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Rand Paul wins again in conservative Republican poll
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky came out the favorite for the second straight year among Republican conservative activists voting for the candidate they would like to see in the White House next. Paul, a potential 2016 White House contender, won 31 percent in the annual straw poll taken at the Conservative Political Action Conference. His closest competitors were Texas Senator Ted Cruz, with 11 percent, and conservative neurosurgeon Ben Carson with 9 percent.
California election season starts with Democrats convention
By Sharon Bernstein LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California Democrats on Saturday vowed to restore their two-thirds majority in the legislature and push their statewide success eastward in an effort to retake a majority in Congress. The pledge at the state's annual Democratic convention came a week after Democrats effectively lost their prized two-thirds majority in the legislature as two state senators were forced to go on leave under criminal indictments or convictions. The convention, which effectively kicks off election season, showcased Democratic stars such as California Governor Jerry Brown and the state's Attorney General Kamala Harris as well as featured former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whom party leaders are hoping may be able to return to her old job. Brown, who is running for an unprecedented fourth term in November, said California had been written off for dead and called a failed state, but now it is recovering faster than the rest of the nation.
Republicans gain momentum in close fight for U.S. Senate
By John Whitesides WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Eight months before the November 4 elections, Republicans have expanded the number of competitive races for U.S. Senate seats and have a growing chance of gaining control of that chamber and stalling Democratic President Barack Obama's second-term agenda. Public dissatisfaction with the president, concerns about his healthcare overhaul and a sluggish economy, and a series of retirements by key Democratic senators in conservative states have made a rugged year for Democrats even more so, analysts and strategists in both parties say. Republicans, who are widely expected to retain control of the U.S. House of Representatives, need a net gain of six seats to take back the 100-member Senate. Although the primary season is just starting and the candidates in many races are not set, polls suggest Republicans have boosted their odds of gaining additional Senate seats by becoming competitive in politically divided states such as Michigan and Colorado, where a year ago they were given little chance of winning.
Obama calls six world leaders about Ukraine crisis: White House
KEY LARGO, Florida (Reuters) - President Barack Obama made a series of phone calls on Saturday to world leaders about the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, including British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande, and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi the White House said. He also held a conference call about the situation with the presidents of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement. No further details about the discussions were immediately available. (Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Sandra Maler)
Republicans press Medicare attack in congressional elections
By David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans, looking for ways to turn November's congressional elections into a referendum on President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, are trying to portray Obamacare as a danger to Medicare. The aim is to court one of the biggest and most reliable voting blocs in midterm elections, senior citizens and people near retirement, by depicting Republicans as defenders of the federal healthcare program for 42 million seniors. It's an attempt to turn the tables on Democrats, who in the 2012 presidential election attacked Republican Mitt Romney over Republican proposals to overhaul Medicare. "You'd have to be a blind man in a dark room not to see the political implications of Obamacare in general and now specifically with respect to Medicare," said Brock McCleary, former polling director for the Republican National Committee.
For Obama and Boehner, just maybe, a way forward
The latest snowfall was a bigger story in Washington this week than Tuesdays private meeting between the estranged president and House speaker their first in more than a year. Since Barack Obama recently signaled he has all but given up on legislating with Republicans, and since John Boehner has flat out said he cant trust the president, the assumption in Washington is that the chances for big legislation anytime soon are basically zero, whether the White House breaks out the good china or not.
John Kerry finds his calling
Ten years ago this week, John Kerry barely held off John Edwards in Wisconsins Democratic primary, prolonging for another few weeks his plodding, uninspiring march to the partys presidential nomination. Kerry went on to lose an eminently winnable election, after which most Democrats in Washington expected him to disappear, like Walter Mondale or Michael Dukakis.
In New York, real populism and real choices
Democrats in Washington dont have to worry much about the kind of fratricidal disorder that plagues the modern Republican Party. But neither should they take too lightly the intraparty breach that seems to be widening in New York, where the mayor of the nations biggest city is staring down the governor of its third largest state.
Hillary's question: not if, but how
Lets be clear about this much: no matter what the soothsayers on cable TV tell you, Hillary Clinton is no more likely to clear the Democratic field and avoid a primary in 2016 than Dennis Rodman is to become her secretary of state. Walter Mondale couldnt pull that off in 1984, and Al Gore couldnt do it in 2000, and the conditions for Washington-anointed frontrunners have only gotten exponentially harder since then.
What Obama still hasn't figured out about being president
For a week leading up to the presidents Tuesday address, White House advisers were trying out yet another new catchphrase, telling any reporter they could find that President Barack Obama had discovered he had a phone and a pen, and he intended to use them in the year ahead.Thu, 30 Jan 2014 05:20:05 -0500