March 2, 2010
Posted: 12:23 PM ET
(CNN) - Jerry Brown: California's attorney general is expected to launch his bid to regain the top office in Sacramento on Tuesday, CNN reports. Brown was California's governor for two terms from 1975 to 1983. His father, Edmund G. "Pat" Brown Sr., was also a two-term governor.
Hollywood heavyweights Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg are among those who have publicly endorsed Brown and contributed to his reported $12 million war chest. He may need the support, as Republican candidate and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman is willing to contribute her dot-com millions to her campaign.
Brown, a San Francisco native, will be 72 in April. When he left office in the '80s, his ideas were controversial. Now they are more commonplace. He blended celebrity with politics by dating singer Linda Ronstadt. He chose to cut costs at the Governor's Mansion by bedding down on a futon in an apartment. He was dubbed "Governor Moonbeam" for suggesting that California's emergency management system use satellites for communication.
The former Jesuit student also has studied Buddhism, reportedly lived in a commune and traveled with Mother Teresa. He returned to politics as a two-term mayor of struggling Oakland, California. Brown sought the Democratic nomination for the presidency in 1976, 1980 and 1992 without success.
February 9, 2010
Posted: 03:08 PM ET
Plus - EXCLUSIVE!
Senator John Kerry and his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry in their first interview together on her battle with breast cancer.
That's all on Larry King Live on Wednesday at 9ET/6PT!
What would you like Larry to ask Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. John Kerry and his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry?
January 26, 2010
Posted: 07:16 PM ET
State of the Union Preview
The White House has already leaked some of the themes President Obama will hit tomorrow night in his State of the Union speech. Is the spending freeze over the next three years a good idea - or too little too late? How will he reach out to middle class Americans? We'll preview the speech tonight with Ben Stein, Penn Jillette, Stephanie Miller, and Tanya Acker. Plus - Tavis Smiley and John Avlon will weigh in with their analysis.
That's all tonight on Larry King Live at 9ET/6PT!
And we want to hear from you:
Do you think President Obama's proposal to freeze non-security federal spending over the next three years is a good idea?
January 21, 2010
Posted: 03:55 PM ET
McCain, who's married to Arizona Sen. John McCain, appears in a photograph on the site with a piece of silver duct tape over her mouth and the slogan "No H8" written on her cheek.
The site's owners were stunned when Mrs. McCain came to them with the idea of posing for them, they said when posting her photo Wednesday.
"We've often been surprised at some of the different individuals who have approached us showing their support. Few, though, have surprised us more than Cindy McCain," wrote Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley.
January 20, 2010
Posted: 03:51 PM ET
Scott Brown has turned this town upside down.
Usually, the tendency among political reporters and operatives alike is to overreact and overinterpret elections.
And there are caveats to the stunner in Massachusetts. Yes, this was a special election, which often produces unusual results. Yes, Democrat Martha Coakley ran a timid, sometimes terrible, campaign for Ted Kennedy’s old Senate seat. And it’s true that Massachusetts is not as liberal as many people assumed.
But none of that counters the stunning reality of an election where breathtaking results more than justify breathless analysis. Here’s why:
The lock is broken
There is no way for Democrats to spin an upside to losing their 60th vote in the Senate.
Without it, the health care bill that passed one month ago with 60 votes would go down today. Same goes for any other bill Republicans decide to torpedo with unity, obstruction or whatever one wants to call zero votes.
There are ways Democrats can jam through the current health care bill with procedural tricks or legislative creativity. But what seemed a certainty a week ago feels unlikely today. Don't take the word of Republicans or even reporters on this one. Listen to what Democrats are saying as they appraised the results overnight:
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) told a local reporter, “It’s probably back to the drawing board on health care, which is unfortunate.” Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.) told MSNBC this morning he will advise Democratic leaders to scrap the big bill and move small, more popular pieces that can attract Republicans. And Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) said his leadership is “whistling past the graveyard” if they think Brown’s win won’t force a rethinking of the health care plan.
Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), who now might draw a challenge from Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), said the party needs to rethink its entire approach to governing.
The fear is unleashed
Any Democrat with even the faintest fear of a tough race in 2010 is rattled. It was easy for some to rationalize the defeats in New Jersey and Virginia last year — and even the flood of polls showing bad news since then.
They are in denial no more: If Democrats can lose in Massachusetts, they can lose anywhere. That is the mind-set that will shape the next nine months for Democrats. It will affect who runs for reelection, who bolts on big votes, who gives money and who speaks out against Obama. All of this will make governing harder.
The focus has been on the special election for the past week. But Democratic insiders were equally concerned about other signs of trouble that got insufficient notice: Polls show Democrats could lose the New York Senate seat, Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson’s favorable ratings plummeted in Nebraska, new polls showed Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-Ohio) trailing badly in his swing district, and Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) is in a statistical tie and in more trouble than previously expected.
November 23, 2009
Posted: 05:38 PM ET
Ann vs. Al
It's a showdown between conservative commentator Ann Coulter and the Rev. Al Sharpton! They'll debate health care reform, the war in Afghanistan, Sarah Palin's viability as a 2012 presidential candidate and much more! Plus, why is Rep. Patrick Kennedy, a lifelong Catholic, barred from taking communion? Ann and Al never hold back - and tonight's no exception!
Murder for Hire Plot?
Michael Dippolito tells Larry how he became the alleged target of a murder for hire plot - devised by his own wife! Dippolito's wife, Dalia, allegedly hired a hit man to kill her husband. Only catch - the hitman turned out to be an undercover cop. Hear the just-released tapes between Dalia and the police officer - tonight ONLY on Larry King Live!
Oprah's Friends Speak Out
Oprah Winfrey tearfully told her audience that her show will come to an end in 2011 after 25 years of being on the air. Tonight, hear from her best friend Gayle King and Suze Orman, who regularly contributes to The Oprah Winfrey Show. Why did Oprah make the surprise announcement? What's next for the Queen of Talk? And don't miss a very special guest - Oprah's fourth grade teacher, Mary Alice Duncan. Oprah said the years she spent as a student in Mrs. Duncan's class were "defining moments" for her!
That's all tonight on Larry King Live at 9ET/6PT!
And we want to hear from you:
Who do you tend to agree with on political issues - Ann Coulter or Al Sharpton?
November 21, 2009
Posted: 10:19 AM ET
To debate or not to debate the Senate's health care reform bill; that is the question.
The legislative body on Saturday is expected to vote on whether to begin debate - also known as invoking cloture - on its version of the health care bill, which was introduced Wednesday by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Reid says the 2,074-page bill would expand health insurance coverage to 30 million more Americans at an estimated cost of $849 billion over 10 years. A House bill was passed nearly two weeks ago.
Proceedings begin at 10 a.m. and will last through the early evening. Around 8 p.m., the Senate will hold a roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture.
Reid needs 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to overcome a certain GOP filibuster attempt and open the chamber's debate on the bill. It would take another 60 votes to close debate that could last for weeks, while final approval of the bill would require only a simple majority.
November 19, 2009
Posted: 04:34 PM ET
Note: Larry King Live will take you to Sarah Palin's book signing in Noblesville, Indiana, tonight at 9ET/6PT!
Despite the fact that most in line had to stand outside Meijer’s, a big box grocer and retailer with 31 checkout lanes, Palin’s fans waited patiently and politely, flipping through the pages of her new memoir “Going Rogue” as they chanted “Sarah, Sarah” and took turns getting coffee and donuts.
Like the conservative icon that some had driven a considerable distance to meet, the otherwise buoyant crowd harbored hard feelings about the media.
When a POLITICO reporter approached the first person in line — a middle-aged woman from Michigan who arrived at 4:30 p.m. the day before — she refused to answer any questions about the former governor or say her name.
“Aren’t you on the liberals’ side?” she asked.
By 10 a.m., two hours before Palin was set to arrive, the line had swelled to at least 1,000 people and the crowd jeered at the sight of a reporter with a pen and notepad.
“Don’t you know that we’re the right-wing mob?” shouted a short, grey-haired woman who declined to state her name. “Don’t anger us, we have the numbers today and we remember your face.” The woman was cheered by a handful of those in line.
Book sales were brisk, judging from an ever-shrinking stack of copies that sat prominently at the entrance of the store. At midnight, the pile was roughly three books wide, 22 long and 10 high. By early morning, it was cut to half its original size and Meijer’s workers routinely arrived every half-hour to replenish the stack with a grocery cart full of books.
November 3, 2009
Posted: 10:38 PM ET
By Jeff Johnson
There have been two very different, yet related Mayoral races coming to a close tonight. Both have serious implication about the future of local Black politics in the United States.
Atlanta has been presented with the reality of having a non-Black Mayor for the first time in decades due to shifting demographics and the multitude of black political interests. In New York City many are questioning if Black leaders that have received donations and appointments from sitting Mayor Bloomberg have blocked Bill Thompson, a legitimate Black candidate, from gaining substantial African-American support and thus having a chance to win.
What is the real future of what used to be a monolithic and powerful Black-voting bloc in the face of new local demographics and ideological realities?
Cities like Atlanta, New Orleans, Washington D.C. and even Baltimore that have maintained overwhelmingly Black city leadership are being forced to rethink political methodology that has governed how things are done for decades.
The gentrification of urban cities has shifted primarily black populations from inner cities that are increasingly unaffordable to surrounding suburbs with more reasonable residential prices and taxes. These urban centers with shifting tax bases and more racially diverse populations will begin looking for political representation that is reflective of “their” (whatever demographics “they” may be) ideological beliefs.
While not rocket science, this reality has seemed to escape many Black leaders. It is making it more and more difficult for “old school” black leadership that is unwilling to embrace a broader political agenda vs. holding on to “race politics” that predicate their entire agenda on civil rights issues alone to survive.
In Atlanta I have heard more about the color of the candidates than what they have the capacity to DO. The universe of Black Political leadership is as diverse as the African-American community itself. For those that are concerned with maintaining some level of African-American political power in any city, it will take more than simply being Black. I for one am excited about it. How about elected officials (regardless of color) with the capacity to provide transformative representation for those who actually elected them.
While Atlanta is dealing with shifting political power, New York City is dealing with access to power as they question the integrity associated with Black leadership that receives resources, dollars, and appointments in exchange for their vote and support.
To put it in perspective, Calvin Butts, a well known and respected Black faith leader has been chastised for promising support to City Comptroller and Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson and in the late hours of the campaign, shifting his support to Mayor Bloomberg in the shadow of reports that his church’s community development corporation received considerable financial support from both Bloomberg’s foundation as well as from the Mayor personally.
This has cast a pejorative light on all the Black faith leaders, currently supporting the Mayor, who lead large Black congregations who would have typically supported the Black candidate. Many of these Black leader’s community development corporations have received large city contracts and some of the leaders have been appointed to city commissions. While it is easy to question Butts’ last minute shift, many of the other Black leaders have been working in cooperation with the Mayor since his last election. I thought that local leaders were always fighting to have city leadership provide access to resources and leadership opportunities often reserved for those outside the Black community. It seems a bit hypocritical to fight for that level of access, receive it, only to then say…”oh…now a black guy is running…so thanks, but no thanks”.
Thompson’s chances were less hijacked by Bloomberg’s support of Black leadership, than by the fact that he spent more money to run for a third term than any Mayoral candidate ever. It is important to support the development and advancement of candidates of color. I do hope my comments do not negate that point. However, as the realities of the shifting demographics of local communities change the face and agenda of the electorate, what once was effective black political strategy and mobilization will forever be changed.
Posted: 01:25 PM ET
Editor's note: Tune in tonight at 9pmET AND midnight for special editions of Larry King Live. We'll have our eye on these races and more. Don't miss it!
(CNN) - Tuesday's off-year election might not have the high stakes of the 2008 presidential election, but there are several significant races worth watching:
1. NEW YORK'S 23RD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
Why it matters: A conservative backlash against a moderate Republican candidate propelled this race into national headlines as proof of an ongoing family feud between the far right and moderates for control of the party.
What's the story?: Local Republican leaders picked Dede Scozzafava because of her appeal to centrist Republicans, independents and even some Democrats. But it sparked a conservative revolt, and Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman outpolled Scozzafava, forcing her to withdraw. Scozzafava has since endorsed Democrat Bill Owens.
2. VIRGINIA GOVERNOR
Why it matters: This race is seen as an early referendum on voters' attitudes toward President Obama and his policies and an opportunity for Republicans to turn back recent Democratic gains.
What's the story?: Obama was the first Democrat to win a presidential contest in Virginia since the 1960s, and the last two governors have been Democrats. Polls show Republican Bob McDonnell with a double-digit lead.
3. NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR
Why it matters: A moderate third-party candidate could split the Republican vote and give an unpopular Democratic incumbent a second term.
What's the story?: Gov. Jon Corzine trailed Republican challenger Chris Christie during the summer, but recent polls show them in a dead heat. Growing support for independent Chris Daggett might be siphoning votes away from Christie.
Go Behind The Scenes
LARRY KING LIVE'S Emmy-winning Senior Executive Producer Wendy Walker knows what it takes to make a great story.
With anecdotes, provocative emails, scandals, show transcripts and insights into Walker's long working relationship with Larry King, her new book PRODUCER issues readers an invitation to listen in on the most intriguing conversations on the planet.