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The Fix: November 28, 2010 - December 4, 2010

Potential presidential candidates ramp up their PACs

A half dozen potential presidential candidates began ramping up their political action committees over the past month and a half, as they weigh whether to enter a still-empty race for the Republican nomination.

By Aaron Blake  | December 3, 2010; 5:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Eye on 2012  
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Afternoon Fix: Senate committees go in the red; Obama says Afghanistan surge has worked; Hatch shores up for 2012; Jim Johnson joins RNC

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and National Republican Senatorial Committee enter the 2012 cycle in similar financial position, with both between $5 and $6 million in the red. The DSCC has $713,000 cash and hand and $6.7 million in debt, while the NRSC has $519,000 in the bank and $6 million in debt.

By Chris Cillizza  | December 3, 2010; 5:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Afternoon Fix  
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Which Senator will you miss most?

The Fix asks you: What departing Senator will you miss the most?

By Chris Cillizza  | December 3, 2010; 3:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Senate  
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Fast Fix: The problem with attacking Sarah Palin

In today's "Fast Fix" video, we explore the increased attacks on Sarah Palin -- and the dangers posed for those criticizing her.

By Chris Cillizza  | December 3, 2010; 12:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Fast Fix  
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Who will leave the Senate in 2012?

The Fix looks at the ten senators most likely to retire before the 2012 election.

By Chris Cillizza  | December 3, 2010; 10:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Line  
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Campaign committees amass mountains of debt

In the waning days of the 2010 midterms, campaign committees in both parties amassed millions of dollars in debt as they made last-minute decision in races across the country, according to reports filed late Thursday night with the Federal Election Commission.

By Chris Cillizza  | December 3, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Afternoon Fix: Palin's PAC raises more than Romney and Pawlenty; NRCC goes $7 million in the red; House passes symbolic middle-class tax cut extension

Federal Election Commission fundraising numbers are in for the PACs run by potential GOP presidential candidates and the big winner, at least this time, is former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney raised $285,000 for his federal PAC between Oct. 14 and 22, while Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's (R) Freedom First PAC raised $140,000. Romney also raised $273,000 for his state-level PACs. Previously, Palin was reported to have raised $469,000, a total that was aided by her book tour.

By Chris Cillizza  | December 2, 2010; 5:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Afternoon Fix  
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Fast Fix: The last Kennedy?

Today's Fast Fix video examines the departure of the last Kennedy from Congress and when -- and whether -- to expect new generations of the first family of Democratic politics to arrive.

By Chris Cillizza  | December 2, 2010; 2:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Fast Fix  
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Sarah Palin, the "lamestream" media and its limits

Sarah Palin regularly bashes the media. Is that a winning strategy is she decides to run for president?

By Chris Cillizza  | December 2, 2010; 11:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Eye on 2012  
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John Ensign: Political Survivor?

The news that the Justice Department has no plans to bring charges against Sen. John Ensign for his role in securing work for the husband of his mistress makes it increasingly likely that the Nevada Republican will seek a third term in 2012.

By Chris Cillizza  | December 2, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Afternoon Fix: DGA sends $250k to Minnesota recount effort; Ensign says Justice Department no longer investigating him; Cheney backs Cino

The Democratic Governors Association is sending $250,000 to Minnesota for the recount in the state's governor's race, DGA Executive Director Nathan Daschle tells The Fix. "It's important for us to pay our share," Daschle said, adding that the actual recount budget will be larger than that but that the DGA is "confident" that Sen. Mark Dayton (D), who leads by nearly 9,000 votes, will win.

By Aaron Blake  | December 1, 2010; 5:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Afternoon Fix  
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Little mention of Michael Steele at RNC candidate forum

Current Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele was absent Wednesday from a forum for candidates seeking to replace him -- both in person and, largely, in spirit.

By Aaron Blake  | December 1, 2010; 4:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Republican Party  
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RNC official admits to a "cashflow challenge"

In a memo sent to vendors Tuesday, the Republican National Committee's chief administrative officer acknowledged that the committee is facing a "cashflow challenge" and that many of those who provided services to it during the 2010 election would not be paid this week as originally planned.

By Chris Cillizza  | December 1, 2010; 3:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Republican Party  
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Fast Fix: How can President Obama make a political comeback?

After a very tough November, how can President Obama bounce back politically? Today's "Fast Fix" video has the answers.

By Chris Cillizza  | December 1, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Fast Fix  
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Sarah Steelman to run for Senate

Former Missouri state Treasurer Sarah Steelman has entered the 2012 race against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, becoming the first major GOP candidate in the race and paving the way for a potential establishment-versus-tea party battle with former Sen. Jim Talent.

By Aaron Blake  | December 1, 2010; 11:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Senate  
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Michael Steele and the RNC waiting game

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele continues to avoid making any public statement about whether or not he will seek a second term, a silence that has left his potential opponents -- and even many of his allies -- guessing about what his future political plans are.

By Chris Cillizza  | December 1, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Afternoon Fix: Murray to head DSCC; O'Malley takes over at DGA; McCaskill and Nelson support earmark ban, while Lugar doesn't

A source confirms that Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley will take over as the new chairman of the Democratic Governors Association. He replaces Delaware Gov. Jack Markell. And The Senate voted down an earmark ban proposed by Republicans. Among vulnerable senators in 2012, Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) crossed over to vote with Republicans in favor of it. Among Republicans facing potential tea party primaries in 2012, only Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) voted against the tea party-supported bill, while Sens. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) voted for it.

By Chris Cillizza  | November 30, 2010; 5:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Afternoon Fix  
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The next Kennedy

When retiring Rep. Patrick Kennedy exits the House next month, it will be the first time in 64 years that no elected Kennedy will be serving in Washington. How long the drought will last is already the subject of much debate, with the 2012 election already looking ripe for the next Kennedy to step forward. So who will it be? We look at all the possibilities.

By Aaron Blake  | November 30, 2010; 2:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Governors, Senate  
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Who had the "Worst Year in Washington"?

The Fix is searching for the person, place or thing who had the worst year in Washington. Vote now!

By Chris Cillizza  | November 30, 2010; 2:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Worst Week in Washington  
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Patty Murray to be DSCC Chair

Washington State Sen. Patty Murray is expected to accept the chairmanship of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee today, ending a long search for the next head of the party's campaign arm.

By Chris Cillizza  | November 30, 2010; 11:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Senate  
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Raised stakes, lowered expectations ahead of bipartisan summit

President Obama finds himself in an odd quandary on the day of his much-anticipated bipartisan sit-down with congressional leaders.

By Felicia Sonmez and Aaron Blake  | November 30, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Afternoon Fix: Obama bows to GOP on wage freeze; Minnesota recount underway as Emmer challenges mount; Menendez has work to do in 2012

In what amounts to a concession to congressional Republicans, President Obama announced today that he would institute a two-year wage freeze for federal workers. But it's unlikely to sit well with the left, and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka came out forcefully against the proposal. The recount is underway in the Minnesota governor's race, and state Rep. Tom Emmer's (R) team is challenging lots of ballots as it tries to make up a deficit of nearly 9,000 votes against former Sen. Mark Dayton (D).

By Aaron Blake  | November 29, 2010; 4:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Afternoon Fix  
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GOP swept nearly 70 percent of seats held by vulnerable Democrats in 2010

Of 78 House seats held by vulnerable Democrats, Republicans won in 53 of them in 2010 -- a 68 percent success rate.

By Felicia Sonmez  | November 29, 2010; 2:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  House  
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Wagner launches bid for RNC chair

Former Ambassador to Luxembourg Ann Wagner entered the race for the Republican National Committee chairmanship on Monday, becoming the second candidate to launch a potential challenge to Chairman Michael Steele.

By Aaron Blake  | November 29, 2010; 11:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Republican Party  
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Palin as Reagan, and why McCain is right

Sen. John McCain was asked for the umpteenth time on Sunday about his former running mate, Sarah Palin. And while his previous responses elicited plenty of headlines, his latest might take the cake. The Arizona Republican, responding to a question from CNN's Candy Crowley about Palin being "divisive," noted that Ronald Reagan was often seen as divisive as well. It wasn't a direct comparison to Reagan (McCain never said Palin is similar to Reagan), but it was a comparison nonetheless. And the reaction was swift, as it often is when it comes to Palin. So the big question follows: is it a valid comparison? The answer: in many ways, yes.

By Aaron Blake and Felicia Sonmez  | November 29, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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