Columbia, South Carolina (CNN) - Members of the media and book-toting Sarah Palin supporters were asked to follow a surprisingly strict set of guidelines Friday as the former Alaska governor appeared in South Carolina on the final stop of a tour to promote her new book, "America By Heart."
Palin has been met with long lines at each stop during the two-week book tour, but fans at a Books-A-Million in suburban Columbia actually had to line up at the store twice: Once on Wednesday to enter a lottery for one of 500 wristbands that would guarantee them entry into the event, and if they got lucky, again on Friday night to actually meet the former Alaska governor.
(CNN) - Sen. Robert Menendez said Friday that if the Democratic-controlled Senate agrees to extend all of the Bush-era tax cuts it could be akin to acceding to terrorist demands. Republicans immediately blasted the New Jersey Democrat for his comparison.
Menendez asked at a news conference, "Does the majority not only have a responsibility to get something done but to get something done that makes sense for the country?"
Washington (CNN) - A U.S. Senator is calling for permanent U.S. presence in Afghanistan.
Senator Lindsey Graham, (R) South Carolina, said in an interview airing on CNN's Parker Spitzer on Friday night that an enduring military relationship and permanent U.S. installations in Afghanistan would benefit both countries
(CNN) - Republican Saul Anuzis can count on his home state to support him in his run to be chairman of the Republican National Committee.
The Michigan Republican Congressional Delegation has announced that they will support an Anuzis campaign for RNC chair.
Washington (CNN) - Despite the fact that the deficit commission did not reach its goal of a supermajority to get its proposals to the floor of the congress, two of its members say their work should now serve as the blueprint for deficit reduction in the future.
In addition, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-North Dakota) told CNN that he believes there needs to be a "budget summit" in the near future-with representatives from both sides of the aisle, the White House and the budget office. "It's essential,' he says, adding that near-term decisions on raising the debt limit and cutting spending have to be made with the commission recommendations in mind.
(CNN) - A report released Friday by Minnesota's secretary of state revealed that Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer "frivolously" challenged more than 80 times the number of ballots than his Democratic opponent, Mark Dayton.
According to the latest ballot counts, Dayton is leading Emmer by more than 10,000 votes. He held an 8,752-vote lead after the November 2 elections.
The report indicates that local officials deemed 35 of Dayton's ballot challenges "frivolous," which prevents them from being sent to the state canvassing board for further review. By comparison, 2,845 of Emmer's challenges were overruled.
Washington (CNN) - Some critics are blasting the Obama administration in the wake of WikiLeaks' release of State Department cables.
"I didn't see a passion from the people at the Department of State who should have been furious that this database at the Department of Defense has been compromised and that, therefore, they've potentially lost all of these documents to this private first class and then to WikiLeaks and then to The New York Times and other places," Rep. Peter Hoesktra, R-Michigan, told CNN.
(Updated at 3:53 p.m. ET with statement from ABC News)
(CNN) - Members of the White House press corps are pointing fingers at ABC News after the network reported President Obama's surprise trip to Afghanistan, while others held back to respect White House security concerns.
ABC News was the first to report the news Friday morning on its website. The network is serving as the "pool" for the trip; "pool" is the one broadcast network assigned to cover the trip. The television pool is a group of five media outlets - ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX and NBC - that share the responsibility of covering the president, White House and major events on a rotating basis. In working together, each organization pledges to share information they gather as pool with their colleagues at the same time so no one gains a competitive advantage.
Washington (CNN) - The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) raised $127 million this past election cycle, the most they've ever brought in during a midterm election season.
According to records filed Friday, the DSCC raised $19.9 million from mid-October through mid-November, spending $33 million during that period.
Washington (CNN) - Politics is serious business - but not all of the time. From the halls of Congress to the campaign trail to the international stage, there's always something that gets a laugh or a second glance. Here are some of the things you might have missed:
Are you trying to tell me something?
Las Vegas Review-Journal's Steve Tetreault reports that embattled Sen. John Ensign "received an early Christmas present on Thursday, besides the news the Justice Department no longer is targeting him in a criminal probe." The gift? Guests said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid gave Ensign a gift-wrapped bottle of Rogaine at their joint staff holiday party.