WASHINGTON (CNN) – Emmy Award winner Alec Baldwin is eyeing a post-acting career that could take him off a Hollywood soundstage into the halls of Congress.
Baldwin, who currently stars in the NBC comedy "30 Rock," told Playboy magazine that he is seriously considering running for Congress. But he acknowledged his opponents would have plenty of fodder to use against him.
"I'll put it this way," he told the magazine. "The desire is there; that's one component. The other component is opportunity."
A native New Yorker, Baldwin said he has been approached by an unnamed Democratic law firm who wanted him to run for governor of Ohio, and he has also considered moving to New Jersey or Connecticut to run for office. "I'd love to run against Joe Lieberman," Baldwin said of the Independent Democratic senator who is no favorite of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. But Baldwin dismissed the idea, saying "It's all fantasy."
(CNN) – When Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin announced Friday that she was resigning from office, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele issued a statement saying that she "will be very helpful to the Party this year as we wage critical campaigns in Virginia and New Jersey."
But the Republican candidates for governor in those two states are being cagey on whether or not the polarizing Alaskan will be welcome on the campaign trail.
In Virginia, where Bob McDonnell is running in a tight race against Democrat Creigh Deeds, a spokeswoman for McDonnell's campaign would say only: "We have not held or announced any events with governor Palin." The campaign would not say if the 2008 vice presidential nominee had been invited.
But in February, McDonnell campaign manger Phil Cox told CNN that Palin had been offered an invitation to campaign for McDonnell. While Cox said nothing had been finalized, he added in that February conversation that Palin staffers "have indicated the governor wants to help."
(CNN) – New York Rep. Peter King called on the media to "knock out the psycho-babble" and stop covering Michael Jackson because "this guy was a pervert."
"He was a child molester. He was a pedophile. And to be giving this much coverage to him day in and day out, what does it say about us as a country," King said Sunday in front of the American Legion Hall in Wantagh. "We're too politically correct. No one wants to stand up and say, 'We don't need Michael Jackson.'"
King, a nine-term Republican representative from New York's Third Congressional District, said the media has "disgraced itself," noting that there are people dying everyday.
"There are men and women dying today in Afghanistan. Let's give them the credit they deserve," he added.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Angry at Rep. Peter King's sharp criticism of Michael Jackson, a fan of the late pop icon is trying to raise money to defeat the nine-term Republican from New York in 2010.
"This guy was a pervert, he was a child molester, he was a pedophile," King said about Jackson in a video posted on YouTube.
As of 6:40 p.m. ET, 13 donors had contributed $305 through the online fundraising Web site ActBlue. The unnamed organizer of the effort said the donations would be forwarded to the Democratic nominee for the seat.
"Peter King ought to let Jackson rest in peace, and focus on the needs of his constituents," the organizer wrote on the Web site. "As we mourn the loss of an American legend, political grandstanding is not what we need right now!"
WASHINGTON (CNN) – While Marjorie Dannenfelser acknowledges that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's decision to resign from office "defies conventional wisdom," it hasn't dampened the enthusiasm this mother of five has for Palin to run for president in 2012.
"One thing we have learned about Sarah Palin is that conventional wisdom is just that," said Dannenfelser, co-founder of Team Sarah, a 70,000 person strong on-line movement dedicated to promoting all-things Palin. "She is not a conventional campaigner. She is not a conventional model of women in politics. And it is that very lack of conventionality is what attracts grassroots supporters to her."
If Palin wants to increase her influence in the Republican Party or run a serious campaign for president in 2012, she is going to need the backing of grassroots activists, as it now appears the GOP establishment is distancing itself from the soon-to-be former Alaska governor. Very few GOP strategists have described Palin's decision to resign from office with 18 months remaining as a political wise move, and many have even suggested that her decision was so irrational that she can no longer be considered a serious contender for the GOP nomination.
But Dannenfelser understands the grassroots, specifically social conservatives - an influential Republican constituency. She is the president of the "Susan B. Anthony List" and "Team Sarah" is under the umbrella of this anti-abortion rights organization.
Over the weekend, Dannenfelser said that she saw "an enormous surge of support for" Palin and noted that membership at "Team Sarah," alone, has grown by 1,000 people.
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) – After spending the holiday weekend with his family in Florida, Mark Sanford is apparently intent on fighting off calls for his resignation and staying in office, according to one South Carolina Republican who spoke with the governor on Monday.
Richard Yow, a member of the South Carolina Republican Party executive committee from Chesterfield County, received a phone call from Sanford on Monday afternoon. Yow said he spoke to the embattled governor for ten minutes, during which Sanford asked Yow for his forgiveness.
Yow said he told Sanford he could forgive him, but he told the governor that he should resign for the sake of the state and his family. Sanford, he said, rejected the idea.
"He said resigning would be the easy way out," Yow told CNN.
"He told me just like he told everybody else, that he didn't think resigning was the thing was to do," Yow said. "He did a lot of listening, and saying a lot of, 'I know you how you feel.' He hated that he has caused so much trouble for his family and friends and the state. I told him, it's not just trouble, it's a tragedy."
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has issued the following statement about the situation in Western China:
"We are deeply concerned over reports of many deaths and injuries from violence in Urumqi in western China. Reports, so far, are unclear about the circumstances surrounding the deaths and injuries, so it would be premature to comment or speculate further. We call on all in Xinjiang to exercise restraint."
Related: Scores killed in ethnic unrest in China
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Al Franken says his main goal is to represent the people of Minnesota when he is sworn in Tuesday as the state's new U.S senator following an election that took almost seven months to decide.
"I'm going to work day and night to make sure our kids have a great future and that America's best days are ahead," Franken said Monday at a brief appearance with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to welcome the Minnesota Democrat to Washington.
A satirist and author who once was part of the "Saturday Night Live" cast, Franken defeated incumbent Norm Coleman by just over 300 votes out of more than 2.9 million cast in November. The Minnesota Supreme Court affirming the outcome last week.
Franken' s victory increased the number of senators in the Democratic caucus to 60, which is enough to overcome Republican attempts to mount a filibuster during floor debate.
However, it is unclear if the caucus will hold on upcoming contentious issues such as reforming the health care system and energy policy.
The deal will allow the United States to transport personnel and equipment across Russian territory to supply U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan.
"This is a substantial contribution by Russia to our international effort, and it will save the United States time and resources in giving our troops the support that they need," Obama said at a news conference with Medvedev.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor will begin next Monday, July 13 at 10 am, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy officially announced Monday.