(CNN) - The Boston Globe endorsed Martha Coakley for Senate Wednesday, saying the Democrat is more qualified to serve in Washington than her Republican opponent Scott Brown.
"She is by far the more qualified candidate, in experience and judgment," the Globe contended in the editorial released on its Web site late in the afternoon.
The newspaper's endorsement argued that it would be misguided to think sending Brown to the Senate, ending the Democrat's filibuster proof majority in the Senate, would satisfy Americans' frustration with Washington.
"A vote for Brown is hardly a symbolic protest against congressional gridlock and the ways of Washington," the Globe contended. "It's a vote for gridlock, in the form of endless Republican filibusters, and for the status quo in health care, climate change, and financial regulation. That's what will happen if Brown gives the Republicans the additional vote they need to tie up the Senate."
(CNN) - With less than a week to go until a special Senate election in Massachusetts, the state's airwaves are packed with campaign ads as Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Scott Brown battle to fill the last three years of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's term.
Coakley, the Massachusetts attorney general, has spent $605,000 to air campaign television ads since Friday, according to Evan Tracey, president of Campaign Media Analysis Group and CNN's consultant on political advertising. Brown, a state senator, has spent $550,000 since Christmas. And those figures don't include ad money spent by national and state political party organizations and independent groups in the past few weeks.
Three new commercials in support of Coakley attempt to tie Brown to national Republicans, a move that may excite the Democratic base in a state that is considered largely Democrat.
Washington(CNN) - What was expected to be a morning meeting with the president on health care turned into all-day, intense negotiations with Democratic leaders trying to find compromise on differences over House and Senate health care bills.
The meetings did not finally wrap up until after 6:30 p.m. ET.
Senior congressional Democratic sources told CNN that the White House is pushing them hard to move quickly to resolve differences on a broad range of issues. The president and his top aides are being more aggressive than ever before in trying to broker a deal.
Though Democratic leaders and White House officials are tight-lipped about specifics, there is a deep House-Senate Democratic divide over how to pay for health care reform.
"Today we made significant progress in bridging the remaining gaps between the two health insurance reform bills," President Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in a joint statement Wednesday evening.
"We're encouraged and energized, and we're resolved to deliver reform legislation that provides more stability and security for those with insurance, extends coverage to those who don't have coverage, and lowers costs for families, businesses and governments."
Obama has made clear he favors the Senate Democrats approach - taxing high cost insurance plans. That has caused an eruption inside unions who oppose that approach.
Washington (CNN) – Former President Bill Clinton, the U.N. Special Envoy to Haiti, praised the initial response to help victims in the earthquake-ravaged country and urged leaders around the world to contribute support and supplies.
In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday, Clinton encouraged people to send money to the Red Cross, the Clinton Foundation or to a number of other aid organizations operating in Haiti.
"This is going to be a long-term process," Clinton said. "I would urge you not to give up on Haiti as a lost cause, because we can get through this, and it is even more important now that we honor the wishes of the Haitian people and the government to help become their partners and liberate them from 200 years of misery."
Clinton stressed that the goal right now is to "save as many lives as possible" with basics like food, water and medicine and he said that other counties need to send more helicopters. He said important lessons were learned during the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami in Asia and Hurricane Katrina in the U.S., and he said he is "impressed" with the job done so far by the U.S. military and by Minustah, the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti.
(CNN) - Sarah Palin is slamming a new book about the 2008 presidential campaign that largely portrays the then-vice presidential candidate as wholly unprepared for the national stage and poorly versed in a range of pressing issues.
"These reporters were not any part of what I was doing there as the VP candidate," Palin said on Fox News Tuesday, her first appearance on the network as a paid contributor. "I don't know who they are. I haven't met these guys."
The book – "Game Change," written by political reporters Mark Halperin and John Heilemann - alleges McCain aides quickly grew troubled with Palin's lack of understanding on key issues, including the job of the Federal Reserve, the difference between North and South Korea, and the purpose of the war in Afghanistan.
"It's a bunch of BS from [McCain campaign manager Steve] Schmidt and those guys," Palin said. "It's pretty made up."
But the former Alaska governor did confirm one of the book's allegations: not knowing exactly who was behind the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and falsely believing former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein played a role.
"I did talk a lot to Steve Schmidt about the history of the war….could there have been any connection to Saddam [Hussein]," she said. "So I admit that I asked questions about it."
Washington (CNN) - Add one more name to the growing list of potential 2012 presidential contenders attending the 2010 Southern Republican Leadership Conference in April: Mike Pence.
An aide to the Indiana Republican confirmed the speaking appearance.
Pence, chairman of the House Republican Conference, has a serious following among fiscal conservatives and has already made trips to the early proving grounds of Iowa and South Carolina.
By delivering remarks to the SRLC - a major gathering of Republican officials and activists from 14 southern states, held this year in New Orleans - Pence is signaling that he intends to remain part of the early presidential chatter. The event is held every two to four years and usually conducts a presidential straw poll.
Tim Pawlenty, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are all making appearances at the event, but Mitt Romney is not. Mike Huckabee has not yet said if he will attend.
Washington (CNN) – The coordinator for U.S. assistance to Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake said Wednesday the entire government is marshalling a massive response, with the immediate goal of saving as many lives as possible within the next 72 hours.
"We are working aggressively and in a highly coordinated way, across the federal government, to bring all of the assets and capacities we have to bear to quickly and effectively provide as much assistance as possible," said Rajiv Shah, Administrator for the US Agency for International Development.
President Barack Obama tapped Shah, who was sworn in just last week, with leading "a swift, coordinated and aggressive effort to save lives" in Haiti after that country's powerful 7.0-magnitude earthquake.
"We are in the process of trying to generate as many potential options and put as many assets as we have into where they could potentially be used quickly and efficiently to achieve that goal," Shah said.
To that end, Shah said USAID would have a 15-member disaster response team (DART) on the ground in Haiti Thursday "doing surveillance, collecting data, identifying priority sites" and guiding the search and rescue effort. Two 72-member search and rescue teams were en route to Haiti with equipment and technology to begin operations.
Washington (CNN) - The Supreme Court has again indefinitely blocked plans to disseminate video of an important federal court case involving single-sex marriage in California.
The justices in an unsigned order Wednesday prevented any distribution of the live videostream outside the San Francisco courthouse where the case is being heard, and any real-time or delayed posting on the Internet.
In a trial that began Monday, a federal judge in San Francisco will decide whether the state's Proposition 8 banning single-sex marriage is
constitutional. California voters approved the measure in November 2008, prompting an appeal by several homosexual couples.
As part of a pilot program, the judge had agreed to allow video of the trial to be sent live to other rooms within the courthouse and to five other federal courthouses, and to be posted several hours later on the popular video site YouTube.com.
Washington (CNN) – Katon Dawson thought he was heading to Hawaii later this month to serve as South Carolina Republican Party chairwoman Karen Floyd's proxy at the Republican National Committee meeting. Dawson is still going, but he won't have Floyd's vote in his back pocket.
Dawson, who fought Michael Steele for the RNC chairmanship last year, said Wednesday he is "not ready to comment" on why he will not be the proxy - essentially a voting substitute for an absent RNC member. But the former South Carolina GOP chairman added that he still plans to attend the meeting in an unofficial capacity.
Several South Carolina Republicans tell CNN that there was concern that Dawson's presence in Hawaii as an official representative of the state party might anger Steele and his allies, possibly jeopardizing the state's influential role in the GOP presidential nominating process.
A spokesman for the South Carolina Republican party said Wednesday that while Floyd had asked Dawson several months ago to attend the Hawaii meeting, she did not ask him to be her proxy.
"The proxy was something that was never contemplated," said Joel Sawyer, a spokesman for the South Carolina GOP. "The plan had always been to send him in Karen's place because of his great institutional knowledge of the party and the RNC organization."
But last Friday, Dawson told CNN he was excited to make the trip as Floyd's proxy, which would give him an official vote at the RNC meeting.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama huddled with top Capitol Hill Democrats at the White House on Wednesday as congressional leaders sought to find enough middle ground to pass a sweeping health care reform bill.
The meeting was part of a series of feverish negotiations among House and Senate Democrats trying to close ranks on a series of controversial issues.
Liberals in the House of Representatives are particularly upset with a provision in the Senate bill that would impose an excise tax on high-end insurance plans.
The ongoing deliberations are necessary to craft a final bill from the $1 trillion measure approved by the House in November and an $871 billion plan cleared by the Senate in December.