November 3rd, 2010
04:30 AM ET
12 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world. Click on the headlines for more.

For the latest political news:

CNN: GOP roars back to take U.S. House; Democrats cling to Senate majority
Republicans took voters' distress over the stubborn jobless rate and stalled economy and turned it into a sweeping takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives in Tuesday's midterm elections, while Democrats were able to hang onto their majority in the Senate, though in smaller numbers. With results still coming in, the extent of the Republican takeover of the 435-member House was still to be determined. But CNN projected that Republicans would win at least 60 more House seats than they currently hold to wipe out the Democratic majority of the past four years.

CNN: Boehner gets choked up
He wept tonight, but chances are House Minority Leader John Boehner will be smiling in January, when he picks up the gavel as Speaker of the newly-Republican House of Representatives. During his victory speech, talking about his upbringing, he choked up. His voice breaking and tears filling his eyes he said, "I hold these values dear because I've lived them." He added, "I've spent my whole life chasing the American dream."

CNN: In midnight call, Obama and Boehner try to set positive tone
President Obama called incoming Speaker John Boehner at midnight to congratulate him on the GOP takeover of the House, as each side moves quickly to show they're ready to work with one another after one of the most contentious midterm elections in history. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs put out a statement noting that Obama also spoke to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and told both men in the separate calls that he wants to work with them to "find common ground, move the country forward and get things done for the American people."

New York Times: Tight Deadline for New Speaker to Deliver
In leading his party to midterm triumph, Representative John A. Boehner, the next speaker of the House, is not at the endgame. He is at the beginning of the next and harder fight. Relying on his decades of experience with the inner workings of the House, Mr. Boehner, of Ohio, now has less than two years to show that the Republican Party is the antidote to what ails Washington, with a discordant caucus, a stagnant economy, a hostile White House with veto power and the long shadow of 1994 all looming before him.

Politico: The rise and fall of Nancy Pelosi
In the final days before the election that ended her hold on power, Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted Democrats would keep the House and proclaimed no regrets. “I didn’t come here to keep a job. I’m here to do a job,” she told an adoring crowd in San Francisco. The statement was vintage Pelosi, reflecting the unbowed and uncompromising attitude that won her the speaker's gavel and the defiant stubbornness that helped her lose it. Indeed, Pelosi's enormous power inside the House Democratic Caucus, when matched with her horrible approval rating with the rest of America, help tell the story of the Democratic collapse this year.

CNN: GOP has picked up 10 governorships from Democrats, CNN projects
Republicans appeared to have regained the majority of U.S. governorships Tuesday night, capturing 10 in states where the previous executives were Democrats, according to CNN projections of exit poll data. But Democrats scored two takeaways, including in California, where CNN projected that Jerry Brown will defeat Republican Meg Whitman for the governorship now held by Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is stepping down under term limits. The other takeaway state was Hawaii.

USA Today: Obama coalition frays amid voter angst
The voter coalition that elected President Obama and fortified Democratic congressional ranks just two years ago — independents, women, young people, blue-collar workers and more — fractured in the midterm elections Tuesday, either swinging to Republicans or staying home. Economic angst, conservative opposition to the landmark health care law and independents' disappointment with Obama's failure to deliver on promises to change Washington all contributed to a dramatic political reversal.

Washington Post: Once again, the electorate demanded a new start
There is no blunter way for voters to send a message. For the third election in a row, Americans kicked a political party out of power. So you would think that, by now, politicians in Washington would have gotten the message: They must be doing something wrong. From the moment they lift their right hands to take the oath of office, lawmakers are now on notice that their hard-won power may be short-lived.

CNN: O'Donnell: GOP will never be the same
"We were victorious." Those are the words of Republican and Tea Party favorite Christine O'Donnell in Delaware. Even though she lost the U.S. Senate race to Democrat Chris Coons, O'Donnell told her supporters tonight, "We were victorious because the Delaware political system will never be the same. That's a great thing." She immediately added, "The Republican party will never be the same. And that's a good thing."

New York Times: Tea Party Comes to Power on an Unclear Mandate
The Tea Party movement set the agenda in its first midterms, its energy propelling the Republican sweep in the House and capturing the mood of a significant chunk of the electorate, with a remarkable 4 in 10 voters in exit polls expressing support for the movement. But in the Senate, the effect was exactly what establishment Republicans had feared: While Tea Party energy powered some victories, concerns about Tea Party extremism also cost them what could have been easy gains.

CNN: Poll: Voters less pessimistic than 2008, but unhappier than 2006
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.

Newsweek: What Feingold's Loss Means for Progressives
Rather than run away from the Obama health-care bill, as so many Democrats did in this campaign, Sen. Russell Feingold embraced it proudly and loudly in his race against conservative Republican upstart Ron Johnson. The health bill seemed to fit the liberal traditions of Wisconsin, the state that gave birth to the Progressive Party a century ago. But Johnson's stunning upset of Feingold demonstrates how Tea Party fever has spread to the most unlikely places. The triumph of a conservative in Wisconsin is triggering some talk that liberalism, if not dead, is certainly badly wounded.

CNN: No African-Americans in next U.S. Senate
Despite record election achievements by African-Americans in the House, the United States Senate will not have an African-American in its ranks. All three black Senate candidates, Kendrick Meek (D-FL), Alvin Greene (D-SC) and Mike Thurmond (D-GA) are projected to lose tonight. The only incumbent black senator, Roland Burris (D-IL), is retiring. Only six black senators have served: three Republicans and three Democrats, including the future President Barack Obama (D-IL).

CNN: Nikki Haley will be South Carolina's first female governor
It was shortly after midnight ET when South Carolina Governor-elect Nikki Haley stepped before her supporters in Columbia. "Trust me, we wanted to be here earlier than we were," she told them. Then, waving both arms, she exhorted the crowd, "But get excited!" Haley, a Republican State Representative, defeated Democratic State Senator Vincent Sheheen and will become South Carolina's first-ever female governor as well as the nation's only Indian-American female governor.

Bloomberg: Bernanke Faces More Congressional Scrutiny After Republican Election Gains
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke may have to renew his battle to preserve the central bank’s independence after Republican victories in yesterday’s congressional elections. With Republicans likely reclaiming a majority in the House of Representatives and eroding Democrats’ hold on the Senate, Tea Party candidates who campaigned in part against the Fed get an opportunity to call Bernanke to task for taking part in the unpopular financial rescues that helped propel them to office. “There’s certainly going to be more hearings and more pressure,” said Mark Calabria, a former Republican Senate Banking Committee aide who is now director of financial- regulation studies at the Cato Institute, a policy research group in Washington that favors free markets.

New York Times: Bush Considered Dropping Cheney From 2004 Ticket
President George W. Bush considered dumping Vice President Dick Cheney from his 2004 reelection ticket to dispel the myths about Mr. Cheney’s power in the White House and “demonstrate that I was in charge,” the former president says in a new memoir. The idea came from Mr. Cheney, who offered to drop out of the race one day during a private lunch between the two men in mid-2003. “I did consider the offer,” Mr. Bush writes, and spent several weeks exploring the possibility of replacing Mr. Cheney with Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee, the majority leader, before opting against the switch.

For the latest national news:

CNN: Discovery's last flight delayed - again
NASA announced Tuesday it has delayed the launch of the space shuttle Discovery yet again, this time due to a circuitry glitch to the backup systems that was found earlier in the day. The launch was pushed back 24 hours, until about 3:30 p.m. ET Thursday, NASA said. "The Prelaunch Mission Management Team wants to give engineers more time to look deeply into two electrical issues from a main engine computer controller that cropped up this morning," NASA said in a statement on its website.

For the latest international news:

CNN: Explosive packages sent to leaders of Germany, Italy
The discovery Tuesday of a number of packages containing bombs - including ones addressed to the leaders of Germany and Italy - led authorities in Europe to scramble to safeguard the public and underscored the difficulty of ensuring its safety. A package containing explosives was found at the office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday and was handed over to police, her spokesman said.

CNN: Blasts in Baghdad kill at least 63
At least 63 people were killed and 285 others were wounded in a series of explosions across the capital Tuesday, police said. The blasts included 14 car bombs, two roadside bombs and mortar attacks in at least 17 neighborhoods of the capital, most of them in Shiite neighborhoods, police said.

For the latest business news:

Detroit News: U.S. could take initial loss in GM stock sale
The Treasury Department could report a loss of as much as $5.4 billion on the sale of up to one-third of its majority stake in General Motors Co. The Detroit automaker is expected to announce plans today to offer 365 million shares, at $26 to $29 each, in an initial public offering that could raise up to $10.6 billion.

In Case You Missed It

Rep. John Boehner, expected to be the next House Speaker, celebrates the impending GOP takeover of the House.

Eliot Spitzer says the Republican establishment has only offered meaningless answers on how to cut the deficit.

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