Washington (CNN) - Defense Secretary Robert Gates is expected to leave his post in the spring of 2011, a senior administration source told CNN on Monday.
A Pentagon spokesman confirmed that Gates wants to retire some time next year. Gates was quoted in an article in the magazine Foreign Policy published Monday saying he wanted to step down before the end of 2011.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said references in the article to Gates' desire to retire next year "accurately reflect the secretary's thoughts."
Editor's Note: In the final 100 days before Election Day, CNN has been profiling one race at random each day from among the nation's top 100 House races, which we've dubbed "The CNN 100." Read the full list here. Today's featured district is:
North Carolina 11th - Rep. Heath Shuler (D) is seeking a third term
Primary: May 4, 2010
Location: Western, North Carolina
Days until Election Day: 78
(CNN) - If Republicans want to have a shot at winning back the House this fall, the path to the majority has to run through districts like North Carolina's 11th.
The 11th district may be conservative terrain, but it hasn't been reliably Republican territory. The district is the only one in North Carolina that is composed entirely of Appalachian counties, and its remote position in the extreme western tip of the state means that it sometimes sits apart politically. More than half of its residents live in areas that the Census defines as rural, but that pattern is offset by the presence of Asheville, a mid-sized city that in some ways seems to be a small piece of Vermont transplanted south of the Mason-Dixon line. Asheville has turned surrounding Buncombe County into an island of Democratic strength in a sea of lightly-populated Republican counties - Buncombe went for Barack Obama with 56 percent in 2008, while 51 percent of the district as a whole voted for John McCain.
(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton hits the campaign trail Monday with three rallies for Rep. Kendrick Meek as the latter makes a bid for Florida's Democratic Senate nomination.
Last month, CNN learned that President Barack Obama's aides were putting together an aggressive schedule to deploy Clinton at campaign and fundraising events in key states around the country in the weeks ahead.
According to Democratic officials familiar with the plans, the White House specifically wants to use Clinton in key swing states where Obama is not particularly popular, such as Arkansas and Kentucky.
(CNN) - President Barack Obama will visit Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, on Monday to tour ZBB Energy Corporation and deliver remarks to workers, a White House official said. The company is using a $1.3 million Recovery Act State Energy Program loan to help fund a $4.5 million factory renovation.
The renovation is expected to result in the hiring of 80 new workers and triple the capacity to manufacture flow batteries and power systems, the official said.
ZBB exports renewable power and storage systems worldwide. The loan is part of the $55.5 million in Recovery Act State Energy Program funding that Wisconsin is using to invest in clean energy manufacturing.
Washington (CNN) - Republicans tried mightily Sunday to make a political flash point out of President Barack Obama's defense of plans to build an Islamic center and mosque near ground zero in New York.
On talk shows spanning the network and cable spectrum, GOP politicians and pundits insisted that Obama was insensitive to those who lost loved ones in the September 11, 2001, terror attacks when he entered the debate on the issue with a White House speech marking the start of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month.
Some predicted political repercussions for Democrats in November's congressional election, even though they agreed with Obama that freedom of religion is a vital part of American democracy.
Washington (CNN) - A Washington D.C. Metropolitan police car was incorrectly edited into a clip of "The Real Housewives of D.C.," a publicist for the reality show's production company said Sunday.
The information came to light a day after District police announced they would investigate whether reality stars Tareq and Michaele Salahi got a police escort for their limousine to attend a party, as depicted on this week's episode of the reality TV show.
The Salahis grabbed headlines as "White House crashers" after attending President Barack Obama's first state dinner without an invitation in November.
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: Republicans seek political gain from Obama's mosque comments
Republicans tried mightily Sunday to make a political flash point out of President Barack Obama's defense of plans to build an Islamic center and mosque near ground zero in New York.