National Journal Online

What We Learned: Picking 2012 Sides Early

What we at The Hotline learned this week:

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

Previewing The Sunday Shows

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the START treaty and the battle over Bush-era tax cuts are on tap for this weekend's Sunday shows. Senate Whips Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) will square off on "Face the Nation" while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) appear on NBC's "Meet the Press." Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) talk's deficit reduction plans on "Fox News Sunday" while General Wes Clark and Log Cabin Republican Executive Director Clarke Cooper discuss DADT on "This Week."

Posted: Friday, December 3, 2010 - 3:00pm

Emmer Has No Plans For Court Challenge...For Now

Holding just his second press conference since Election Day, trailing Minnesota gubernatorial contender Tom Emmer (R) said Friday that he is not currently planning a post-recount legal challenge in the ongoing governor's race, but signaled that his final decision would rest on ascertaining the state Supreme Court's reasoning for rejecting a voter-counting petition that he filed before the hand recount began.

Posted: Friday, December 3, 2010 - 1:31pm

Deficit Commission Fails

Pres. Obama's deficit commission did not win the 14 votes necessary to pass its plan Friday -- dealing the administration a significant setback in its efforts to trim the country's deficit.

The commission needed 14 votes to be automatically sent to Congress for consideration.

Former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles (D) and former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) secured 11 votes. Seven of the 18 members said they did not support the plan.

Here's the whip count:

Posted: Friday, December 3, 2010 - 11:52am

Senate Committees Empty The Tank

The Democratic and Republican Senate campaign committees begin the 2012 cycle with almost nothing left in the bank after spending more than $30 million each in the final two weeks of the midterm elections.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee reported raising $19.9 million during the period running between Oct. 14 and Nov. 22, according to reports filed with the Secretary of the Senate's office. The DSCC entered Thanksgiving week with just $712,784 on hand, meaning they spent about $34 million in the final spring.

Posted: Friday, December 3, 2010 - 11:31am

Artur Davis Taking On The Establishment

Outgoing Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.) had some frank words for his party and, by implication, the Congressional Black Caucus in my interview with him for my column this week.

Posted: Friday, December 3, 2010 - 10:44am

Economy Adds Few Jobs, Unemployment Edges Up

The private sector added 50,000 jobs in November while the government continued to shed positions as the unemployment rate edged up to 9.8 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday morning.

Non-farm payrolls increased a total of 39,000 positions, led by gains in the employment service sector and in the health care industry. But retail and manufacturing sectors shed tens of thousands of positions, led by cuts at department stores.

Posted: Friday, December 3, 2010 - 9:46am

Starting Lineup: Courting Vicki Kennedy

Good Friday morning and welcome back to the Starting Lineup. On the radar today: Bay Staters court Vicki Kennedy to take on Scott Brown; Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney gave big money to Republicans; both Democratic and GOP committees go firmly into the red; American Crossroads is here to stay; Rhode Island gubernatorial runner-up John Robitaille considers a Senate bid and Rep. Tim Bishop's lead grows in the last outstanding House race.

Posted: Friday, December 3, 2010 - 8:34am

Video: McCain Wants More Evidence; Colbert Bets On Thune For President in 2012

Stephen Colbert thinks Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) has the right look to be Republican nominee in 2012. Jon Stewart goes after Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for opposing the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" because military leaders didn't solicit the views of their subordinates: "I don't know how you can get more specific about their views, then: What would you do if you were showing with a gay guy? Without maybe giving the name of the actual gay guy they'd be showering with. Oh how about this, would you be okay with Roy?

Posted: Friday, December 3, 2010 - 8:30am

Hotline Whip Count: Deficit Commission Looks Dead

A presidential deficit commission is struggling to win the votes necessary to pass a sweeping austerity plan as members get set to vote on a final draft today. Despite lobbying efforts by commission chairmen Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, five of the 18 members have said they will vote against the plan, effectively scuttling its chances.

Posted: Friday, December 3, 2010 - 8:14am