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27 Dec 2011 15:06


Politics: Democratic Senator Ben Nelson to retire in 2012

  • NO Senator Ben Nelson won’t seek re-election in 2012 source
  • » Bye bye, Ben: Bowing out from what was expected to be a heavily-contested race in Nebraska, Democrat Ben Nelson has decided to retire from his seat in 2012, a move likely to disappoint those concerned with the Democratic Party’s ability to maintain control of the Senate. Nelson was one of the most rightward leaning members of the Democratic Senate (perhaps less so than Joe Manchin), having supported the Bush tax cuts and railing against the health care reform law as a “government takeover” before ultimately supporting it, with some big conditions: recall that infamous “cornhusker kickback?” Yeah, that was him.

13 Dec 2011 20:51


Politics: This 1995 profile of Newt Gingrich is a fun read

  • I would really love to spend six months to a year in the Amazon basin, just being able to spend the day watching tree sloths.
  • Newt Gingrich • In a 1995 Vanity Fair profile. There are lots of fun tidbits in this piece. Even back then, Gingrich was thinking of a presidential run, but his then-wife Marrianne didn’t approve. “I don’t want him to be president,” she said, “and I don’t think he should be” (he eventually divorced her). Newt often describes himself oddly journalistic terms, as if he’s a pundit writing an op-ed column, and this was true in 1995 as well.  He says here that he’s “a mythical person,” “a psychodrama living out a fantasy,” and that “what makes me unusually intense is that I personalize the pain of war, the pain of children being killed.” source

21 Nov 2011 14:14


Politics: The pun we were all waiting for

  • This is, in fact, the official name of Gingrich’s New Hampshire effort. Hopefully, “Mitt Hampshire” will follow, maybe with a banner image that’s a little less self-parodical. source

15 Nov 2011 21:58


Politics: “Republicans are stupid,” says Republican candidate for president

  • One of the Republican weaknesses is that we rely too much on consultants and too much on talking points, and we don’t rely enough on actually knowing things.
  • Newt Gingrich • In an interview with David Brody. Not quite sure what the political calculus is here, as admitting publicly that your entire party doesn’t know what it’s talking about is rarely good politics. However, not “actually knowing things” would seem to be a disqualifying factor for someone running for president, so Newt’s obviously exempting himself from this assessment. source

14 Nov 2011 12:44


Politics: Newt Gingrich barges into the lead

  • Flavor of the Week: It looks like Gingrich is the new Black Walnut. If history is any indicator, Newt’s lead will dissipate in a few weeks and Mitt Romney will once again bask in the warm light of inevitability, but hey, you never know. One thing to keep in mind: Primaries are conducted on a state-by-state basis, so national polls, while telling, aren’t the whole story. source

27 Oct 2011 23:20


Politics: Tea party group: Michele Bachmann riding our coattails

  • It’s time for Michelle [sic] Bachmann to go.
  • Tea party training group American Majority’s president, Ned Ryun • Offering up an assessment of the GOP candidate for president. Ryun doesn’t seem too pleased with Bachmann’s campaign thus far, claiming that she “has ridden her tea party credentials from obscurity to a national platform like no other.” With a wide reach — the group is active in seven states and trains thousands of budding activists — the group could prove dangerous to her presidential run. Even though Bachmann’s campaign manager claimed in response that Ryun is a Rick Perry supporter (Ryun denies the endorsement), American Majority has not endorsed any candidate, saying they “don’t care which one of the personalities wins, as long as they’re conservative.” We’re assuming they’d prefer if the winner wasn’t Bachmann, however.  source

14 Oct 2011 11:49


Politics: Why are some of the GOP candidates threatening to boycott Nevada?

  • what A number of GOP candidates — including Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich — have threatened to boycott the Nevada primary. Jon Huntsman went a step further, promising to boycott Tuesday’s Nevada-based debate.
  • why Nevada is attempting to gain influence on the primaries by pushing their primary up to mid-January, meaning New Hampshire would have to hold theirs in December to ensure that theirs is still the first one. In effect, it gives weaker candidates less time. source

10 Oct 2011 15:20


Politics: Joe the Plumber to run for Congress in 2012

  • That may be Rep. Wurzelbacher to you: Today’s profile in not realizing when your moment has passed comes courtesy of “Joe the Plumber,” who has filed papers to run for the House of Representatives in Ohio’s 9th congressional district. (Among the other folks running: Joe’s polar opposite, Dennis Kucinich, who will be mired in a primary as a result of redistricting.) Joe’s rise to national prominence came in 2008, after he challenged then-candidate Barack Obama at an Ohio event over his tax plan, then became a McCain talking point in the final presidential debate. There was a brouhaha he might run back in 2010, when he would’ve been part of the conservative tide rushing into Washington, and that climate would’ve buoyed him, but now? We think that was his shot, and he passed on it. source

04 Oct 2011 14:37


Politics: Polling roundup: Cain continues to surge

  • 3 states in which Herman Cain now leads everybody else source
  • » All aboard the Cain Train! Republicans in North Carolina, Nebraska, and West Virginia want Herman Cain as their nominee–he leads all of his opponents in a new PPP poll. A Washington Post/ABC poll released today showed Cain tied with Perry for second nationally, and two polls last week also showed evidence of Cain Fever sweeping the nation. This seems to be at the expense of Rick Perry, who’s collapsing just as fast as Cain is rising (in North Carolina alone, more than half of his supporters have abandoned him, and a Fox News poll last week showed him losing ten points in a month). Romney is still the (perpetually-endangered) frontrunner, but there’s a plausible argument to be made that Cain is now in the top-tier of candidates. Of course, the same thing was once said of both Donald Trump and Michele Bachmann, so take that as you will.

27 Sep 2011 22:32


Politics: Romney, Perry: We won’t raise very much money

  • Hey everyone, let’s play “no expectations!” This game is common in presidential campaigns, and usually commences just before quarterly fundraising totals are announced. Here’s how it works: Each campaign works diligently to convince the press that they’re not going to bring in very much money; this is accomplished by saying things like, “We are going to raise considerably less than what we did in our first reporting period.” Then, once the numbers come in, it’s a win-win. If the totals are robust, the campaign looks surprisingly potent; if the numbers fall short, the campaign can just say, “I told you so!” It’s also acceptable to play this game prior to debates and straw polls. source