(CNN) – In another quintessential “Biden” moment, Vice President Joe Biden joked about his basketball skills in Washington on Tuesday.
Known at times for his off-the-cuff remarks, Biden said at an event honoring African-American history month that he and former NBA star Kevin Johnson, now Sacramento’s mayor, could take on the President in a game of hoops.
Updated 8:48 p.m. ET, 2/25/2014
(CNN) – Some 700,000 people have enrolled in Obamacare so far in February, raising total enrollment to roughly 4 million with a little more than a month to go before the sign-up deadline expires to get insurance this year.
The new figures for state and federal exchanges released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Tuesday illustrate participation in the sweeping initiative continues to grow steadily, a point raised by President Barack Obama at a White House event later in the day.
Washington (CNN) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Tuesday delayed action for a few weeks on a bill to increase the minimum wage, a top political and policy priority of the White House and congressional Democrats this election year.
Reid blamed the delay on Republican “obstruction” that he said has clogged up the Senate calendar.
Washington (CNN) – The Chamber of Commerce, which is vowing to be more aggressive this election year, is planning to buy more ads in next month's contentious special election in Florida, a source familiar with the Chamber's activities told CNN.
In a couple of days, the Chamber will air new ads with a message of checks and balances on behalf of Republican Dave Jolly. Jolly is facing Democrat Alex Sink, Florida's former chief financial officer and the 2010 Democratic gubernatorial nominee, in the March 11th election to fill the remainder of the term of Rep. Bill Young, who died last October.
Washington (CNN) – Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that women’s peace and security issues were “integral” for dealing with foreign policy issues in Syria, Iran and Libya.
In front of students and former State Department officials at Georgetown University, Clinton made the case that issues like rape in conflict areas and upward mobility for women were not just issues that women should address. Instead, she said, they are a responsibility “that we all share.”
(CNN) - Former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has joined calls from key Republicans urging Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to veto legislation that critics say would codify discrimination against gays and lesbians in that state.
.@GovBrewer: veto of #SB1062 is right.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) February 25, 2014
.@GovBrewer: veto of #SB1062 is right.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) February 25, 2014
CNN's GUT CHECK | for February 25, 2014 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
DEVELOPING … RUBIO ON 2016: HILLARY CLINTON WOULD ‘STRUGGLE’ … Sen. Marco Rubio, said he thinks if Hillary Clinton runs for president she would "struggle to win on multiple fronts." Rubio, speaking to Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s “The Situation Room,” said, “I think she's going to be asked to account for her time as secretary of State and I don't think it's the sterling success people think it is. Quite frankly, much of the foreign policy failures we see in place today began when she ran the Department of State."
Asked about his mentor, Jeb Bush, Rubio said that Bush, who served two terms as the Sunshine State governor, wouldn't be a factor on his own decision making process for a White House run. The senator said Bush would be a "formidable candidate," but added "my decision will be based on me, not what anybody else decides."
"If I feel I can make a difference…from that office, to lead us in that direction, that's something I would have to strongly consider," Rubio told Blitzer, adding he'll make a decision "later this year, early next year."
THE COMEBACK KID HITS THE BLUEGRASS STATE
GRIMES CALLS IN CLINTON 8+ MONTHS BEFORE THE GENERAL ELECTION… Bill Clinton, arguably the most effective Democratic surrogate in politics, traveled to Kentucky Tuesday to campaign for Alison Lundergan Grimes, who hopes she can knock off Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in one of the most watched Senate races of 2014. Clinton is a long-time friend of Grimes’ father, Jerry, who chaired Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign in Kentucky.
BILL CLINTON: “I watched both the Kentucky victory and the Louisville victory over the last few days and I like both the coaches, both the teams and I cheer for them both to win. But I don’t have a problem making a choice in this race for the Senate.”
GRIMES MAKES HER SOUNDTRACK …. AND SHE SHOULD HAVE STOPPED AT KATY PERRY? “For the pundits that are here in the room in case you are wondering what our theme song is, well I will tell you. I am a Neil Diamond ‘Kentucky Woman’ through and through but you will hear, over the course of this campaign especially on behalf of the women of this state – 53% of the electorate – a little Katy Perry ‘Roar’ and by the end of this, by the end of this race, eight months from now we will be bringing home our Kentucky girl Miley Cyrus with a little “Wrecking Ball” straight to the Guardian of Gridlock.”
CLINTON TO KENTUCKY: YOU’VE BEEN GOOD TO ME
“I love Kentucky. You’ve been good to me. You voted for me twice. You have been great to Hillary.”
AND MCCONNELL GETS THE RETORT … SENATE MINORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL, R-KENTUCKY, AT A GOP PARTY STAKEOUT: “In 2008 both Bill and Hillary Clinton came to town including the day before the election and I won by a 100,000 votes. So I welcome President Clinton back to Kentucky. Every time he has come it has been really good for me.”
ARIZONA GOV. JAN BREWER EXPECTED TO VETO 'RELIGIOUS FREEDOM' BILL … Dana Bash reports: All signs indicate Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer will likely veto politically-charged legislation that supporters say promotes religious freedom and opponents contend discriminates against gays and lesbians. Brewer did not signal her intention either way in an exclusive interview with CNN on Monday at the National Governors Association meeting in Washington."I can assure you, as always, I will do the right thing for the state of Arizona," she said.
DNC HUNTS FOR 2016 CONVENTION CITY … Mark Preston reports: As many as three dozen mayors from Atlanta to Sacramento received a letter earlier this month inquiring whether their cities were interested in hosting the 2016 Democratic National Convention. It was no small request.
Hosting a national political convention comes with a hefty price tag, between $50 million to $60 million, but the payout could be triple the investment or more. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who hosted the 2012 Republican National Convention, estimated that the economic impact to his city was “well beyond $200 million.”
Among the cities that received letters from the DNC are: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus-Ohio, Dallas, Detroit, El Paso, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville-Davidson, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Orlando, New Orleans, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa.
AMERICANS' CONFIDENCE IN THE ECONOMY IMPROVES SLIGHTLY
More believe the U.S. economy is getting better than said this in prior weeks – Gallup’s Rebecca Riffin
THE BUZZ: WE’LL TOAST TO THAT … Hall of Fame shortstop, Ozzie Smith, has partnered with Budweiser, the Official Beer of Major League Baseball, to make Opening Day a holiday, beginning with a petition launched today at WhiteHouse.gov.
Washington (CNN) - Debbie Dingell plans to run this year for the seat being vacated by her husband, Rep. John Dingell of Michigan, a Democratic strategist with knowledge of the lawmaker’s thinking confirmed to CNN Tuesday.
John Dingell, the longest serving member of Congress in history, announced Monday that he'll retire at the end of the year.
(CNN) - The Obama administration appears to be scaling back its expectations for enrollment of young adults under the Affordable Care Act.
For months, administration officials embraced estimates by the Congressional Budget Office anticipating 2.7 million of the 7 million enrollees under Obamacare by the end of March would be people between the ages of 18 and 34, or nearly 40 % of the total.
(CNN) - Sen. Marco Rubio questioned how formidable a candidate Hillary Clinton would be if she runs for the White House again.
And Rubio, in an interview on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer," indicated that he and his political mentor, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, could potentially go head-to-head as they both weigh 2016 presidential bids.