Rahm Emanuel announces run for mayor
Rahm Emanuel, the former White House chief of staff to President Barack Obama, formally announced his plans to replace Chicago Mayor Richard Daley amid a narrowing field of candidates. "Only the opportunity to help President Obama as his chief of staff could have pried me away from Chicago," Emanuel, 50, a former Illinois congressman, said Saturday during an appearance in a public school gymnasium. "And only the opportunity to lead this city could have pried me away from the president's side." Emanuel announced his candidacy for the Feb. 22 election a day before U.S. Rep. Danny Davis and Illinois state Sen. James Meeks, minister of one of Chicago's largest churches, are scheduled to say they will also run. Others who have already announced or have said they will do so soon include City Clerk Miguel del Valle, former Chicago School Board president Gery Chico, and former U.S. Sen. and New Zealand Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun.
Alaskans' spelling may doom Miller
The lawyers have started leaving. That is perhaps the surest sign that Joe Miller's chances of becoming the next senator from Alaska are evaporating. With each passing day that election workers in the state capital manually count write-in votes cast for Sen. Lisa Murkowski, it appears increasingly likely that Alaskans spell too well for Miller's math to work. After three days of counting, the state has determined that 98 percent of write-in ballots were cast for Murkowski — and 90 percent of those were cast so cleanly that they have survived even the sometimes bafflingly strict scrutiny applied by monitors working for Miller. The write-in count is expected to last several more days.
Pelosi tries to end leadership dispute
Trying to resolve a dispute among her top lieutenants, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Saturday that she will offer Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., the newly created position of "assistant leader," calling it the No. 3 leadership position. In a letter to her Democratic colleagues Saturday afternoon, Pelosi did not mention her internal rival, Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., but her endorsement of Clyburn served to be an indirect backing of Hoyer to continue on as her chief deputy next year in the No. 2 post of minority whip. If rank-and-file Democrats ratify her endorsements in a secret ballot Wednesday, Pelosi's leadership team will remain completely intact despite a drubbing in the midterms of a minimum loss of 60 seats.
Lawmaker, lobbyist, lawmaker again
Dan Coats, a former senator and ambassador to Germany, served as co-chairman of a team of lobbyists in 2007, successfully blocking Senate legislation that would have terminated a tax loophole worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Cooper Industries, a century-old manufacturing company based in Texas. Now Coats, a Republican from Indiana, is about to make a striking transition. He will join the Senate again and is seeking a spot on the Finance Committee, the same panel that tried to shut the tax loophole. There is no rule that would keep Coats from voting on issues that he handled as a lobbyist, and he does not intend to recuse himself when former clients are affected by his votes. He has, however, said he will not let prior connections influence him.