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Capitol Briefing: February 3, 2008 - February 9, 2008

Oh Boy, More Debates!

Just what this town needs in the middle of a heated presidential campaign: more debates. Perhaps Congress is jealous that the White House contenders have already had 83 or so debates, and that Hillary Rodham Clinton has challenged Barack Obama to one face-off a week until we all beg for...

By Ben Pershing  |  February 8, 2008; 4:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Dem. Leaders , GOP Leaders  
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Player of the Week: Nancy Pelosi

Having been raised on a steady diet of highlight shows like Sportscenter and This Week in Baseball (with the greatest theme song ever), Capitol Briefing has always been fond of awards like "Pepsi Clutch Performer" and "Rolaids Relief Man." Beginning today, Capitol Briefing will begin handing out his own honor...

By Ben Pershing  |  February 8, 2008; 12:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Dem. Leaders , House , Player of the Week  
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McCain to Cornyn: &$%# You Very Much!

Texas Sen. John Cornyn (R) announced today that he is endorsing Sen. John McCain (R) for president, giving the Arizonan a boost in advance of the Lone Star State's March 4 primary. His move came just hours after Mitt Romney dropped out of the contest. "With many of my colleagues,...

By Ben Pershing  |  February 7, 2008; 4:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  2008 Campaign  
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A Rare Democratic Retirement in the House

Oregon Rep. Darlene Hooley (D) announced today that she will not be running for reelection to a 7th term in November. Hooley is only the third House Democrat to announce retirement plans this cycle. Twenty-one Republicans are retiring, while three more Republicans and three Democrats are running for other office....

By Ben Pershing  |  February 7, 2008; 4:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  2008 Campaign  
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Romney Meets Reid, Quits Race

In the hours since Mitt Romney dropped out of the presidential race, there have been plenty of theories for why he made the decision, mostly centered on delegate math and money. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has his own explanation. "He met me in Salt Lake last Saturday,"...

By Ben Pershing  |  February 7, 2008; 4:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2008 Campaign  
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As the Earmarks Turn

Two weeks ago, House Republicans emerged from their annual retreat with a call for Democrats to agree to a temporary earmark moratorium and the formation of a bipartisan committee to recommend changes to the earmarking process. Democrats never gave much of a response -- other than to defend their own...

By Ben Pershing  |  February 7, 2008; 2:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Ethics and Rules , House , Purse Strings  
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Candidates Sneak Back to Work in the Senate

With a crucial procedural vote on the economic stimulus package happening in the Senate this evening, the Capitol has been atwitter at the news that the chamber's three mostly absent presidential candidates -- Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) -- might actually, you know, show...

By Ben Pershing  |  February 6, 2008; 6:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  2008 Campaign , Senate  
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Norton Excited D.C. Will Be 'In the Game'

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) isn't quite sure what Feb. 12 should be called, but she knows she's excited about it. "As far as I'm concerned, it's another 'Super Tuesday,'" she told Capitol Briefing, looking forward to next week's spotlight on the District, Maryland and Virginia presidential primaries. The...

By Ben Pershing  |  February 6, 2008; 4:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2008 Campaign  
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Downballot Races (Nearly) Set in Illinois

Illinois voters didn't just decide to award their state's delegates to Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) Tuesday. They also went to the polls to pick nominees in several key congressional races. The most closely watched contest was in the 14th district, the seat west of Chicago made...

By Ben Pershing  |  February 6, 2008; 2:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2008 Campaign  
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Lieberman's 'Independent' Expenditures

Here's a quick Super Tuesday quiz: Which senator has contributed money to both John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.)? John McCain speaks with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) during a Feb. 3 campaign appearance at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn. (Getty Images) Okay, maybe that question isn't too...

By Ben Pershing  |  February 5, 2008; 3:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  2008 Campaign  
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Clinton Still Finds Time to Legislate

Going into today's huge slate of primaries and caucuses, three senators remain in the thick of the presidential race. But since this session of Congress started last month, only one - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) - has found the time to do any actual legislating. While neither Sen. Barack...

By Ben Pershing  |  February 5, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
Categories:  2008 Campaign  
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Convention Party Do's and Don'ts

Attention, party planners in Minneapolis-St. Paul and Denver. The Senate Ethics Committee today released its latest guidance on what kinds of events can and can't be held at the Republican and Democratic national conventions this summer, and the advice is ever-so-slightly different from that offered by the House ethics panel...

By Ben Pershing  |  February 4, 2008; 4:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Ethics and Rules  
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Budget Day on Capitol Hill

With Super Bowl Sunday behind us, it's time for another secular holiday - one celebrated by policy wonks across the land - Budget Day. This morning, the White House delivered its $3.1 trillion fiscal 2009 budget proposal to Capitol Hill. As many recent stories have noted, for the first time,...

By Ben Pershing  |  February 4, 2008; 11:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Purse Strings  
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