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Some Republicans Signal Willingness to Revive Gun Debate

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The push for stricter gun laws may return to the forefront of the congressional agenda in the coming weeks as at least two Republican senators who voted against a bipartisan proposal to expand the national gun background check system have approached Democrats about possibly restarting debate on the issue, according to senior Senate aides familiar with the talks

Black Voters Are Key to a Colbert Busch Win in South Carolina

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South Carolina’s First Congressional District is known for the churning Port of Charleston, growing suburbs to the north, and stately homes with wrap-around porches from Beaufort to Mount Pleasant. The white, well-heeled voters who dominate the district favored Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney by 18 percentage points.

Gwen’s Take: Seeing Eye to Eye for a Change

Gwen's Take

Washington lives in its moments.

I got to sit in the White House East Room this week for the taping of an “In Performance at the White House” concert on Memphis Soul that will air on PBS next week. Justin Timberlake and Mavis Staples were there. I was in hog heaven.

From the Vault: President Obama visits Capitol Hill

Vault Show

As President Obama travels to Capitol Hill to meet with Republicans and Democrats to negotiate a budget compromise, we look in our Vault to 2009 when the president headed to the Hill only a week after his inauguration.  With the Senate and House both controlled by Democrats, the president met with Republicans to garner bipartisan support for the $787 billion economic stimulus package.  The House passed the bill without any Republican support the next day.  On our January 30, 2009 show, Alexis Simendinger and John Dickerson talked about the effort at bipartisanship.

A More Perfect Poll

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In the 2012 presidential election, we all thought we were smarter than the pollsters. Conservatives flocked to a site called UnskewedPolls.com, whose proprietor reconstituted the polls of major media organizations in proportions better suited to his vision of the American electorate—that is, one with more Republicans in it. Liberals, for their part, elevated to demigod status the statistician and New York Times blogger Nate Silver, who poured those same polls into a meat grinder and produced a neatly encased pronouncement that Barack Obama was overwhelmingly likely to win.

Maine Candidate: Don't Assume Party Affiliation

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Angus King is running for the Senate on a campaign pledge to tell voters how he will vote right after they elect him in November. The independent candidate, a popular former governor, is the front-runner in the open race for the seat held by retiring GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe. He is running a campaign on a platform of changing Congress and resisting partisanship, which is complicated by the fact that senators must align with a party to receive committee assignments and determine control of the chamber.

PBS NewsHour: Retiring Sens. Snowe, Bingaman: Political Center Is Disappearing

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Retiring Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Jeff Bingaman(D-N.M.) think the political middle ground is disappearing in Washington. Gwen talks to them about the current state of politics.

Death of Bipartisanship Has Killed the Washington Deal

On The Radar

Every time there is divided government in Washington, there is a revival — among elite journalists, think tank commentators and respectable politicians of all stripes — of a cherished idea about how business should get done in the nation’s capital: Get the most responsible adults of both parties in one room, shoo away the cameras and microphones, and don’t let the two sides come out until they have cut a deal on the most pressing problem of the day.
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Obama Gets a Lift From Tax Battle With Republicans

On The Radar

After a long stretch of high unemployment, legislative turmoil and, in turn, slipping public approval, President Obama seemed to regain his political footing this week with the help of House Republicans, whose handling of a standoff over payroll taxes had even leading conservatives accusing them of bungling the politically charged issue.
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Obama Blasts House GOP for Blocking Payroll Tax Cut Extension

On The Radar

While members of Congress point fingers at each other for gumming up the payroll tax cut, President Obama is watching the bickering from the White House--where he is apparently happy to spend the holiday season until a deal gets done. The rest of the Obama family has gone ahead to Hawaii for their pre-planned holiday trip. But aides say the president will continue to delay his vacation in hopes of inspiring House Republicans to take up a Senate-approved measure extending the tax cut beyond midnight New Year’s Eve.