(CNN) - There are halls of fame for greatness in dunking, run-scoring and strumming, so why should excellence in political consulting go unnoticed?
Leading this year's inductees to the American Association of Political Consultants’ hall of fame are President Barack Obama's campaign strategists David Axelrod and David Plouffe, who steered their candidate to back-to-back wins in the nation's toughest competition: presidential politics.
(CNN) - Maryland is set to adopt some of the nation's strictest gun laws after the state Senate passed a bill on Thursday that includes an assault weapons ban and gun magazine limits.
The legislation now goes to Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley, who is expected to sign it into law.
San Francisco (CNN) - The Keystone XL pipeline controversy greeted President Barack Obama in San Francisco this week with activists outside one big-dollar fundraising event urging him to reject the energy project.
Although he didn’t mention Keystone specifically in his remarks at Ann and Gordon Getty’s Pacific Heights mansion on Wednesday night, Obama did allude to the tricky balance between protecting the environment and spurring economic growth.
(CNN) - Florida Sen. Bill Nelson on Thursday joined a recent wave of Democratic senators announcing their support for same sex marriage, reversing his position on the issue and telling a Florida newspaper the "civil rights and responsibilities for one must pertain to all."
His statement to The Tampa Bay Times quoted the Declaration of Independence and asked, "If we are endowed by our Creator with rights, then why shouldn't those be attainable by Gays and Lesbians?"
CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for April 4, 2013 | 5 p.m.
— n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING: Legendary film critic Roger Ebert has died at 70.
President Barack Obama in a statement noted Ebert’s contribution to the cinema: “Michelle and I are saddened to hear about the passing of Roger Ebert. For a generation of Americans – and especially Chicagoans – Roger was the movies. When he didn't like a film, he was honest; when he did, he was effusive – capturing the unique power of the movies to take us somewhere magical.”
DEVELOPING: New Secret Service director’s personal information may have been compromised. The FBI and Secret Service are investigating another incident in which a website has posted the Social Security number and financial information of a government official. A website posted information allegedly belonging to Julia Pierson who was recently named the director of the Secret Service. The Secret Service would not comment beyond acknowledging it is looking into the matter.
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end higher. Dow gains 56 points. Nasdaq adds 0.2%, S&P rises 0.4%.
(CNN) – The crowds are apparently getting better looking at President Barack Obama's California fundraisers.
Singling out the Golden State's Attorney General Kamala Harris at a Democratic National Committee event in Atherton, Obama noted, "She's brilliant and she's dedicated, she's tough… She also happens to be, by far, the best looking attorney general."
(CNN) - Mike Tyson is putting his weight behind the effort to pardon late boxer Jack Johnson.
His heavyweight political punch, that is.
(CNN) - "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner says the George Romney criticism early in the fifth season is based on actual events. One of the show's characters, Henry Francis, is a political operative working for New York City Mayor John Lindsay.
In a phone call, Francis vetoes the idea of Lindsay traveling to Michigan, "because Romney is a clown and I don't want him standing next to him."
The year is 1966.
(CNN) - This president has a lot on his plate. As President Barack Obama explained, there are so many "demands on your time, trying to balance being president and being in the third grade. That's a lot of stuff."
He wasn't talking about his own responsibilities, but those of Kid President, the 9-year-old online sensation who appears in a new web video touring the Oval Office with Obama. A family member produces the web videos starring Robby, who has the brittle bone condition Osteogenesis Imperfecta, according to his website.
(CNN) - President Barack Obama's fundraising swing through the Bay Area Wednesday netted $3.25 million for the group tasked with electing Democrats to the House.
The event was Obama's first fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee this year, and the first of the 2014 election cycle.
The DCCC currently has $7.6 million cash on hand.
READ MORE: Obama praises 'tough as nails' Pelosi at California fundraiser