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December 10th, 2010
10:26 AM ET

Video: 'Don't ask, don't tell' fails in Senate

CNN's Anderson Cooper and his panel discuss the repeal effort of "don't ask, don't tell."


Filed under: 360° Radar • Ed Rollins • Paul Begala
November 4th, 2010
12:35 PM ET

Rollins: Don't underestimate Palin for 2012 run

Ed Rollins: Don't underestimate Palin for 2012 run.

Ed Rollins: Don't underestimate Palin for 2012 run.

Ed Rollins
CNN Senior Political Contributor

Editor's note: Ed Rollins, a senior political contributor for CNN, is senior presidential fellow at the Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency at Hofstra University. He is a principal with the Dilenschneider Group, a global public relations firm. He was White House political director for President Ronald Reagan and chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

New York (CNN) - The 2010 election is over and the voters have made an overwhelming statement: "Things need to be different in Washington and across the country." They have chosen representatives at every level to make that happen. The election results are historic and far-reaching.

The last thing Americans want to start thinking about is another election two years down the road, but I guarantee you the White House is looking at the electoral map, assessing the damage that has been done to its re-election strategy and planning its re-election campaign right now.

Equally important, in the very near future many Republicans will be starting (if they haven't already) their planning process to begin seeking support in early caucus and primary states such as Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and beyond. The Iowa caucus is February 6, 2012, and Republicans have it all to themselves this time. (I assume the president won't be challenged on the Democratic side). If these candidates want to succeed they must begin now.

The results Tuesday have convinced many of them that President Obama can be beaten. What a difference two years can make. The extraordinary candidate of 2008 who became the 44th president now looks very vulnerable.

People say to me, who do you have who can beat President Obama? First and foremost, re-elections are about the incumbent. If the country sours on a president, the voters start looking for an alternative. Someone will emerge. And I think we have some tremendous candidates with far more experience then the president had when he was elected.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Ed Rollins
November 2nd, 2010
12:24 PM ET

Opinion: Why your vote matters

Editor's note: CNN's "Election Night in America" coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET tonight. Ed Rollins, a senior political contributor for CNN, was White House political director for President Ronald Reagan and chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. The opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of Ed Rollins.

Ed Rollins
CNN Senior Political Contributor

Even though the American elections won't be decided until the polls close tonight, the Irish bookies late last week started paying off bettors who predicted Republicans would win a majority in the House of Representatives. And they stopped making new bets. That's a pretty definite statement!

Although I am very confident my party (Republican) will win the House, I usually like to wait until the voters have voted before taking any victory laps. Many of my pundit friends have had a field day attempting to analyze, over the last several weeks, the early voting patterns of those of you who have cast ballots already and argue what it all means. I have always been more concerned with the late counting of votes rather than the early voting.

And because so many races are so close, this is one election in which every vote can matter.

Follow the latest on the election at CNN's Election Center

There is an old saying in the business: "We only hold elections to see if the pollsters are right!" And if the pollsters are right, it will be a big night for Republicans and a lot of second-guessing at the White House.

Certainly viewers will know some trends and results shortly after the polls close. But in other cases, it will be late Tuesday and maybe even sometime Wednesday before we know the final results - particularly in the Senate, where key Western races may alter the final outcome.

Here is what's at stake: There are 37 Senate races being contested (19 Democratic and 18 Republican). Fourteen of those seats are open, meaning either the incumbent is not running for re-election or has been defeated in a primary.

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Filed under: 2010 Elections • Ed Rollins • Raw Politics
August 25th, 2010
06:16 PM ET

Rollins: Political earthquake shakes GOP

Ed Rollins
CNN Senior Political Contributor

Political experts are getting blindsided by the frenetic politics of 2010, Rollins says.

Political experts are getting blindsided by the frenetic politics of 2010, Rollins says.

Editor's note: Ed Rollins, a senior political contributor for CNN, is senior presidential fellow at the Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency at Hofstra University. He is a principal with the Dilenschneider Group, a global public relations firm. He was White House political director for President Ronald Reagan and chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

New York (CNN) - Republican primary voters yesterday sent shock waves of earthquake proportions from Florida to Alaska.

The upset victory in Florida's gubernatorial primary of the Tea Party- "embraced" multimillionaire businessman Rick Scott over the establishment-endorsed Attorney General Bill McCollum continues the string of outsider candidates knocking the daylights out of the Republican establishment.

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Filed under: Ed Rollins • Opinion • Raw Politics • Republicans
August 18th, 2010
04:37 PM ET

Obama stumbles as parties get desperate

Ed Rollins
CNN Senior Political Contributor

Ed Rollins: Ten weeks before Election Day, both parties desperate to find strategy to win

Ed Rollins: Ten weeks before Election Day, both parties desperate to find strategy to win

With a little more than 10 weeks left to go, the rhetoric has accelerated and both sides are trying to find an issue that changes the dynamics of Election Day 2010.

The Democrats are desperate to turn the debate away from a sagging economy and chronic unemployment. The Republicans are trying desperately to find one more wedge issue that can knock out a couple more Democrats and assure the GOP of a House majority, or add another Senate seat or two to the five or six it thinks it will win.

And whatever the president tries to do, his sinking poll numbers are hurting his party, and Democrats are avoiding him in droves. "We have been able to deliver the most progressive legislative agenda - one that helps working families - not just in one generation, maybe two, maybe three," President Obama said Monday night at a Hollywood fundraiser.

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Filed under: Ed Rollins • Opinion • President Barack Obama
August 11th, 2010
01:34 PM ET

GOP victories this fall not guaranteed

Ed Rollins
CNN Senior Political Contributor

Rollins says Republican victories in midterms are not assured

Rollins says Republican victories in midterms are not assured

Trying to read the tea leaves and predict elections this year is a gut-wrenching exercise in futility. And my party's march to Election Day glory is having a lot of bumps along the way.

The obvious thing that repeats itself over and over in polls and primary election is the public is fed up with the status quo and is not going to support Washington-endorsed candidates or incumbents automatically.

The big exception to that statement was the Colorado Senate primary Tuesday, which finally gave President Obama and the Democrat establishment a primary victory, with appointed Sen. Michael Bennet easily beating former Colorado House Speaker and Bill Clinton-endorsed candidate Andrew Romanoff.

The Republican establishment didn't do so well in Colorado with its favored candidate, former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton, who was beaten by Tea Party-endorsed conservative candidate Ken Buck, a local prosecutor.

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Filed under: Ed Rollins • Opinion
June 16th, 2010
10:53 AM ET

Mr. President: Enough talk, now action!

Ed Rollins
CNN Senior Political Contributor

President Obama spoke to the nation about the oil disaster from the Oval Office on Tuesday night.

President Obama spoke to the nation about the oil disaster from the Oval Office on Tuesday night.

Editor's note: Ed Rollins, a senior political contributor for CNN, is senior presidential fellow at the Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency at Hofstra University. He is a principal with the Dilenschneider Group, a global public relations firm. He was White House political director for President Reagan and chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

New York - President Obama has given a lot of speeches. He's given hundreds since he became president. He's given six in the last two days on his trip to the Gulf.

But last night's was the first speech he has given from the Oval Office. It will not be his last. But it was important, and he gave it well. It took him five paragraphs to say the serious words we have all known for weeks, but he needed to say: "This oil spill is the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced."

He went on to say what every American and every victim of this disaster wanted to hear: "We will fight this spill with everything we've got for as long it takes. We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused. And we will do whatever's necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy."

The rest of the speech didn't matter nearly as much. There were other things he wanted to say, and some of them were important. But the reality is that those 44 words quoted above are action items: We will fight with everything; we will make BP pay; and we will help our citizens recover. Now the president has to make it happen. As our nation's leader, he made commitments and they must be kept.

Keep reading...

April 29th, 2010
04:31 PM ET

Crist a victim of Tea Party – and himself

Ed Rollins
CNN Senior Political Contributor

The governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, is announcing today that he will not run as a Republican for the open U.S. Senate race, but will seek that office as an independent.

After months of campaigning for the Republican nomination he has decided there is no way he can win the August 24 Republican primary and would lose big time to his more conservative challenger.

This is a big story and has ramifications beyond the sunshine state. Crist was a rising star in the Republican Party and viewed himself as a future candidate for president. He may be the first moderate casualty of the Tea Party movement but certainly not the last.

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Filed under: 2010 Elections • 360° Radar • Ed Rollins • Opinion • Tea Party
April 21st, 2010
12:55 PM ET

Is Wall Street too big to cheat?

Ed Rollins
CNN Senior Political Contributor

Rollins: GOP should join with Democrats in passing curbs on Wall Street's excesses

Rollins: GOP should join with Democrats in passing curbs on Wall Street's excesses

As the Tea Party movement has become the vehicle for the frustration of hundreds of thousands of Americans against elected officials and the government bailout of Wall Street, I've thought many times about Gordon Gekko, the fictional character in the superb 1987 movie "Wall Street."

Played by Michael Douglas, Gekko speaks to a meeting of stockholders in words that became the anthem of the '80s. "The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed - for lack of a better word - is good. Greed is right. Greed works!"

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Filed under: Economy • Ed Rollins • Wall St.
April 15th, 2010
12:38 PM ET

With voters divided, GOP shows strength

Ed Rollins
CNN Senior Political Contributor

The political campaign season is off and running, whether you're ready or not. According to the latest CNN poll, registered voters share the polarization that now rules Washington.

Nearly as many voters hold unfavorable opinions about each of the three political entities tested as favorable ones. Democrats are liked by 49 percent of voters and disliked by 46 percent. My party is equally liked and disliked: Republicans have a 46 percent favorable and 46 percent unfavorable rating, a major improvement from where we were a year ago.

And the political rage of the moment, the Tea Party, has a 38 percent favorable and 36 percent unfavorable rating. But as proof that the Tea Party is an unpredictable force that may stay around for a while, the newest Rasmussen poll showed that 24 percent of U.S. voters now say they consider themselves a part of the Tea Party movement. That's an 8-point increase from a month ago.

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Filed under: 2010 Elections • Ed Rollins • Republicans
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