Washington (CNN) - Is President Obama delaying an inevitable confrontation with his progressive base over Elizabeth Warren?
Progressive activists welcomed news that the president is creating a role for Warren that will allow her to set up the new Consumer Financial Protection Agency from inside the Treasury Department. A number of groups, including Moveon.org and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee organized campaigns pressuring the White House to name the outspoken consumer advocate director of the new agency. Once news broke that the president was naming her to this new role, they released statements praising Warren's appointment provided - as the PCCC statement says - she is "given full power to run the new consumer protection bureau".
And there's the problem.
Washington (CNN)–House Speaker Nancy Pelosi seemed to send mixed messages Thursday about whether she is open to extending the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy.
Numerous times in her weekly press conference she strongly argued against the tax cuts for Americans making more than $250,000.
"I see no justification giving a tax cut, going into debt to underwrite and subsidize tax cuts for the wealthiest people in America." Pelosi said.
But responding to a question about whether there is any chance the top tax bracket tax cuts will be renewed, she appeared to not rule it out. "The only thing I can tell you is that the tax cuts for the middle class will be extended this Congress."
Republicans immediately seized on her comments, criticizing her for both sides of the argument.
(CNN) – Mitt Romney unveiled a revamped political Web site Thursday that features a new look and several new social media tools.
In a statement, Romney's Free and Strong America political action committee noted that the new Web site is designed to "provide its supporters with more real-time information regarding the PAC's activities and Governor Romney's travel on behalf of conservative candidates across the country."
Romney, a potential 2012 presidential candidate, has taken an active political role this election season. The former Massachusetts governor has endorsed or donated money to Republican candidates in about 40 states.
(CNN) - Republican Party officials appear to be making it perfectly clear who they'll support if Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska decides to continue her bid to keep her seat.
Two weeks ago Murkowski conceded defeat in her bid for her party's nomination. The senator, who's part of a political dynasty in Alaska, was upset in the August 24 primary by once-longshot attorney Joe Miller, who enjoyed strong support from Tea Party activists and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Murkowksi's scheduled to be in Alaska Friday to announce whether she will run in November's general election, with her most likely option being a bid as a write-in candidate.
4:50 p.m. - Few Republican lawmakers were as stung by Rep. Mike Castle's surprising loss to his conservative GOP opponent as Maine Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe.
In a hallway just off the Senate floor Thursday afternoon, she sounded off about her place as a moderate in the GOP, and voter anger she says she understands.
Visibly sad, Snowe called Castle "an outstanding public servant who was committed to the common good of his state and country."
The longer Snowe talked about the state of the GOP and the Tea Party movement, the more riled up she got.
"Understand, there are a lot of issues that, for example, in the Tea Party that they raise that are legitimate issues. Did we abandon our basic principles of fiscal responsibility? Absolutely. I was arguing those points during the Bush administration," Snowe said emphatically, "I made those very arguments."
(CNN) – A day before she declares whether she will mount a write-in candidacy to preserve her Senate seat, Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski spent several hours in and around the Senate chamber Thursday talking with her colleagues about the difficult decision she faces.
After unexpectedly losing the Republican primary to Tea Party-backed Joe Miller, Murkowski is scheduled to be in Alaska Friday to announce whether she will run in the general election.
"I don't share personal conversations," Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe said about a lengthy discussion she and Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas had with Murkowski in a closed foyer just off the Senate floor.
Visible through a partially frosted glass door, the three women senators stood together for about a half an hour during a series of votes.
Snowe is a moderate Republican who later complained to reporters that Tea Party supporters want "ideological purity" in the Republican Party. Lincoln, a moderate Democrat, barely survived a challenge from the left in her primary. Now she is far down in the polls to a conservative Republican opponent.
"She's a great colleague and a friend as well," Snowe said about Murkowski. "Obviously, we feel very bad about it. She's been serving in the Senate with great standing and distinction."
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama on Thursday announced a new initiative led by the top executives of major U.S. corporations that seeks to improve education in science, technology, engineering and math.
The nonprofit initiative, called Change the Equation, involves 100 chief executive officers and has $5 million in funding for its first year of operation, according to information provided by the White House.
"These are actually the kinds of things that 10 years from now, 20 years from now, we're going to look back and say it really made a difference," Obama said.
The initiative was founded by former astronaut Sally Ride, former Intel Chairman Craig Barrett, Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt, and Eastman Kodak CEO Antonio Perez, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, according to the White House statement.
(CNN) – Just a few hours before President Barack Obama heads to Connecticut to try and help keep a Senate seat in Democratic hands, a top non-partisan political handicapper is now describing the contest as up for grabs.
The Cook Political Report Thursday moved its rating from "lean Democrat" to "toss up." Later Thursday the president's scheduled to headline an event in Connecticut for state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, the party's Senate nominee. Blumenthal will face off in November's midterm elections against Republican nominee Linda McMahon. The former pro-wrestling executive has pumped millions of dollars into her bid for the Senate.
3:45 p.m. - Deputy White House Chief of Staff Jim Messina and other Obama officials just finished huddling with Senate Democrats here in the Capitol. I was told the topic was "messaging."
Since they've returned, we've heard Democrats try to refine their message with streamlined points: tax cuts for the middle class, and "made in America," which is their attempt to tap into populist fervor by saying – no more outsourcing.
On the big question of how and when to deal with expiring Bush tax cuts, several Democratic senators emerged from the meeting and said there was no decision.
But senators said they did talk about ways they can put legislation on the Senate floor during this short pre-election session that could show voters they are trying to keep jobs from going overseas.
Senator Chuck Schumer of New York said they talked about various ideas on how to do that, but would not elaborate.
"I think we'll do something, you'll see," he said.
(CNN) – Former eBay chief executive and current California gubernatorial candidate, Meg Whitman, has broken the all-time personal spending record for an American political candidate, dishing out $119 million in her bid for the governors mansion.
Whitman who is running against Democratic opponent Jerry Brown, surpassed the previous self-financed campaign record of $109 million dollars set by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on his 2009 reelection campaign.
Cashing in on your personal savings does not always guarantee a victory and according to a CNN/Time/opinion Research Corporation survey released September 8, the gubernatorial battle is too close to call.
The poll indicated that Whitman has a two-point advantage over Brown, 48 to 46 percent, which is within the sampling error.
Whitman believes she has gotten her money's worth stating, "I've invested in an entire campaign. I'm delighted with where we are." Adding that it takes a lot of money to be competitive in California, a state that has 2.3 million more Democratic voters than Republican voters and her job is to "spend money to get this message out, and to make sure that every Californian has the information they need to make an informed decision."