(CNN) - Looking ahead to Tuesday’s GOP presidential contests in Missouri, Colorado and Minnesota, I can’t help but suspect we might get some surprises when the dust settles late into the evening.
All three are also battleground states in the November election.
(CNN) - Political leaders should always be careful of what they say anytime they are near a microphone.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and President Obama have learned that again – painfully.
Washington (CNN) - I saw Herman Cain briefly today in the CNN Washington bureau. He had just wrapped up a lengthy interview with HLN’s Robin Meade.
The Republican presidential candidate appeared to be in a good mood despite all the uproar over allegations that he sexually harassed two women back in the 1990s when he was head of the National Restaurant Association here in Washington. He had answered all of Robin’s blunt questions, clearly eager to move on.
Political Notebook: Listen as CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Bob Costantini discuss Herman Cain’s sexual harassment revelations and what it means to his candidacy. Plus, we’ll hear from a veteran campaign reporter from New Hampshire.
(CNN) - Did you notice that ExxonMobil’s profits rose 41 percent in the last quarter to $10.33 billion? A year ago, its third quarter profit was $7.35 billion.
ExxonMobil is doing just fine, and that is good. It employs thousands of hard-working people, and I’m happy about that.
(CNN) - What struck me most about Rick Perry’s verbal assault on Mitt Romney at the CNN Western Republican Debate in Las Vegas was its contrast to the way Ronald Reagan used to conduct himself during debates.
The late president would never have gone after a fellow Republican in such a direct, personal way. If Reagan were going to attack a fellow Republican on something like the alleged hiring of illegal immigrants for lawn service, he would have had his aides handle it. He would have personally stayed away from the charge.
Las Vegas (CNN) - On the surface, you wouldn't necessarily know that Las Vegas is in deep economic trouble. There are large crowds everywhere on the Strip. The restaurants are full. The casinos are jumping. The shows are great. I was at the gym at the Venetian Hotel at 6 a.m. this morning and it was packed.
But as good as parts of Las Vegas look on the outside, there are deep problems when you take a closer look. Nevada has the highest unemployment and home foreclosure rates in the country – with no quick end in sight.
Programming note: GOP presidential candidates next face off at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, October 18, in the CNN Western Republican Presidential Debate in Las Vegas, Nevada. Submit your questions for the debate here.
(CNN) - I don’t know whether New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will run for the Republican presidential nomination. By all accounts, he’s reconsidering his earlier adamant refusal to run. Indications now are he will announce his final decision within 48 hours.
He should be under no illusions if he runs. His entire life will be scrutinized and will immediately change. His positions on key issues will be examined. He will be questioned about tough domestic, social and national security issues.
New York (CNN) - Bill Clinton disagrees with his former political adviser James Carville. "It's never a good thing for the president to panic," the former president told me during a lengthy interview at his Clinton Global Initiative conference in New York.
I had asked him about Carville's recent recommendation in a CNN.com opinion piece that it's time for the White House to panic and for the president to fire some people and indict some Wall Street big shots for supposedly causing the country's economic meltdown. Carville, a CNN political contributor, is deeply worried about the economic and political crisis facing the president right now just as he gears up for his re-election campaign.
(CNN) - I have to give Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman some credit. He has the guts to suggest specific changes to the nation’s Social Security system – changes that are politically treacherous.
For a politician, whether Democratic or Republican, that’s always dangerous, given Social Security’s popularity, especially with older Americans who rely on it. And remember: older Americans vote in much higher percentages than younger Americans.
Washington (CNN) - We did learn some intriguing details about the debt ceiling negotiations in recent days. Both President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner were ready to anger their respective bases in order to work out a deal.
To the dismay of many Democrats, President Obama was ready to support cuts in entitlement spending for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. He was ready to support what's called "means testing" – meaning that richer people would have to shell out more for health benefits under Medicare than poorer people. The president is also apparently ready to adopt a new cost-of-living increase formula that effectively would result in reduced Social Security and Medicare benefits. When I interviewed Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont the other day, he made it clear he hated those proposals.