September 30th, 2010
04:31 PM ET

How important are the people around the president?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

All the president's men are headed for the exits... or at least a lot of them are.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is leaving his job in the West Wing on Friday to maybe run for mayor of Chicago, Illinois.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/09/30/art.rahm.jpg caption="White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel."]
And Emanuel isn't the only member of President Obama's inner-circle, also known as the Chicago Mafia, who's leaving or has left the administration.

Senior adviser David Axelrod plans to return to Chicago after the midterm elections to start working on the president's re-election campaign.

The president's economic team is also pretty much history. Larry Summers, the head of the National Economic Council, is going back to Harvard. Peter Orszag, the budget director, and Christina Romer, head of the council of economic advisers, have both left.

Over at the Defense Department, Secretary Robert Gates - who also served under George Bush - has suggested he plans to step down before President Obama's first term is over.

Of course, working for any administration is tough business. The hours are long, the pressure is intense, and it's not unusual to see lots of turnover in these jobs.

In President Obama's case, his approval numbers are sinking and his party faces an uphill battle in the midterm elections, but he now has a chance to bring in some new blood.

The replacement selections could be critical. Depending on whom he picks, President Obama might be able to deflect criticism that his administration is insular and out of touch. Or not.

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: President Barack Obama
September 30th, 2010
04:30 PM ET

Most important issue to you in midterm elections?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's no secret the American people are fed up with Washington, the politicians who make a living there on our tax dollars, and their inability to act on the issues that really matter.

Only three in 10 Americans say things are going well in the country today - according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll.

And you can bet, when these disillusioned voters cast their ballots for the midterm elections, they'll have many issues weighing on their minds.

This same poll shows 49 percent of those surveyed say the economy remains the top problem facing the country.

That's followed by 11 percent who say the deficit, 10 percent who say education, and nine percent who say Health Care and the Wars.

Other issues lower down on the list include: Illegal Immigration, Terrorism and Energy.

When asked what the most important economic problem is, people overwhelmingly say unemployment. No surprise there, with a national unemployment rate hovering just below 10 percent.

Other economic issues people worry about include Taxes, Housing, the Stock Market and Inflation.

These midterm elections are shaping up into some very interesting contests. With the anti-incumbent mood at record levels, people seem to be looking for something - anything - different... which has translated into big victories for the Tea Party.

Many Americans are unhappy with President Obama's policies, which could mean big losses for the Democrats. You don't need to look any further than the president's signature issue of Health Care.

Fewer than one in five Americans say the new health care reform law will help them personally; and almost half of the country wants Congress to repeal most of the major provisions.

Here’s my question to you: What issue is most important to you in the midterm elections?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Election Process • Elections