7 a.m.: Cross-posted from The Fix, by Chris Cillizza:
White House Cheat Sheet: Happy Friday!
RNC Rakes It In: The Republican National Committee raised almost $5.8 million in April and ended the month with $24.4 million on hand, a rare bright spot for a committee whose chairman -- Michael Steele -- has struggled badly in his first few months on the job. Through the first four months of 2009, the RNC has raised $23.4 million as compared to the $17.7 million million collected by the Democratic National Committee between Jan. 1 and March 31. (April fundraising for the DNC has not yet been released.) When Steele was first elected RNC Chairman in January, one of the major concerns in the professional political class was whether he could raise the sort of money to keep the RNC competitive. Interestingly, fundraising has been Steele's strength to date while his skills as a spokesman -- thought to be his strong suit -- have betrayed him time and again.
Friday's Fix Picks: Did we mention we met Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton?
1. Nancy Pelosi ups the ante on interrogations.
2. Dick Cheney denied on demands for release of CIA memos.
3. Karl Rove to be interviewed today in U.S. Attorneys probe.
4. NARAL goes for New York Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand.
5. Marty Scorsese to direct bio pic on the Chairman of the Board.
Torsella Out in PA: To the surprise of no one, former National Constitution Center head Joe Torsella dropped his candidacy for the Democratic Senate nomination last night -- bowing to the political reality of Sen. Arlen Specter's (D) party switch. "Senator Specter's decision to join the Democratic Party transformed this election," said Torsella, adding that if he remained in the race it would likely descend into a "negative, personal" debate that was centered on "Senator Specter's past, not our common future." Torsella's decision to step aside turns the spotlight directly on Rep. Joe Sestak who continues to mull a primary campaign against Specter. Sestak, unlike Torsella, is widely regarded as an outsider to the political machine overseen by Gov. Ed Rendell and ended March with more than $3.3 million in the bank. Depending on where labor throws its support, Sestak could be a serious threat to Specter in the primary.
What To Watch For:
Burr Vulnerable, Sez Poll: New polling out of North Carolina affirms that Sen. Richard Burr (R) could be in for a tough reelection fight next year. In the Public Policy Polling survey, thirty-six percent of voters approved of the job Burr is doing while 32 percent disapproved; another thirty two percent offered no opinion -- a high number of undecideds common to robo-polling where there is no live interviewer. At issue for Democrats is whether they can convince state Attorney General Roy Cooper to challenge Burr. Cooper recently huddled with President Obama at the White House but even his closest aides admit they are not sure whether he will run or not. If Cooper, who is running even or ahead of Burr, takes a pass, the Democratic bench is somewhat thin -- although Sen. Kay Hagan (D) was far from the party's first choice in 2008 and she bested then Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R) by eight points.
From to Parven Pomper: Al From, the former head of the Democratic Leadership Council, has landed at Parven Pomper Strategies -- a lobby shop in Washington. From, however, will not lobby. PPS has made several high profile hires in recent years including Ali Lapp, a former campaign director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Say What?: "I don't know where he's coming from on it." -- National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) distances himself from remarks made by National Republican Congressional Committee chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) that suggested President Obama is purposely sabotaging the economy for political gain.
May 15, 2009; 6:52 AM ET
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