Political notebook

Bachmann to appear at Perry’s Iowa debut

August 12, 2011

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WATERLOO, Iowa - Republican Michele Bachmann isn’t ceding ground in her Iowa birthplace to probable presidential rival Rick Perry.

Bachmann said yesterday she will appear at a GOP fund-raiser in Waterloo on Sunday, the same event that will serve as the Texas governor’s Iowa debut. Both will speak at the Black Hawk County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner.

Perry is making quick visits to Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina in coming days as he gets ready to announce his 2012 intentions. All three states hold early votes in next year’s nominating process.

His spokesman said yesterday that he would announce he is running this weekend.

Bachmann, a Minnesota congresswoman, is a front-runner in Iowa thanks in part to her strength among evangelical Christians and Tea Party voters. Perry is held in high regard among those voters, too.

— Associated Press

Obama airs frustration with Washington gridlock HOLLAND, Mich. - Aligning himself with a public fed up with economic uncertainty and Washington gridlock, President Obama declared yesterday: “There is nothing wrong with our country. There is something wrong with our politics.’’

His toughly worded message - he said there was frustration in his voice, in case anyone missed the point - came amid a series of polls showing that people are disgusted with political dysfunction and are dispensing blame all around, including on Obama.

Obama aired his frustration with the ways of Washington just before pivoting to his reelection campaign and a pair of big-money fund-raisers in New York City.

The president’s quick stop at a high-tech battery manufacturer in Holland was his first official trip outside of Washington after he spent more than a month in the capital dealing with the debt debate. Obama said Americans were right to be worried about the country’s unemployment rate and fluctuations in the stock market. The contentious and partisan debt debate this summer, he said, has done little to help.

“Unfortunately what we’ve seen in Washington in the last few months has been the worst kind of partisanship, the worst kind of gridlock, and that gridlock has undermined public confidence and impeded our efforts to take the steps we need for our economy,’’ Obama said after touring a factory.

A Washington Post poll released this week showed widespread and deep discontent with Washington. Nearly 80 percent said they were dissatisfied with the way the country’s political system works, compared with 60 percent in November 2009. Seventy-one percent said the federal government is mostly focused on the wrong things, up from 55 percent in October 2010.

Obama urged the public to tell Washington lawmakers they had had enough with the bickering and stalemates.

“You’ve got to tell them you’ve had enough of the theatrics, you’ve had enough of the politics, stop sending out press releases. Start passing some bills that we all know will help the economy right now,’’ he said. “That’s what they need to do. They’ve got to hear from you.’’

Still, Obama sounded a hopeful note, saying “Don’t bet against American ingenuity. We are home to the world’s most dynamic, successful businesses, both large and small.’’

The president is going to Martha’s Vineyard with his family on vacation next week.

— Associated Press