politics

Thursday was one of the most important days of Hillary Clinton's political career. The Democratic presidential candidate faced grilling for more than eight hours over the 2012 terror attack on the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, that claimed the lives of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

The questions from the 12 House Select Committee members — seven Republicans and five Democrats — split mostly along partisan lines.

It's been more than a month since Oregon Governor Kate Brown told a reporter after a parade during the Pendleton Round Up that she's doing what most political observers expected: running for Oregon governor.

Canada's Liberal Party won a decisive majority of parliamentary seats Monday, ending nearly a decade of Conservative Party rule. Voters gave Liberals nearly 40 percent of the overall vote compared to the Conservatives' 32 percent. The left-leaning New Democrats had just over 19 percent of the vote.

Justin Trudeau, a 43-year-old former high school teacher and son of the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, assumes the office his father held from 1968 through 1984 with a short interruption.

Taking on Wall Street makes for good politics in the Democratic Party. And several of the candidates at Tuesday night's debate had tough words about big banks. That was particularly true of former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Although he didn't say so directly, O'Malley suggested several times that consolidation in the banking business was a big factor in the 2008 financial crash and that the U.S. economy remains vulnerable because of it.

This post was updated at 10:15 a.m. ET

The first Democratic debate brought out some passionate and, at times, awkward moments from the five candidates on stage. A highlight of the night was when Bernie Sanders decided he'd had enough of Hillary Clinton's email scandal, exclaiming "the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails."

But Sanders later stumbled on foreign policy, and Clinton struggled to defend her changing positions.

Here's each candidate's best and worst moment from Tuesday night:

This post was updated at 11:15 p.m.

After two rollicking Republican debates, the Democrats' first face-off delivered punches but was policy-focused and far more civil.

Compared to the crowded GOP debates, the stage this evening in Las Vegas seemed bare. Just five Democrats faced off: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee.

A bruised Hillary Clinton will have much to prove as she takes the debate stage Tuesday evening alongside four of her Democratic presidential challengers. The former secretary of state has been damaged by lingering questions about her private email server and doubts about her trustworthiness.

That has partly enabled Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders to ride a wave of progressive support to a lead over her in New Hampshire and an impressive $25 million fundraising haul last quarter.

Want to follow what the presidential candidates are saying on Facebook, but not quite ready to turn over your news feed to pleas for money, stilted memes and behind-the-scenes pics from Iowa and New Hampshire?

Interested in hearing more from, say, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, but a little hesitant to declare to your Facebook friends that you "like" them?

There's a hack for that!

There was chaos on Capitol Hill on Thursday after front-runner Rep. Kevin McCarthy withdrew his name from the House speakership election. The closed-door House Republican meeting that was supposed to emerge with a speaker nominee spilled out into the hallway outside of the House Ways and Means Room in the Longworth Office Building. That's where reporters rushed lawmakers to find out exactly what had happened and where the conference might go from here.

Here's a peek into that hallway, in 60 seconds:

In a stunning turn of events, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has withdrawn from the race to become the next speaker of the House.

McCarthy was the favorite ahead of Thursday's closed-door vote by House Republicans. He was in a three-way race for the top spot in the House with Reps. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Daniel Webster, R-Fla.

This post was updated at 4:25 p.m.

In a shocking move Thursday afternoon, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., pulled out of the race for speaker of the House, throwing the GOP leadership race into chaos and confusion.

According to Republican congressmen coming out of the caucus meeting — where lawmakers were expected to pick a successor to retiring House Speaker John Boehner — McCarthy told Republicans he didn't have a path to victory.

One of the brand names of American polling, Gallup, is letting the 2016 horse race simply gallop on by.

After a 2012 election in which the storied organization was further off than other polls, it has decided it won't conduct any head-to-head polling in the presidential primary or general election. Politico first reported the news.

That doesn't mean Gallup is out of the polling game entirely. The company will still conduct research about broader issue and opinion trends across the country.

It's hard to deny that the NRA has won the gun debate over the past 20 years.

Despite mass shootings — and despite some 80 to 90 percent of Americans saying they are in favor of background checks — no legislation expanding on the 1993 Brady Bill has passed Congress.

What's going on? Well, the debate over guns is hardly ever solely about background checks or other seemingly popular measures intended to curb gun violence.

Hillary Clinton was on NBC's Saturday Night Live during the 2008 campaign and appeared alongside Amy Poehler, her alter ego on the show.

They poked through the facade. Clinton went on as herself, wearing the same pantsuit as Poehler, who feigned awkwardness about sharing the screen with the woman she mocked weekly (though Poehler and Clinton say they are friends in real life).

Last night, Clinton again appeared on SNL — on the season premiere.

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