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The 8 memorable moments from Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi testimony (VIDEO)

Obama’s inaugural crowds, before and after (in 4 photos)

The “second-term curse”? It’s not so bad.

Chris Christie is really, really popular, and other takeaways from the latest New Jersey poll

Rand Paul’s emerging conservative crusade

Obama’s liberal shift vs. reality

An amazing look at the most commonly used words in inauguration speeches

Stephen Colbert assesses the GOP’s electoral vote gambit (VIDEO)

Hillary Clinton reaches new heights of political popularity


* House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told the moderate Ripon Society on Tuesday that President Obama’s goal is to "annihilate the Republican Party." He added:"[G]iven what we heard yesterday about the president’s vision for his second term, it’s pretty clear to me and should be clear to all of you that he knows he can’t do any of that as long as the House is controlled by Republicans."

* The House adopted a measure Wednesday to suspend the debt ceiling for nearly four months. The bill passed 285 to 144, with 33 Republicans and 111 Democrats voting against it. The Senate plans to accept the measure for a vote without changes.

* Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has decided to allow women to serve in combat roles, a watershed decision that comes after years of calls for more inclusion.

* Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) leads Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) 51 percent to 30 percent in a new Quinnipiac University survey. Booker is exploring a Senate run, even as Lautenberg, who turned 89 on Wednesday, hasn't yet announced whether he will run for reelection.


* Bill Clinton will appear at a March 16 fundraiser for Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.). Pryor is potentially one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats facing reelection in 2014.

* A GOP-backed measure that would apportion Virginia's electoral votes by congressional district took its first step toward passage in the state legislature Wednesday, clearing a state Senate subcommittee. In several states Obama won in 2012, Republicans have been pushing for measures to allocate electoral votes by congressional district, which would give them an advantage there.

* Whatever happened to the chair Clint Eastwood used as a stand-in for Obama in his speech at the Republican National Convention? Turns out it's in Republican National Committee Chairman Renice Priebus's office.

* White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said he has "no idea" whether Beyonce lip-synced at Monday's inaugural proceedings. “I’m glad you guys are focused on the important issues of the day here," responded Carney, when asked about it. An unnamed inaugural official told CNN the singer did lip-sync her performance.

* With the Baltimore Ravens playing the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl, which side will House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) take?  "I'm rooting for the 49ers. ... I'm not rooting against Baltimore," she said. Pelosi has roots in Baltimore, where her father served as mayor. She represents a San Francisco-based district in the House. "The only consolation I have is the Harbaugh parents must have a more difficult decision to make on that day," Pelosi added.


Some serious sign-spinning.

With Aaron Blake