WASHINGTON (CNN) –President Barack Obama on Saturday asked Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to be his nominee for Health and Human Services secretary, according to two White House officials.
The officials told CNN that Obama is expected to make the announcement Monday afternoon. The officials asked not to be named because the announcement has not yet been made.
(CNN) - One day after delivering a forceful campaign-style speech to the conference of conservative activists, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won his third straight CPAC Straw Poll on Saturday, earning 20 percent of the vote on a ballot that included nine other Republicans who could seek the party’s presidential nomination in 2012.
Romney’s straw poll win at the 2007 Conservative Political Action Conference helped to elevate Romney from a little-known governor to a bona fide presidential frontrunner, and his narrow victory in last year’s straw poll reaffirmed his support among conservative voters. But Romney failed to win the Republican nomination, which was eventually won by Arizona Sen. John McCain.
In the 2009 poll, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal came in second with 14 percent of the vote, while Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Texas Rep. Ron Paul tied at 13 percent. Jindal and Palin did not attend the conference.
Rounding out the straw poll results were former House speaker Newt Gingrich at 10 percent, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at seven percent, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford at four percent, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani at three percent, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty at two percent, and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist at one percent. Nine percent of poll participants were undecided.
The straw poll was conducted over two days and surveyed 1,757 of the party activists who descended on Washington for the annual conference. More than half of the conference attendees this year were college students, and nearly 60 percent of the straw poll participants were between the ages of 18 and 25.
(CNN) - President Obama and long-time friend Marty Nesbitt shot hoops Saturday at a basketball court inside the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Press aide Ben Finkenbinder, who left the game drenched in sweat, teamed up with Obama on the court. Another Obama staffer and Reggie Love, an Obama aide and former basketball player at Duke University, were also seen leaving the game.
Obama wore workout clothes and a White Sox hat to the game.
Finkenbinder declined to provide many details on the match up, and he didn’t say who won.
No word on whether Ken Salazar, the Secretary of the Interior, was around for the game
(CNN) – Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty told the Conservative Political Action Conference Saturday that Republicans must do a better job of reaching out to working class voters, a group he said agrees with the GOP on most issues, from gun rights to heath care to education.
The problem, Pawlenty said, is that lower and middle income voters - a group he terms “Sam’s Club voters” - don’t believe Republicans “are for the working person.”
He said the party must stress its commitment to job creation and market itself “with a feel and concern and tone and an understanding of the importance and the challenges of the working class of this country.”
“And it doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice our principles to do it,” Pawlenty said.
Like most of the Republicans who have addressed the annual gathering of conservatives this week, Pawlenty chided the White House for passing a “sprawling spending buffet” disguised as an economic recovery package.
(CNN) - North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr said Washington is in a “state of denial,” in Saturday’s weekly Republican radio address.
“It seems that every morning you pick up the newspaper, you’re reading about another multi-billion dollar government spending plan being proposed or even worse, passed … We become numb to what the dollar figures really mean, or the obligation that accompanies them,” he said.
Pointing to the “spending priorities of the Democrats in Washington” and President Obama’s proposed budget, Burr warned that “for the first time, we could see the American Dream vanish.”
Burr said Republicans and Democrats agree on where they want to go, but they disagree on how to get there.
The North Carolina senator called on Americans to rally together “to find solutions with unity of purpose.”
“It’s time for those elected to lead. Will we rise to the challenge, and make the tough choices necessary? Or will we simply hand the obligation to our children and wish them good luck?” he said.
Full text of address after the jump
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Call it a shot fired across the bow, or simply a stern warning to congressional Democrats: Power corrupts, and we are watching your every move. And if we think you are no longer representing the interests of your constituents, we will try to defeat you next year.
A Republican threat? Good guess, but no.
This is what Democratic activists are telling lawmakers of their own party, and they have formed a political action committee to raise money and help galvanize support for Democratic primary challengers in 2010.
WATCH more on political infighting
Accountability Now PAC formally launched Thursday, creating a potential headache for Democratic leaders who would rather spend time focused on expanding their congressional majorities next year rather than defending Democrats from fellow Democrats.
(CNN) – President Obama said the budget he presented to Congress this week represents “the change the American people voted for in November.”
In his weekly address on Saturday, Obama described promises he made during the campaign – such as bringing down the cost of health care – and sought to explain how his budget would make those promises reality.
The president said his budget will cut taxes for most Americans, invest in clean energy and education, and halve the deficit by the end of his first term.
“I realize that passing this budget won’t be easy. Because it represents real and dramatic change, it also represents a threat to the status quo in Washington,” the president said.
Full text of the address after the jump
(CNN) – President Obama has set a date for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. Some are applauding the president’s timetable, others are blasting it, but you’ll be surprised who’s saying what. In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily, CNN White House Correspondent Dan Lothian and CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash have the details on the president’s Iraq exit strategy.
Also: Do you want a say in how the stimulus money is spent? Now you have it. Some states have set up special websites asking residents for ideas on how and where to spend the funds. CNN Internet Reporter Abbi Tatton takes a look at the wide-range of requests.
Finally: Who will lead the GOP in 2012? CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider takes a look at the potential presidential frontrunners based on a new poll of Republican favorites.
Click here to subscribe to CNN=Politics Daily.
(CNN) –- Just over a month since they left 1600 Pennsylvania Ave for a quiet Dallas neighborhood, former first lady Laura Bush said she and her husband are “back to our old routine.”
In her first post-White House interview, the former first lady told ABC News that she and former President George W. Bush were enjoying coffee together every morning, holding dinner parties with friends, and dealing with the hunt for furniture. “Life is great,” she said.
"We have very little furniture. We don't have a kitchen table or a dining room table," said Bush. "Friends loaned me a kitchen table, and the other night I had 16 people for dinner, and I had to borrow chairs from the Secret Service next door.”
Laura Bush says her husband is meeting the neighbors, making trips to the hardware store, and catching up on some reading via a Kindle. His latest read is a novel given to him for Christmas by former Vice President Dick Cheney.
And while Laura Bush lived and breathed politics for the last eight years, the former first lady said she did not watch President Obama's first address to Congress because she simply forgot.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Mitt Romney may not officially be running for any office right now, but the former Massachusetts governor returned to the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday and sounded an awful lot like the presidential candidate who ended his campaign here last February.
Romney delivered a speech that resembled, in both style and substance, his campaign stump speech of 2007 and early 2008, detailing his opposition to liberal judges, jihadists and higher taxes.
And in criticizing President Obama and House Democrats on a number of issues, Romney - often interrupted by standing ovations - made clear that he intends to remain a player in Republican politics as he eyes a potential presidential bid in 2012.
He opened his speech with a cheeky nod to one potential rival who didn't make the trip to the annual gathering of conservative activists - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
"There's a rumor that she has been offered an 11 million dollar book contract," Romney said. "My publisher has been talking to me about an 11 millon dollar deal as well. I'm just not sure I can come up with that kind of money."
Though Romney said he would support President Obama when the two men agreed on an issue, he disparaged as "awfully vague" some of the plans the president outlined in his address to the nation this week and in his new budget, and said that proposals for universal healthcare and universal pre-school would lead to "universal government."