(CNN) - Wisconsin's Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle announced Monday that he will not seek another term in the governor's mansion - and in the process, took an apparent swipe at former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
"I have decided that I will not run for a third term as governor," Doyle told a gathering of supporters, but emphasized that he fully intends to serve out the remaining year and a half of his current term.
"Maybe I am old fashioned, but I believe strongly that when you run for a term, you serve the term. You work hard every day in that term and I am going to work as hard as humanly possible over this time to help the people of Wisconsin."
Doyle's comment was reminiscent of recent criticism of Palin who made a surprise announcement in June that she would step down from her office before her first term as Alaska governor was over. Palin transferred power to the state's lieutenant governor roughly three weeks ago amid rampant speculation about her possible aspirations in the next presidential election cycle.
There are growing signs that President Obama may be willing to drop one of the key parts of his health care reform plan. If it happens, chalk up a big victory for the Republicans and the insurance companies.
After weeks of criticism against a proposed government-run insurance plan — and the increasingly rowdy town hall meetings — the president now says the public option for coverage is just a sliver of the overall proposal. But it's a big sliver — especially politically.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has gone further — saying a direct government role in the reformed system is "not the essential element." Sebelius says "what’s important is choice and competition." One option that may replace the idea of the government running health care is nonprofit health cooperatives that would compete with the private sector.
If the president decides to drop the "public option" it has the potential to both help and hurt him in the ongoing debate. Mr. Obama would take away some of the steam from the Republicans' cries of "a government takeover" of health care. It also leaves room for compromise and potentially getting some Republicans on board.
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WASHINGTON (CNN) - Six months after the $787 billion economic stimulus package became law, a new poll indicates a majority of Americans don't think it's working.
Fifty-seven percent of those questioned in a USA Today/Gallup survey released Monday say the federal stimulus has had no effect on the economy so far, or has made things worse. Just over four in 10 say the stimulus has made things better.
The poll also suggests that six in 10 doubt that the stimulus package will make things better in the future, with 38 percent saying the infusion of money from Washington will have a positive effect on the nation's economy.
"Support for the stimulus package dropped significantly even before it was passed, and six months ago the public was evenly divided over whether it would help the economy," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Americans have never supported the idea of a second stimulus bill - back in March, two-thirds opposed that idea."
(CNN) - Political observers know former House Majority Leader Tom "The Hammer" DeLay can have a heavy hand - the question is, can he be light on his feet?
They'll find out later this month. The Texas Republican, who left Congress in 2006 amid controversy, will appear on this season of ABC's Dancing With the Stars, joining celebrities like Mya, Macy Gray, Aaron Carter, Ashley Hamilton, Melissa Joan Hart, Kelly Osbourne, Donny Osmond, Chuck Liddell and Michael Irvin, among others.
DeLay, who has largely kept a low profile since leaving the House, is president of a political consulting firm with offices in both Houston and the nation's capital. His turn on DWTS begins next week.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - After weeks of battles over aspects of President Obama's proposed health care reforms, the debate focused Monday on one central issue: whether the U.S. government will offer a public insurance option.
The administration stepped back from its insistence on such an option over the weekend, with Obama saying it is "not the entirety of health care reform."
His spokesman, Robert Gibbs, said the president could be "satisfied" without it. And Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told CNN's "State of the Union" that a public insurance plan is "not the essential element."
The move seemed to be a concession to critics, particularly Republican lawmakers who have assailed the idea of the government playing that kind of role. Yet it also stirred up frustration from those on the left who believe such an option is critical.
PHOENIX, Arizona (CNN) - President Obama will take a brief hiatus from his health care push on Monday and turn his focus to the wars in Iraq in Afghanistan.
Obama will address the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Phoenix, Arizona, where he'll talk about where the United States stands in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, the impact the men and women of the Armed Forces have had in those countries and the United States' responsibilities to maintain the world's finest military, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said.
Nearly 13,000 VFW and ladies auxiliary delegates are expected to be at the convention, where veterans have high expectations for the president.
(CNN) - Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison formally announced her bid for Texas governor Monday morning, challenging fellow Republican and incumbent Rick Perry and sparking what could be a bitter intra-party fight in the Lone Star State.
"It is with pride and humility for history that I announce today that I am a candidate for Governor of Texas," Hutchison said in remarks prepared for delivery in La Marque, Texas. The town will be her first stop in a five-day, 19-stop "Texas Can Do Better" tour.
The four-term senator graduated from high school in La Marque in 1961.
"Let me start by saying this about Rick Perry. He's a dedicated public servant. I know he loves Texas. But now he's trying to stay too long - 14 years, maybe longer," said Hutchison.
Perry took over as Texas governor in late 2000, after then-Gov. George W. Bush stepped down to serve as president. Perry won election to a full term in 2002, and was re-elected four years later.
Hutchison says she'll give up her Senate seat later this year to focus solely on the governor's race.
–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.
(CNN) - Health care remains, without a doubt, President Obama's top priority, though the week ahead will bring more of a public focus on international and security issues.
One key dynamic to keep an eye on is the reaction among leading House Democrats to the latest indication the White House is prepared to accept a health care bill that lacks a robust "public" or government insurance option.
"Not the essential element," is how Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius described the public option to us on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.. "Very difficult," is how veteran House Democrat Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas told us when asked how hard of a sell a health care bill absent a robust public option would be in among House Democrats.
This might be a good time for Obama and former President Clinton to swap notes about 1993-94.
“What about this?,” Carville said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, “Suppose they pass a House bill that can get 56 Senate Democrats.” Then, Carville suggested, instead of using reconciliation, a special budgetary maneuver in Senate procedure that frustrate GOP attempts to mount a filibuster, Democrats should call for a vote. “And make [Republicans] filibuster it. But the old kinda way is that they filibuster it and make’em go three weeks and all night and [Democrats] will be there the whole time.
“Then, you say, ‘They’re the people that stopped it. We had a majority of Democrats. We had a good bill. They stopped it.’"
The Democratic strategist also rejected any comparison between the Clinton administration’s failed efforts at health care reform in 1994 and the Obama administration’s efforts now.
The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.
For the latest political news: www.CNNPolitics.com.
CNN: John King’s Monday Memo: Foreign affairs will share spotlight with health reform this week
Health care remains, without a doubt, President Obama's top priority, though the week ahead will bring more of a public focus on international and security issues.
CNN: Sebelius: There will be competition with private insurers
A day after President Obama appeared to suggest that his administration might be open to health care reform legislation that does not include a public health insurance option, one of Obama’s top aides on the issue left the door open to accepting nonprofit health insurance co-ops, a proposal that has gained traction in bipartisan negotiations in the Senate Finance Committee.
CNN: Democratic senator: Public health insurance option dead
A key Senate negotiator said Sunday that President Obama should drop his push for a government-funded public health insurance option because the Senate will never pass it.
CNN: TX Dem: Bill without public option 'would be very, very difficult'
On the same day that a Cabinet member signaled the administration’s willingness to forego inclusion of a public health insurance option in the final version of health care reform legislation, a Texas Democrat who is also a registered nurse suggested that the public option might be a deal breaker for at least some House Democrats.
CNN: Carville: Dems should force GOP to filibuster health care reform
After two weeks of sometimes contentious congressional town hall meetings on health care reform, and amid growing signals from the Obama administration that it may be willing to compromise on a key aspect of health care, Democratic strategist James Carville said Sunday that congressional Democrats should force Republicans to filibuster health care reform in the Senate.
CNN: Doctors', seniors' advocacy groups defend health-care overhaul
Leaders of organizations representing America's doctors and senior citizens on Sunday defended proposals by President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders to overhaul the nation's ailing health-care system.
CNN: Aide: Obama 'can't prevent employers from dropping coverage'
A top Obama aide said Sunday that even if health care reform legislation is passed, the president cannot prevent employers from dropping health care coverage.