Frankfort Local News

Activist Says Voters Could Have Chosen “Uncommitted” Over Obama for Many Reasons

Kentucky has become the latest in a growing number of states where Democratic voters have chosen not to vote for President Obama in primary elections.

More than 40 percent of Democratic voters who went to the polls yesterday selected someone other than Mr. Obama.

Kentucky’s primary results have mirrored that of other southern, conservative states like Arkansas and West Virginia. In both of those states, other candidates have attracted a significant amount of the primary votes away from Mr. Obama. But in Kentucky, there was no other candidate on the ballot, and voters instead chose “uncommitted.”

Frankfort Local News

Political Observers Expect No Surprises in Kentucky’s Presidential Primaries

Even though the presidential nomination process is effectively over, Kentuckians can still vote for candidates other than Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama in tomorrow’s primary.

Republicans can cast ballots for Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, even though they’re no longer in the running. And Democrats will be able to choose ‘uncommitted’ instead of President Obama.

But University of Louisville political scientist Dewey Clayton says those other names don’t really matter.

“I really don’t see any surprises at this point because primarily we don’t have competitive races going on at this point, in the Republican primary or in the Democratic primary,” he says.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

McConnell Scolds Obama, Urges New Debt Limit Talks

Appearing on CBS’s Face The Nation on Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., urged President Obama to “become the adult” and lead the conversation on the debt and deficit reduction plans.

Republican leaders used the Sunday morning shows to push for spending cuts as part of any deal to increase the national debt limit. It is expected the president will request a debt level increase and a fight is emerging over how to pay for the additional costs.

From Face The Nation:

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

McConnell Shreds Obama “To-Do” List

In a Senate floor speech Thursday, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell lectured President Obama for pushing a “to-do” list on Congress.

Earlier this week, Mr. Obama delivered a speech unveiling a five-point package of previously announced proposals as unfinished business for lawmakers to accomplish. Among the president’s measures are mortgage relief for homeowners, clean energy manufacturing and eliminating incentives for businesses that ship jobs overseas.

But McConnell says the GOP caucus in the House and Senate has acted on legislation, including dozens of similar bills.

“So I have a suggestion—instead of focusing on his political Post-It note checklist, the president and Senate Democrats should show some leadership and work with Republicans to move on critical pro-growth bills. These proposals will help provide certainty and provide a much-needed boost to our economy,” he says.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Fairness Director Praises Obama Endorsing Gay Marriage

The Louisville Fairness Campaign is praising President Obama for coming out in support of gay marriage on Wednesday in an interview with ABC News.

The president said after personally wrestling with the issue and it was important he affirm that he supports gay couples being legally recognized under marriage laws. Earlier this week, Vice President Joe Biden indicated that he had no problem with gay marriage and Mr. Obama was being pressured if his “evolving” position had changed.

Louisville Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartman says the announcement is a sea change in the gay rights movement.

“Never before has a sitting president come out so resolutely in favor of marriage equality. So this is a historic day for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and queer Americans—undeniably,” he says.

Local News

President Obama Says Same-Sex Marriage Should Be Legal

President Barack Obama, in an ABC News interview:

I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Yarmuth: Obama Has Right to Politicize bin Laden Death

For most of the week Republicans have been critical of an attack ad by President Obama’s re-election campaign highlighting the death of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. But Democratic Congress John Yarmuth believes its proper for the president to politicize the issue.

The ad released earlier this month features former President Bill Clinton, who says Mr. Obama made a tough but important decision. The ad also suggests—without naming him—that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney would had failed to go after the al-Qaeda leader.

Watch it below:

Yarmuth says that the president should rightfully take credit for bin Laden’s downfall and has been restrained in using the killing for the re-election campaign.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Yarmuth Praises Obama Afghan Speech, But Policy Questions Remain

After more than a decade of war, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., is pleased President Obama is withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, but the congressman has questions about the policy.

The president made a surprise visit to the foreign country on Tuesday to sign a strategic partnership agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Mr. Obama announced the U.S. will have no permanent military bases and that all armed forces will be out of the central Asian country by 2014.

However, the agreement pledges the U.S. will assist the Afghan government with economic development, security and regional cooperation until 2024.

Yarmuth says there are several details left to negotiate and Congress has many more questions, including the additional cost of helping develop the Afghan economy and public institutions.

“We don’t know what kind of commitment we’re talking about and what kind of cost would accompany that commitment. We’re spending $65 billion a year there right now and I think there’s no question that we can’t afford to spend anywhere near that much on an ongoing basis in an area whose value is very questionable,” he says.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

McConnell Declines Obama Invite to Celebrate Kentucky Wildcats

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., turned down an invitation from President Obama to join the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team at the White House on Friday.

The Wildcats are visiting the president to celebrate their 2012 NCAA championship after defeating Kansas last month to obtain the university’s eighth national title.

According to McConnell’s office, the Senator will be taking part in Kentucky Derby festivities. But state GOP sources are questioning if Mr. Obama’s request was genuine and that its timing snubs the entire federal delegation.

From The Hill:

They suspect it may be what Jerry Seinfeld would call an “unvitation.”

“Scheduling the UK championship visit to the White House when Congress is out of session could be confused for a lack of courtesy, but scheduling it on the eve of the Kentucky Derby seems like an obvious slight to the entire Kentucky delegation,” said a Kentucky GOP operative.

Local News Politics

President Obama in Afghanistan; Will Address U.S. This Evening

President Barack Obama is in Afghanistan. The visit comes one year after the president announced the death of Osama bin Laden, who masterminded the September 11th terrorist attacks from Afghanistan.

President Obama will address the American people live from Bargram Air Base tonight at 7:30 pm. WFPL will carry the speech live, with special coverage from NPR beginning at 7:00 pm. The speech is expected to last about ten minutes.

From Politico:

Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai are expected to sign a ten page strategic partnership agreement pledging US support for Afghanistan for a decade after 2014, when Nato forces are planning to conclude their combat role. The signing ceremony with the two presidents should paint a tableau of solidarity for an Afghan US relationship that has been stormy and at time fractious during the three years of Obama’s presidency.