COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - With Gov. Mark Sanford showing no sign that he plans to quit, there may only be one option left for critics who want him gone: impeachment.
But legislators on both sides of the aisle in South Carolina believe that the chances of ousting Sanford with an impeachment vote are slim, unless new evidence arises showing that the governor broke the law or abused his power by secretly leaving the state to visit his mistress.
Democrats, long in the minority in both the state House and Senate, won't have the votes to pass such a measure by themselves when the legislature reconvenes in January. And Republicans appear to have little appetite for another embarrassing political mess, especially in an election year.
Perhaps most importantly, members of both parties say that for the time being, there is little evidence that Sanford did anything impeachable.
"If he decides to open his mouth again, and starts telling us about other revelations, then maybe something will come up," said Democratic state Rep. Boyd Brown. "But right now I don't see it."
(CNN) - More than a dozen pieces of jewelry were stolen from former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s Deer Valley, Utah home last week, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
Park City police told the paper that the thief was likely someone who had access to the house. There was no sign of forced entry.
The $5 million home is currently up for sale, along with another Romney residence in Massachusetts.
The former Massachusetts governor will address activists at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington Friday, as he aims for his third win in the annual gathering’s presidential preference straw poll.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, while campaigning in his home state of Kentucky Tuesday, told a reporter that convicted Sen. Ted Stevens should resign, McConnell's spokesman Dom Stewart told CNN.
(CNN) - Ted Steven's guilty verdict Monday afternoon could mean the end of the Alaska lawmaker's 40-year tenure in the Senate and serve to inch the already emboldened Democratic Party closer to 60 seats in the Senate, recent polls of the Alaska race suggest.
In an Ivan Moore Research poll of the Alaska Senate race conducted earlier this month, entirely before the verdict was handed down, Stevens and Democratic challenger Mark Begich were statistically tied. Several other recent surveys have also suggested the race is neck-and-neck.
But the prospect of Stevens, first elected to the Senate in 1968, facing a tough reelection race was unthinkable only a few months ago. After all, the last Democrat elected to the U.S. Senate from Alaska is former presidential candidate Mike Gravel. Gravel served two terms, from 1969 to 1981, before embarking on his unsuccessful presidential bid 26 years later. Stevens is also an icon in the state, responsible (and now infamous) for securing billions of federal dollars for the state, including the ill-fated "bridge to nowhere."
But Steven's reelection hopes now appear increasingly slim in what is a boost to Democrats seeking to reach the filibuster-proof 60 seat majority. It's also too late for the GOP to replace Stevens on the ballot with a different candidate - that deadline passed more than six weeks ago and the ballots have already been printed.
“This race was a dead heat before Stevens was convicted,” said CNN Senior Political Researcher Alan Silverleib. "The Democrats are now most likely one step closer to a filibuster-proof majority of 60 Senate seats next January.”
Meanwhile, asked if there is likely to be any national political impact of the Stevens verdict, a prominent Republican strategist close to the McCain campaign said, "Just one more seat."
"It can't really impact a national environment where 12 percent say things going well," the strategist told CNN's John King.
TAMPA, Florida (CNN) - Ensuring that news of the Republican National Committee's sartorial spending spree will remain in the headlines for at least one more news cycle, Sarah Palin on Sunday sounded off on the $150,000 wardrobe that was purchased for her in September, denouncing the report as "ridiculous" and declaring emphatically: "Those clothes, they are not my property."
A senior adviser to John McCain told CNN's Dana Bash that the comments about her wardrobe "were not the remarks we sent to her plane this morning." Palin did not discuss the wardrobe story at her rally in Kissimmee later in the day.
But in Tampa, Palin happily broached the clothing issue after being introduced by "The View" co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who accused Palin's opponents of being "fixated on her wardrobe" and "deliberately sexist."
That opened the door for Palin to weigh in on a topic that has frustrated the candidate and her advisers since the story first broke five days ago.
"This whole thing with the wardrobe, you know I have tried to just ignore it because it is so ridiculous, but I am glad now that Elisabeth brought it up, cause it gives me an opportunity without the filter of the media to get to tell you the whole clothes thing," she said.
"Those clothes, they are not my property. Just like the lighting and the staging and everything else that the RNC purchased, I'm not taking them with me. I am back to wearing my own clothes from my favorite consignment shop in Anchorage, Alaska. You'd think - not that I would even have to address the issue because, as Elisabeth is suggesting, the double standard here it's - gosh, we don't even want to waste our time."
Palin, however, forged on.
"I am glad, though, that she brought up accessories also. Let me tell you a little bit about a couple of accessories, didn't think that we would be talking about it, but my earrings - I see a Native Americans for Palin poster," she said. "These are beaded earrings from Todd's mom who is a Yupik Eskimo up in Alaska, Native American, Native Alaskan.
Watch McCllellan on D.L. Hughley Breaks the News.
(CNN) - Scott McClellan, the former White House press secretary who sharply criticized President Bush in his memoir last spring, told CNN Thursday he's voting for Barack Obama.
"From the very beginning I have said I am going to support the candidate that has the best chance for changing the way Washington works and getting things done and I will be voting for Barack Obama and clapping," McClellan told new CNN Host D.L. Hughley
McClellan, a onetime Bush loyalist whose scathing critique of the president sent shock waves across Washington last spring, has long hinted he was leaning toward the Illinois senator.
"It's a message that is very similar to the one that Gov. Bush ran on in 2000," McClellan said in May about Obama's campaign.
McClellan isn't the first member of Bush's inner circle to express support for Obama. In 2007, former Bush strategist Matt Dowd also said he had become disillusioned with the president and said Obama was the only candidate that appealed to him.
The full interview will air on D.L. Hugley's new show, D.L. Hughley Breaks the News, Saturday at 10 p.m. ET. Hughley is also a guest of Larry King Live Friday at 9 p.m. ET.
(CNN) - Rudy Giuliani is the star of a new robocall from the McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee that seeks to portray Barack Obama as soft on crime.
In the new call, to be blasted to voters in several swing states, the former federal prosecutor and New York City mayor says Obama opposes "mandatory prison sentences for sex offenders, drug dealers, and murderers."
"You need to know that Barack Obama opposes mandatory prison sentences for sex offenders, drug dealers, and murderers," Giuliani says in the call. "It's true, I read Obama's words myself. And recently, congressional liberals introduced a bill to eliminate mandatory prison sentences for violent criminals - trying to give liberal judges the power to decide whether criminals are sent to jail or set free."
"With priorities like these, we just can't trust the inexperience and judgment of Barack Obama and his liberal allies," Giuliani says.
Listen: Giuliani narrates the McCain/RNC's latest robocall
The Obama campaign did not have an immediate comment, but according to its Web site, the Illinois senator does support "reforming mandatory minimum prison sentences."
"Every leading expert body in criminal justice has opposed the use of mandatory minimum sentences, including the Sentencing Commission, the Judicial Conference, the American Bar Association, and leading criminal justice scholars," his Web site ways.
Giuliani's robocall comes a week after the Republican National Committee and the McCain campaign blasted a robocall to swing-state voters highlighting the Democratic presidential candidate's connection to 1960's radical William Ayers.
Those calls have drawn criticism from a handful of vulnerable Senate Republicans wary of turning off independent voters, including Maine's Susan Collins, Minnesota's Norm Coleman and Oregon's Gordon Smith.
(CNN) - A North Carolina congressman locked in a tight re-election race admitted Tuesday to recently telling a crowd of John McCain supporters that "liberals hate real Americans," the latest in a string of comments from Republicans that appear to question Democrats' patriotism.
Rep. Robin Hayes, a five-term Republican who has been heavily targeted by Democrats this election cycle, first denied making the remarks, but conceded Monday afternoon that he was accurately quoted.
"After reading it, there is no doubt that it came out completely the wrong way," Hayes said. “I actually was trying to work to keep the crowd as respectful as possible, so this is definitely not what I intended."
The comments came at a McCain rally in Concord, North Carolina Saturday before the Arizona senator or members of his staff had arrived at the event. As first reported by the New York Observer, Hayes said, "Liberals hate real Americans that work and achieve and believe in God."
Hayes also told the raucous crowd to make sure "we don't say something stupid, make sure we don't say something we don't mean," warning the news media would likely distort such remarks.
In his statement Tuesday, Hayes suggested he meant to differentiate between the liberal and conservative philosophies rather than directly impugn the patriotism of his opponents.
"Liberals are advocating higher taxes, which I believe punish success - and they are advocating policies like gay marriage that I feel undermine strong families," he said. "We have a strong difference of opinion about the future of our nation, but obviously this was the wrong way to get that difference of opinion across."
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (CNN) - All of a sudden, Sarah Palin is eager to meet the press.
John McCain’s running mate took questions from her press corps for the second time in three days late Sunday after flying into Colorado Springs. But Palin was not completely on message.
Wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and standing on a breezy tarmac, Palin said that if she had her way, the McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee would not be flooding battleground states with automated phone calls tying Barack Obama to former radical William Ayers, as they have done over the last week.
Several top Republicans, including Senators Susan Collins and Norm Coleman, have condemned the tactic. Asked about those criticisms, Palin at first dismissed the matter as "inside baseball stuff" and said it's "some of the campaign top brass’s call on that."
But when asked if she would approve the use of robocalls if she were running the campaign, Palin said she’d probably chart a different course.
(CNN) - John McCain has learned his lesson: Don't ever cancel on David Letterman.
Appearing on the late night comedian's show Thursday, the Republican presidential candidate apologized for skipping out on a scheduled visit late last month that Letterman later made the subject of an ongoing joke.
"I screwed up," McCain told Letterman more than once in the interview that's set to air Thursday night.
McCain's appearance on the show comes three weeks to the day after after he raised the ire of the generally mild-mannered host by canceling at the last minute, citing his decision to suspend his presidential campaign because of the financial crisis.
"This doesn't smell right," Letterman said then, during a routine that only half appeared to be a joke. "This is not the way a tested hero behaves. Somebody's putting something in his Metamucil."
Letterman also didn't appear to buy the Arizona senator's explanation for the cancellation then, showing the audience a live feed of McCain preparing for an interview with CBS anchor Katie Couric. After praising McCain's record as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, he said, "This is not the John McCain I know, by God."
Letterman has repeatedly harped on McCain for the missed appearance, noting the Arizona senator's poll numbers appeared to begin to slide right after he skipped out on the show.
"Look at all the conversation I gave you. Including having Mr. Olbermann on," McCain told Letterman Thursday night, referencing the MSNBC liberal talk show host who filled in for him that night.
But Thursday's interview was not all fun and games, as Letterman pressed McCain on Republican VP Sarah Palin's preparedness to lead the country through "the next 9/11 attack.."
"Absolutely" she is, McCain said. "She has inspired Americans. That's the thing we need."