How the 42-year-old Wisconsin representative (and now Mitt Romney VP pick) took a leading role in the Republican Party's budget battle with President Obama:
"Three days later, the White House started a livelier debate with Ryan. In a press briefing, Peter Orszag, the budget director at the time, dismantled Ryan’s plan, point by point. Ryan’s proposal would turn Medicare 'into a voucher program, so that individuals are on their own in the health-care market,' he said. Over time, the program wouldn’t keep pace with rising medical costs, so seniors would have to pay thousands of dollars more a year for health care. The Roadmap would revive Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security and 'provide large tax benefits to upper-income households . . . while shifting the burden onto middle- and lower-income households. It is a dramatically different approach in which much more risk is loaded onto individuals.' Ryan, who had always had a good relationship with Orszag, later described the briefing as the moment when 'the budget director took that olive branch and hit me in the face with it.'
"But the confrontation enhanced Ryan’s credibility among conservatives. He became the face of the opposition, someone who could attack the President’s policies with facts and figures. Indeed, at the retreat, Obama had mischaracterized Ryan’s Medicare plan, and Ryan politely corrected him. The two men sparred again the next month, at a summit at Blair House, over the President’s health-care plan. The details of Ryan’s proposals and his critiques of Obama’s mattered less than the fact that he was taking on the President."
PUBLISHED: Aug. 6, 2012
LENGTH: 26 minutes (6504 words)
A look at hundreds of pages of internal White House documents, and what they reveal about the president's decision-making process:
"One Cabinet official made it clear that she did not share the President’s growing commitment to coupon-clipping: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She rejected the White House’s budget for her department, and wrote the President a six-page letter detailing her complaints. Some in the White House saw the long letter as a weapon, something that could be leaked if Clinton didn’t get her way. 'At the proposed funding levels,' Clinton wrote, 'we will not have the capacity to deliver either the full level of civilian staffing or the foreign assistance programs that underlie the civilian-military strategy you outlined for Afghanistan; nor the transition from U.S. Military to civilian programming in Iraq; nor the expanded assistance that is central to our Pakistan strategy.'"
PUBLISHED: Jan. 23, 2012
LENGTH: 44 minutes (11245 words)
The transformation of Michele Bachmann from Tea Party insurgent and cable-news Pasionaria to serious Republican contender in the 2012 Presidential race was nearly complete by late June, when she boarded a Dassault Falcon 900, in Dulles, Virginia, and headed toward the caucus grounds of Iowa. The leased, fourteen-seat corporate jet was to serve as Bachmann’s campaign hub for the next few days, and, before the plane took off, her press secretary, Alice Stewart, announced to the six travelling chroniclers that there was one important rule. “I know everything is on the record these days,” Stewart said, “but please just don’t broadcast images of her in her casual clothes."
PUBLISHED: Aug. 15, 2011
LENGTH: 34 minutes (8639 words)
Many politicians have committed indiscretions in earlier years: maybe they had an affair or hired an illegal immigrant as a nanny. Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, it turned out, had, among other things, been indicted for stealing a car, arrested for carrying a concealed weapon, and accused by former associates of burning down a building.
PUBLISHED: Jan. 17, 2011
LENGTH: 31 minutes (7968 words)
How the Senate and the White House missed their best chance to deal with climate change.
PUBLISHED: Oct. 11, 2010
LENGTH: 37 minutes (9470 words)
Larry Summers and the White House economic team.
PUBLISHED: Oct. 12, 2009
LENGTH: 46 minutes (11597 words)
Sheila Bair and the White House financial debate.
PUBLISHED: July 6, 2009
LENGTH: 18 minutes (4631 words)