(CNN) - Joe Biden couldn't help but take a dig at his boss Wednesday when one of the vice president's teleprompter screens fell down during his commencement speech at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
"What am I gonna tell the president?" Biden said as a gust of wind knocked down his left teleprompter. "I'm gonna tell him his teleprompter is broken. What will he do then?"
The off-handed quip immediately drew laughter and some the loudest cheers of day from the graduates.
Obama has long been criticized from Republicans for at times appearing over reliant on a teleprompter, even during short and informal speeches. During the White House Correspondents Association dinner earlier this month, the president himself poked fun at his penchant for using a teleprompter.
"You know I had an entire speech prepared for this wonderful occasion, but now that I am here, I am going to try something a little different - I am going to speak from the heart," Obama said jokingly as his teleprompter rose from the floor.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak told CNN Wednesday he intends to challenge Sen. Arlen Specter in a Pennsylvania Democratic primary pending a discussion with his wife and young daughter.
"I personally have made a decision that I intend to get in this race with one other item," Sestak told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room. "I haven't … had the time to sit down with my eight-year-old daughter or my wife to make sure that we are all ready to get in."
Earlier Wednesday, CNN's Candy Crowley confirmed Sestak has informed supporters he intends to run and is seeking to fundraise for the bid ahead of the second quarter filing deadline in June.
In his interview with CNN, Sestak said he is not deterred by the fact President Obama and congressional Democrats have already aligned behind Specter.
"I was disappointed that the Washington political establishment had decided to anoint someone from Pennsylvania, and so I said I would wait and listen," he said. "And I spent the last weeks going around Pennsylvania to see if others felt like me."
(CNN) –– Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak has informed supporters he plans to challenge Sen. Arlen Specter in the Democratic primary, a spokesman for the congressman tells CNN.
Jonathon Dworkin, Sestak's communications director, confirmed the authenticity of a handwritten letter from Sestak - first posted on the Web site Talking Points Memo - to a supporter in which the congressman states, "I intend to run for the U.S. Senate."
Dworkin also confirms quotes from Sestak's sister to TPM stating, "He intends to get in the race,..."In the not too distant future, he will sit down with his wife and daughter to make the final decision."
Sestak’s decision to challenge Specter, who recently switched his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat, puts the congressman at odds with Democratic congressional leaders and President Obama. The president and the congressional leaders have endorsed Specter for re-election in 2010.
Sestak will appear on CNN's The Situation Room to discuss the race at 6:45 p.m. EST.
Text of the letter:
"I am writing you as especially dear supporters to let you know I intend to run for the U.S. Senate...my candidacy's credibility will have much to do with my fundraising success by the 30 June FEC filing deadline at the end of this quarter. Would you help me bring the change for the future we Pennsylvanians need[?]"
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Dick Durbin repeated Wednesday that he would not support his colleague from Illinois, Sen. Roland Burris, for re-election in 2010.
Durbin said he told Burris that he was "disappointed" to read a federal wiretap transcript, released on Tuesday, which showed that the junior senator had offered former Gov. Rod Blagojevich campaign cash while trying to win a Senate appointment.
"We stuck our neck out for him and said if you do this thing, you'll do it in a proper, professional way, then we can stand behind you being sworn into the Senate," Durbin said, according to NBCChicago.com. "And I just don't think his testimony was complete and accurate."
Durbin has in the past called for Burris' resignation.
SAN FRANCISCO, California (CNN) - Opponents of California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages launched a new court challenge Wednesday, led by lawyers who were on opposite sides of the case that settled the 2000 presidential race.
Attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies have asked a federal judge to block California from enforcing the ban, known as Proposition 8. Though California's Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8 in a ruling issued Tuesday, Olson and Boies argue that the ban violates the U.S. Constitution.
"It is impossible to reconcile the restrictions that Prop. 8 imposes on the right of gay men and lesbians to marry with the U.S. Supreme Court's conclusion that the Fourteenth Amendment protects the right of all citizens to make personal decisions about marriage without unwarranted state intrusion," their lawsuit, filed on behalf of two same-sex couples, states.
(CNN) - With President Obama's nomination of federal appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor to sit on the Supreme Court, both Democrats and Republicans see an opportunity to rally their respective bases.
Now, two Democrats running for Ohio's open U.S. Senate seat in 2010 are seizing on the chance to score points with liberals and party activists - the kind of people who vote in Democratic primaries - by pledging to "to help lead the fight for the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor."
Ohio Senate candidate Jennifer Brunner, seeking an edge in what's expected to be tough primary contest against Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, sent an e-mail to supporters on Wednesday asking them to thank President Obama for nominating Sotomayor and commit themselves to help her confirmation succeed.
Brunner, Ohio's Secretary of State, notes that like Sotomayor, she is also "a Democrat, a woman, a former judge myself, and most of all, an American."
Her e-mail follows a Tuesday note from Fisher, who praised the Sotomayor selection as "a proud moment for our country" and asked his backers to sign a message "in support of an orderly and civil confirmation process for Judge Sotomayor."
Both candidates' e-mails link to campaign Web pages that solicit donations and e-mail addresses, which will likely be used to refine their lists of voters to contact as next year's primary approaches.
STORY UPDATED at 5:55 PM EST to include Fisher's e-mail.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Contrary to conventional wisdom, President Obama was not looking for someone to balance the more flamboyant conservative firepower of Justice Antonin Scalia, according to one senior administration official involved in the process of picking, vetting and promoting the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor.
He was looking for someone with the ability to win over Justice Anthony Kennedy, the crucial swing vote.
"[Obama] was very struck, when he met with her, about how thoughtful she was as a judge," says the source. "He believed she had a precise approach to cases that would be effective in winning over Kennedy when possible."
The president considered Sotomayor's opinions to be "rigorous, precise, not overly flamboyant." Reports have called her more workmanlike than visionary – a precision that impressed Obama, who is looking to turn narrow decisions his way.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – On the eve of President Obama's meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that the Obama administration wants a complete halt to settlement activity by Israel, which she argued would help Washington's Mideast peace efforts.
"We think it is in the best interest of the effort that we are engaged in that settlement expansion cease," she said following a meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Ali Aboul Gheit.
Clinton spoke hours before having dinner with Abbas, who will meet with President Obama at the White House Thursday.
Last week President Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, where he pressed him to commit to the creation of a Palestinian state and halt settlement activity to create a better atmosphere for peace talks.
Netanyahu has committed to removing illegal settlement "outposts," but has pledged to continue expansion, or "natural growth"of existing settlements.
(CNN) - President Barack Obama marked another 100-day anniversary Wednesday - this time the anniversary of the enactment of his $787 billion economic stimulus package.
Addressing a crowd of military servicemen and women at Nevada's sprawling Nellis Air Force Base, Obama said that "we are already seeing results" from the federal government's economic boost.
Among other things, he said, the spending has saved or created roughly 150,000 jobs while providing sorely needed infrastructure repairs and fueling increased demand for businesses.
"But this is just the beginning," he said.