March 24th, 2009
08:09 PM ET
5 years ago

Schneider: Obama looks big picture

(CNN) - I count 10 major initiatives on President Obama's agenda. Only two of them seem unpopular: bailing out the banks and the auto industry.

But nevertheless, most Americans say he is trying to do too much. His opening statement however clearly proves the president thinks every initiative is related.

Energy, healthcare, and education were all mentioned immediately. He wants Americans to think big picture.


Filed under: Bill Schneider
March 24th, 2009
07:53 PM ET
5 years ago

House Republicans miss Obama's news conference

Boehner spoke at a Republican fundraiser Tuesday.
Boehner spoke at a Republican fundraiser Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – As President Obama prepared to hold his second prime time news conference, more than 1,200 Republicans gathered 12 blocks away to break bread at a multi- million dollar fundraiser and discuss the road back to power in the nation’s capital.

Attendees dined on red pepper glazed tenderloin and crab, while listening to House Minority Leader John Boehner, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speak about the GOP’s future.

The NRCC, the campaign arm for House Republicans, raised $6 million at the event.


Filed under: Congress
March 24th, 2009
07:37 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama to host on-line town hall meeting

WASHINGTON (CNN) - In yet another effort to get outside the White House bubble, the Obama administration will be hosting an on-line town hall meeting on Thursday morning.

The president has already posted a video on the White House Web site asking the public to send in questions. Participants are also getting a chance to vote on the questions that are posted, then the president will answer the most popular ones.

The town hall will focus on the economy. It will be streamed on WhiteHouse.gov.


Filed under: President Obama
March 24th, 2009
07:20 PM ET
5 years ago

Senate confirms Locke to Commerce

 The Senate confirmed Gary Locke as Commerce Secretary.
The Senate confirmed Gary Locke as Commerce Secretary.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – By unanimous consent, the Senate Tuesday confirmed former Washington Gov. Gary Locke to be Secretary of Commerce.

Locke was President Barack Obama's third choice - New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson took his name out of consideration on January 5, citing the distraction of a federal investigation into ties to a company that has done business with his state.

Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire - Obama's second Commerce pick - cited "irresolvable conflicts" with the administration over the economic stimulus bill when he withdrew his name from consideration on February 12.


Filed under: Gary Locke
March 24th, 2009
07:17 PM ET
5 years ago

Granholm not apologizing for Palin joke

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm made the joke at a Washington dinner on Saturday.
Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm made the joke at a Washington dinner on Saturday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm said she won't apologize to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for her crack at last weekend's Gridiron Dinner that the former Republican vice presidential candidate "really set back the cause of hot governors."

At the exclusive Washington dinner on Saturday, which was packed with top elected officials, Granholm also used the quip to needle Pennsylvania's governor. "You know where I'm coming from, Ed Rendell," she said.

A Michigan reporter asked Granholm if she planned to apologize to Palin, according to a Tuesday report in the Detroit News.

"No," Granholm said. "It was all in good fun."

Despite positive reviews for her comedy routine, Granholm said the she was a bit out of her element in the role.

"I'm not a stand-up. It was a bit of a stretch for me," she said.

Granholm played the role of Palin in Joe Biden's vice presidential debate prep sessions last year.


Filed under: Jennifer Granholm • Sarah Palin
March 24th, 2009
07:15 PM ET
5 years ago

McCain makes online fundraising push

The 2008 GOP presidential nominee said he is close to reaching his first quarter fundraising goal.
The 2008 GOP presidential nominee said he is close to reaching his first quarter fundraising goal.

(CNN) – Sen. John McCain made a fundraising pitch Tuesday, tapping into his e-mail lists to solicit donations for his 2010 reelection campaign.

In an e-mail sent one week before the end of the first quarter fundraising deadline, the Arizona Republican called upon online supporters to help him reach his unspecified contribution goal.

"It is now more important than ever to stand together for fiscal responsibility and reform in Washington," McCain wrote. “The Obama administration, along with the current Democratic-led Congress is spending your tax dollars at an unprecedented rate - as I have said, committing generational theft - and I will continue to make it a priority every day to use my voice in the Senate to fight against wasteful spending."

The 2008 GOP presidential nominee said he is close to reaching his first quarter goal, but asked donors for generous contributions so he can continue to "put the needs of country above self."

"I am committed to continuing my service as your voice in Congress for a stronger economy and fiscal responsibility to guide our nation out of the current economic crisis," he said.


Filed under: John McCain
March 24th, 2009
06:24 PM ET
5 years ago

GOP event pulls in $6 million

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A couple of hours before Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is set to headline a House Republican fundraiser here in the nation's capital, the GOP announced that the event had raised $6 million.

The National Republican Congressional Committee reported last week that it was still more than $6 million in debt from the 2008 campaign, and had just shy of $2 million in the bank.

Jindal, a former House member, is said to be eyeing a 2012 run for the White House.


Filed under: Congress
March 24th, 2009
05:51 PM ET
5 years ago

Kaine defends DNC's cash haul

Virginia governor Tim Kaine became DNC chairman in January.
Virginia governor Tim Kaine became DNC chairman in January.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine on Tuesday dismissed the committee's disappointing February cash haul, arguing that his fundraising efforts were handicapped by a Virginia law that prohibits officials from raising money during the state's legislative session.

The DNC last week reported raising $3.3 million in February, nearly $2 million less than the Republican National Committee's total for the month.

"Fundraising stories don't interest me that much," Kaine said today, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. "I was unable to raise any money in February, by law."

Kaine, who is serving as DNC chair while finishing out his term as Virginia governor, wrapped up work with the state's General Assembly on February 28.

"That is the reason that the numbers aren't going to be what they're going to be in future months," said Kaine, who became DNC chairman in late January.

Though Kaine says he was forbidden from raising cash for the DNC during the Virginia legislative session, he did take the time to attend two Virginia fundraisers during the session that pumped money into the state Democratic party's coffers. He did not directly solicit cash during those in-session appearances, however.

Kaine said Tuesday that observers should "stay tuned" now that he's free to solicit donation.

"I think you're going to see good numbers," he said.


Filed under: DNC • Tim Kaine
March 24th, 2009
05:00 PM ET
5 years ago

Key senator comes out against hotly disputed labor bill

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A controversial bill designed to boost the ranks of America's unionized workers was dealt a potentially fatal blow Tuesday as a key moderate Republican senator announced his intention to oppose it.

Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, a five-term legislator from a state with a historically strong union movement, said he plans to oppose the Employee Free Choice Act because it threatens to eliminate secret ballots in union elections.

Secret ballots, Specter said in a written statement, are "the cornerstone of how contests are decided in a democratic society."

He added that his decision means that there is likely to be unanimous Republican opposition to the bill. The GOP currently has 41 seats in the Senate - one more than necessary to sustain a filibuster.

If the Democrats cannot find 60 votes in the 100-member chamber to end the filibuster, they cannot bring the bill to a vote.

The controversial act would allow employees to signal support for unionizing by openly signing a card demanding it. If a majority signed, the company involved would have 120 days to negotiate union representation before facing compulsory arbitration.

FULL POST


Filed under: Arlen Specter
March 24th, 2009
04:30 PM ET
5 years ago

Bunning blasts McConnell over fundraising

 Bunning is having problems raising money for his reelection effort.
Bunning is having problems raising money for his reelection effort.

(CNN) - Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning again took aim at his party Tuesday, blaming fellow Senate Republicans, in part, for his poor fundraising performance so far this year.

According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, Bunning lashed out at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell - Kentucky's other senator - for launching fundraising efforts for his own campaign even though he will not face re-election for another five years.

"My senior senator [McConnell] also sent out his first mailing for 2014. Just as I refrained from doing it for two years, he sent out his, so you know where he stands," Bunning said in a conference call with local reporters, according to the paper.

Earlier this year, Bunning threatened to sue the National Republican Senatorial Committee if it backed an alternative GOP candidate. On Tuesday, he said NRSC chairman John Cornyn and the nation's poor economy were to blame for his underwhelming fundraising haul so far.

Bunning - who has roughly $150,000 in his campaign account, according to his most recent FEC filing - is considered one of the Senate's most vulnerable Republicans heading into the next cycle.

The outspoken senator also drew headlines last month with his prediction that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who suffers from cancer, would be dead within the year. He later apologized for that comment.


Filed under: Jim Bunning
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