- Power Players20 hrs ago
Joe Miller is back in the fray.
The Tea Party Republican, who made a name for himself by beating incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska’s Republican primary in 2010, now has his sights set on another Alaska challenge in 2014. This time, he’ll be trying to defeat Democratic Sen. Mark Begich.
“The reason why I'm at it again, despite the punishment that brutal campaign up in Alaska has for us, the fact is, we can only do the fight,” said Miller, who ultimately lost to Murkowski in the 2010 general election after she ran a successful write-in campaign.
Miller praised the recent efforts of Sens. Ted Cruz, R- Texas, and Mike Lee, R- Utah, to stall the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and told “Top Line” he would join forces with them on future efforts if he makes it to the Senate.
“I would absolutely be hand-in-hand with both he and Mike Lee, Rand Paul and the work that they're doing,” Miller said. “And I think we're going to have greater numbers than just Joe Miller added to that liberty caucus, if you will.”
Miller’s 2010 campaign was aided by the high-profile support of Tea Party star Sarah Palin, and he said he’s hoping to gain her backing again in 2014.
- Power Players1 day ago
The Fine Print As the bipartisan budget bill heads toward passage as soon as today in the Senate, Paul Ryan, the top Republican who brokered the deal, said he's not worried that his political future will be tainted by the agreement. “If you want to get things done, you have to be willing to be criticized from everybody,” Ryan told “The Fine Print.” The budget accord, reached between Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray, is expected to clear its final hurdle in the Senate, even though Republicans have voiced deep objections. But Ryan said he was unfazed by the criticism, saying “my job is not to cloud my judgment with personal ambition.” “People always say, ‘well, this could hurt you with your future ambitions,’” Ryan said. “If I'm not good at this job, why should I ask somebody for another job?” “If I have to do things to stop myself from doing what I think is right to become president, then I don't want to become president,” added Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican and the party's 2012 vice presidential nominee. When asked directly whether he is planning a presidential bid in 2016, Ryan said he hasn’t made a decision yet. “I don’t know,” he said. “I will think about it. It’s in the back of my mind. I'll think about it later.” In responding to prominent tea party leaders such as Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who have criticized the budget deal for not doing enough to cut spending, Ryan defended the bipartisan compromise as a “step in the right direction.” “The way I look at this is you're not always going to get what you want every time in divided government,” he said. “Republicans don't run everything. We're the minority party right now, so you have to find a way to work with the other side of the aisle to make this government work.” Despite the tea party’s strong opposition to the budget deal he co-authored, Ryan said he believes the conservative wing is a “good element” in the Republican Party. Ryan also discussed the months-long process of crafting an agreement with Sen. Murray and revealed that there was one area of constant common ground throughout their many meetings: a shared admiration for a certain NFL football player. “The one thing we have in common is we both like Russell Wilson,” Ryan said. “He played for Wisconsin, and now he's the Seahawks quarterback and he's doing really well. … We don't like the Seahawks, we like Russell Wilson.” For more of the interview with Ryan, including what he thinks the GOP learned from the government shutdown, check out this episode of “The Fine Print.”
- Power Players2 days ago
“Anchorman 2” hits theaters Wednesday, and the highly anticipated movie sequel that satirizes television news in the 1970s will be ripe with comedy. But underneath the laughter is the reality of discrimination that female and minority television reporters confronted during that era.
At the Newseum in Washington, D.C., where a new “Anchorman” exhibit celebrates the movie series, the museum’s director of collections told “Power Players” that Will Ferrell and his creative team took inspiration for the comedy from the true story of pioneering television reporter Jessica Savitch.
“They were watching an actual documentary about Jessica Savitch and were struck by not just her story but by the overt and over-the-top sexism that her male co-anchors, counterparts were willingly discussing,” curator Carrie Christofferson said. “And they thought, ‘You know, we can have a little fun with this and poke some holes through some of the ideas.’”
- Power Players3 days ago
On the Radar
Forty-five years after he fought in Vietnam as a naval officer in the midst of an intractable war, Secretary of State John Kerry said his fighting experience informs his worldview today but does not “dominate” him during an official trip to the country.
“One thing I'm very careful -- very, very careful -- not to do is see everything through the lens of Vietnam,” Kerry said. “That would be a huge mistake. It's informative, but it doesn't imprison me. It doesn't dominate me.”
During his visit to Ho Chi Minh City, the secretary of state sat down with “On the Radar” to discuss his memories of Vietnam, including the time he killed a man in combat -- an experience he said he still "inevitably" thinks about from time to time.
“I always refuse to get stuck there, kind of a purposeful decision,” he said. “It happened, it's what it was. We were in a war, and it ended. And my goal became the future. My goal became how do we take that and make something better out of it?”
Kerry, a devout Catholic, said that fighting in the war shook his faith temporarily. But then he had an epiphany, he said, that helped him move beyond the war and return to his faith.
- Power Players6 days ago
The Fine Print
When Mitt Romney lost the election to President Obama last year, Ann Romney turned to her love of cooking to help get her mind off politics.
Now, one year later, the wife of the former Republican presidential candidate has published a cookbook, “The Romney Family Table,” in which she shares some of her favorite family recipes and stories. And during an interview with “The Fine Print,” Romney demonstrated how to prepare some of her favorite Christmas cookies at D.C. hotspot, Fiola.
“It's all about love,” Romney said when asked why she wrote the book. “I mean cooking for me is about love and maybe it was a cathartic healing thing for me to do after a campaign, you know, because it's pretty bruising.”
Though Romney said that she and her family “were okay the next day” after the campaign and grateful to return to their normal lives, she also described the loss as “crushing.”
“When you give yourself to that, to a cause for so many years and you believe as I did that my husband would've been an extraordinary executive and extraordinary president, it's extremely hard, I mean it's disappointing, it's crushing, it's all those things,” she said.
- Power Players7 days ago
If you’re over 50 years old, would enjoy a 500-day-long journey to a faraway land, and have a spouse who shares your sense of adventure, then billionaire space entrepreneur Dennis Tito has a mission for you – that is, if you don’t also mind risking your life and being exposed to high levels of radiation.
Tito’s Inspiration Mars Foundation is working on a goal to launch two astronauts on a flyby mission to Mars as early as 2018.
Here on Earth, the Chief Technology Officer for Inspiration Mars, Taber MacCallum, sat down with “Power Players” to outline why he believes the ambitious undertaking is important for the United States.
“When you talk about the science of how you support people for 500 days, people get really interested and inspired to go into the sciences, to go into technology fields, and that's what America needs,” MacCallum said. “We are not going to be competitive as a nation in a global economy unless we are the best scientists and the best technicians on the planet.”
There are several reasons, MacCallum explained, that a couple in the 50-plus age group is ideally suited for the mission.
- Power Players8 days ago
The political director of a prominent Tea Party Super PAC predicts that “big punches” will be thrown within the GOP as groups like his gear up for primary challenges in the 2014 midterm elections against Republicans whom they view as not conservative enough.
“I think the 2014 primary cycle is going to be unlike anything that we've seen,” said the Madison Project’s Drew Ryun. “This is going to be the equivalent of a bar room brawl.”
The Republican establishment, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is going head-to-head with the Madison Project in several of the races where the Super PAC is working to replace the incumbent. But Ryun told “Top Line” they were ready for the fight.
“I think it's going to come down to a battle of tactics,” Ryun said. “They're going to have more money; we're going to have more people. And, basically, who employs the best tactics is going to come out on top of these primaries.”
- Power Players10 days ago
Ernie Banks has never been one to back down from a hard match.
The legendary Chicago slugger, who is immortalized in the Baseball Hall of Fame and was recently awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, was one of the first African-American players to go directly from the Negro to Major Leagues when baseball was desegregated. He hit more than 500 home runs over the course of his career.
But despite his personal history of breaking down barriers and setting records, Banks admits that there was a time when he was skeptical that then-Sen. Obama could win the presidential election in 2008.
“I was going to tell him … well, not [that he] shouldn't run for president,” Banks said, “but it's, you know, [an] amazing challenge, because I ran for alderman in Chicago, and I saw that.”
“But he could do it,” Banks told “Politics Confidential” at the White House after being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Though Banks fell short in his own bid for alderman in the 1960s and never ran for public office again, he said his political ambitions never left him.
“I wanted to help people in the community,” he said. “To me, life is all about helping people.”
- Power Players14 days ago
The Fine Print
Before Rep. Vance McAllister won a special election last month to represent Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District, the 39-year-old businessman had not only never run for public office, but never stepped foot in the nation’s capital.
But today, as he settles into an office on Capitol Hill that once belonged to President Gerald Ford, he tells “The Fine Print” he hopes to rise above the partisan squabble that contributed to the lowest approval ratings ever for Congress.
“It just seems like there's a lot of bickering, a lot of arguing, a lot about partisanship, whether it's right of wrong,” said McAllister, a Republican. “People are just tired of seeing all the fighting they want to see things happening and moving forward.”
Part of rising above the partisanship, McAllister said, includes giving Obama the respect he deserves as the president of the United States.
- Power Players16 days ago
Democratic strategist Al From says the problems with the government’s new online health insurance market threaten to undermine the Democratic Party’s case for government.
“It sure makes it a lot harder for people to support new government initiatives,” said From, who is largely credited with shaping Bill Clinton’s successful presidential campaign in 1992. “And if it doesn't work, then good intentions are not enough.”
With the Obama administration now touting improvements to HealthCare.gov after a fumbled rollout two months ago, From told “Top Line” that getting the program back on track should be a top priority.
“It is critically important that President Obama get this program working and working well,” From said. “It is incumbent on liberals, on Democrats, on progressives, to make sure government works, because government is our agent for helping people help themselves and each other.”
As of Sunday, the Obama administration said that HealthCare.gov is working more than 90 percent of the time – up from just over 40 percent in October.