(CNN) - When the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced a year ago this month that President Obama would be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Michael Steele criticized the decision and pointedly asked what had Obama accomplished to deserve such a high honor?
It was a predictable response from the Republican National Committee chairman, who is charged with being overtly political on such matters, much in the same way the Democratic National Committee chairman trains his fire daily on GOP lawmakers and policies.
Washington (CNN) - The Supreme Court has affirmed a congressional ban on "soft money"– the unlimited contributions to political parties for so-called "party-building" activities.
The justices in a brief order rejected an appeal from the Republican Party, urging the court to quickly step in and decide whether the soft money ban was unconstitutional. This after the Supreme Court in January eased long-standing restrictions on "independent spending" by corporations and unions in political campaigns.
The conservative majority ruling gave big business, unions and non-profits more power to spend freely in federal elections, threatening a century of government efforts to regulate the power of corporations to bankroll American politics.
Washington (CNN) – A federal ban on "soft money" campaign donations to political parties can remain in place, a special federal court panel ruled Friday.
The decision preserves a key provision of the McCain-Feingold campaign reform act, which limits contributions to national, state, and local political parties. The case is likely to reach the Supreme Court in coming months.
In a separate and equally important court ruling, the federal government is still prevented from limiting donations to independent political groups.
These are the first two court rulings on campaign spending since a landmark Supreme Court decision on corporate campaign spending in January.
Washington (CNN) -- The Republican National Committee will begin running radio ads in parts of Pennsylvania Thursday, a day before President Obama heads to Allentown to make remarks on the economy.
The 60-second ads will run for two days, an RNC official tells CNN. The committee is expected to announce the radio ads soon.
"Earlier this year, President Obama and Arlen Specter passed a $787 billion stimulus package that has created more growth in government instead of creating jobs for Pennsylvanian families," RNC Chairman Michael Steele said in a statement that will accompany the news advisory announcing the buy. "Nearly 11 months after their big-government spending experiment, unemployment in Pennsylvania has only continued to rise. President Obama and Arlen Specter spent $787 billion in taxpayers' money, and have nothing to show for it. To make matters worse, they want a second stimulus. As President Obama and Washington bureaucrats roll into Allentown, they need to tell Pennsylvania families why the economy has gone from bad to worse under their watch."
The president is holding a jobs forum at the White House on Thursday, where he will meet with representatives from the business and financial industries as well as labor unions. Friday to president heads to Allentown, the first stop of what the Administration terms a "White House to Main Street" tour that will take Obama to cities and towns across the country.
See full script after the jump.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A Republican National Committee official tells CNN the party will strike a "fair" tone towards federal appeals judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama's pick to fill Justice David Souter's seat on the Supreme Court.
"The Republicans are going to strike a tone that's fair, that allows the vetting process to happen like it should, and that's in stark contrast to how the Democrats dealt with Judge Roberts when you look back a couple years ago," the official said.
A story on the National Review's Web site Tuesday morning reported that the RNC had recently asked a possible surrogate to strike a "neutral" tone towards Obama's eventual pick.
However, the official said: "I don't think that you can describe the tone as neutral, but you can describe it as fair."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama takes his first stab tonight at the role of fundraiser-in-chief.
The president is the main attraction at two events here in the nation's capitol for the Democratic National Committee, the first fundraising test for Obama since he took over the presidency two months ago. As a candidate for the White House, the then-senator from Illinois had little trouble raising money: He broke all fundraising records, raking in nearly $750 million during his two-year campaign for the presidency.
The money raised at tonight's two events - at the National Women in the Arts Museum and the Warner Theater, where singer Tony Bennett is scheduled to perform - will come in handy as the Democratic National Committee struggles to keep pace with its Republican counterpart.
The Democrats won back the White House and increased their majorities in Congress in last November's elections, but when it comes to campaign cash, the national party's not having the same kind of success. The DNC raised around $3.3 million last month, while the Republican National Committee raked in over $5 million.
Thanks to a larger transfer of campaign cash left over from Obama's presidential run, the DNC was able to report $5.4 million in total contributions last month, slightly edging out the RNC. But when it comes to cash on hand - the amount of money the parties have in the bank - the DNC trails the RNC $24 million to $8.5 million.
(CNN) – Tanks are rolling and bombs are falling as the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues with no end in sight.
In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily, President Bush is responding to the current situation in Gaza, but will President-elect Obama inherit the crisis? CNN’s Elaine Quijano has the latest on how the political leaders are handling the events on the Gaza Strip.
Plus: Obama faces another kind of war when he inherits the presidency in January - one that takes place online. Cyberterrorism can halt traffic, freeze finances, and knock out water, sewers, and electricity. CNN’s Jeanne Meserve looks at what’s at stake in the Obama administration.
Plus: Republican National Committee chairman candidate Chip Saltsman sparked a firestorm of criticism with his decision to release a controversial Christmas CD featuring a parody song titled, “Barack the Magic Negro.” What does this mean for the GOP’s efforts to regroup after a tough year? CNN’s Jim Acosta takes a look at the political fallout.
Finally: Barack Obama has been hitting the gym for months, and the public has noticed - thanks to the now-famous shirtless photo taken on the beaches of Hawaii. CNN’s Ed Henry decides to follow Obama’s rigorous work-out schedule. But does he have what it takes to look like the President-elect?
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(CNN) - When Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis decided to throw his hat in the ring to head the Republican Party, he announced his intentions on an unlikely forum: Twitter.
Not too long ago, the social networking Web site most popular among teenagers and 20-somethings was probably the last place you would expect to find a candidate for the Republican National Committee chairmanship.
But then Barack Obama's presidential campaign appeared to revolutionize the way technology could be integrated into every facet of a campaign - from fundraising to media outreach to voter mobilization.
The result was a Democratic Party that outpaced its rival in nearly every measure - in the process revealing how detrimental the GOP's apparent lack of tech fluency proved to be on Election Day.
The Republican Party is playing catch-up, hoping to compete with Democrats in the next two pivotal election cycles.
(CNN) – Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan told CNN he will spend the coming weekend deciding whether to run for another term at the helm of the GOP, and could announce his decision Monday.
Duncan said he is torn about what to do - he said he likes his job very much, but also feels it may time for him to return home to Kentucky after being at the RNC for eight years.
Duncan's deliberations come as several other Republicans are publicly eying his post, following two straight election cycles during which the GOP suffered stinging defeats.
Duncan has steadily risen through the ranks of the RNC over the last decade. In 2001 he was elected the committee's treasurer and was named general counsel in 2002. In 2007, President Bush tapped him to replace outgoing RNC chairman Ken Mehlman.
If he enters the race, Duncan will face a long list of challengers: former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Katon Dawson, former Mike Huckabee campaign manager and ex-Tennessee Republican party Chairman Chip Saltsman, and Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis have already declared they are seeking Duncan's job.
An RNC source close to Duncan later called to say the announcement may not come until later next week.
(CNN) – The Republican National Committee released a new ad hitting Barack Obama on economic policy, as the party began shifting some of its ad dollars to some of this year’s unexpected battlegrounds.
“Meltdown. Foreclosure. Pensions, savings wiped out,” says the announcer in the 30-second spot. “And now our nation considers elevating one of the least experienced people ever to run for president.
“Barack Obama: he hasn’t had executive experience. This crisis would be Obama’s first crisis. In this chair,” he says, over a shot of the president’s desk in the Oval Office.
The RNC’s independent expenditure unit confirmed that it is pulling its pro-McCain ads off the air in Maine and Wisconsin, re-directing the bulk of those resources to boosting advertising in a string of traditionally red states