Washington (CNN) - Depending on whom you ask, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid's decision to scuttle a controversial assault weapons ban proposal from a broader Democrat-backed gun control package is either shrewd strategy or political cowardice.
There's a little bit of truth in both perspectives, gun policy advocates say.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - Former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel's rocky and inauspicious path to the Pentagon could haunt him if he doesn't watch his step.
"If people feel Hagel makes a mistake in the future, they will come after him even harder than if this ugly process of recent weeks hadn't happened," said Michael O'Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a co-author of "Bending History: Barack Obama's Foreign Policy."FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - "They deserve a vote."
President Barack Obama made that impassioned argument toward the end of his State of the Union message on Tuesday, using a strong emotional appeal to hammer home his plea for a vote in Congress on several gun control measures.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - The Republican Party's message makeover may soon face a critical test as it considers the Violence Against Women Act, legislation that draws into sharp contrast the differences between the two parties on women's issues.
The Senate passed the measure on Wednesday, 78-22, and sent it to the House of Representatives, where proponents expect a fight that would test Republican efforts to embrace inclusiveness.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - If Congress has danced at the most perilous edges of brinkmanship, we the people helped push them there.
We did it by voting lawmakers out of office when they work with the other party to craft legislation but then claiming we want Congress to compromise and seek bipartisan solutions.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - An immigration proposal crafted for months in secret by a high-profile, bipartisan cadre of senators is both a rare moment of simpatico in politics and a matter of political practicality.
President Barack Obama, who won re-election with strong support from Latinos, the fastest-growing demographic, has called an overhaul of immigration a second-term priority. Meanwhile, Republicans who lost the Latino vote by large numbers, have signaled that mainstream members might be willing to compromise on thorny immigration issues.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - The pictures told the story: Vice President Joe Biden looked solemn, patrician and in control as he sat at a long table in the White House, flanked by people on both sides of the gun control issue.
The images conveyed a sense that the White House was in command on this issue.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - Partisan bickering, acrimony, mistrust, communication breakdowns, lines drawn in the sand and 11th-hour compromises are the new normal on Capitol Hill.
Managing to function in a constant state of dysfunction while fiercely fighting to eke out a better deal during negotiations is what happens when the stakes are high and people involved are deeply vested.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - The year 2012 was supposed to herald Hillary Clinton's swan song, a golden departure amid speculation that she might consider another run at the presidency in 2016.
Instead, the outgoing Secretary of State has found herself and her agency at the center of a scathing report about bloody attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, which left four Americans dead, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - Now that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice has withdrawn her name from consideration for secretary of state, her supporters are criticizing those who brought her down as well as President Barack Obama, a long-time friend, who they say left her twisting in the wind.
"I'm not just disappointed that President Obama didn't go forward (with the nomination). He accepted her resignation not to put her name forward," Donna Brazile, CNN political contributor and Democratic strategist, said on the Situation Room.FULL STORY