Washington (CNN) - President Obama and Speaker Boehner found themselves on the same side for once Saturday - teaming up to beat Vice President Biden and Ohio Gov. John Kasich on the golf course in a nail-biter that was decided on the 18th hole.
The victory netted the winning team $2 apiece, according to a joint statement released by the White House and the Speaker’s office. After finishing their round, the foursome headed to the patio of the course’s clubhouse to grab a cold drink, catch some U.S. Open coverage and visit with service members.
Washington (CNN) - The long-awaited golf showdown between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner is underway: The pair, along with with Vice President Joe Biden and GOP Ohio Gov. John Kasich, hit the links around 10 a.m. Saturday at Joint Base Andrews.
The game was first suggested by then-White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs shortly after Republicans officially took control of the House in January. Boehner signed on that month, saying he'd be happy to play 18 holes with the president - although, he told one interviewer, he was "sure I'll have to give (Obama) strokes!"
(Updated with scores and video at 10:50 a.m. ET, after the jump)
(CNN) - Voters this year may be more anxious than angry.
Just 35 percent think the country's on the right track, according to exit polls Tuesday night, to 62 percent who think things are heading in the wrong direction.
Voters aren't quite as pessimistic as they were just two years ago, when those numbers were 21 and 74 percent - but they're unhappier than they were back in 2006, when 41 percent felt the nation was on the right track, to 55 percent who said they were headed in the wrong direction.
(CNN) - Senate Democrats released an ad Friday morning linking Massachusetts Senate candidate Scott Brown to Wall Street execs and his opposition to President Obama's bank fee plan – though they quickly pulled the spot for an edit after critics pointed out that a visual of the World Trade Center appeared briefly in the background.
"Republican Scott Brown opposes President Obama's plan to reform Wall Street," the narrator said in "Derail," the 30-second ad from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
"That's right, Scott Brown actually opposes the plan to crack down on the greed and corruption that nearly destroyed our economy. …But if Brown won't protect American consumers from corporate predators, what IS his agenda?"
DSCC spokesman Eric Schultz said Friday afternoon that a new version of the ad had already been shipped to stations.
(CNN) - Rep. Peter King is formally bowing out of this year's New York Senate contest, again.
"While the political situation has changed dramatically in the Republicans' favor since September and I believe that Sen. (Kirsten) Gillibrand can and will be defeated in 2010, I will not be a candidate for the Senate," he said in a message sent to supporters Monday.
The 9-term Long Island Republican had announced his decision to skip the race last fall, but said in December that he would reconsider his decision based after requests by party leaders. He claimed the national spotlight in recent weeks as one of the most vocal congressional critics of the White House's response to the attempted Christmas Day airline bombing.
Surveys indicate Gillibrand could be vulnerable in a battle with a strong opponent. In a Siena poll last month, just under a third of the New York voters questioned thought she deserved to hold on to her seat, and 34 percent said they'd back another candidate. In the same poll, Gillibrand was virtually neck-and-neck with George Pataki, with a 46-43 edge over the former GOP governor.
(CNN) - For years, Democrats who voted against President Bush's defense budgets had to contend with Republican ads that accused them of failing to support the troops. Now the Democratic National Committee is releasing a new ad hurling the same politically toxic charge at the GOP.
"How far are Republicans willing to go to protect the insurance industry and block health reform?" asks the narrator in the 30-second spot. "Far enough to deny funding and equipment for our troops in harm's way.
"Republicans are so desperate to block health reform and protect their special interest friends that they delayed funding for our men and women in uniform. Then they voted against it. Tell Republicans to stop playing politics with health care. And to stop playing politics with our troops."
An effort by Senate Republicans to filibuster the defense appropriations bill to stall action on President Obama's health care plan failed Friday, when three GOP senators - Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, and Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas - voted with Democrats to end debate and vote on the measure.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee immediately slammed Chuck Grassley, David Vitter and Richard Burr – all senators up for re-election in 2010 – over the vote, accusing the lawmaker of "put(ting) partisan politics above funding our troops…"
The new ad will run on cable nationally and in Washington, D.C. starting Monday.
Update: National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Brian Walsh said the ad showed Democrats were "desperate to shift attention away from the higher taxes and cuts to Medicare which fund their politically toxic health care bill."
"Poll after poll shows that the majority of American people not only don’t support it, but that they are prepared to hold the Democrats accountable for it in next year’s election," he said Friday. "However, if they are seriously seeking a debate over which party has been more committed to supporting our troops over the years, then by all means let’s have that debate. We would welcome it.”
Washington (CNN) - The National Republican Senatorial Committee again edged out the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee last month, while the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee kept up its winning streak in November - and Democratic campaign committees in the House and Senate both maintained their massive cash-on-hand advantage over their GOP counterparts.
The NRSC pulled in $3.3 million to the DSCC's $3.0 million, the committees said Friday.
The NRSC pointed to the $1 million increase over figures at the same point in the last off-year cycle; in November 2007, the committee pulled in $2.3 million. The NRSC reported ending November with no debt, but its cash-on-hand - $7.3 million - while a significant increase over October COH numbers, are well below the more than $10 million it had in the bank two years ago.
Washington (CNN) - Polls show a rising anti-Washington sentiment, less-than-stellar approval ratings for a newly-elected Democratic president, and even worse for Congress - just as they did the last time Democrats lost control of the House and Senate – but there's no déjà vu among party leaders, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen said Thursday: "This is not going to be 1994 all over again."
A spate of recent retirements among Democrats representing potential swing districts – including John Tanner of Tennessee, Dennis Moore of Kansas, Brian Baird of Washington and Bart Gordon of Tennessee – have also given political observers some 1994 flashbacks. But Van Hollen denied the moves signaled a trend. "We absolutely do not expect a large surge (in retirements) on the order of 1994," he said.
Washington (CNN) - The thousands of restive conservative protesters milling outside the west front of the Capitol last week definitely didn't seem in the mood to listen - but there was at least one voice they wanted to hear.
The chant started from the back of the crowd, and rolled forward like a wave: "We want Michele! We want Michele!"
Michele Bachmann doesn't say she finds GOP leadership irrelevant. But with health care reform gathering momentum as the Democratic bill entered final debate in the House, she took her typical route around, not through them.
The swarms of Tea Partiers who descended on Washington on her week-old call didn't come to see John Boehner and Eric Cantor. The top Republican leaders in Congress were guests at Michele Bachmann's party.
(CNN) - Much like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Rep. Michele Bachmann's name has become a kind of cultural shorthand - a conservative rallying cry and a Jon Stewart punch line.
Both women have inspired a range of merchandise that includes mugs, T-shirts and even action figures. (The miniature Palin outsells Bachmann.)
Tina Fey's unforgettable "Saturday Night Live" impersonations of 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Palin featured exact quotes or close paraphrases. And a recently launched line of Bachmann-inspired comic books features the congresswoman's own words as well.
Bachmann occupies an increasingly familiar political niche: the tough-talking, unapologetic conservative woman. The similarities with Palin go beyond a fiery brand of working-class cultural conservatism delivered in a homey twang. Each cut their teeth in culture war fights at the state level and has experienced a relatively recent meteoric ascent to the national stage.