This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. In the end, it's not close in South Carolina. Polls show it could be in Massachusetts. And the president studies up on Korean culture. It's Wednesday and time for a...
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Gangnam style...
CONAN: Edition of the political junkie.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.
VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?
On July 21, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, commonly known as the Dodd-Frank bill. Reporter Gary Rivlin says "the passage of Dodd-Frank was something of a miracle." But to the chief lobbyist for the Financial Services Roundtable, a lobbying group that represents 100 of the country's largest financial institutions, it was just "halftime."
President Obama's job approval has inched up in recent weeks, but the percentage of Americans who say they believe he is effective has taken a hit, according to a Pew Research Center survey released Wednesday.
And while the image of Republican leadership remains "deeply negative," and continues bearing the brunt of the blame for Washington gridlock, the survey found that the GOP runs even with Democrats on the key issues of the economy, immigration and guns.
The Senate is considering legislation to prevent a global helium shortage from worsening in October. That's when one huge supply of helium in the U.S. is set to terminate. The House overwhelmingly passed its own bill last month to keep the Federal Helium Program going.
That was a relief to industries that can't get along without helium. The gas is used in MRI machines, semiconductors, aerospace equipment, lasers and of course balloons.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., has been pitching a GOP rebranding effort he calls Making Life Work. The agenda is aimed at creating "conditions of health, happiness and prosperity" for American families, he says.
Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch and her Republican opponent, former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, debate in Charleston, S.C., on April 29.
Credit Randall Hill / Reuters/Landov
Updated at 9:29 pm ET--- Former South Carolina Republican governor Mark Sanford easily beat Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch to regain the House seat he once held.
For Sanford, the victory in the strongly Republican 1st Congressional District was sure to be widely viewed as a personal redemption. Sanford left the governor's mansion in 2009 after an extramarital affair with an Argentinian woman who is now his fiancee led to the breakup of his marriage.