(CNN) - One day after Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii announced he would not run for re-election next year, two of the top non-partisan political handicappers say that as of now, the seat remains safe for the Democrats.
Akaka, who's served in the Senate since 1990, announced Wednesday that he would not run for a fourth full term in 2012. He becomes the fifth Democratic senator so far this cycle to announce they would not run for re-election in 2012.
Washington (CNN) - Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer officially joined the growing pool of potential 2012 GOP contenders on Thursday, announcing that he has formed a presidential exploratory committee.
Speaking from Baton Rouge at the bank he founded after leaving office in 1992, Roemer said he wants to run because Washington is "institutionally corrupt" and he wants to "challenge the current system of money and politics."
New York (CNNMoney) - Republican spending cuts will destroy the recovery! Republican spending cuts will revive the economy!
Get ready for more of that kind of partisan rhetoric as the clock ticks down to the next deadline on passage of a 2011 federal spending plan. On Thursday, Vice President Biden kicked off talks with House and Senate leaders of both parties.
(CNN) - Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Thursday that he is taking the first official step toward a presidential bid.
"We will look at this very seriously and we will very methodically lay out the framework of what we'll do next," Gingrich said during a news conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
(CNN) – In the wake of the contributor contract suspensions of two possible candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, Fox News has left unaddressed what it will do with three other contributors who remain on its payroll but also appear to be mulling bids for the presidency.
Fox News suspended the contributor contracts of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum Wednesday. But continuing in roles at the network are former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, host of a weekend show on Fox News, as well as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a regular Fox News contributor.
Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama said Thursday that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi "has lost the legitimacy to lead and ... must leave."
We are "sending a clear message: the violence must stop," Obama said.
Washington (CNN) - The number three House Republican defended Speaker John Boehner Thursday after a Tea Party group accused Boehner of not doing enough to cut spending and said he should be replaced.
California Republican Kevin McCarthy told CNN, "I think one – you should see what Speaker Boehner has done."
Tea Party Nation Founder Judson Phillips said Wednesday that Boehner "looks like a fool" in budget negotiations and needs to push for deeper spending cuts. Phillips told CNN if Boehner didn't get "serious on spending cuts" he would push to defeat Boehner in the next election by recruiting a primary challenger.
Washington (CNN) - Sarah Palin's advisers have long suggested that the former Alaska governor can afford to wait longer than other potential presidential candidates to enter the 2012 Republican primary race - possibly as late as the fall - thanks to her star power and built-in following among some grassroots conservatives.
But the head of the Iowa Republican Party told reporters Thursday that such a game plan could prove "risky" in his state, which traditionally hosts the first contest of presidential nomination fight.
(CNN) - A federal judge in Florida has issued a stay on his ruling earlier this year that the Obama administration's health care bill could not be enforced.
Judge Roger Vinson, in his order Thursday, put a hold on his January 31 ruling and told the administration to expedite an appeal into whether current parts of the law can remain in effect.
Washington (CNN) - Which House Democrats are most vulnerable to losing their jobs heading into the 2012 elections? On Thursday, a key Democratic campaign group released its initial list of names.
One of them on the list: Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.