Political Capital
White smoke rises from the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel meaning that cardinals elected a new pope on the second day of their secret conclave on March 13, 2013 at the Vatican.

Photograph by Alberto Pizzoli/AFP via Getty Images

White smoke rises from the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel meaning that cardinals elected a new pope on the second day of their secret conclave on March 13, 2013 at the Vatican.

Vatican Tweets: ‘Habemus Papam’ — Francesco I, First From New World

Updated repeatedly from 3:18 to 6:40 pm EDT White smoke in Rome: Better than any exit poll. This is how the word was spread, online: HABEMUS PAPAM \o/ \o/ \o/ \o/ \o/ \o/ — VaticanCommunication (@PCCS_VA) March 13, 2013 A...

Read more »

President Barack Obama waits for a heavy rain to pass before crossing West Executive Avenue from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building to the West Wing of the White House, March 12, 2013.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Barack Obama waits for a heavy rain to pass before crossing West Executive Avenue from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building to the West Wing of the White House, March 12, 2013.

Obama Slips Below 50% — White House: ‘Everyone Looks Bad’

President Barack Obama’s approval rating has dropped below 50 percent in a new survey, as the public sours on Washington’s handling of the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts that went into effect at the beginning of the month. The...

Read more »

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, left, and Representative Steve Israel, a Democrat from New York, in Washington in this file photo.

Photograph by Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, left, and Representative Steve Israel, a Democrat from New York, in Washington in this file photo.

House Democrats: 52 May Equal 17

House Democrats, needing 17 seats to win a House majority in 2014, have identified 52 potential targets. That provides plenty of opportunities to regain control of the chamber for President Barack Obama’s last two years in office, according to Rep....

Read more »

Sen. Rand Paul, center, speaks during a news conference with Sen. Mike Lee, left, and Sen. Ted Cruz to announce a plan to defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, on March 13, 2013 in Washington.

Photograph by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Sen. Rand Paul, center, speaks during a news conference with Sen. Mike Lee, left, and Sen. Ted Cruz to announce a plan to defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, on March 13, 2013 in Washington.

Rand Paul #filiblizzard: Round 2?

There’s no question that Rand Paul came out ahead of the game with his 13-hour filibuster in the Senate — the kudos were bipartisan. He got an answer to his question about the Obama administration’s ability to target Americans on...

Read more »

A law enforcement official talks to unidentified people during a round up in Columbia, South Carolina in this file photo.

Photograph by Erik Campos/The State/AP Photo

A law enforcement official talks to unidentified people during a round up in Columbia, South Carolina in this file photo.

Immigration: All Roads, South Carolina

Updated at 2:05 PM EDT South Carolina isn’t a border state, yet its radio and television airwaves will soon be saturated with advertisements by groups leading the charge both for and against a broad immigration overhaul taking shape in Congress....

Read more »

The Easter Bunny looks out from the Truman Balcony during the Annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House in this file photo.

Photograph by Tim Sloan/AFP via Getty Images

The Easter Bunny looks out from the Truman Balcony during the Annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House in this file photo.

Easter Bunny Eats the Budget Talks

This begs the question of whether the Easter Bunny has a budget: Leaders of both parties in Congress have asked for a return to regular order, pushing for committees to work through bill drafting and for floor action to finish...

Read more »

An adult daycare center in Novato, California.

Photograph by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

An adult daycare center in Novato, California.

Obama: Debt No ‘Immediate Crisis’ — CBO: ‘Serious Consequences’

“We don’t have an immediate crisis in terms of debt,” President Barack Obama said, during a discussion of the federal deficit and budget talks with Congress in an interview aired today by ABC News’ “Good Morning America.”’ “In fact,” the president...

Read more »

Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, speaks at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Tampa.

Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, speaks at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Tampa.

`Wacko Birds’ Backed by Conservative Senators PAC

It’s not every day that people are asked to support “Wacko Birds.” That’s what the Senate Conservatives Fund is doing — on behalf of Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. The PAC committed to the election of “true conservatives” drew...

Read more »

Elementary school kids pose for a picture in front of the White House on March 8, 2013. Their class had the last tour of the day.

Photograph by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Elementary school kids pose for a picture in front of the White House on March 8, 2013. Their class had the last tour of the day.

Obama Asks Secret Service to Let Schoolkids in for White House Tours

In Washington, the time-honored threat of the impact of government budget cuts has centered on closing the Washington Monument. The obelisk on the National Mall is already closed, however — thanks to repairs underway following the 2011 earthquake centered in...

Read more »

Rep. Paul Ryan, center, Chairman of the House Budget Committee, joins with other members of the committee as he arrives for a press conference at the Capitol where he unveiled his budget plan on March 12, 2013 in Washington.

Photograph by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Rep. Paul Ryan, center, Chairman of the House Budget Committee, joins with other members of the committee as he arrives for a press conference at the Capitol where he unveiled his budget plan on March 12, 2013 in Washington.

Bloomberg by the Numbers: $4.6 Trillion

That’s how much House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan would cut out of federal spending over the next 10 years. Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican who was his party’s vice presidential nominee in 2012, introduced a proposal yesterday that he said...

Read more »