Political Capital
EU Council president Herman Van Rompuy, right, and States Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew arrive to give a press conference following a working session on April 8, 2013 at the EU Headquarters in Brussels.

Photograph by Georges Gobet/AFP via Getty Images

EU Council president Herman Van Rompuy, right, and States Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew arrive to give a press conference following a working session on April 8, 2013 at the EU Headquarters in Brussels.

Lew in Europe: Call Me Jack

Call it diplomatic speed-dating. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew, on his first trip to Europe since taking office five weeks ago, is getting to know a lot of the region’s top economic officials very quickly. Lew arrived in Brussels this...

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Job seekers wait for the opening of an employment fair sponsored by Job News in partnership with USOilWorker.com and The Texas Veterans Commission at the Norris Conference Center in San Antonio, Texas, on March 19, 2013.

Photograph by Eddie Seal/Bloomberg

Job seekers wait for the opening of an employment fair sponsored by Job News in partnership with USOilWorker.com and The Texas Veterans Commission at the Norris Conference Center in San Antonio, Texas, on March 19, 2013.

Bloomberg by the Numbers: 63.3%

That’s the U.S. labor force participation rate for March, the lowest since May 1979, according to the Labor Department. The rate represents the proportion of the population that’s in the civilian labor force, which includes those who are employed and...

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A woman smokes a cigarette in New York.

Photograph by JB Reed/Bloomberg

A woman smokes a cigarette in New York.

Tobacco Tax Opposed Before Proposed

While President Barack Obama won’t submit his 2013-14 budget to Congress until April 10, some proposals have already drawn the ire of groups that would be affected by his proposals. Tobacco companies and the stores that sell their products oppose...

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A job seeker speaks with a State Department employee about job opportunities with the federal government during a job fair in Boston.

Photograph by Michael Dwyer/AP Photo

A job seeker speaks with a State Department employee about job opportunities with the federal government during a job fair in Boston.

Discouraged Workers, Retirees Not to Blame for Jobless Rate Drop

The jobless rate in the U.S. fell to a four-year low of 7.6 percent in March for the wrong reasons. Instead of an increase in the number of those finding work, 290,000 people dropped from the ranks of the unemployed....

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President Barack Obama walks with California Attorney General Kamala Harris after arriving at San Francisco International Airport.

Photograph by Eric Risberg/AP Photo

President Barack Obama walks with California Attorney General Kamala Harris after arriving at San Francisco International Airport.

Obama’s Apology to Kamala Harris: Phone Call to an Old Friend

Kamala Harris, California’s attorney general, got an apologetic phone call last night from the president of the United States — for calling her good looking. Not only good looking — “the best-looking attorney general,” President Barack Obama called Harris, during...

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Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford hugs friend Julia Flood of Mount Pleasant, S.C., after he voted in Charleston, S.C., on April 2, 2013.

Photograph by Bruce Smith/AP Photo

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford hugs friend Julia Flood of Mount Pleasant, S.C., after he voted in Charleston, S.C., on April 2, 2013.

Why South Carolina’s Special Election Is Bizarre

The special election in South Carolina’s Charleston-area 1st District has atypical timing (May 7), will generate low voter-turnout and pits the sister of a television celebrity against a former governor seeking redemption after scandal. Simply put, it’s an unusual race....

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A Chrysler Jeep Grand Cherokee  at a dealership in Hollywood, Florida.

Photograph by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A Chrysler Jeep Grand Cherokee at a dealership in Hollywood, Florida.

Fed’s Yellen Says Boons Outweigh Low Interest Rate Losses

Home-buyers and U.S. consumers in the market for a new car might be celebrating low interest rates. Savers probably aren’t. The U.S. Federal Reserve has pledged to keep the main interest rate near zero until unemployment falls below 6.5 percent...

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Sen. Heidi Heitkamp during a hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on March 21, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Photograph by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp during a hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on March 21, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Final Four: Gay Marriage Draws Two More Democrats, Four Left

It’s down to the Final Four. Freshmen Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Donnelly of Indiana announced their support for same-sex marriage this morning, leaving just four Democratic senators who haven’t publicly endorsed it. Donnelly, a Catholic and...

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Job seekers speak to representatives of employers at a job fair at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan on March 6, 2013 in New York City.

Photograph by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Job seekers speak to representatives of employers at a job fair at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan on March 6, 2013 in New York City.

Slow Job Growth: Political Season Open

In the midst of more robust — albeit less than dazzling — winter job gains, the addition of 88,000 in March arrives as a sobering reminder of how tough the slog is for a recovering American economy. What else does...

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Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives on stage to address the Vital Voices Global Awards ceremony at the Kennedy Center in Washington on April 2, 2013.

Photograph by Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives on stage to address the Vital Voices Global Awards ceremony at the Kennedy Center in Washington on April 2, 2013.

Washington Daybook: Clinton Buzz

The unemployment rate dropped to 7.6 percent in March, the lowest since December 2008, according to the Labor Department. Workforce participation also fell, by 496,000 to 63.3% — the lowest since 1979. Hillary Clinton will address the Women in the...

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