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INSIDE POLITICS

The Washington Times' political blog.

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Top staffers brief Obama on quake status

President Obama, who was golfing in Martha's Vineyard Tuesday afternoon when a 5.9-magnitude earthquake rocked parts of the East Coast, convened a conference call with top staffers to discuss the status of critical infrastructure, the White House said.

Poll: Obama struggling against top GOP rivals

A new Gallup poll shows President Obama would face a tight race against four Republican presidential contenders, with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney beating him by two percentage points if the election were held today.

Tea party leader: Perry has problems

The outspoken leader of a popular tea party group says Texas Gov. Rick Perry has skeletons in his closet that could hurt his chances of winning support from the grass roots movement and securing the Republican presidential nomination.

West open to Fla. Senate run

Rep. Allen B. West, an outspoken freshman Republican from Florida, told a gathering of tea party supporters Monday evening that, while he doesn't expect to make the race, he is leaving the door open to running for Senate in 2012.

**FILE** White House Press Secretary Jay Carney gestures during his daily news briefing at the White House on Aug., 10, 2011. (Associated Press)

Fundraising? Everybody does it, White House says

White House press secretary Jay Carney defended President Obama's decision to headline a glitzy Manhattan fundraiser Thursday night, arguing that other politicians are doing the same thing and voters understand that's how the system works.