Those close to a powerful elected official, like a governor or the president, may owe their success to the boss. Yet there are times when the interests of the person on top and those who serve will diverge, and the outcome is predictable.
"When you're a staffer or consultant, at some level you have to understand that you're a bit like a milk carton and at some point you'll reach your expiration date," says Chris Lehane, a Democratic consultant. "There could always be a time when the principal is going to have to effectively throw you under the bus."
Back in the U.S., while there were complaints that some of the recommendations were vague, reactions have been nonetheless swift, especially in Congress. Joining us to talk about the political fallout at home is NPR's political correspondent Mara Liasson. Good morning, Mara.
MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel.
MARTIN: So, the president's NSA proposals, how are they going over on Capitol Hill?
Also this week, there was more tough news for Americans who rely on federal unemployment benefits.
At the end of last year, Congress failed to extend Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which helps the long-term unemployed. And on December 28th, about 1.3 million people lost benefits.
This week, members of Congress brought the program back up for debate, but they could not agree on how to pay for the benefits. And each week, the number of people losing their unemployment checks grows. They're watching Congress closely.
Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 8:21 pm
Subpoenas are hitting his closest aides and allies. His approval rating in New Jersey has taken a modest hit. And suddenly, politicians long afraid of him are speaking out about his revenge-style of governing.
But headed into a three-day weekend, there's some good news for Christie. The conservative base of the Republican Party, long skeptical of the New Jersey governor because of his bro-hug with President Obama after Sandy, is beginning to rally to his side. Here's some evidence:
After months of debate about the National Security Agency, President Obama delivered statements on Friday about how the agency collects intelligence. He declared that advances in technology had made it harder "to both defend our nation and uphold our civil liberties." He also announced changes to surveillance policies.
What does it mean when lawmakers as different as Colorado Democratic Senator Mark Udall and New York Republican Rep. Peter King offer praise for the president's long-awaited speech on surveillance reforms?
Mostly that resolution to the biggest controversies after leaks by NSA contractor Edward Snowden has been put off — or pushed to working groups in the executive branch and the lawmakers themselves.
Still, the president's NSA reforms speech Friday offered a revealing look into the nation's phone data collection program and the direction of the surveillance policy debate.
Lawmakers are promising new efforts to restore jobless benefits for long-term unemployed, but it may take a while - 1.4 million people who've been out of work long term saw their benefits disappear three weeks ago. Congress failed to agree on funding to renew them. NPR's Tovia Smith visited with a few people who are without work in Boston.
Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut shares his reaction to President Obama's proposed reforms of the National Security Agency. Blumenthal has pushed for reforms of the courts established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Embattled New Jersey Governor Chris Christie travels to Florida this weekend but the trip is hardly a vacation. Christie is the star attraction at a series of fundraising events across the state. It's Christie's first major trip as chairman of the Republican Governors Association. And as NPR's Joel Rose reports, it may be an important test of how the scandal over lane closures at the George Washington Bridge is affecting his national ambitions.