Washington (CNN) - Joe Biden came under friendy fire during a summer-kickoff barbeque at the vice president's residence Saturday.
During the event for White House reporters and their families, the president's No. 2 was attacked with sqiurt guns by his grandchildren and by children of members of the press corps.
Soon, his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel joined in on the drenching ambush.
As part of the event, a quartet of the U.S. Navy band played country music and the Bidens provided clowns, games, and a waterslide for kids.
Los Angeles (CNN) - With three days to go until California's primary, a second straight survey indicates that former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina is the front runner in the battle for the Republican Senate nomination.
According to a Field Poll released Saturday, 37 percent of likely GOP primary voters back Fiorina, with 22 percent supporting former Rep. Tom Campbell and 19 percent pulling for state Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, with one in five undecided.
Fiorina also held a 15 point advantage over Campbell in a USC/Los Angeles Times survey released a week ago.
Many polls conducted earlier this year indicated that Campbell was leading the battle for the Republican nomination. Although he's in third place, the most recent surveys suggest that DeVore, a favorite of the Tea Party movement, has doubled his support since March.
The winner will face off in November against three-term Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer. Forty-two percent of those questioned in the Field Poll say Fiorina has the best chance of defeating Boxer in the general election, with 22 percent saying Campbell is the best candidate to beat Boxer, and 12 percent indicating DeVore would be the strongest GOP nominee to take on Boxer.
The Field Poll was conducted May 27-June 2, with 511 likely California Republican primary voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.
Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn
New York (CNN) - Microsoft took a big step Friday into the political arena, by partnering with ElectionMall.com to create a one-stop shop for running campaigns online.
The new partnership centers on “Campaign Cloud,” which helps campaigns launch their websites, manage ad buys and social networks, organize get out the vote efforts, and ease communications and collaboration between staff, donors and volunteers.
Stan Freck, Microsoft’s director of Cloud Computing described Campaign Cloud to CNN as “a central dashboard for unifying the core elements of [a] campaign. This includes access to Microsoft technologies but you can also snap in products from other companies like Twitter, Facebook and Google.
“Campaigns should be able to spend more time on what they know best - managing campaigns - and not managing technology.”
The technology is designed to be used by anyone running for office, from school board candidacies to congressional races or presidential campaigns.
(CNN) - Calling him one of America's "most experienced and most respected intelligence professionals," President Barack Obama has nominated Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper to be the new director of national intelligence.
"He possesses a quality that I value in all my advisers, a willingness to tell leaders what we need to know, even if it's not what we want to hear," said Obama. He made the announcement in the Rose Garden with Clapper on Saturday.
Clapper, who retired from the Air Force in 1995 after a 32-year career, served as head of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency from September 2001 to June 2006.
(CNN) – President Obama is defending his administration's reaction to the Gulf Coast oil spill and says he is keeping the heat on BP to compensate victims of the disaster.
“From the beginning, we’ve mobilized on every front to contain and clean up this spill. I’ve authorized the deployment of 17,500 National Guard troops to aid in the response,” Obama said in his weekly radio and internet address, taped during his trip to the Gulf Coast region Friday. “More than 20,000 people are currently working around the clock to protect waters and coastlines. We’ve convened hundreds of top scientists and engineers from around the world. “
“We’ve also ordered BP to pay economic injury claims, and we will make sure they pay every single dime owed to the people along the Gulf Coast,” Obama added. “The Small Business Administration has stepped in to help businesses by approving loans and allowing deferrals of existing loan payments. And this week, the federal government sent BP a preliminary bill for $69 million to pay back American taxpayers for some of the costs of the response so far.”
Obama returned to Louisiana Friday - the president's second trip to the Gulf region in two weeks as the administration continued its efforts to contain the BP oil spill and stay on top of what has now become a major political issue.
(CNN) – Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is keeping pressure on the White House amid revelations administration officials attempted to dissuade certain Democrats from launching Senate primary campaigns.
“From day one of this current flap involving Congressman Joe Sestak and now Andrew Romanoff, the White House efforts to deny, obfuscate, and mislead have only served to raise suspicions even further,” Steele says in the weekly Republican radio and internet address.
“If Rahm Emanuel has been offering government goodies to inconvenient politicians threatening Democrat incumbents, then it’s time for him to resign,” Steele also says. “If it comes out that the President knew about any of it, then we have a larger problem.”
Steele’s comments come in the wake of a White House counsel memo that revealed White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had enlisted the help of former President Bill Clinton to offer to Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak an unpaid position on a presidential advisory board if he did not challenge incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter. Sestak declined the offer and defeated Specter in the May 18 primary.
Meanwhile, a Colorado Senate candidate who is challenging Sen. Michael Bennet in the Democratic primary said last week that a senior White House aide suggested last year that three administration jobs might be open to him if he abandoned plans to run against Bennet. But the candidate, former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, also noted that he was never offered a position by the White House.
Congressional Republicans say the conversations might be in violation of a string of federal laws –including 18 U.S.C. § 600 (Promise of employment or other benefit for political activity), 18 U.S.C. § 595 (Interference by administrative employees of Federal, State, or Territorial Governments) and the Hatch Act (An Act to Prevent Pernicious Political Activities) – and have called for an independent investigation.
Full Steele remarks after the jump:
Washington (CNN) - The Democratic co-chair of President Obama's new oil spill commission says, if necessary, the investigation may very well lead straight to the Oval Office and an interview with president himself.
"The president understands when he appointed us that we had the direction to be as hard nosed, candid, fully engaged as possible, and that's exactly what we intend to do," former Sen. Bob Graham told CNN in an interview Friday.
Graham and former EPA administrator William Reilly, a Republican, were tapped this week to head a seven person commission charged with looking into how the devastating oil spill happened, how the government and BP responded, and how to avoid this again in the future.
The other five members have not yet been named. The commission has been given until the end of the year to finish its work.
"I don't think we can do our job for the American people, and frankly I don't want my name and I don't think Mr. Reilly wants his name associated with anything that's anything other than a full, independent, candid assessment of this horrific event and what we need to do to not leave a legacy for future generations to suffer again," said Graham.
Graham had harsh words for BP's new aggressive advertising campaign featuring the company's CEO Tony Hayward apologizing, and promising to make it right.
Washington (CNN) - President Obama plans to nominate retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper to be the new director of national intelligence, a senior U.S. defense official confirmed to CNN Friday.
Clapper, now a top Pentagon intelligence official, would replace Dennis Blair, who resigned at the end of last month.
The announcement will be made Saturday at the White House, the official said.
If confirmed, Clapper will become the nation's fourth DNI in the last five years. The position was created after the September 2001 terrorist attacks to oversee the 16 agencies of the U.S. intelligence community.
Clapper, who retired from the Air Force in 1995 after a 32-year career, served as head of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency from September 2001 to June 2006. He has served as the under secretary of defense for intelligence since April 2007.
Some political observers have indicated that Clapper's prospects for confirmation on Capitol Hill, however, are questionable.