Washington (CNN) - President Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe heads to Manchester, New Hampshire Friday to headline a rally and a fundraiser for Democratic Senate candidate Paul Hodes.
Hodes is one of the state's two congressmen and he does not face a challenge in the September primary for the open Senate seat. The seat is being vacated by Republican Sen. Judd Gregg, who is retiring at the end of the year.
"David knows the Granite State well," Hodes spokesman Matt House said. "Paul Hodes is fighting to create jobs and rebuild the middle-class, and we're thrilled to have David back in New Hampshire to support Paul's campaign for the US Senate."
A WMUR/University of New Hampshire Granite State Poll conducted in early February showed that Hodes trails Republican Kelly Ayotte in a November hypothetical match-up, but leads three other GOP candidates in the same survey.
Obama lost the New Hampshire presidential primary in 2008 to then-New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, but easily beat Arizona Sen. John McCain there in the November general election.
(CNN) - The Republican Party of Florida has told its members that they will be forbidden from supporting Gov. Charlie Crist if he decides to run as an independent.
In an internal memorandum issued Thursday and provided to CNN, RPOF General Counsel Jason Gonzalez concluded that the "Party Loyalty Oath," Rule 9 of the party's bylaws, would forbid executive committee members from providing "active, public or financial support" to any candidate other than the one with "Republican" next to his or her name on the ballot.
That would rule out Crist, who, if he abandons the GOP primary, would run with no party affiliation - an "NPA" candidate. Crist's GOP primary opponent, former House speaker Marco Rubio, is consolidating Republican support as Crist, trailing badly in the primary, plots his next move.
(CNN) - Less than a week after backing Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio's bid for office, former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced another endorsement Thursday.
The former Massachusetts governor is backing nine-term Michigan Rep. Pete Hoekstra in his bid for Michigan's governorship.
"For too long, Michigan has suffered with high unemployment and job loss," Romney said in a statement released by his Free and Strong America PAC. "It is critical that we elect pro-growth conservative leaders who will keep taxes low, cut wasteful spending and create jobs. Pete Hoekstra has the capability and the right policies to get Michigan's economy moving again."
Romney's PAC also announced that he would attend a fundraiser for Hoekstra in Grand Rapids, Michigan on April 28.
Washington (CNN) - Only a third of Americans approve of the way President Obama's handling the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, according to a new national poll.
A Quinnipiac University survey released Thursday morning indicates that 35 percent of the public gives the president a thumbs up on how he's dealing with the situation between Israel and the Palestinians, with 44 percent saying they disapprove, and just over one in five unsure.
This stands in contrast with how Americans feel about Obama's overall handling of foreign policy, with 48 percent approving and 42 percent saying they disapprove.
According to the poll, two-thirds of Jewish voters disapprove of how the president's handling Israeli-Palestinian relations, with 28 percent saying they approve. Jewish voters were big backers of Obama in the 2008 presidential election, with exit polls indicating that nearly eight of ten backed the Democratic candidate.
Two-thirds of people questioned in the survey say that the president should be a strong supporter of Israel but, by a 42 percent to 34 percent margin, voters say Obama's not a strong supporter of Israel.
New York (CNN) - Senior administration officials tell CNN the president will not be slamming Wall Street in his speech Thursday, in part because the White House believes it's already winning the reform fight and does not need to stir the pot.
The officials revealed that top bankers have been calling administration officials this week frantically asking "how bad" the speech will be for Wall Street and whether they will be taken to the woodshed.
The bankers have been told Obama will not be "trashing" them at all, according to top officials who have seen the final draft of his speech.
"We do feel like we're winning so it's not a slash and burn speech," one of the senior officials told CNN, noting that the rhetoric would be tougher if Obama felt the reform bill was in peril. "We don't need to do that right now."
But the senior officials noted Wall Street will be challenged by Obama. His speech has an interesting finish, where the president quotes a Time magazine article featuring bankers saying if reform passes it will be a disaster.
The Time article is from the 1930's - during the fight over creation of the FDIC.
Washington (CNN) - They do well with Wall Street, but Democrats may now risk biting the hand that feeds many of them as President Obama and top party leaders press for financial reform.
And a key question arises: Will there be a squeeze on the money flowing from New York into Democrats' campaign coffers?
The answer is not so simple.
"Can we predict the future? Of course not. If legislation is passed that is particularly onerous to this industry [that] might change its tune," said Dave Levinthal with the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics and OpenSecrets.org. "That's entirely possible, but there's no indication of that yet."
Washington (CNN) - Nevada Senate candidate Sue Lowden has been blasted by critics and become the butt of a joke by late-night host Jay Leno.
Now Democrats in Washington are mocking her recent proposal - that patients should "barter" with doctors to lower their health care costs - with a new website.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee launched the site, "Chickens for Checkups," on Wednesday. It slams the Republican's unconventional idea, made recently on the show "Nevada Newsmakers."
"Before we all started having health care, in the olden days, our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor. They would say, 'I'll paint your house,'" Lowden said on the broadcast.