesa.fm/post/political-takeaways-headaches-white-house Transcript <p>RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: <p>This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. President Obama will give a speech this week outlining his plans to make his counterterrorism policies more transparent. The address comes after a week that the Obama White House spent on the defensive trying to contain political fallout from multiple controversies. The IRS has been targeting conservative and Tea Party groups that applied for tax-exempt status, and the Associated Press revealed that the Justice Department had secretly obtained the phone records of its journalists. Sun, 19 May 2013 09:41:00 +0000 Mara Liasson 9815 at http://wesa.fm With Texas Trip, Obama Tries To Steer Focus Back To Economy http://wesa.fm/post/texas-trip-obama-tries-steer-focus-back-economy President Obama turns his attention back to his economic agenda Thursday when he travels to Austin, Texas, where he will visit a technology high school and a company that makes the machines that make silicon chips.<p>The White House says the trip is part of Obama's Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour. It also appears to be an effort by the president to get back to the issues Americans care most about.<p>It has been a difficult spring for Obama. He couldn't get Congress to work with him to stop the automatic spending cuts of the sequester or to enact wider background checks for gun sales. Wed, 08 May 2013 22:27:00 +0000 Mara Liasson 9221 at http://wesa.fm With Texas Trip, Obama Tries To Steer Focus Back To Economy White House Undecided On Action For Syria Crossing 'Red Line' http://wesa.fm/post/white-house-undecided-action-syria-crossing-red-line Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish. Has the so-called red line been crossed in Syria? Today, the Obama administration said it believes the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons and, as President Obama has said in the past, that is a red line that would trigger serious consequences. Fri, 26 Apr 2013 00:16:00 +0000 Mara Liasson 8547 at http://wesa.fm