Sen. Dorgan presided over a short Senate session Friday morning.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - With the nation’s attention focused on Thanksgiving leftovers and bargain shopping, the Senate held another brief but significant session on Friday as part of a continuing effort to prevent President Bush from making unconfirmed “recess” appointments.
Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota took on the task of gaveling the Senate in and out of session; the formalities lasted approximately 28 seconds and no other senators were present. Dorgan followed Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia, who presided over a similarly brief meeting on Tuesday. By not going into recess, Democrats can prevent President Bush from filling federal government posts without going through the confirmation process. Dorgan’s holiday plans were not disrupted; he told CNN he was happy to preside, as he had already planned to be on Capitol Hill on Friday for an appropriations meeting.
– CNN Contributor Jamie Gray
A California proposal could affect the outcome of the '08 presidential election for the entire country.
(CNN) - In Friday's Race to '08 podcast, CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser and CNN Radio's John Lisk discuss a Republican proposal to change how California's 55 Electoral College votes are awarded.
Currently, the Golden State's votes are awarded on a winner-take-all basis across the entire state but a GOP plan would award them on the basis of winning individual Congressional districts.
Listen to Friday's Race to '08 podcast
Related: Is the Electoral College a political dinosaur?
WASHINGTON (CNN) –- Thanksgiving’s over and the holiday season’s underway. And with less than six weeks to go until the first presidential primary contests, the race for the White House is kicking into high gear.
Next Wednesday, the Republican presidential candidates face off at a CNN/YouTube debate in Saint Petersburg, Florida.
In December, most of the action moves to Iowa. That’s because the Iowa caucuses, which officially kick off the presidential nomination voting, will take place on January 3, the earliest date they’ve ever been held. And with Christmas just nine days before the caucuses, will we see campaigning on December 25? Sens. Joe Biden and Chris Dodd were making the rounds on Thanksgiving Day. With so much at stake, it might be hard for the campaigns to totally go dark on Christmas Day.
Here’s why: While Sen. Hillary Clinton and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani are the front-runners in the national polls, it’s a very different story in Iowa. Polls suggest it’s a dead heat between Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama, and former Sen. John Edwards in the race for the Democratic nomination. And on the Republican side, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s on top, but polls in Iowa indicate the race appears to be getting tighter.
– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser
Former Bush speech writer Michael Gerson is concerned about immigration and poverty.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Bush speech writer and book author Michael Gerson visited the Situation Room this week. Gerson spoke with Suzanne Malveaux about what he thinks in wrong with his party.
“Republicans can’t just talk about budgets. They have to talk about people,” Gerson told Malveaux. “Eventually, you need that message,” he added.
Gerson believes the Republican Party ought to do more to address poverty and “populist economic issues.” He also tells Malveaux that the GOP is making a mistake in blocking comprehensive immigration reform. The “Republican leadership of the Congress is actively alienating the fastest growing group of voters in America,” explained Gerson, referring to the country’s growing Latino population.
Watch Gerson discuss the GOP, poverty, immigration, and what he thinks of some of the 2008 presidential candidates.
– CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart
Watch Dana Bash's report about the GOP front runners in Iowa's nomination contest.
(CNN) - Dana Bash filed this report from Des Moines, Iowa.
Bash takes a look at how former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is doing in a tightening GOP race in the state where the first votes will be cast in the 2008 presidential nomination contest.
Related: Huckabee gains ground with Iowa evangelicals
These debate questions feature unusual leading characters.
(CNN) - In this compilation, Anderson Cooper shows you some submissions that feature unexpected questioners - everyone from Abraham Lincoln, Uncle Sam, Santa Claus, and more. Watch this clip.
The GOP presidential hopefuls will take questions from voters in the second CNN/YouTube debate on Wednesday, Nov. 28.
What will you ask?
Watch this compilation of CNN/YouTube debate question highlights.
(CNN) - In this clip, Anderson Cooper shows you some CNN/YouTube debate questions that can only be described by asking the question "What were they thinking?"
The Republican presidential candidates face off in their CNN/YouTube debate on Wednesday, Nov. 28.
In these questions, location matters.
(CNN) - Watch Anderson Cooper show you some highlights of the more interesting CNN/YouTube debate questions that have been submitted so far. In this compilation, the theme is location - questions shot in unusual places.
The GOP CNN/YouTube debate happens Wednesday, Nov. 28.
What will you ask?
Listen to this Race to '08 podcast about the front loaded primary calendar.
(CNN) - In this Race to '08 podcast, CNN Political Editor Mark Preston speaks with CNN Radio's John Lisk about the 2008 presidential primary calendar now that New Hampshire has announced it will hold its primary on January 8, 2008.
Listen to Preston explain why a lot will likely be decided by the end of the voting day on February 5, 2008 and why the field may narrow even before "Super Duper Tuesday." Preston and Lisk also discuss the presidential candidates' different strategies for making the most of 2008's unprecedented primary calendar.
Related: Primary calendar comes into focus
Watch this report about the Electoral College.
(CNN) - Remember Florida's hanging chads, the Florida recounts in 2000, and waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide Bush v. Gore?
In this report, CNN's U.S. Affairs Correspondent Jill Doughtery takes a critical look at the Electoral College.
Is the Electoral College a political dinosaur that ought to be scrapped in favor of electing the President through a direct national popular vote? Or, does the institution still serve an important purpose in modern times? What do you think?