National Journal Online

Starting Lineup: Talent's Trigger Finger

Good Tuesday morning and welcome back to the Starting Lineup. On the radar today: Speculation grows surrounding whether Jim Talent (R-Mo.) will run for his old Senate seat as a poll shows him to be the frontrunner in the GOP primary; New Hampshire GOP Chair John Sununu retires -- opening up a valuable job for an ally of a 2012 contender; Florida Sen. George LeMieux (R) stays in 2012 holding pattern and the 2012 South Carolina operatives you need to know.

Posted: Tuesday, December 7, 2010 - 8:26am

Why Sarah Palin Won't Be RNC Chair

A group calling itself the Tea Party Nation is planning to send a letter to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) urging her to run for chairman of the Republican National Committee. But Palin, plainly put, will never become chairman -- both because the national committee would never elect her, and because the job is clearly at odds with her own self-interest.

Posted: Monday, December 6, 2010 - 5:18pm

Steelman Under Scrutiny From Tea Party

The dominant storyline following former Missouri Treasurer Sarah Steelman's (R) early entry into the 2012 Missouri Senate race was how another Tea Party-versus-establishment showdown was shaping up in the Republican primary if former Sen. Jim Talent (R) also runs.

Posted: Monday, December 6, 2010 - 3:51pm

2012's Senate Sure Things

In a year otherwise toxic to incumbent Democrats, Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) won re-election to a seventh term last month with 64 percent of the vote. He skated by his unknown Republican opponent with such ease that most people probably assumed he wasn't even up for election. There are a few incumbent Senators that will probably have the Leahy experience come 2012.

Posted: Monday, December 6, 2010 - 3:03pm

Priebus Will Run For RNC Chair

A former top ally of Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele will run against him for chairman this year.

Wisconsin Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus announced his candidacy for national chairman in a Monday email to members of the national committee.

Posted: Monday, December 6, 2010 - 12:18pm

Mook To Lead DCCC

Newly-tapped Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) announced Monday that Robby Mook will be the committee's executive director for the 2012 cycle.

Mook is a veteran of the DCCC, having led the committee's independent expenditure arm for the 2010 cycle and serving as its political director in 2009. He'll replace Jon Vogel as executive director in heading up the DCCC's operations.

Posted: Monday, December 6, 2010 - 10:09am

Video: WikiLeaks TMZ Edition; W. Gets Knocked Out By Tetherball

"Saturday Night Live" skewers WikiLeaks with their parody, "WikiLeaks:TMZ." Julian Assange wants to take down Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and has a top secret video, "that has to be seen to be believed." Assange makes no apologies: "There you have it America, truth courtesy of Julian Assange. Do I suck a little bit? I do. You try me for treason, you can't because I'm from Australia. But nice try dummies."

Posted: Monday, December 6, 2010 - 8:29am

Starting Lineup: Walls Closing In Around Steele

Good Monday morning and welcome back to the Starting Lineup. On the radar today: One of Michael Steele's key allies jumps ship -- signaling a possible challenge in the RNC chairmanship race; Newt Gingrich is "inclined" to run for president; Mike Huckabee wants more people talking about him; the end approaches in the Minnesota governor's race; Pres. Obama hits the campaign trail in North Carolina and the 50 Iowa operatives you need to know.

Posted: Monday, December 6, 2010 - 8:23am

RNC General Counsel Quits

Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee's top legal counsel, resigned his position early Sunday morning, The Hotline has learned, a move that will be widely interpreted as a major step toward running for chairman of the organization and a big blow to current chairman Michael Steele.

Priebus, the chairman of the Wisconsin Republican Party, was once Steele's closest ally on the committee. Priebus pushed to elect Steele in 2009, and in the two years since has served as Steele's conduit with committee members.

Posted: Sunday, December 5, 2010 - 1:38pm

What We Learned: Picking 2012 Sides Early

What we at The Hotline learned this week:

Posted: Sunday, December 5, 2010 - 11:22am