National Journal Online

Starting Lineup: RNC Edition

Good Friday morning from National Harbor, Maryland, where members of the Republican National Committee meet today to elect a chairman for the 2012 election cycle. In lieu of your normal Starting Lineup, we offer five things to watch for as voting gets under way shortly after 10 a.m. (Remember, a candidate needs 85 of 168 votes to win the chairmanship):

Posted: Friday, January 14, 2011 - 7:43am

Video: Confusing 'Show of Mourning' With 'Morning Show'

Jon Stewart found Pres. Obama's memorial speech in Tucson moving but some pundits had issues with the seating arrangements. Stewart: "That would have made it a better show. But you know it's a memorial service not the Emmys."

Jimmy Fallon, on Vice Pres. Biden's third surprise trip in the Middle East: "Is it just me, or does everyone else feel like he's just lost in that area."

Today's Must See Moment -- Fast forward to 0:45 when Stephen Colbert has something nice to say about Obama.

Posted: Friday, January 14, 2011 - 7:31am

Pawlenty Touts Education Record

Former Minnesota Gov. and potential 2012 contender Tim Pawlenty (R) on Thursday called for the government to focus on education, staking claim to an issue that has remained low on the radar in early discussions of the 2012 race.

Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2011 - 4:54pm

Cain Looks To Channel DeMint In Long Shot 2012 Bid

Casting himself as a constitutional conservative and Tea Party champion in the mold of Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), radio host and former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain (R) said Thursday that he's "very encouraged by the early support" he's received after announcing the formation of a presidential exploratory committee. But, he added, a White House campaign is "not yet a sure thing."

Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2011 - 4:34pm

Hutchison Retirement To Set Off Texas-Sized Scramble

Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's announcement on Thursday that she won't seek re-election will set off a flurry of activity as candidates seek to position themselves for the 2012 race in the reliably Republican state.

In a statement Thursday, Hutchison said she was stepping aside so the 2012 race can start in earnest without her.

Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2011 - 3:00pm

How Long Will The Political Cease Fire Last?

The détente has to end sometime.

Notice the lack of partisan releases from committees and candidates this week? It's an expected -- and reverent -- pause both Republicans and Democrats are taking in honor of the victims of the Arizona shooting.

Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2011 - 1:25pm

The West Virginia Waiting Game

West Virginia's political class is in a holding pattern as the state's highest court decides whether the state has to have a special gubernatorial election this year after Joe Manchin (D) vacated the governorship in 2010 for his successful Senate bid.

The timing of the next gubernatorial race - either this year or next - would have a significant impact both on who runs and which party would have the upper hand. And already, strategists and a host of potential candidates on both sides of the aisle are considering all the possibilities.

Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2011 - 1:15pm

Live-Blogging The RNC Chairman's Meeting

Hotline editor-in-chief Reid Wilson will report live from National Harbor, where Republican National Committee members are gathered to elect a new chairman. Not every nugget of information fits in a story -- but they all fit here.

Here's The Hotline's take on the day's events, from today's Spotlight in our Latest Edition:

Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2011 - 12:18pm

Bryant Running On Barbour Legacy

Mississippi Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant (R), the early frontrunner in the 2011 gubernatorial race, believes he has a straightforward path to election: All he has to do is follow in Gov. Haley Barbour's (R) footsteps.

Bryant announced his candidacy last week and, according to both Democratic and Republican sources, is the odds-on favorite on the race. A big part of that is his ability to channel Barbour, who remains very popular in the state.

Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2011 - 11:54am

Sununu's Advice For Daley: Substance Matters

This post has been corrected.

Former White House chief of staff John Sununu can be forgiven for not wishing incoming chief Bill Daley the best of luck -- after all, Sununu, now a member of the Republican National Committee, is actively working against Daley's new boss, Pres. Obama.

Still, the fraternity of former chiefs of staff is a small club, and Sununu did offer Daley some advice: "Convince the president that his problem is not communication, but substance."

Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2011 - 10:25am