John King, USA

The latest political news and information on the most important stories affecting you.
September 17th, 2010
04:30 PM ET
September 17th, 2010
04:21 PM ET

Where in the World is Joe Klein?

Time Magazine political columnist Joe Klein is currently on a four-week, 12-state road trip that will take him from Pennsylvania to California. You can follow his travels here.

Filed under: JKUSA
September 17th, 2010
02:35 PM ET

New Consumer Watchdog on JKUSA tonight

John King sits down with Pres. Obama's newest adviser, Elizabeth Warren TONIGHT at 7p Eastern on CNN'S John King, USA.

Meet the woman who's been called everything from a "plain-spoken, supremely smart crusader" to a "power-hungry headline seeker."

Filed under: Extra
September 17th, 2010
02:20 PM ET

Who’s Fired Up and Ready to Go?

And What do “Busboys” Have to do With It?

With just over six weeks until the midterm elections, Republicans clearly are “fired up.”  A Curtis Gans nationwide study of voter turnout in 35 primaries held before September 1 shows the average percentage of citizens who voted in Republican primaries was the highest since 1970.  At the same time, the Democratic percentage was the lowest ever.  The report says, “The average Republican vote for statewide offices (U.S. Senator and Governor) in the primaries held through August 28 exceeded the Democratic vote,” and notes that hasn’t happened in the midterm primaries since 1930!

Can anything get Democratic voters excited?

On CNN’s John King USA, James Carville revealed some of his fellow Democratic strategists had an idea. (He calls these strategists “busboys” because they want to take all the current campaign issues off the table, just like busboys who clear tables at a restaurant.)

“Take everything off the table. Take it off the table,” said Carville, mimicking the “busboys” argument, “Let's appoint Elizabeth Warren and that will get everybody excited. Oh, yes! A new consumer protection agency! She is a great woman!  Really behind us!  She will do a great job!”  Carville says the “busboys” believe Warren’s appointment will drive Democratic voters and get turnout cranked up.

Warren got the job today. Be sure to tune in tonight at 7pm ET, John’s going one-on-one with her. But will her appointment drive-up Democratic enthusiasm?

“I'm not too sure,” says Carville, “I don't think that's going to work.”  Carville’s bottom line: Democrats need more issues and more conflict to drive up voter enthusiasm.  “We need waiters to put things on the table. Not busboys to take things off.”

We’ll see.

- CNN Senior Writer Joe Von Kanel

Filed under: Extra
September 17th, 2010
01:35 PM ET

Be in the Know: Today's Political Bullet Points

If I were in a playful mood, my own headline today would be, “We interrupt the 2010 midterm campaign for this 2012 GOP presidential preview.” The Values Voter Summit in DC and a Sarah Palin appearance in Iowa offer a glimpse at many of the GOP’s 2012 contenders, and their message today is a mix of scorn for just about everything Obama. Now, back to our regular programming: It is striking, and a tad sad even though predictable, to talk to strategists in both parties who say just about every move made these days is about 2010 tactics, not governing America. Anyway, on to the offerings from Erick and Jane: Erick is closely tracking Democratic jitters about following their leadership on economic issues as the election draws closer. It’s nowhere near a revolt, but there are worries in the ranks. Jane is all too happy to highlight Karl Rove’s revised, to be polite, take on O’Donnell’s chances in Delaware. Happy reading, and have a great weekend. – John King Blogger/Founder Jane Hamsher
– Karl Rove gets it in gear, flip-flops to support the "nutty" and "unelectable" Christine O'Donnell.

– Who's picking out drapes for Rahm's WH Chief-of-Staff office now?

– Christine O'Donnell won't debate because, unlike Sarah Palin, she refuses to use her hand.'s editor Erick-Woods Erickson

– Democrat plans for small business relief and Stimulus 2 are in jeopardy because of Democratic infighting. They are having a harder time holding the line in face of November approaching.

– It's Constitution Day. Tea Party activists take this day seriously.

– The Democrats have talked a lot about a House "firewall," but we should pay attention to their Senate firewall too. Washington State is looking good for them, but West Virginia is in play.

Filed under: Bullet Points