WASHINGTON (CNN) - Chris Kennedy, the son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, is "seriously considering" a run for the Illinois Senate seat once held by President Obama, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.
Spokeswoman Kasey Madden didn't say when Kennedy will decide whether or not he is going to run.
"He has conducted polling which indicates a strong interest," Madden said. "But there is no timeline for a decision or an announcement."
If he decides to run in 2010, Kennedy could challenge Sen. Roland Burris, the embattled appointee of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Kennedy is currently the president of Merchandise Mart in Chicago. He is the nephew of Sen. Ted Kennedy and former President John F. Kennedy and his father, Robert F. Kennedy, was assassinated in 1968 while trying to run for president.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - As the Republican Party condemns what they call the Democrats' 'march to socialism', a new national poll indicates that most Americans believe President Barack Obama's policies would move the country in the right direction.
Sixty-three percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday say they think the policies being proposed by the President would push the nation in the right direction, with 35 percent saying those policies would send the country in the wrong direction.
But the poll suggests that Americans don't feel the same way about the Republicans. Thirty-nine percent of those questioned say that the policies of GOP Congressional leaders would move the country in the right direction, with a slight majority, 53 percent, saying Republican proposals would move the nation in the wrong direction.
"The poll indicates that some of Obama's popularity is rubbing off on congressional Democrats," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Even though Nancy Pelosi has a low approval rating and Harry Reid is facing some low numbers in polls taken in his home state, 57 percent think that the policies of the Democratic leaders in Congress would move the country in the right direction. That's not good news for the GOP."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Obama will quickly sign the credit card legislation that just passed through Congress at a White House ceremony on Friday, according to White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
One problem: this means the President will again break his campaign pledge to post legislation online for five days for the public to comb it over in the interest of transparency before he signs it into law.
Obama has an out, however, because he has always suggested he would waive the self-imposed rule for an emergency situation, such as his quick signing of the $787 billion stimulus bill earlier this year.
While the President has not previously declared an emergency on credit card reform, Psaki told CNN "the urgency of the situation" for credit card users dictates that it should be signed rapidly.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A federal appeals court judge from Chicago has met privately with the president to discuss the upcoming Supreme Court vacancy, a source close to the selection process tells CNN.
Diane Wood, who sits on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, was in town Wednesday to attend an annual conference on judicial independence at Georgetown Law Center. When questioned by a reporter, she refused to discuss whether she was to sit down with the president.
"I'm not answering anything on that," she told CNN. The 58-year-old judge is not on the official program of speakers at the conference, sponsored by retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, but she was in the audience for a morning session.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama's May 26 meeting with Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak has been canceled, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announced Wednesday.
Mubarak canceled the visit due to the death of his grandson in the last 24 hours, Gibbs said.
The Egyptian leader had been scheduled to meet with Obama in Washington.
Obama and Mubarak are still planning to meet when Obama delivers a long-awaited address on relations between the United States and the Muslim world in Cairo, Egypt, on June 4, Gibbs added.
(CNN) - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin blamed President Obama on Wednesday for closing a General Motors dealership in her home state and called his transition to the White House "as predictable as Alaska's winter snow."
Saying that the federal government "should not be in the auto business," Palin blamed Obama for the closure of a car dealership in Soldotna, a city in southern Alaska.
"The transition from Candidate Obama to President Obama has been as predictable as Alaska's winter snow," Palin said in a statement issued through her political action committee, SarahPac. "'Change' in this administration has meant rapid movement toward massive government growth, huge tax burdens on future generations, and an unprecedented reliance upon foreign countries."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Senate voted by unanimous consent Tuesday night to approve the creation of a panel to plan a celebration of the centennial of former President Ronald Reagan's birth in February of 2011.
The measure passed the House in March, 371-19. Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake and former presidential candidate Ron Paul were the only congressional Republicans who did not vote in favor of the proposal.
The 11 members of the Reagan Centennial Commission will not be compensated. The Congressional Budget Office estimated earlier this year that reimbursement for travel expenses and other associated administrative costs would bring the eventual price tag for the project to roughly $1 million, which will be covered by private donations, not federal funds.
Next month, Congress will hold an event welcoming California's statute of Reagan to the Capitol.
(CNN) – The National Republican Senatorial Committee is picking up the tab on former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman's legal bills, to the tune of $750,000, a Republican official confirms to CNN.
Coleman remains locked in a months-long court battle with Democrat Al Franken, after the Election Day result failed to yield a clear winner. In April, a three-judge panel ruled Franken should be declared the winner with a margin of 312 votes, a ruling Coleman is appealing to the state's Supreme Court.
The $750,000 tab is no small check for the NRSC to write, which ended the first quarter of this year with $2.27 million cash on hand and $1 million in debt. But the organization remains firmly behind Coleman, who alone stands between Democrats and their hopes of achieving a 60-vote filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.
NRSC Chairman John Cornyn has said Coleman's challenge could go through federal courts and take "years" to resolve. He also threatened "World War III" if Democrats try to seat Franken prematurely.
(CNN) – President Obama said Wednesday the United States must take the lead on energy, citing the "enormous job creation potential that exists."
Obama's remarks came at the end of his first quarterly meeting with the Economic Recovery Advisory Board, which was created in February to provide the administration with independent, nonpartisan advice on how to promote economic growth and stability.
The focus of Wednesday's meeting, which was streamed live on the White House Web site, was job creation and green energy.
Obama told the board members he's seen "some return to normalcy" in parts of the financial markets.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Wednesday tried to reassure senators that Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is secure and that U.S. aid money won't be diverted to produce even more nuclear weapons.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, raised the issue of Pakistan increasing its nuclear weapons stockpile as he chaired a hearing of a Senate Appropriations subcommittee.
"Are we just giving them money, which is after all fungible, and is going into not fighting the Taliban and al Qaeda, which are groups that are destabilizing that country more and more all the time, but rather is that money just going into the nuclear program?" Leahy asked.
"I think that there is no basis for believing that any of the money that we are providing will be diverted into the nuclear program," Clinton replied.