Archives for Politics

The rise and fall of Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi became the first woman to lead the U.S. House of Representatives by taking on the most powerful man on Earth — then-President George W. Bush and his unpopular Iraq war. Now, four years later, the California Democrat is likely to lose the House speakership because of Congress‘ inability — and that of Bush’s Democratic successor, Barack Obama — to revive the ailing U.S. economy. Polls show fewer than one in three Americans approve of Pelosi and Republicans are expected to win back control of the House from Democrats in Tuesday’s elections mostly because of anger over the lack
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On final weekend campaign swing, Obama lashes out at GOP

On his final campaign swing through four states in the Northeast and Midwest before Tuesday’s midterm elections, President Barack Obama is asking Democratic voters to go to the polls and help stem an expected Republican tide. “Chicago, it’s up to you to let them know that we have not forgotten, we don’t have amnesia,” the president told a large outdoor crowd late Saturday near his home, referring to the economic recession that hit during George W. Bush‘s presidency. He said the election is a choice between the policies that caused the problems and policies that will lead the country to
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Tea Party winners will find life in Congress is not a party

As Rand Paul lumbers toward an expected win in Kentucky’s often nasty Senate race, he embodies the promise and peril of a phenomenon the GOP establishment must accommodate if the party is to govern and campaign effectively from here on. Paul is almost the perfect tea party flag bearer. The first-time candidate and small-government philosopher is practically tea party royalty since his father is libertarian hero Ron Paul, the Texas congressman. And no one did more than Rand Paul to make the tea party this year’s political sensation. He trounced the Republican establishment’s hand-picked candidate in the May primary. Then
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Obama finds Jon Stewart show is nothing to laugh about

President Barack Obama apparently thinks politics is no laughing matter, even when he’s staring down a comedian. Obama barely cracked any jokes during an appearance Wednesday on “The Daily Show” despite host Jon Stewart‘s attempts to draw out the president’s humorous side with a few of his own snarky wisecracks. Less than a week before the critical Nov. 2 congressional elections, Obama said he hopes Democratic lawmakers who made tough votes will be rewarded with another term in office. He promised more accomplishments in the two years left on his own term in the Oval Office and urged people to
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Great campaign stunt: Trot out the kids

With just days to go before the election, here come the kids. Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio‘s children think their dad is a great guy. In Colorado, Sen. Michael Bennet‘s daughters are so enthused they’re hitting the phones to support their dad. Candidates who have spent months and millions of dollars slugging it out are replacing attacks ads with gauzy images designed to leave voters with a warm and fuzzy feeling. And what better way to do that than with children? It’s called ending positive, a political tactic practically as old as campaign advertising itself. “Any negative ads launched late
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Back home in Ohio, split opinions on Boehner’s value as House Speaker

As Republican John Boehner gets closer to the prize of U.S. House speaker, not everyone back home is convinced about the value of a new pinnacle for the local guy who’s been winning elections for three decades. Boehner’s long-standing support in his western Ohio district allows the House minority leader to spend time away, campaigning for GOP candidates, as his party tries to reclaim the House next week with him in line to become speaker. But critics warn the speakership would increase neglect of his district in favor of Washington politics. Boehner also personally opposes earmarks and pledges to cut
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Obama uses White House clout to try and help Democrats

Less than a week before Election Day, President Barack Obama is quietly using the power of his office in a final effort to get Democratic supporters to the polls and nudge close races in his party’s favor. Though Obama is off the campaign trail for three full days this week, he’s personally targeting key Democratic constituencies from the White House, holding conference calls with union activists and campaign volunteers, and doing interviews with radio stations that draw largely black audiences. He’ll also target younger voters when he tapes an appearance on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” on Wednesday. The
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Republicans getting most benefit from outside groups big spending

A year ago, two top Republican strategists sat down for lunch at the venerable Mayflower Hotel, five blocks from the White House, calculating how to exploit the voter anger they had seen erupt at Democratic town hall meetings that summer. Today, the money-raising success of the GOP-allied attack led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Karl Rove-inspired American Crossroads has stunned opponents and even its own architects. It’s one big slice of the estimated $3.5 billion expected to be spent on this year’s campaigning, a record for a midterm election. Financed to a great degree by undisclosed donors
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Republicans could control redistricting too

The Republicans’ expected gains next week go way beyond Congress. The GOP could capture new Senate or House majorities in a dozen to 18 states — along with critical new power to redraw district maps and influence elections for a decade to come. Three of the biggest prizes are New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. All three states are expected to lose seats in Congress as a result of the 2010 census, and that’s sure to ignite boundary fights. A party’s congressman on the wrong end of redistricting can find the district he’s represented for years no longer exists. Democrats have
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Warning to GOP: It ain’t over ’till the fat lady votes

To understand Republicans’ nagging fear that the Nov. 2 elections might not be quite the massive triumph that many have predicted, check out Pennsylvania’s perplexing Senate race. Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak has trailed Republican Pat Toomey for months, and a GOP victory always has seemed likely, given that it’s a Republican-trending year in this perpetually contested state. Yet recent polls suggest Sestak has closed the gap, and Republican leaders are imploring supporters not to panic even as they ask themselves: What’s going on? The Sestak-Toomey race mirrors other Senate contests that are making this one of the most intriguing and
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