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Local News Politics

Former President George W. Bush to Speak in Indianapolis

Former President George W. Bush will make a rare public appearance in Indianapolis next year to deliver the keynote speech at The Work Truck Show.

Organizers say Mr. Bush will discuss the challenges facing the U.S., the power of freedom, the role of faith and other topics.

The show is largely for industry professionals, including fleet managers, manufacturers, equipment buyers and maintenance personnel. Bush’s speech at a breakfast meeting on March 7th is open only to attendees.

Apart from a book tour, Mr. Bush has largely avoided the public eye since leaving office. His wife, former First Lady Laura Bush, told the Associated Press earlier this year that the former president had decided not to re-enter politics.

Additional information from the Associated Press

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Local News Politics

Live Coverage of the President’s Press Conference Today at 11:00

President Barack Obama will hold a press conference today at 11:00. Mr. Obama is expected to talk about the negotiations to raise the debt ceiling. WFPL will carry live coverage of the event.

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Local News Politics

Daniels Will Not Run for President

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels will not seek the Republican nomination for president in 2012.

Daniels announced his decision Sunday in a midnight message to supporters.

“I was able to resolve every competing consideration but one,” he wrote. “The interests and wishes of my family, is the most important consideration of all. If I have disappointed you, I will always be sorry.”

Daniels further elaborated on his decision to the Indianapolis Star, saying “On matters affecting us all, our family constitution gives a veto to the women’s caucus, and there is no override provision. Simply put, I find myself caught between two duties. I love my country; I love my family more.”

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Local News Politics

President Obama’s Indiana Visit Given New Meaning

What was originally planned as a routine presidential visit to Indianapolis tomorrow has gained new meaning.

President Barack Obama originally planned to discuss energy policy at Allison Transmission earlier this year. But the trip was postponed so the president could stay in Washington during budget negotiations.

Now Mr. Obama will appear in Indiana as speculation that Governor Mitch Daniels will run for president is growing. Indiana University Southeast Professor Joe Wert says the timing is opportune for the president, though he doubts it was intentional.

“There’s been talk about [a Daniels candidacy] before his first initial visit. So I don’t know that we can read too much into that. I don’t think his visit is meant to preempt a potential Daniels run, in other words,” he says.

Wert says the death of Osama bin Laden and the fact that the president won Indiana in the 2008 election will also give the visit a higher profile.

Mr. Obama will also visit Kentucky tomorrow. In his first visit to the commonwealth since the election, the president will address troops at Fort Campbell.

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Local News Politics

2012 Decision Looms for Daniels

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is expected to announce soon whether he’ll run for president.

Daniels has been on the short list of potential 2012 GOP candidates for months. University of Louisville Professor Dewey Clayton says there’s likely to be a renewed focus on a potential Daniels run now that Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour has decided not to enter the race.

“Governor Barbour having national contacts, having been a lobbyist and having been head of the RNC, I think that clearly he had a huge fundraising ability and I think that was something Governor Daniels was looking at. Now, he may see he may benefit from that,” he says.

Clayton says Daniels’s experience as head of President George W. Bush’s Office of Management and Budget would play well with the Republican base, but could be an easy target for Democrats. As for the Tea Party…

“He may not fare with the Tea Partiers as well as Ron Paul will, but that may not, in and of itself, be a death knell for him,” says Clayton.

Clayton adds that another possible hurdle is personality, since Daniels isn’t known for his charisma.

“We live in a media age now and so I don’t know if his media consultants can work on that image, soften that image up some, give him a little more personality. I’m not sure how that’s going to play out,” he says. “I’m not sure what the mood of the voters is going to be. They may be looking for someone who is less charismatic.”

Currently, the GOP 2012 field is wide open, though several high-profile Republicans have hinted at possible bids.

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Local News Politics Uncategorized

Osama bin Laden Dead

Osama bin Laden is dead. White House officials have reported that the U.S. is in possession of the al-Qaeda founder’s body, and President Barack Obama is expected to make a statement soon.

The speech will be streamed live online and the BBC has announced plans to cover Mr. Obama’s remarks live this evening. WFPL will broadcast the program. NPR’s Andy Carvin is writing and reposting relevant tweets on the subject.

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Local News

IU Seeking to Host Presidential Debate

Indiana University has applied to host a 2012 presidential debate. The school also applied in 2008, but was unsuccessful.

Eastern Kentucky University and Centre College have also applied to host debates.

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Local News Politics

Obama Scraps Visit to Indianapolis

Update: President Barack Obama has reportedly cancelled the trip described in the story below.

President Barack Obama is preparing for his fifth visit to Indiana since taking office.

Mr. Obama will visit Allison Transmission in Indianapolis Friday. The plant makes transmission systems for hybrid vehicles and the president’s visit is part of his campaign to reduce the nation’s dependence of foreign oil.

The president was last in Indiana in November, when he visited a Chrysler plant with Vice President Joe Biden.

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Environment Local News Politics

Yarmuth Supports President’s Plan to Cut Dependency on Foreign Oil

In an attempt to reduce nation’s dependence of foreign oil, President Barack Obama is encouraging oil companies to begin drilling the thousands of acres of land they currently lease in the United States. Mr. Obama’s suggestion is similar to one made by Third District Congressman John Yarmuth in 2008.

In response to oil companies’ requests for increased offshore drilling rights, Yarmuth proposed a bill that would require the companies to explore and drill the land they currently lease or else lose their leases.

Mr. Obama’s proposal to relies on financial incentives, and Yarmuth says that may make it more successful. He supports the plan, but says alternative energy sources need to be explored as well.

“We know that fossil fuel—well, most people know that fossil fuel—is not the long-term answer to our energy requirements. But we also know that there are millions and millions of vehicles on the road that are going to rely on gasoline for a long time to come,” he says.

Domestic drilling is expensive and time consuming, and the new sources won’t likely reduce gas prices. Yarmuth says high gas prices are a concern, but pollution and the dangers associated with importing oil are pressing issues.

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Yarmuth Says White House Should Be More Open on Libya

Third District Congressman John Yarmuth says he has a number of questions about the ongoing military action in Libya, and many of them stem from what he calls a lack of clarity from the White House. (For the national perspective on this topic, listen to this NPR report.)

Yarmuth agrees with President Barack Obama that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi should not be in power. But he says the president should’ve been more open with congress before launching military strikes to enforce a no-fly zone.

Yarmuth has been a vocal critic of the war in Iraq. He says the situation in Libya doesn’t compare.

“But it’s not over,” he says. “When you start moving from enforcing a no-fly zone to actually bombing buildings in the compound of Gadhafi that raises questions about what the true mission is.”

Yarmuth is also worried military leaders won’t stick to their timeline to end the strikes.

“I don’t think there’s any question that members of both sides of the aisle are a little bit confused as to exactly what our objective and what our measurements for success are,” he says. “There is potential for prolonged involvement. I don’t think the American people support that, I don’t think they’d be ready for it, I don’t think the congress would be willing to pay for it or endorse it. I think that’s why we need a clear picture of why we’re there, how long we’re going to be there.”

Yarmuth says despite the backing of many European and Middle Eastern countries, it looks like the U.S. is leading the military action, and that’s a cause for concern. Further, he’s wary that the impending NATO-led humanitarian mission won’t go as planned.

Republican Congressman Todd Young of southern Indiana is also critical of the military action in Libya. He raised several concerns in a statement posted on Facebook, but was not available for comment.