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Apr 202013
 

Joe Raedle/Getty Image(DETROIT) — Vice President Joe Biden will be the keynote speaker at a Democratic party fundraising dinner in Michigan tonight. The appearance at Detroit’s Cobo Center comes as speculation slowly percolates over a 2016 run for the Oval Office by the vice president, a potential move for which he has not announced his intentions.

Biden will also attend a fundraiser in South Carolina early next month, according to The Post and Courier. Michigan and South Carolina are among a handful of the first states to run their Democratic Party primaries each election cycle, and have a strong influence over the rest of the nomination process. These trips couple with a visit to another primary state by Biden last January: Iowa’s inaugural ball.

During the 2012 campaign Biden heavily implied he would consider another run.

Tickets for tonight’s event costs a minimum $160 per person with tiers of up to $10,500 for large group buys. The gala is being billed as a “Jefferson-Jackson” dinner, named for the two former presidents. The term is commonly fixed to the annual gala dinners for many states’ Democratic parties.

Michigan Sen. Carl Levin will introduce the vice president this evening. Senator Debbie Stabenow is also expected to attend.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Mar 312013
 

Cindy Ord/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker answered viewer questions from Facebook and Twitter for an ABC News’ web exclusive before joining the This Week roundtable on Sunday.  After Booker discussed his future Senate plans, his time as Newark mayor, and his Twitter routine, he admitted to a few other personal habits.  He believes that his job “drove him to drink” – but coffee is the vice in question.

“I did not drink coffee before this job. I always say this job drove me to drink,” Booker joked.

Read More Below:

How many hours a day do you spend on Twitter?

“I guess it’s so seamless that I don’t really think about it that way. So it’s like going from meeting to meeting, or waiting for people to come into the office. A lot of it happens in the early morning when I wake up or late at night, which gives a lot of my followers this idea that I don’t sleep. But if I wake up… like this morning around four o’clock, I’ll start checking my Twitter and responding to people.”

Do you feel you can take a day off from tweeting?

“You know, it’s so integrated. It’s like saying ‘do I want to take a day off from talking or do I want to take a day off from connecting to people.’ And I’ve looked at the averages, maybe sometimes 15, 20 tweets a day. Sometimes it goes down, sometimes it goes up depending on what’s going on. But… this is the democratization of our democracy in a weird way. Because so many forces are pulling people away, leaders away from the people, special interest groups, money in politics, creating more of an elite environment. But I think that social media has a chance to pull people back and have politicians far more accessible, far more transparent, far more connected, and ultimately move from a hierarchical society to a level playing field.”

What are your thoughts on ‘Clinton/Booker 2016′?

“Unless Clinton/Booker 2016 is some kind of new rock band that might be coming out… look, at the end of the day in life, purpose is far more important than position. And so many of us lose sight of where we are by looking at where we’re going to go. So right now I’m mayor of the city of Newark and I love what I’m doing. In many ways, this is my highest aspiration in terms of having a job where I can really help people. The next thing I’m thinking about doing next year is possibly running for the United States Senate. But I think when you start going further… from that, it starts to get a little absurd.”

What do you believe is your best policy achievement as mayor?

“I think the best thing you can say, and it’s less policy and more spirit, is that we’ve taken a city that used to be disregarded, disrespected, and just plain dissed, that was losing population, losing tax base, losing business, and now we’ve reversed those trends. Now people really have a lot of respect for Newark. First time in 60 years our population is growing. Our tax base is growing. The first new hotels in our downtown in 40 years. First new office towers in decades. So creating jobs at a pretty dramatic clip for our residents.”

 

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Mar 232013
 

Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images(CINCINNATI) — Ashley Judd made a rare reference to her possible political aspirations on Friday.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Judd spoke about her future while giving the keynote address at the American Counseling Association’s 2013 conference at the Duke Energy Center in Cincinnati, which borders Kentucky.

Judd also tweeted about her speech, saying, “Heartfelt thanks to American Counseling Assoc for having me as your Keynote Speaker today. Thank you for your dedication to hope & healing.”

Judd has only rarely spoken publicly of her political aspirations, but is reportedly considering entering the Democratic primary to take on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY-R), according to Kentucky political sources.

The ACA posted photos of Judd addressing the crowd, wearing a patterned dress and posing with a T-shirt that read, “Keep Calm and Call a Counselor,” a take-off on the famous British phrase from World War II, “Keep Calm and Carry On.”

The group also posted a Facebook message calling Judd’s speech “truly inspirational,” adding that she expressed “gratitude for the unique role that counselors play in shaping important life decisions for recovery.”

ABC News learned on Friday that former President Bill Clinton has reached out to Judd, encouraging her to enter the race and promising support.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Mar 172013
 

TOBY JORRIN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told ABC News’ Martha Raddatz during an exclusive interview for This Week that talk of including revenue as part of an effort to strike a so-called “grand bargain” to address the $16 trillion debt of the United States was “over,” leaving Democrats and Republicans where they have been for months – at loggerheads.

“The president believes that we have to have more taxes from the American people. We’re not going to get very far,” Boehner said. “The president got his tax hikes on January 1.  The talk about raising revenue is over.  It’s time to deal with the spending problem.”

Boehner said the United States does not face an immediate debt problem, agreeing with recent comments by President Obama – but he added debt is an issue that will have to be addressed.

“We do not have an immediate debt crisis – but we all know that we have one looming,” he said. “And we have one looming because we have entitlement programs that are not sustainable in their current form. They’re going to go bankrupt.”

Boehner said “hope springs eternal” in regards to the possibility of a budget deal, and told Raddatz that he has a “very good relationship” with President Obama and that he “absolutely” trusts him. He added that the president’s recent outreach — or so called “charm offensive” –intended to woo Republicans, is a “good thing.”

“It’s always a good thing to engage in more conversation, engage more members in the conversation that have not been involved up to this point,” he said.

Raddatz asked Boehner about the divergent messages seeming to emerge from CPAC, this weekend’s conservative political conference, citing speeches by Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Marco Rubio.

“There’s nothin’ wrong with the principles of our party,” he said. “But Republicans have not done as an effective job as we should in terms of talking about our principles in terms that average people can appreciate — why balancing the budget, as an example, would be good for American families. We’ve got to do a better job of helping people understand what our principles are in terms that they deal with every day.”

On gun control, when asked if he would commit to a vote on the House floor Boehner told Raddatz ” we’ll see what the Senate does, we’ll review it, and we’re going to continue to have our hearings and review this issue.”

Lastly, Boehner, who is Catholic, addressed the election of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the new pope, Pope Francis.

“Well, this is the first time that we’ve had a pope from the Americas,” Boehner said. “So, I think it’s a giant step forward for the church.  Latin America is a very, very Catholic continent.  And I do believe that Pope Francis is the right person to really bring reform to the church.

“They’ve got a number of issues at the Vatican that I think need fresh eyes,” Boehner added. “And he’s clearly made a commitment to clean up some of the problems that the church has had.  And it’s pretty clear from his humble nature that his papacy will be one that I think a lot of people will appreciate.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Mar 102013
 

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) DNC Chair and close friend of former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords, said “Gabby is doing so well.” Wasserman Schultz joined ABC News in a web exclusive after her appearance on the This Week roundtable Sunday. She discussed her political career and shared news about Giffords.

“Gabby is doing so well. She’s made tremendous progress. She continues to make progress,” Wasserman Schultz said. ”She’s given a couple of short speeches. We saw how incredible she was during her testimony in front of the United States Senate. She’s started an organization with her husband, Mark Kelly, Americans for Responsible Solutions.  And they’re advocating all over the country for a responsible approach to dealing with gun violence and gun safety.”

 

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio