March 17th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Is Gov. Palin GOP's best fundraiser?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin may step back into the national spotlight in June when she's been invited to headline a major Republican fund-raising dinner. The 2008 vice presidential nominee has kept a pretty low profile since John McCain lost the election last November.

Is Palin the best choice for GOP fundraiser?

She's made a handful of trips outside of Alaska, but has skipped big gatherings, like the Conservative Political Action Conference last month. But the upcoming spring gala is the main fund-raising event of the year for congressional Republicans, and the committee chairmen are confident Palin will bring the necessary star power to raise the big bucks.

They call her "one of the brightest rising stars" and "one of the most popular and recognizable faces" in the GOP. She's certainly recognizable, but for many of the wrong reasons. Of course it will probably be a challenge for anyone to raise money in this climate for the Republican Party, which is at all time low approval ratings.

So far, Governor Palin hasn't officially accepted the invitation. Polls suggest Palin remains a favorite of social conservatives; a February survey showed she is the candidate that Republicans said they will most likely support in 2012 - beating out both Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney.

However, Palin remains pretty controversial among the national electorate. A Newsweek poll taken early this month found she had a 44 percent favorable rating - and 42 percent unfavorable. And if she runs in 2012, count on the Democrats to make a whole series of commercials out of those disastrous interviews she did with Katie Couric.

Here’s my question to you: When it comes to fundraising, is Gov. Sarah Palin the best the Republicans can do?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Fundraising • GOP • Sarah Palin
March 17th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

What should be done about AIG bonuses?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The outrage against insurance giant AIG and its bonus plan continues to mount, with one senator suggesting the company's executives should kill themselves. Republican Charles Grassley told an Iowa radio station the executives should take a Japanese approach toward accepting responsibility and "come before the American people and take that deep bow and say I'm sorry and then either do one of two things - resign, or go commit suicide."

What do you think should be done about the AIG bonuses?

Grassley later backtracked, saying he didn't really mean they should kill themselves. Grassley is only one of many angered with AIG's plan to pay its executives $165 million in bonuses after the company took more than $170 billion in taxpayer bailout money.

No wonder Grassley is hot; according to a letter from New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to Congressman Barney Frank, 11 of the people who got these retention bonuses are no longer there. The top recipient got $6.4 million; and the top ten recipients combined got $42 million.

Democratic Senator Chris Dodd has suggested possibly taxing AIG executives who got bonuses. And, House Democrats are trying to find a way for Congress to force the company to return money used for bonuses.

For its part, AIG insists it's legally required to give employees these bonuses under contracts that were negotiated before the company got bailout money.

Here’s my question to you: What should be done about the AIG bonuses?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Economy
March 17th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Worried about a depression?


Life size bronze statues depict men standing in line during the Great Depression. (PHOTO CREDIT: MARK WILSON/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

More Americans are worried that our current recession might spiral into another Great Depression. A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows 45 percent of those surveyed think a 1930s-style depression is likely to happen in the next year; that's up from 38 percent who felt that way last December.

The good news is Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke isn't one of those people. When asked on "60 Minutes" if the country is headed into a new depression, he said "I think we've averted that risk. I think we've gotten past that."

This poll described the Great Depression as a time when about one in four people were out of work, banks failed across the country and millions of Americans were temporarily homeless or unable to feed their families.

Depression or no depression, the survey shows 89 percent of Americans describe economic conditions today as "poor;" only 11 percent say they're "good."

When asked how long it will take for the economy to recover, 10 percent say within a year; 32 percent say between one and two years, 24 percent say between two and three years. 12 percent say between three and four years; and 22 percent think even longer than that.

As for Bernanke - he says the recession will probably end this year - and a recovery will start next year. The Fed chief says stabilizing the banking system is the key to a full recovery.

Here’s my question to you: How worried are you that the recession will become a depression?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Recession
March 17th, 2009
12:45 PM ET

Obama a leader who actually leads

What a welcome change to feel like someone is running the country instead of running it into the ground. President Obama has done more in eight weeks than George W. Bush did in eight years - unless you include starting a couple of wars.

Cafferty: It's almost as though our president was born to do exactly what he's doing.

While the armchair quarterbacks second guess the new president, he gets up every day and does things, lots of things.

Whether it's creating commissions for women and girls, ordering the investigation of President Bush's use of signing statements, or jamming a huge stimulus package through Congress, the man is working his tail off. And he seems to be loving every minute of it. It's almost as though our president was born to do exactly what he's doing. He's leading, and boy, is that refreshing.

To read jack's full CNN.com column, click here.

Filed under: President Barack Obama