Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich is announcing today that he's launching an “exploratory phase” to test the waters for a presidential run in 2012. His spokesperson told an Georgia radio host on Thursday that he’s launching a website, NewtExplore2012.com, but Gingrich is not forming a formal federal exploratory committee yet.
The rumors of Gingrich’s yen to take the oval office after a single Obama term have been swirling for over a year. He has been planting seeds in Iowa, a state whose early caucus is often a soothsayer for winning the Republican primary. For that reason, Gingrich has visited Iowa nine times in the past two years.
If he's going to get pension reform out of Albany, he doesn't want to have the unions, which support Albany lawmakers with huge contributions...as his enemies. He doesn't want that.
—Joyce Purnick, Bloomberg biographer and WNYC political analyst, talking about Michael Bloomberg's relationship with unions on The Brian Lehrer Show.
Former Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin did nothing to tamp down speculation about her 2012 plans during a speech in Long Island on Thursday.
When asked who would make the ideal Republican challenger, she said she couldn't offer any names, before adding, “What I would look for is a mom, somebody who's administered locally, state, interstate with energy issues, so maybe a mayor, a governor, an oil commissioner, maybe somebody who's already run for something, vice president. I don't know!”
“It's going to be a blast to see who does offer themselves up,” Palin said.
"Nobody knows Bill Daley in the White House. And yet Obama decided he needed someone who would force him out of his comfort zone and bring in people because of his network of contacts, bring people into Obama's orbit who are not there already. It was a huge decision for Obama to make and really reflective of his views about these questions about insularity and the need to be less inbred going forward"
—John J. Flanagan, Republican State Senator from Suffolk County
What a difference an election makes. This week, President Obama loses his Democratic Congress as the GOP takes control. That’s the result of 63 local contests, where voters traded out a Democrat for a Republican.
The ideological transition maybe the most pronounced in New York’s 19th Congressional District, which stretches through the Hudson Valley into parts of Westchester County.
At the No Labels gathering, the most resounding message from centrist politicians and consultants on the stage was simple: “We need backup.” Policy wasn't on the table so much as political culture. Speaker after speaker mourned the loss of civility and the willingness to work – or even communicate – across the aisle.
No Labels, but a lot of bold-faced names. Stars from politics and punditry will be at the Monday launch of a new independent group that's looking to seize the center of the national political debate.
It's been nearly a month since the midterm elections, but the impact on the elections of the Supreme Court's January decision that the government may not limit political spending by corporations in candidate elections is still being debated.
The recession was not kind to small business owners. As they closed down shop, big-box discount retailers moved in to grab their customers. But this holiday season – when consumers at all income levels are expected to spend a little more – locally-owned specialty stores may get some of bounce.
"I believe the Republican Party has a lot of soul searching to do here. By the way, I think the Democratic Party does too, but maybe for different reasons. I think the Republican Party needs to decide who they are, what they want to be, where they want to take the people of the state or the nation."
-Former GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio on The Brian Lehrer Show
Yesterday, former President Bill Clinton traveled to New Haven to campaign for Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. Blumenthal, a Democrat, is running against Republican Linda McMahon, the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, in a tight race for Christopher Dodd's U.S. Senate seat. Anna Sale, editor of WNYC's new political site, It's a Free Country, traveled to the rally in New Haven to speak with the voters and protestors in attendance.
Former President Bill Clinton headed to New Haven, Connecticut over the weekend to campaign for Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, Clinton's classmate at Yale Law School. Clinton's trying to lend some firepower to candidates around the country, and Blumenthal is locked in a close race for US Senate with Republican Linda McMahon, the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment.
Almost sixteen years ago to the day, Republicans laid out their midterm platform in their Contract with America. It preceded a sweeping victory for the GOP in Washington, as they took control of the House of Representatives and Newt Gingrich took the Speaker's gavel.
Now, they are laying out a new vision in a Pledge to America (thanks for posting, Politico!).
How much difference does 16 years make? What stands out to you in the two platforms? Give us your read - and tell us whether you're a Republican, Democrat, or Independent.
In its first poll of likely general election voters, the Quinnipiac Poll found Republican nominee Carl Paladino narrowly trails Attorney General Andrew Cuomo 43-49 percent.
Across the country, today’s primary elections are the final round before November’s general election. When the last seven states take to the polls, they will close this season's intra-party jockeying and complete the story of how the political narrative of “anti-incumbent anger” is really playing out in voting booths nationwide.
I think what’s broken is the failure of anybody to communicate in a civil way. When I was in the Senate and the House of Representatives, there were huge differences of opinions between Republicans and Democrats. Nevertheless, the fact is those differences occurred on about ten percent of the issues. Ninety percent of the time we all agreed as to what ought to be done.
Anna Sale here on the day shift.
All this week, we've looked back at the legacy of Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast. Five years later, there are still 12,000 people who are homeless in the New Orleans. That’s twice the rate of homelessness from before the hurricane. Tomorrow we’ll talk with Rosalind King, who still does not have a permanent home for her family. We’ll also speak with Seth Fiegerman, staff writer for The Street.com about why so many people are still struggling to get back on their feet five years after the storm. We'll also hear from two people — Leo McGovern and Dr. Brobson Lutz — who were immortalized in the award-winning Hurricane Katrina graphic novel "A.D." by Josh Neufeld.
Anna Sale here on the day shift.
We're following up today on reports of a major paradigm shift in U.S. counterterrorism strategy. The Washington Post reported this morning that the CIA no longer believes that the most urgent terror threat comes from the Pakistan-based al-Qaida cell connected to Osama bin Laden. Now, analysts are focused more on the activity of an al-Qaida offshoot in Yemen. For tomorrow's show, we're reaching out to counterterrorism thinkers and experts on Yemen to learn more about what exactly that means, and what changes it could bring for counterterrorism tactics and resource distribution.
We also continue to be glued to the story of the trapped miners in Chile. As we learn more details — about their messages to people above, their meager rations, their first contact with their families — we only have more questions. We'll have the latest from the mine site tomorrow, and take a closer look at the culture and geography of this Chilean mining region.
Finally, Joel Johnson, editor at large of Gizmodo.com asked in a recent column, “Why Isn't There A Better Way to Text While Driving?” So far, he’s received over 500 responses to his column, most of which suggest that people who text and drive simply give it up, use the phone instead, or die behind the wheel because they deserve to. But Joel Johnson insists that, in a world where most people text and drive, his question is valid. What do you think? Should texting while driving be outlawed or be made safer?
Anna Sale here on the day shift.
There are elections today in five states (Fla, Ariz, Ark., Vt, and Okla.), so we are getting ready for an exciting night of returns. We're reaching out to reporters and political thinkers to help us unpack the results and decipher any national threads to pull out — incumbent backlash, the fortunes of Tea Party-backed candidates, for example — but we also want to hear from voters about their motivations at the polls. If you're voting today, let us know what's on your mind as you make your choice.