• Sen. Heidi Heitkamp: The defiant democrat

    Politics Confidential

    Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., defied the odds in November when she won the closest senate race in the country, and now that she's arrived in Washington, she's defiant as ever. But now, instead of defying the pollsters, she's defying the Democratic caucus by taking divergent opinions on issues central to President Obama's second term agenda, ranging from gun control to the environment.

    Heitkamp, who says growing the economy is her top priority, is concerned that the president is changing his focus to issues like climate change and gun control.

    "I think, you know the one thing that has gotten lost by everyone is one of the best ways that we can perform here is by getting people back to work, making sure that this economic recovery, slow as it is, gets amped up and moves forward," Heitkamp tells Politics Confidential. "It's one of the reasons why I've been such a big proponent of the Keystone Pipeline. There's a shovel ready, private sector jobs program, good paying

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  • Top Line

    Wealthy conservative investor Foster Friess is best known in Washington, D.C. for helping fund Rick Santorum's presidential campaign. And the multimillionaire says he would support the former Pennsylvania senator again if he runs in 2016, even likening Santorum to Ronald Reagan.

    "If people let him out of that box of social conservative, and appreciate how much more he brings to the table, I think he's still one of my favorite candidates," says Friess.

    Friess spent well over a million dollars on Santorum's campaign, and says SuperPACs -- specifically the injection of large amounts of cash in elections -- were not really anything new in the 2012 cycle.

    "People forget that the SuperPACs are just the reiteration of the 527s," says Friess, referring to independent groups that are allowed to raise money for political activities and issue advocacy.

    "George Soros and Peter Lewis gave, what, $14 million and $20 million to make hard times for Bush and no one seems to talk about that,"

    Read More »from Standing by his man: GOP millionaire Foster Friess wants Santorum in 2016
  • Bottom Line

    On Monday, President Obama shared his vision for the next four years with the nation in his second inaugural address. In the speech the president laid out an ambitious agenda for the next four years and there’s been a lot of talk about how much can actually be accomplished. He touched on a series of issues including climate change, immigration reform, economic inequality and gay rights- becoming the first president in modern history to talk about gay rights in an inaugural speech. Many of you had questions about the president’s speech and also about what we can expect in the second Obama term.

    Renee Ferguson asked: After tackling gun violence, what will the president tackle next?

    Zack East tweeted that he would like to know if the president would seek to change laws nationally regarding gay marriage and discrimination policies.

    And Clark Johnson wondered: POTUS inaugural- how much is real and how much is fantasy?

    Thanks for the great questions everyone and please keep them

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