Democrats realize they face serious problems holding on to seats in both the House and Senate as the 2010 mid-term elections approach so they plan on turning old themes: George W. Bush is the devil and Republicans teamed up with Wall Street to create the worst recession since the Great Depression.
What remains to be seen is whether or not the American voter buys into the line at a time when polls show the public blames both parties for the nation's economic woes and President Barack Obama's popularity is wearing thin.
The coming year may not be the best time to be a Democrat. Retirement announcements have left 11 Democratic seats in the House up for grabs and the list could grow over the coming months.
Former President Bill Clinton's charity drew an international roster of donors last year, ranging from Norway and Oman to foreign lotteries, businessmen and celebrities, a contributor list released under an ethics promise by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton showed.
A donor rundown disclosed on New Year's Day by the William J. Clinton Foundation shows that in all, Norway has given $10 million to $25 million to the charity since its founding roughly a decade ago. Oman donated $1 million to $5 million over the years. The list gave cumulative donation totals and didn't say how much each contributor gave last year.
North Carolina's longest-serving state senator won't seek re-election next year as he faces possible criminal charges over a shooting at his home in August.Read More
Sen. R.C. Soles said in a statement Wednesday he won't seek a 22nd consecutive term. He was first elected to the General Assembly in 1968, more than four decades ago.
State prosecutors announced this month they plan to seek an assault charge against the 75-year-old after a grand jury found probable cause he acted criminally when he shot a former law client.
Soles made no reference to the case in his statement. Authorities said he shot Kyle Blackburn when Blackburn and another man tried to kick in the door of Soles' home. Blackburn was not badly hurt.
Is the Tea Party movement more popular than the Republican Party
Yep. That's what a new Rasmussen poll claims
According to the poll, if the Tea Party Movement was a political party, it would finish second to the Democrat and ahead of Republicans.
Memo to Republicans: Take notes.
Republicans today find themselves in a leaderless party that lacks both direction and a unifying philosophy.
Members of the party of the elephant are unhappy with their current leadership and want to return to tried-and-true GOP themes and "traditional American values," which they feel President Barack Obama and Democrats lack.
But they are not sure how to reach those goals or what central theme should be deployed to utilize a fractured party.
Former CNN host Lou Dobbs is seriously considering running for U.S. Senate in New Jersey in 2012 as a stepping stone to a possible White House bid — a congressional matchup that would pit one of illegal immigration's biggest critics against a champion for immigrant rights.
Dobbs spokesman Robert Dilenschneider told The Associated Press Wednesday that Dobbs may challenge Sen. Robert Menendez, a Democrat, but is considering other offers he's received since his abrupt exit from CNN on Nov. 11 after 29 years on the news network.
"A logical step for Lou, should he choose to go into public life, is to run for the next Senate seat in New Jersey, or to accept some kind of appointed position, nationally or in New Jersey," Dilenschneider said.
The White House and Illinois Democrats said Tuesday that their bid to hold on to President Barack Obama's old Senate seat won't be easy and their difficulties aren't just because of the scandal that engulfed ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Next year is the first major election for Democrats since Blagojevich was arrested last year on federal corruption charges and removed from office. He has pleaded not guilty to charges that he tried to sell or trade Obama's Senate seat.
"No one ever said it was going to be easy. There's a dark cloud over everyone's head," said Alexi Giannoulias, Illinois' treasurer who's running for Obama's senate seat.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who many Republicans have been pushing to run for governor in 2010, is instead leaning more toward a run for U.S. Senate, according to two party advisers.
"From staff, we have been hearing that he has been indicating quietly and privately recently that governor might not be the best fit for him now," one adviser said Thursday. "But the U.S. Senate could be a perfect fit for him."
The adviser noted that nobody is saying Giuliani has decided, but it "certainly sounds" like he is less interested in running for governor. Another adviser echoed that.
The advisers spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak for the state Republican Party or Giuliani.
Republican Senator John McCain on Wednesday strongly defended the top advisers from his 2008 presidential campaign in the face of sharp criticism from his vice presidential running mate, Sarah Palin.
McCain, in a telephone interview with Reuters, singled out campaign manager Steve Schmidt and senior adviser Nicolle Wallace for praise after Palin blasted the pair in her memoir, "Going Rogue: An American Life."
"There's been a lot of dust flying around in the last few days and I just wanted to mention that I have the highest regard for Steve Schmidt and Nicolle Wallace and the rest of the team ... and I appreciated all the hard work and everything they did to help the campaign," he said.
"I think it's just time to move on," he said.
Independent voters who put Barack Obama into office in 2008 may cost him the Presidency in 2012 and take other Democrats down with him.
Recent polls show independents are jumping off the Good Ship Democrat. Gallup says only 14 percent of independent approve of the job the Democratic-controlled Congress is doing, a new low for the year.
Other polls show Democratic incumbents trailing Republicans among independents. Some of the margins are double digit.
For Obama, the numbers are equally bad. CBS polling shows the President's approval rating among independents falling to 45 percent -- a 10-point drop since April.
"We withdrew from the accounts of voters and now we need to pay them back," Nathan Daschle, executive director of the Democratic Governors Association, tells Politico. “We are having these conversations right now about what independents need to see and hear."