(CBS News) CBS News political director John Dickerson was joined on"Hotsheet Live" on Friday by The Washington Post's Aaron Blake, Roll Call's Shira Toeplitz and National Journal's Josh Kraushaar to discuss President Obama's recent announcement of his support for same-sex marriage.
"We know by now the president maybe was going to make this on his own before the election, but Joe Biden forced him to do it," said Dickerson.
"The president is a very risk averse politician," said Kraushaar. "When you look at the political impact of it, I think in the end it's a wash, but I think it's a very volatile wash."
"I think the economy is still the number one issue," said Toeplitz. "Josh called this a risky decision. I'm not quite sure how risky it was, because anyone who is so against gay marriage that it would change their mind on the president, I don't think they would have voted for him anyway."Continue »
(CBS News) -- CBS News political director John Dickerson was joined on Hotsheet Live Friday by National Journal's Reid Wilson, PBS's Christina Bellantoni, and The New York Time's Michael Shear to discuss the April jobs report.
The Labor Department said the economy added just 115,000 new jobs last month, though the unemployment rate fell slightly to 8.1 percent as some workers gave up on their job search and are not counted in the unemployment statistics.
"We are at the point, traditionally speaking, at which people's opinions about the economy generally harden," said Wilson. "Here we are six months out, the way people feel about the economy now is probably going to look very similar to the way that people will feel about the economy on Election Day."
And the president will have an especially tough selling in states like Virginia and Ohio, Dickerson said.Continue »
(CBS News) Former Republican Congresswoman Connie Morella and Maryland Secretary of Aging Gloria Lawlah are trying to get more women elected into public office by promoting a new program called The 2012 Project.
"The year of the women was 1992 and during that year 24 new women were elected and everybody got very excited," Morella told Hotsheet's Christine Delargy this week. "Countries like Cambodia and Rwanda have like 30 percent women in their legislature. It plateaued for a long time after that and in 2010 we actually lost in terms of the number. We are hoping there will be a difference in 2012."
According to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, which is sponsoring The 2012 Project, women represent only 17 percent of members in Congress and 25 percent of state legislators. The U.S. ranks 71st in the world for percentage of women in office. The 2012 Project aims to change that by a public education campaign and also by direct outreach to potential women candidates for both state and federal office.
"Women are more issue driven than the concept that they want the power and the influence, and so they tend to be more independent when they are in office," said Morella.Continue »
CBS News political director John Dickerson was joined on Hotsheet Live on Friday by Huffington Post's Jon Ward, The New York Time's Michael Shear, and PBS's Christina Bellantoni to talk about the race for the Republican nomination.
Several GOP candidates have recently slipped up, including Rick Santorum, who said he'd vote for President Obama over his GOP rival Mitt Romney. Meanwhile, Romney's top adviser compared the former Massachusetts governor to an Etch-a-Sketch, making this contest a "bizarre boxing match," said Jon Ward.Continue »
CBS News senior national security analyst Juan Zarate sat down with CBS News national security correspondent Bob Orr on this week's episode of Flash Points to discuss his recent briefing on the documents taken from Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
"What was clear from what I was briefed on throughout the documents was the fact that he is losing control of the movement," said Zarate, who served as a top national security aide to President George W. Bush.
"He is still trying to drive the strategy but he's meeting with the realities of the environment, not only are they beleaguered and battered by counter terrorism pressure over the past few years, but they are not able to function in the way they once did," Zarate said.
Zarate added that he received an intriguing look inside the strategic tension between Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, and gave an example of a conversation that may have taken place between the two, where Bin Laden argues, "no brother let's stay focused on what matters, let's cut down the tree at the trunk and the trunk is America, keep attacking America."Continue »
CBS News correspondent Whit Johnson was joined on Hotsheet Live on Friday by The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler, Politico's Lois Romano, and CBS political director John Dickerson to talk about the GOP race in Michigan.
Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney remain neck and neck in the polls, in spite of Romney's strong ties to the state -- leaving his ability to win Michigan up for debate.
"What we are all about now is Michigan, and I think to an extent Romney's candidacy is on the line," said Romano. "If he loses Michigan, is he going to be able to sustain support from the party? Because that would say he might not be able to win Michigan in the general election."
There may be lingering dissatisfaction with the current field of candidates, but bringing in a new candidate this late in the game would cause complete mayhem for the Republican party, Dickerson argued.Continue »
CBS News political director John Dickerson was joined on Hotsheet Live on Friday by USA Today's Susan Page, The Washington Post's Aaron Blake, and Politico's Jake Sherman for a discussion on what happens in the presidential race if Mitt Romney loses the next primary in Michigan.
Right now, Rick Santorum leads Mitt Romney in most polls in Romney's boyhood home.
"The argument that Santorum's campaign can make if they win is that this is a legitimate contest," said Blake.
"I do think Michigan is critical for Mitt Romney," said Page. Should he lose, "you will see an effort by Republicans to get somebody else in this race."
Some names thrown around by Friday's "Hotsheet Live" roundtable included Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and Mitch Daniels.Continue »
White House Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske is using Whitney Houston's death Saturday as an opportunity to warn of the dangers of substance abuse.
It is not yet known whether Houston's death was drug related, though the singer has acknowledged past struggles with substance abuse. Kerlikowske pointed specifically to Houston's use of prescription drugs.
"Her death is absolutely tragic and this brings attention to the problem that she had talked about in the past and that certainly is prescription drugs," Kerlikowske told Hotsheet. "It effects a huge number of people in this country and has driven deaths to very very high numbers - well over 15,000."Continue »
At a White House-sponsored science fair on Tuesday, President Obama lauded participating students for their excellence in fields like science, math and technology, and emphasizing his belief that it's equally important to recognize students with scientific achievements as it is the Super Bowl-winning football team.
"If we are recognizing athletic achievement, we should also be recognizing academic achievement and science achievement," he said. "If we invite the team that wins the Super Bowl to the White House, then we need to invite some science fair winners to the White House as well."
Meeting with a group of about 100 students at the White House, Mr. Obama examined the students' creations -- which ranged from a Skype robot on wheels to a dissolvable sugar packet.
"It's not every day that you have robots running all over your house. I'm trying to figure out how you got through the metal detectors," said Obama. "I also shot a marshmallow through an air gun which was very exciting."Continue »
Charles Evans Jr. and Dr. Victor DeNoble sat down with CBS' Kaylee Hartung on "Hotsheet Live" to discuss their new film, "Addiction Incorporated."
The film tells the story of DeNoble, a former scientist at Philip Morris Research Center, who was the first whistleblower within the tobacco industry to communicate in an official capacity that cigarettes are addictive.
"As a scientist the worst thing you could do is not to be able to communicate your findings to other scientists," said DeNoble.
Despite DeNoble's confidentiality agreement, he testified in the 1994 Subcommittee on Health and Environment congressional hearings with seven heads of major tobacco companies.
In his directorial debut, Evans tells the "story of a man who wants to do good through science," he said. Evans noted that he used the tobacco industry's relationship with DeNoble as the backdrop for the telling of his story.Continue »
Hundreds of Occupy D.C. protesters stood in solidarity at Washington's McPherson Square Monday as U.S. Park Police began enforcement of its no-camping regulation.
The National Park Service released a statement Friday announcing that the U.S. Park Police would begin enforcement "on or about noon," stating that "[a]ny temporary structure used for camping will be subject to seizure."
When police arrived and were met by the hundreds of protesters and more than 100 media and spectators, however, they declined to take immediate action.
As a symbol of their message, occupiers placed a blue tarp over the statue of General McPherson emblazoned with the words "Tent of Dreams." They chanted, "Banks got bailed out, we got sold out."Continue »
Hollywood and political star power alike hit the red carpet at the D.C. premiere of "Big Miracle," a film on the effort to save trapped whales in the Arctic Circle.
The film's star Drew Barrymore told CBSNews.com that she appreciated that the movie was about more than just the whale rescue. "It was about oil companies and environmentalists and politicians and the national guard putting down their ideals and agendas and working together to do something, when at every turn it seemed like the smartest thing to do would be give up," she said.
Cindy Lowry, whom Barrymore's character is based on, said she spent a lot of time with Barrymore in California and Alaska. "She's really passionate about the things she cares about, and I think she had an appreciation for why I am so passionate about whales and oceans," she said.Continue »
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