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The spotlight dimming on Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich (file)

Gingrich campaign death watch

06/21/11 07:23PM

After the mass exodus to freedom from Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign (and how could we really blame them?), more staffers just quit today. Campaign Spokesman R.C. Hammond confirmed to NBC News two members of the finance team, fundraising director Jody Thomas and fundraising consultant Mary Heitman, left the campaign."Newt 2012 continues reorganization which is a grass roots driven, substantive solution orientated campaign. read more

GOP, Lady Gaga & marriage equality

06/21/11 07:06PM

Republican New York State Senator and recent marriage equality hero James Alesi gave a riveting speech at a rally in Albany today, introducing himself with a nod to none other than Lady Gaga.Alesi proudly declared, "I’m a Republican — I was born that way!"As the first Republican Senator to publically support the pending marriage equality bill in New York, Alesi noted in his speech that he  “lost what I thought were a lot of good friends, people that supported me,” but remains “committed to giving people that live in America what every American wants.” Amidst cheers from the crowd, Ale read more

The  new Last Word newsletter

The new Last Word newsletter

06/21/11 05:12PM

We’re giving our Last Word news alert a makeover. The old newsletter just got replaced with a fancier version — with colored pictures, might I add! You can expect a daily delivery of blog links, the Rewrites along with all the most recent video from the show. Lawrence may even do a couple of web extras just to keep you on your toes.We’re basically delivering a recap of the whole show straight to your inbox.If you already receive our news alerts you don’t need to do anything to get our new emails — newsletters will be delivered to your inbox weekday afternoons beginning July 1. read more

Everything Weiner DID NOT do

06/21/11 03:10PM

Today is Anthony Weiner's last official day on the job. The Speaker's office received a copy of his resignation letter yesterday. Unlike his circus-like press conferences, his letter was short and simple:"I hereby resign as a member of the House of Representatives for New York's Ninth Congressional District, effective at midnight, June 21, 2011. It has been an honor to serve the people of Queens and Brooklyn."In this Last Word web extra, Lawrence adds some much-needed perspective to this ending saga. read more

First Word: June 21, 2011

06/21/11 02:46PM

Happy first day of summer. Here are the stories shaping the rundown for tonight's show. See any good links on the web? Send them our way.President Obama to outline Afghan troop withdrawal plansJon Huntsman enters GOP race with cordial criticism of ObamaNewt Gingrich campaign fundraisers quitDirt bike fight: Rick Santorum ad mocks Jon Huntsman over anti-abortion pledgeHouse Minority Whip Steny Hoyer frowns on short-term debt dealDid Michele Bachmann’s use tax-payer money for tea party rally? read more

Axelrod talks marriage equality

06/20/11 09:50PM

Is President Obama doing enough to push the liberal agenda? Senior strategist for President Obama's reelection campaign, David Axelrod, discuses the president's position on marriage equality, the unrest at NetRoots and Tim Pawlenty's candidacy on The Last Word. read more

Obama impersonator defends act

06/20/11 09:40PM

Booted Barack Obama impersonator Reggie Brown took to the airwaves today, defending his controversial performance at Saturday’s Republican Leadership Conference after it was cut short.Initially, Brown received uproarious laughter and applause from the conservative crowd, cracking jokes about the president’s biracial roots. However, it was not until Brown began roasting some of the GOP 2012 contenders that the room got a little awkward. read more

Paul Ryan's unlikely critic

Paul Ryan's unlikely critic

06/20/11 08:32PM

Ever since Rep. Paul Ryan introduced his plan to kill Medicare as we know it, there's been a growing chorus of people speaking out against it. Last week, that chorus added an unlikely member: The leader of the South Florida Tea Party, Everett Wilkinson.Wilkinson put out an email to his supporters articulating the group's position on the Ryan plan and how it relates to their overall 2012 strategy. The first reporter to take notice was George Bennett of The Palm Beach Post. read more

Meghan McCain

Meghan McCain's advice to the GOP

06/20/11 06:50PM

Tonight, Meghan McCain joins the show. Never the shy one, the Daily Beast columnist has got a few bones to pick with the current Republican presidential field. In a new column posted today, she asks the GOP point blank, "How is it possible that this is the best we're doing so far?" To her, the group can do a way better job of tightening their message and stepping up their game. In a pep-talk of sorts, she offers up seven tips on how to beat Obama in 2012. A slice of McCain’s wisdom from Tip No. 1 — go the serious route:You are not cooler than President Obama. No, you are not. read more

Dems outpace GOP in fundraising

06/20/11 04:56PM

The DNC announced today it raked in $10.5 million last month, well ahead of the GOP. This amount includes money from the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising account by the DNC and Obama's re-election campaign.The RNC’s said it collected $6.2 million donations in May. Republican officials estimated they were $24 million in the hole when RNC chairman Reince Priebus took over. They said they reduced their debt by half last month.The Obama campaign wants to raise at least $60 million by the end of June. The campaign is on track to surpass the $750 million in 2008. read more

First Word: June 20, 2011

06/20/11 02:53PM

Here are some links we've been reading this afternoon, on this last day of spring. What headlines are you checking out?Florida Tea Party leader: GOP Medicare plan a ‘public policy nightmare’Meghan McCain's 7 Tips for Republican hopefulsJohn McCain blaming illegal immigrants for Arizona Wildfires?Mitt Romney under GOP fire on Afghanistan, abortionSupreme Court blocks massive sex-discrimination suit against Wal-MartNo, Gov. Pawlenty, tax cuts don’t pay for themselvesJon Stewart's feisty interview with Chris Wallace  read more