How the President’s Visit Impacts the N.C. Senate Race

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — President Obama brings executive orders to Charlotte for veterans. His visit comes as a heated Senate race brews in North Carolina. Thom Tillis and Kay Hagan are wooing the state’s large veteran population. WCCB Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis looks at how closely the president’s message will impact the race.

State of the Union perspective

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Washington Post columnist, Mary C. Curtis, joins Rising with some perspective on Tuesday’s State of the Union.

Congressmen feel that the President needs to work with them, not go around them.

In his address, President Obama said he will use executive action to pass bills if necessary.

Much of his focus was on the economy and income equality.

The president and the pope: What will they talk about?

During President Obama’s upcoming European trip, he’ll be engaging in important diplomatic and political discussions, including the Nuclear Security Summit, hosted by the Dutch government, and a U.S.-EU Summit in Brussels. But perhaps most anticipated by observers of church and state — and where the two intersect — will be the president’s planned March 27 get together with Time’s Person of the Year, Pope Francis.

North Carolina Welcomes President Obama to NC State


Charlotte, N.C.- Today, President Obama will announce a $140 million initiative at NC State, focused on hi-tech manufacturing innovation. The president says manufacturing is one way to get the country’s economy back on track. Washington Post columnist Mary C. Curtis joined Rising to discuss the president’s visit and how North Carolinians will welcome him.

President Obama may hit political turbulence in North Carolina visit

When President Obama visits North Carolina in a planned stop in the Research Triangle on Wednesday, it won’t be the first time a trip to the state coincided with his State of the Union address. Last year, a visit to the Asheville area followed the event; Wednesday, the president is expected to preview economic policy at N.C. State University in Raleigh before his Jan. 28 speech. Are there politics involved? The answer, as always, would be yes.

Are GOP leaders missing a ‘Sister Souljah moment’ on Ted Nugent rants?

How has a rock musician who hasn’t topped the charts for decades – “Cat Scratch Fever” was back in 1977 – become a media-ready presence, relevant and, in certain circles, respectable?

For Ted Nugent, frequent and heated statements about President Obama, guns and race have done the trick. Nugent has always been an outrageous rocker, boastful about his exploits – sexual and otherwise. Headlines and notoriety in his business are gold, especially if, as it’s being reported, he has a live album in the works. But why are Republican leaders either encouraging the “Motor City Madman” or tacitly going along?

Rather than seeing an opportunity for a “Sister Souljah moment” – named for then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton’s 1992 public repudiation of someone perceived to represent extremist views as a way reassure the middle — Nugent has been elevated on conservative news outlets and is a sought-after guest. He’s become the foul-mouthed bard of the right wing.

The not-guilty verdict in the Florida trial of George Zimmerman for the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin has given Nugent new material.

On Obama speech and Trayvon Martin

Washington Post “She the People” blogger Mary C. Curtis and Reuters White House correspondent Steve Holland discuss the significance of President Obama’s speech on race and Trayvon Martin.

What Foxx’s promotion means for him, the White House and Charlotte

CHARLOTTE — When Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx said that he would not run for the third term he was almost guaranteed to win easily, most folks in town figured something big was in his future. The explanation everyone expected officially came on Monday when President Obama announced Foxx, a Democrat, was his choice to join his second-term cabinet as Secretary of Transportation. The White House praised Foxx’s dealing with federal, state, regional and local transportation issues.

Foxx, who turns 42 on Tuesday, is Charlotte second African American mayor, the city’s youngest when he was first elected in 2009. No one in the region is surprised. When the FBI starts vetting you, it’s pretty hard to keep it a secret, especially in a Southern city that can be more like a small town.

Clinton, Feinstein and standing up to bullies

If you said Hillary Rodham Clinton owes the start of her independent political career to Rick Lazio, even Lazio might agree. The tipping point for the 2000 race for the U.S. Senate from New York between a former first lady and a U.S. Congressman? When Lazio, the Republican nominee, crossed over to Clinton’s side of the stage in a pre-election debate and demanded she sign a piece of paper. Few remember what was on that page, a pledge against using soft money in the campaign. They do remember the moment. Women – and to be fair, a lot of men – cringed, recalling similar encounters they might have had with a guy who stepped over the line. The rest is history, and it belongs to Clinton.

I thought of that image watching the back-and-forth between Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in the gun legislation debate last week. Cruz’s question on the constitutionality of a ban on assault weapons, using the example of limits on the First Amendment, had merit. But it was the tone of condescension in Cruz’s voice and the smirk on his face that stuck.

While his Senate seat looks to be safe in Texas, his national ambitions definitely took a hit. Who wants a president who reminds them of that dude who treated you like an idiot?

Obama’s speech adjusted for more constrained circumstances

Four years ago, it seemed as though the Obama campaign could control everything — even the weather. On that night of his acceptance speech in the stadium in Denver, the setting was ideal, dry and cool, with the backdrop of endless sky perfect for the thousands who roared at his triumph. After that, his win in November 2008 was anticlimactic, almost pre-ordained.

Four years later in Charlotte, unpredictable storms marked the shortened Democratic convention. There were clear moments when everything seemed fine and on the right track, the air humid in the way you would expect in a Southern September. Then the sky would open for minutes of rain, and not a gentle mist, either. No, these were torrential downpours – brief but intense.