(CNN) – With memories of a 2008 primary season that almost began before Christmas and lasted into the summer, Democratic party officials are proposing delaying the start of the 2012 presidential nominating primaries.
The Democratic National Committee's Rules and Bylaws Committee has formally suggested Iowa and New Hampshire hold their nominating contests in early February of 2012 - a month later than the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary and Iowa Caucuses were held in 2008.
Specifically the committee is proposing the Iowa Caucuses be held on February 6, 2012 and the New Hampshire Primary on February 14. Nominating contests in Nevada and South Carolina would then occur at the end of Febuary, before the rest of the states are permitted to hold their primaries or caucues on March 6 or later.
In 2008, the Iowa Caucuses were held on January 3 with the New Hampshire primary taking place five days later on January 8.
CNN Radio Political Notebook: CNN's Lisa Desjardins and CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser look at how both parties are trying to avoid a repeat of the weary 2012 nomination battles.
(Updates with additional quotes)
Aspen, Colorado (CNN) - The United States may still be in the Afghanistan and Iraq region for another ten years, according to Gen. George Casey.
“The types of conflict that we are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I think are likely to be fighting here for a decade or so, are focused on the people,” Casey, the army's Chief of Staff, said Friday night at the Aspen Institute's Ideas Festival.
“We are not going to succeed in either place by military means alone. You are only going to succeed when the people perceive there is a government represented by their interests, when there is an economy that can give them a job to support their families, when there are educational systems that can educate their family. All those things are essential to the long term success of the military operation.”
(CNN) – Bill Clinton will try his hand at a new gig Saturday: Wedding Officiator.
The former president will preside over the wedding of New York Rep. Anthony Weiner and longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, a source close to the former president tells CNN.
The two are reportedly set to be married at the famed Oheka Castle on Long Island.
The Clintons also have another impending wedding to look forward to – that of their daughter Chelsea and boyfriend Marc Mezvinsky later in July.
(CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden predicts that the Netherlands will win Sunday's World Cup championship game in South Africa, but admits his track record may not be that great.
"I think the Netherlands are going to win, but what the hell do I know? I thought LeBron was going to stay," Biden told Jay Leno Friday, in his first appearance on NBC's "The Tonight Show" since taking over as vice president a year and a half ago.
The vice president was pointing to a comment regarding NBA superstar LeBron James that he made a week ago in Ohio while campaigning for the Democrat's Senate nominee in that state. James announced Thursday the he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to play with the Miami Heat.
(CNN) – Saying that Washington is “doing an awful lot more talking than listening,” Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey is promoting a new GOP website that seeks ideas from Americans on how government can work better.
“Republicans have launched America Speaking Out, a new project that is revolutionizing the way we govern by engaging the American people and seeking their ideas for making things better,” said Gingrey in the weekly Republican radio and internet address.
“The hub of this unprecedented initiative is an innovative web forum – AmericaSpeakingOut.com – that allows you to submit your ideas for a new agenda, regardless of what party you’re affiliated with. Once you post an idea, it is then debated, discussed, and voted on. Republican lawmakers are also sharing their ideas and putting together new proposals based on your feedback,” he added.
The website, launched in May, immediately spurred a rebuttal site from Democrats that allows voters to vote on the worst Republican ideas.
Full transcript of the remarks after the jump:
(CNN) – President Barack Obama is announcing upcoming changes in the way veterans with with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder qualify to receive help.
In his weekly internet and radio address, Obama said the Department of Veterans Affairs will lead efforts in reforming the way veterans with PTSD receive benefits to pay for the care they need.
“For years, many veterans with PTSD who have tried to seek benefits – veterans of today’s wars and earlier wars – have often found themselves stymied. They’ve been required to produce evidence proving that a specific event caused their PTSD,” said Obama.
“Well, I don’t think our troops on the battlefield should have to take notes to keep for a claims application,” he added. “And I’ve met enough veterans to know that you don’t have to engage in a firefight to endure the trauma of war.”
Full transcript of address after the jump
(CNN) – Utah Republican Mike Lee said Friday that he favors changing the way senators are elected, even as he seeks his own seat in that body.
Speaking on CNN's John King, USA, Lee said that the 17th Amendment was a mistake, and that while he wouldn't focus on repealing it, he does "think that we lost something when we adopted it."
The 17th Amendment established the direct election of senators by the popular vote. Senators had previously been elected by state legislatures.
Washington (CNN) - The United States and Russia completed a spy swap Friday, exchanging the agents on chartered planes at an airport in Vienna, Austria, a U.S. official and Russian media said.
The plane carrying 10 Russian agents, who were expelled from the United States on Thursday for intelligence gathering, landed at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport on Friday afternoon, the airport press office said.
"The United States has successfully transferred 10 Russian agents to the Russian Federation and the Russian Federation has released four individuals who had been incarcerated in Russia," Dean Boyd, a spokesman for the National Security Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, said in a statement released as the plane landed in Moscow. "The exchange of these individuals ... has been completed."