(CNN) – Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski is "reconsidering her options" in a reelection campaign once pronounced all but dead, and is now exploring a third party or write-in bid after receiving an "an outpouring of support" from Alaskans.
Last week, Murkowski conceded the Alaska GOP Senate primary to little-known Tea Party favorite Joe Miller, who outdistanced the incumbent Murkowski by a few thousand votes.
But according to Murkowski spokesman Steve Wackowski, the outpouring of support from around the state has given Murkowski a "moment of pause from her previous plans to wrap up her career as a senator."
Wackowski said there has been a definite change in Murkowski's views over the past several days, and that the reaction she's received since conceding "caused her to reconsider."
Washington (CNN) – Even as many pollsters predict sweeping gains for the Republican Party this November, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine is striking an optimistic tone, saying the party's achievements over the last two years will resonate with voters.
"Is the climate tough? Sure it is, because too many people are hurting. But we think as the voters start making decisions about who they're going to vote for, they're making a choice. It's a choice between the Democratic Party, which has done heavy lifting to take an economy that was shrinking and get it back to growing," Kaine told CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Anchor of "The Situation Room."
"We can't afford to go back and put the keys back into the hand of the party that ran us into this recession and this lost decade. I think voters will understand," he said.
Kaine will deliver a national address on Wednesday to kick off the 2010 fall mid-term election campaign season at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
Washington (CNN) - National Republicans are expanding the number of House Democrats they'll target with television commercials over the next eight weeks leading up to the midterm elections.
A GOP source confirms to CNN that the National Republican Congressional Committee is going to expand its playing field by going up with ads in four more districts held by Democrats. That's in addition to the 41 Democratic seats already being targeted. The four new seats are in Arizona's first and fifth congressional districts, Oregon's fifth district and Pennsylvania's eighth district, all once considered safe for the Democrats.
The source, a GOP strategist familiar with the efforts, also confirms that the NRCC will spend just over $2 million in the four districts; in addition to the more than $22 million previously allocated to the 41 other seats.
(CNN) - The Imam behind the controversial Islamic Center and mosque near Ground Zero will break his silence on Wednesday. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who has been virtually silent since the controversy began, will appear on CNN's "Larry King Live" Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET. CNN's Soledad O'Brien will conduct the interview.
In 2009, Rauf announced plans to build what he called the "Park 51" Islamic community center and mosque in downtown Manhattan, just two blocks from the Ground Zero. The project largely steered clear of controversy until the summer of 2010 when the issue exploded onto America's television and talk-radio airwaves.
Submit questions for Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf via iReport.
Throughout the controversy, Rauf has maintained a virtual silence. He recently traveled throughout the Middle East as a part of a State Department funded trip designed to foster "greater understanding" between Muslims and the United States. But throughout that tour, Rauf avoided wading into the growing controversy over the Park 51 project.
Washington (CNN) –White House senior adviser David Axelrod reacted Tuesday to Mayor Richard Daley's announcement that he won't be running for Mayor of Chicago and whether White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel will be throwing his hat into the ring.
"[Rahm Emanuel and I] were a little stunned this afternoon when we heard the news that he wasn't going to run. We both strongly assumed that he was. So we're just absorbing that news and the impact that it will have on Chicago, which will be large. He's an enormous presence there, city's really grown in wonderful ways under his leadership, and so that's what we're thinking about today and look, Rahm has, as you all probably know he's got a lot on his plate, he's got a pretty responsible job, and that's what he's focused on right now."
Axelrod made the comments during a briefing with reporters on White House economic proposals, including two tax cut plans President Obama will unveil in Cleveland Ohio on Wednesday.
Washington (CNN) - A federal judge Tuesday rejected the Obama administration's request to stay his recently imposed injunction against use of public funds in embryonic stem-cell research.
District Court Judge Royce Lamberth said he could not agree to delay his injunction while the case is appealed.
"Defendants (the government) are incorrect about much of their 'parade of horribles' that will supposedly result from this Court's preliminary injunction," Lamberth wrote in his court order.
The "horribles" he referred to are an extensive list of research projects outlined by the National Institutes of Health that will have to be shelved if a stay is not granted.
Washington (CNN) – No fewer than five special interest groups have run television commercials in Nevada since June in an effort to try and influence a small group of voters who will decide whether Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wins a fifth term.
The groups, four pro-Republican and one pro-Democrat, have spent at least $2.8 million on TV ads since Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle won the GOP nomination at the beginning of the summer. Angle, herself, has spent more than $2.6 million on commercials, while Reid aired more than $1.9 million on TV ads in this same three month time period. Today, Reid put a new commercial on TV that is sharply critical of Angle.
In total, nearly $7.5 million worth of television commercials for this Senate contest have aired since June, according to an analysis by Campaign Media Analysis Group for CNN. And that number is expected to double by Election Day.
Canton, Ohio (CNN) - The broken windows and dilapidated walls of the abandoned Hercules engine plant is not just an eyesore for those who live here. It's a symbol of seemingly constant disappointment in this hard-hit district.
The factory was a good source of jobs in this community for generations until it shut down a decade ago. A few years ago, there was hope - a $178 million plan to breathe new life into the huge empty complex with retail shops and apartments. But when the financial system neared collapsed and the credit market froze, the project came to a screeching halt.
Down the road at the Stark County Fair, first-term Democratic Rep. John Boccieri says the policies of the past are to blame.
(CNN) –The new debate show on CNN between Kathleen Parker and Eliot Spitzer has its first winner.
In a video debut released Tuesday, the co-hosts debate the name of the name of their new show. Kathleen Parker won and her name will come first. The show will be called "Parker Spitzer"
"Parker Spitzer" will launch October 4 in CNN's 8 p.m. EST time slot.
(CNN) – The news that Chicago Mayor Richard Daley will not seek another term sent blackberries buzzing with the question: Will White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel turn in his hard pass to run for Daley's seat?
A source close to Emanuel tells CNN that it's complicated. He takes his job seriously and feels a responsibility to see out his duties serving the President during difficult times. That said he's made no secret of the fact that he's always wanted to be Mayor of Chicago, a city he served in the House of Representatives.
Read a statement on Mayor Daley's retirement from Rahm Emanuel here.
The source close to Emanuel says he will probably look at the open seat as an option but has some time to make the decision.