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04 Jan 2012 10:23


Politics: Bachmann to drop out this morning, “doesn’t see a way forward”

  • While she remained confident last night, it sounds like the Tea Party stalwart could be ready to let realism set in. On top of canceling a trip to South Carolina, Michele Bachmann has a press conference scheduled for 11 a.m. EST (which we’ll cover), but The National Journal got a bit of a preview this morning: A campaign spokesperson says Bachmann “doesn’t see a way forward in her campaign for the GOP nomination for president and will make an announcement to that effect this morning.” He stopped short of saying she’d be dropping out, but there are certainly lines to read between here. Update: The National Journal is now saying that Bachmann will suspend her campaign. Wow, that was fast. (Photo via Gage Skidmore on Flickr) source

15 Dec 2011 11:01


Politics: Tea Party groups gain increasing sophistication ahead of election

  • The Tea Party movement is more organized, more focused and more potent. What happened in 2010 was not the end. It was just the beginning.
  • Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) • Discussing the growing sophistication of the Tea Party, which has helped him personally. As an example, the leader of the Myrtle Beach, S.C.-area Tea Party, Joe Dugan, has been statistically tracking each vote politicians have been making, and based on those numbers, his group will choose to support or turn their back on a candidate. It worked very effectively in South Carolina, where each of the ten candidates Dugan’s group supported won their elections — from dog catcher on up. Dugan’s group is far from the exception, Reuters found that Tea Party groups are increasingly becoming far more sophisticated in their approaches to supporting candidates, which could prove important in 2012. source

30 Oct 2011 21:15


Politics: Politico: Herman Cain accused of inappropriate sexual behavior

  • allegation Today, Herman Cain got grilled by a Politico reporter who asked him about detailed sexual harassment allegations dating back to the 1990s: “Have you ever been accused, sir, in your life of harassment by a woman?”
  • response Cain denied the allegations, then as things got tense and the question was repeated, Cain asked the reporter: “Have you ever been accused of sexual harassment?” Expect this to follow him throughout the week. 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

25 Oct 2011 23:16


Politics: People like Occupy Wall Street…for now

  • +16% Occupy Wall Street’s net favorability. 43% approve of the movement, while just 27% disapprove.
  • 30% of people are still undecided on Occupy Wall Street, according to the same CBS/NYT poll.  source
  • » What this means: While the movement does enjoy a plurality of support (in this poll, at this moment in time), a huge percentage of people haven’t yet made up their minds about it. This means there’s a lot of room for public opinion to swing either way, so decisions on the part of OWS’s still-emerging leadership over the next couple of months will be crucial in solidifying public support or rejection of the movement. This, in turn, will help determine whether or not OWS’s message actually ends up affecting legislation that comes out of Washington. Will Occupy Wall Street become the next Tea Party, which has had a huge impact on national politicians, or is it just a passing fad? According to this poll, the answer to that question is “to be determined.”

23 Oct 2011 11:09


Politics: Marco Rubio’s back-and-forth with the Washington Post does draw blood

  • first The Washington Post published an article that punched holes in Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s life story — saying that his parents left Cuba before the 1959 revolution.
  • then Rubio responded in an op-ed for Politico: “The essence of my family story is why they came to America in the first place,” he wrote, “and why they had to stay.”
  • now But the article did lead to some changes. Though Rubio shot back against the article, in the end, his staff changed the bio on his Web site to reflect the Post’s article. source

16 Oct 2011 11:15


Politics: Herman Cain, deeply tied to the Koch brothers? Say it ain’t so!

  • Cain allegedly has deep ties to the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity. The currently-soaring presidential candidate has built up his base with GOP voters through an image that he’s a non-politician who’s not beholden to anyone (and makes a good pizza). But Cain has a history with the controversy-laden Koch brothers that he does not promote very heavily — at least not as heavily as his business career. The Associated Press’s article on Cain’s deep ties to Americans for Prosperity found some fairly surprising things:
  • surface Cain has a campaign manager, as well as a number of campaign aides, who once worked for Americans for Prosperity.
  • deeper Rich Lowrie, the apparent Sim City player behind Cain’s easy-to-follow 999 plan, served on AFP’s board of advisors from 2005 to 2008.
  • deepest Cain himself built up AFP in 2005 and 2006, collaborating with Mark Block to build local chapters throughout the country. source
  • » Ties that still stand: While Cain no longer gets paid for his appearances with AFP (he used to, before he started running for president), he is still active with the group. For example, Cain will speak at an AFP event in DC on November 4, despite the fact that most of the other presidential candidates will be at a dinner in Iowa. The caucus is in Iowa; what’s this guy doing in Washington? Wait a second! (photo by Flickr user Gage Skidmore)

09 Oct 2011 11:47


Politics: With weak presidential field, Tea Party focusing on Senate instead

  • No one is going to get perfect in a general election candidate. That is why we think the Senate is a better place to focus.
  • FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe • Effectively saying that Tea Party groups plan to focus on the presidential election, and instead put their energies towards helping the GOP win back the U.S. Senate, which the Democrats control with a slight majority. The race totals favor the GOP winning more seats — 23 of the 33 seats up for grabs next year are in Democratic power, and at least a few of those seats up for grabs because Senators are retiring — most notably those of Jim Webb and Kent Conrad. Do you guys think the GOP has a chance at getting the Senate back in 2012, especially considering increased Tea Party focus? source

28 Jul 2011 23:23


Politics: An update on the debt ceiling shenanigans

  • boehner’s bill falls short: After a chaotic day of vote-whipping, vote-delaying, and vote-switching, John Boehner has decided to postpone the vote on his debt ceiling bill. Despite multiple assurances that it would be brought to a vote before tomorrow, at the end of the day, Boehner didn’t have enough votes to ensure the bill’s passage (and he wasn’t going to embarrass himself by introducing a bill that was sure to fail). In an unusual alignment, conservative Tea Partiers and House Democrats all pledged to vote against the bill, albiet for different reasons. While the legislation has virtually no chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate, Boehner’s ability to shepherd it through the House is seen by many as the first real test of his leadership abilities. If he doesn’t eventually pass it, there’s a good chance he’ll (eventually) be deposed as Speaker. But it’s not over yet–sources say Republicans plan to tweak the bill a bit, and re-introduce it tomorrow.  source

28 Jul 2011 14:45


Politics: Firebrand Rep. Joe Walsh has a pretty big financial problem

  • $117,000 owed in child support source
  • » That’s a lot of money: Walsh, a member of the Tea Party who calls for the country to cut spending and pay its bills, is having trouble paying some of his own, according to a recently filed lawsuit. He’s had other financial troubles, too — he lost a condo in a Chicago suburb to foreclosure, but he eventually got that cleared up. Our question: Should Walsh’s own issues be on the table, considering the way he goes after the government’s fiscal issues?