With an insider’s eye, Hot Dish tracks the tastiest bits of Minnesota’s political scene and keep you up-to-date on those elected to serve you.

Contributors in Minnesota: Patrick Condon, Baird Helgeson, Patricia Lopez, Jim Ragsdale, Abby Simons, Rachel E. Stassen-Berger and Glen Stubbe. Contributors in D.C.: Allison Sherry, Corey Mitchell and Jim Spencer.

Posts about President Obama

Survey USA poll shows Dayton, Franken leading GOP challengers

Posted by: Patrick Condon Updated: August 26, 2014 - 8:03 PM

Both Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Al Franken are leading their Republican challengers, Jeff Johnson and Mike McFadden, in a new poll released this week. 

The SurveyUSA poll was commissioned by KSTP-TV. The poll of 600 likely voters was taken Aug. 8-21. 

In the governor's race, DFLer Dayton led Johnson, a Hennepin County Commissioner, 49 percent to 40 percent. Hannah Nicollet, the Independence Party's candidate, had support from 3 percent of respondents, while 5 percent were undecided.

Franken is sitting on an even wider lead over McFadden, a first-time candidate. Franken, first elected by an extremely thin margin in 2008, is backed by 51 percent of respondents compared to 42 percent for McFadden. The Independence Party's Steve Carlson was backed by 2 percent while 3 percent were undecided. 

The margin of sampling error in both cases was plus or minus 4.1 percent. 

Franken's approval rating in the poll was 56 percent positive, while 35 percent disapproved of his performance. But the news wasn't all good for Democrats: the poll found that 52 percent disapprove of President Barack Obama's performance, while just 38 percent approve. The margin of error in those cases was plus or minus 3.7 percent. 

Senate candidate McFadden delivers weekly Republican address

Posted by: Allison Sherry Updated: August 9, 2014 - 5:39 AM

WASHINGTON -- GOP Senate candidate Mike McFadden has been plucked to deliver the Republicans’ national weekly address — a sign establishment Republicans are grooming the political newbie and trying to garner him some name recognition.

The Republican response is customary and runs along with President Barack Obama’s weekly radio address.

According to a copy of the prepared remarks, McFadden pushes a message of “independent leadership” in Washington. He touches on slimming down regulations, which he says would create more jobs. He also touts the importance of education as key to having a “highly-skilled workforce” that will move the economy forward.

McFadden’s remarks were recorded earlier in the week.

McFadden, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Al Franken in November, still faces a primary himself Tuesday against state Rep. Jim Abeler.

“This November presents a tremendous opportunity for America to elect new leaders,” McFadden said.

Obama will address why he authorized air strikes in Iraq this week.

According to the White House Saturday: "The president detailed why he authorized two operations in Iraq -- targeted military strikes to protect Americans serving in Iraq and humanitarian airdrops of food and water to help Iraqi civilians trapped on a mountain by terrorists."

Minnesota House members vote along party lines to sue President Obama

Posted by: Allison Sherry Updated: July 31, 2014 - 1:48 PM

WASHINGTON -- Minnesota's eight House members voted mostly like the rest of the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday on a measure to sue President Barack Obama over executive powers -- the state's three Republicans supported it, the five Democrats voted against it.

At the heart of the House resolution, which authorizes GOP Speaker John Boehner to sue the president, is Obamacare. Republicans say the president has not adequately enforced the law, which they oppose, because his administration has delayed some parts of its implementation, including the requirement that employers provide health coverage.

Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen's spokesman sent over this statement Thursday:

"Congressman Paulsen is concerned about the continued growth of executive power and its impact on our political system. The vote made by the House seeks more accountability of the executive branch through this narrowly defined action. This is more about making sure the president – and any future president – is constitutionally required to faithfully execute our nation’s laws or go through Congress to have them changed."

Joining Paulsen in a yes vote were GOP Reps. Michele Bachmann and John Kline.

Democrat Rep. Betty McCollum said ahead of the vote she was going to vote "no on the Boehner lawsuit and will instead focus my energy on the needs of the families of the Fourth District."

Democratic Reps. Tim Walz, Keith Ellison, Collin Peterson and Rick Nolan also voted no.

"Republicans have failed to get their work done in Washington and they use stunts like this lawsuit to distract attention from that simple truth," McCollum said.

St. Paul radio host honored at White House

Posted by: Allison Sherry Updated: July 28, 2014 - 3:31 PM

WASHINGTON -- A St. Paul spiritual radio host received the National Humanities Medal at the White House Monday.

Krista Tippett hosts "On Being" a syndicated radio show exploring faith issues that broadcasts on more than 300 radio stations. Tippett was among a handful of artists, critics, historians and filmmakers who were honored by President Barack Obama Monday as Humanities and Medal of Arts winners.

Tippett gave an interview to the Star Tribune about her honor last week. She says she never interviews "sitting"politicians and didn't plan to press the president with any questions while in Washington today.

Among the other winners:

  • M.H. Abrams, Literary Critic, Ithaca, NY
  • David Brion Davis, Historian, Orange, CT
  • Darlene Clark Hine, Historian, Chicago, IL
  • Anne Firor Scott, Historian, Chapel Hill, NC
  • William Theodore De Bary, East Asian studies scholar, Tappan, NY
  • Johnpaul Jones, Architect, Bainbridge, WA
  • Stanley Nelson, Filmmaker, New York, NY
  • Diane Rehm, Radio Host, Washington, D.C.

Obama to host 'U' fellows at town hall meeting

Posted by: Corey Mitchell Updated: July 28, 2014 - 10:20 AM

President Obama will host twenty-five young African leaders who participated in a six-week fellowship program at the University of Minnesota.

Five-hundred fellows from across Africa will participate in the town-hall meeting with the president and first lady today as part of Obama’s inaugural Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.

The fellowships are designed to give participants from sub-Saharan Africa leadership training at American universities, as well as the chance to meet with U.S. government officials and civic leaders.

Since early June, the ‘U’ group has studied community and non-profit organizations around the Twin Cities.

Obama announced creation of the fellowship program during a 2013 trip to South Africa. During today’s session, he plans to rename the program in honor of former South African President Nelson Mandela.

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