INTERPRETING THE BOSS
Bruce Springsteen posted a letter on his website this week endorsing President Obama, and what caught the attention of fans was the next-to-last sentence: “I believe President Obama feels these days in his bones and has the strength to live them with us and to lead us to a country ‘where no one crowds you and no one goes it alone.’ ”
The line is from “Long Walk Home,” a song that Springsteen wrote in 2006 that he said reflected his feelings about George W. Bush’s presidency. “In that particular song, a guy comes back to his town and recognizes nothing and is recognized by nothing,” Springsteen told The New York Times in 2007. “The world that he knew feels totally alien. I think that’s what’s happened in this country in the past six years.”
My father said, “Son, we’re lucky in this town
It’s a beautiful place to be born
It just wraps its arms around you
Nobody crowds you and nobody goes it alone”
Your flag flyin’ over the courthouse
Means certain things are set in stone
Who we are, what we’ll do and what we won’t”
WHEN YOU’RE CONSERVATIVE AND YOUR SON IS GAY
Call it the Dick Cheney conundrum: A prominent conservative politician ends up with an openly gay daughter or son. Joining the club is Arizona Republican Matt Salmon, who is on the verge of making a comeback to the House.
A traditional social conservative who voted for the Defense of Marriage Act when he was in Congress, Salmon is the father of medical student Matthew R. Salmon, an openly gay former president of the Arizona Log Cabin Republicans. “My son has very strong views, and they’re different from mine,” the elder Salmon said in an interview. “He and I have a very mature relationship and very much unconditional love for one another. I respect his right to believe the way he wants to, and he respects my right to believe the way I want to.” First elected to the House in 1994, Salmon left office in 2000 and is heavily favored to win Arizona’s 5th District seat in November. He would succeed Rep. Jeff Flake, a Republican, who is running for the Senate.
A Long Winter It’s been a week since the Washington Nationals’ heartbreaking loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 5 of the National League Division Series, but the pain lingers. White House press secretary Jay Carney had to figure out how to break the news to his 10-year-old son. “I made him go to bed because it was such a late game,” Carney said. “And the first thing he said when he got up in the morning was, ‘Did they win?’ It was very hard.” Carney also told his boss “about the enormous pain I felt, as if my heart had been torn out and stomped on, on the sidewalk, at that terrible loss.” He said that the president, a White Sox fan, “sympathized with me.”
A New Tune For a guy whose most successful campaign ad compared politicians to pigs feeding from a trough, Ted Yoho seems to be fitting in with his soon-to-be-colleagues rather well. Yoho, a large-animal veterinarian who defeated 12-term Rep. Cliff Stearns in the Republican primary in Florida and will likely cruise to victory in November, has been getting special treatment from the GOP’s Washington elite. Just this week, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor traveled to Gainesville for a champagne reception ($1,000 for a VIP ticket). “When Mr. Cantor first called me, I had to ask, ‘Is this really you?’ ” Yoho told National Journal. “It really is an honor.” Back when Stearns was in the race, Yoho couldn’t buy an endorsement.
This article originally appeared in print as "Inside Washington: October 20, 2012."
This article appears in the October 20, 2012, edition of National Journal Magazine.