National Journal Online

Israel: I've Emailed Herseth Sandlin

Former South Dakota Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D) may have left Washington, but Washington hasn't forgotten her.

"We would love to have Stephanie Herseth Sandlin back," Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel said Wednesday afternoon at his first pen and pad briefing of the year. "I actually have exchanged several emails with her, but she has not committed. She hasn't told us whether she is interested or not."

Posted: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - 5:19pm

Christie Reacts to 2012 Rumors

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) is not messing around when he says he's not running for president.

In a speech to the conservative American Enterprise Institute, Christie said he would have to go to extreme lengths to convince people he's out of the race.

"Apparently I have to commit suicide to convince people I'm not running," Christie said.

In typical modest fashion, Christie says he understands why people would ask him to launch a White House bid. He, too, sees a path to victory, but that opportunity isn't reason enough to take the plunge.

Posted: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - 4:20pm

DCCC Brings In $4.4M In January

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel announced Wednesday his organization raised $4.4 million in January, calling the fundraising uptick an enthusiastic sign as his party works to gain back the majority in 2012.

In his first pen and pad briefing with reporters of the year, Israel was optimistic about Democrats' chances to win the 25 seats they need to flip control, outlining an aggressive fundraising and recruiting strategy for the coming year even as redistricting looms large.

Posted: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - 3:48pm

Scott Brown Details Sexual Abuse

Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) was sexually abused at the hands of a camp counselor at the age of 10, he says in a new book.

In a new interview with CBS's 60 Minutes, Brown details physical abuse he suffered as a child, and the sexual abuse he says he never reported.

"It was certainly, back then, very traumatic," Brown said in a clip released by CBS today. "When people find people like me at that young, vulnerable age who are basically lost, the thing that they have over you is they make you believe that no one will believe you."

Posted: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - 3:24pm

Patriot Act Votes Could Be Boost In Primaries

After an embarrassing failed attempt last week, on Monday the House approved an extension of key Patriot Act provisions. As Josh Kraushaar pointed out last week, two Republican Representatives currently considering Senate runs helped defeat the extension then; and both Reps. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) again voted against the extension on Monday.

Posted: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - 2:30pm

Illinois' Demographic Shift

National Journal's Cameron Joseph has a story in today's National Journal Daily (subscriber) that takes a look at the demographic shift in Illinois, and how it may complicate redistricting. The state's population is shrinking just about everywhere outside the Chicago collar counties.

The money graf:

Posted: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - 12:59pm

Club For Growth Raises $100K+ For Flake

The Club for Growth PAC announced Wednesday morning that Club members contributed over $100,000 to Rep. Jeff Flake's (R-Ariz.) Senate campaign the first day after the PAC endorsed him; an impressive sum sure to boost the congressman's bid.

Within hours of Sen. Jon Kyl's (R) retirement announcement last week, the Club sent out a release urging Flake to run, and endorsed him almost immediately after he made his bid official on Monday. Flake has a reputation as a fiscal conservative and is well-known for his strong opposition to earmarks.

Posted: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - 12:39pm

Flake Defends Immigration Record As Others Disapprove

Following an election cycle in which immigration and border security were front and center in several statewide contests, Arizona finds itself fractured politically, with different groups, factions, parties, and even subdivisions within parties clinging to disparate beliefs about how to address concerns over the border.

And recently declared Senate candidate Rep. Jeff Flake's (R) success in the Republican primary will likely hinge heavily on how he navigates the issue.

Posted: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - 10:58am

Remember What You Did Last Congress?

The day before the second anniversary of the passage of the $787 billion stimulus bill, Republicans want Congressional Democrats to remember what they said way back then about the bill.

In a spoof of the popular website "Texts From Last Night," today the National Republican Congressional Committee will unveil "Texts From Last Congress," hitting Democrats on statements they said in 2009 - and reminding them of the reaction from voters at the polls last fall.

Posted: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - 10:00am

Video: Obama's Four Letter Mistake; Trump For President In 2012

President Obama accidentally swears during a press conference on the budget. Conan O'Brien: "You can see the whole thing on his new sitcom, '(Bleep) My President Says'."

Jon Stewart thinks Donald Trump is the unlikely guest at this year's CPAC conference.

Today's Must See Moment -- Fast forward to 2:06 to see what the White House would look like if Trump were president.

Take our Late Night Poll after the jump.

Posted: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - 9:34am