Unions are under siege, as Republican governors have curtailed collective bargaining rights in some states. As well, national labor leaders say President Barack Obama and Democrats in Washington have let them down.
Recent polls show that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's rival for the GOP presidential nomination, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, is more popular with the Tea Party rank and file. On the stump in New Hampshire over the weekend, the two leading candidates campaigned hard, and somewhat against type.
The former Alaska governor and GOP vice presidential nominee addressed a Tea Party rally in Iowa on Saturday. She criticized both President Obama and Republican presidential candidates, but said nothing about her own plans to run, despite her cheering supporters.
Congress returns to Washington this week after taking most of August off. On tap this week: Twelve budget bills, a possible fight over a roads bill, a meeting of a new "supercommittee" to cut the budget deficit. To start it off: a jobs speech by President Obama to a rare, joint session.
The TV comic's political action committee — Americans For A Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow — is just one of hundreds of outside groups legally allowed to make "unlimited independent expenditures" in the 2012 presidential race. But the people who run those groups are increasingly close to the candidates themselves.
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