Washington (CNN) - She spent most of the past twenty years as one of the nation's most public faces, and after two months out of the spotlight Hillary Clinton picked up right where she left off.
The former first lady, senator and secretary of state made one of her first public appearances after leaving the State Department Tuesday evening at a ceremony honoring, among others, a former colleague: Melanne Verveer, who acted as Clinton's chief of staff during her years as first lady.
(CNN) – Mark Sanford overcame the latest hurdle in his South Carolina political redemption tour, ending Tuesday night with a concession from his opponent in the GOP primary runoff for a U.S. House seat.
Results showed the former South Carolina governor had 57% of the vote, compared with 43% held by former Charleston City Councilman Curtis Bostic. That was a difference of about 6,000 votes out of about 45,000 cast.
Jake Tapper interviews Mark Sanford Wednesday on "The Lead" - 4 p.m. ET, only on CNN.
(CNN) - "We think that everybody in this country needs to watch this movie," gushed Michelle Obama, as scores of students from across the country joined her in the State Dining Room of the White House Tuesday.
The film she had just seen was "42," based on the life of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, the first African American player in modern Major League Baseball. And her respect for the moment in history was not lost.
Washington (CNN) - Just two months have gone by since Hillary Clinton became a private citizen and stepped out of the spotlight for the first time in decades, but already the political world is watching every move she makes in preparation for the 2016 election.
The GOP prepared reams of research documents to use against her back in 2008, but a lot of their ammunition went unused. Republican operatives are openly worrying about a Clinton coronation in 2016, so they plan to make use of it early.
(CNN) - The United States would be right to launch a military strike against North Korea if there is "solid evidence" that it plans to attack America or South Korea, a congressional Republican influential on national security matters said on Tuesday.
"If we have good reason to believe there's going to be an attack, I believe we have the right to take preemptive action," Rep. Peter King of New York said on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront."
(CNN) - President Barack Obama heads West on Wednesday, continuing his push for stricter gun control regulations in Denver before heading to California for the first major fund-raising swing of his second term.
Obama has four events on his schedule: Two in San Francisco on Wednesday night to benefit the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and two just south of the city in Atherton on Thursday morning to benefit the Democratic National Committee.
(CNN) - Asa Hutchinson, the former Republican congressman who led the National Rifle Association’s school safety initiative, personally disagrees with its opposition to universal background checks, he told CNN on Tuesday.
"Yes. Absolutely. I'm open to expanding background checks," he said in response to a question on the "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."
CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for April 2, 2013 | 5 p.m.
— n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING: "What Kim Jong Un is choosing to do is provocative, it is dangerous, reckless and the United States will not accept the DPRK as a nuclear state," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters Tuesday at a joint news conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se. Kerry’s remarks come after weeks of belligerent rhetoric from North Korea, including threats to use nuclear weapons.
FIXING THE MAYOR’S RACE?: New York state Sen. Malcolm Smith and New York City Councilman Dan Halloran were released on $250,000 personal recognizance bond on Tuesday after appearing on charges they schemed to fix the city's 2013 mayoral election through fraud and bribery, according to prosecutors. – Mary Snow and Chris Boyette
CLINTON’S BACK: She spent most of the past 20 years as one of the nation's most public faces, and after two months out of the spotlight Hillary Clinton is set to re-emerge. The former first lady, senator and secretary of state will make one of her first public appearances after leaving the State Department on Tuesday evening at a ceremony honoring, among others, her former chief of staff during her years as first lady.
SECOND GOP SENATOR BACKS SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, a socially moderate Republican, announced on Tuesday his support for same-sex marriage, becoming the second Republican in the chamber to support it. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio became the first Republican in the Senate to endorse same-sex marriage. All but seven Democrats in the Senate support same-sex marriage.
(CNN) - When President Barack Obama visited last July with victims of the Aurora, Colorado movie theater massacre, he expressed hope that "over the next several days, next several weeks, and next several months, we all reflect on how we can do something about some of the senseless violence that ends up marring this country."
The president repeated that call after the December elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, and has taken that message on the road in a series of events in places around the country touched by gun violence.
(CNN) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will give up the portion of his salary that would have been cut if he had been subject to the same work furlough as thousands of department personnel under the mandatory federal budget cuts.
Hagel, who earns $199,700 annually, will write a check to the Treasury for up to 14 days of salary, according to Pentagon press secretary George Little.