National Journal Online

Romney Outraises Palin, Pawlenty

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) has scored an early fundraising victory over potential 2012 foes Sarah Palin and Tim Pawlenty, outraising the former Alaska governor and the outgoing Minnesota governor over the last month and a half -- sort of.

Posted: Thursday, December 2, 2010 - 3:38pm

Hotline Whip Count: The Deficit Commission

With less than 24 hours to go before the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility meets for a final vote on a draft proposal, commission chairmen Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson are scrambling to secure the 14 votes they need for a formal endorsement. And, despite early skepticism they would ever reach that goal, there is a path, albeit a narrow one, to pull out the political miracle.

Posted: Thursday, December 2, 2010 - 1:06pm

GOP Pollster: No Way Dems Take Back House In '12

Veteran Republican pollster Glen Bolger is up with an interesting analysis Thursday arguing that Democrats won't take back the House in 2012 for two reasons: First, presidential coattails in re-election bids are historically not very long and, second, Republicans have more control over the redistricting process than they've had in 20 years.

"Sorry, Dems," Bolger concludes, "but you are in the House wilderness for at least the next four years."

Posted: Thursday, December 2, 2010 - 11:51am

DeMint Sets Sights On Four Dems

South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint (R) is turning his attention to 2012 and using the vote this week on an earmark moratorium to pick his Democratic targets.

DeMint sent an email to the supporters of his Senate Conservatives Fund early Wednesday highlighting four Democrats who voted against the earmark ban, are up for re-election in 2012 and sit in states that John McCain (R) carried in 2008: Sens. Jon Tester (Mont.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Kent Conrad (N.D.) and Joe Manchin (W.Va.).

Posted: Thursday, December 2, 2010 - 9:13am

Video: Stewart Underestimates The 'Slurpee Summit'

Pres. Obama holds a "Slurpee Summit" with Republican leaders to carve out a joint agenda. Jon Stewart on the get together: "A conversation twixt political leadership, in an effort to bridge legislative differences. Indeed. It's almost the way you though (bleep) was supposed to work all the time. Almost why they even have tables and chairs in the White House."

Jay Leno reads Obama's body language after the "Slurpee Summit" and isn't convinced the meeting went well.

Posted: Thursday, December 2, 2010 - 9:00am

Starting Lineup: Paging Heather Wilson?

Good Thursday morning and welcome to the Starting Lineup. Hard to believe Election Day was a whole month ago, isn't it?

On the radar today: the GOP looks for a New Mexico Senate contender against Jeff Bingaman (D) retirement speculation; John Ensign (R-Nev.) breathes a big sigh of relief; more drama in the Minnesota gubernatorial recount; Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) expected to face censure vote and MoveOn Skypes the president.

Posted: Thursday, December 2, 2010 - 8:56am

Insiders Split On Prospects For Deficit Reduction, DADT Repeal

Posted: Thursday, December 2, 2010 - 8:23am

Tea Party Caucus Takes $1 Billion In Earmarks

Members of the Congressional Tea Party Caucus may tout their commitment to cutting government spending now, but they used the 111th Congress to request hundreds of earmarks that, taken cumulatively, added more than $1 billion to the federal budget.

According to a Hotline review of records compiled by Citizens Against Government Waste, the 52 members of the caucus, which pledges to cut spending and reduce the size of government, requested a total of 764 earmarks valued at $1,049,783,150 during Fiscal Year 2010, the last year for which records are available.

Posted: Thursday, December 2, 2010 - 5:30am

At RNC Forum, Absent Steele Is Unspoken Focus

Four candidates vying to serve as the next Republican National Committee chairman want conservative activists and the 168 members who will choose the next party leader to be clear about one thing: They're not Michael Steele.

The incumbent chairman has not said whether he will seek a second term, and he was not present at the first candidate forum of the year, hosted by FreedomWorks and a group of conservative members of the RNC.

Posted: Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - 5:49pm

Ensign Says He's Cleared In DoJ Probe

Embattled Nevada Sen. John Ensign's (R) lawyer said Wednesday that he is no longer the subject of Department of Justice probe into the cover-up of his affair.

"The Department of Justice has informed us that Senator Ensign is no longer a target of its investigation and that it has no plans to bring any charges against him in this matter," Ensign lawyer Paul Coggins said in a statement.

Posted: Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - 5:21pm