A new daily blog, covering the latest news and controversies across a wide range of races and issues. As the author of three books about influential political campaigns, I also bring a certain historical perspective to this very topical task. You can bookmark the blog by clicking my name at the top or by going here. Send me tips at email@example.com.
5:30 WISDOM ON SOLOMON? Dave Weigel at Slate cites this blog and our updates on Norman Solomon race (see below) then adds his analysis, quotes Kos and more.
4:10 MY BAIN IS TRUE Wash Post says it will not retract its recent article that probed Romney and Bain and outsourcing and caused his campaign to complain heartily—and meet with Post editors today. “We are very confident in our reporting.” the Post now says. But Romney camp still has not said what is inaccurate.
3:00 GET YOUR MITT OFF ME Buzzfeed collects seventeen photos of Romney “looking longingly” at politicians and other folks (plus Trump). He actually seems sMITTen with Chris Christie. Likes them big.
2:40 SUPREMELY INDIFFERENT Thursday’s the big day for SCOTUS ruling and Andy Borowitz tweets: “Tomorrow, nine people who get free government healthcare will let us know what the rest of us get”… Wash Post: If Obamacare falls, some in Calif vowing to push for single payer… Tom Gloldstein at SCOTUSblog expresses minority opinion: “I believe the mandate will not be invalidated tomorrow. Far less important, I expect the principal opinion will be written by the Chief Justice; a majority of the Court will find it has jurisdiction; and the challenge to the Medicaid expansion will be rejected.”
2:00 AFTERNOON DELIGHTS Activists break with Dems, target Obama’s “kill list”… Federal judge refuses DOJ request to halt Florida vote surge—but state claims it has stopped anyway… More evidence that Obama ad attack linking Romney to Bain and outsourcing is really working…
12:05 pm SOLOMON ADMITS DEFEAT We’ve chronicled the effort by progressive writer Norman Solomon to count all the votes in his California race for the House—he finished a close third in contest where top two compete in November. Just now, however, e-mail from Jeff Cohen announces he has fallen a few votes short: “It’s a virtual tie (25,624 vs. 25,451 votes), but Norman Solomon will not make it into 2nd place (out of 12 candidates). We won’t get our hoped-for November runoff against the well-funded candidate of the Democratic establishment (and Walmart, Chevron, PG&E, AT&T, Gallo). Norman was ready to run a powerful campaign in a progressive district against the Dem establishment and its corporatism. Alas, the guy Glenn Greenwald called ‘as close to a perfect Congressional candidate as it gets’ won’t be heading to Washington.
“Thanks to all of you who supported Norman. I’ve never worked harder in an electoral campaign. Despite the heart-breaking result, I feel all the work was worth it.… more like a social movement than a campaign.”
11:40 am MIDDAY BREAK Interesting that James Fallows pulled back—even changed headline—on his claim of a right-wing SCOTUS “coup” in USA but he does still call it “radical change”… Gay activists target that GOP gay-proud group that endorsed Romney. Dan Savage calls them “house faggots”… Romney running on “secret platform.” Reminds me of Nixon’s “secret plan to end the war” in 1968. Took him five years in office… Writer for The Atlantic asks: Why is no one paying attention to Jimmy Carter’s “searing critique” of Obama and USA this week? …Fortune magazine slams CBS coverage of “Fast and Furious,” finds it false, world misled.
11:20 THE LEFT’S FINAL STAGE OF GRIEF? Politico documents all of the alleged stages re Obama, now landing on “acceptance.” Video below with comments by Van Jones, Markos Moulitsas, Lizz Winstead, Representative Keith Ellison, more. (h/t Zoë Schlanger) And then there’s this, also from Politico: Why have the Dems “gone AWOL” in the “class war” and abandoned “populism”?
10:15 TEDDY BARED Ever wonder what famed politicians of the distant past actually sounded like? Well, surprise, here’s an audio of none other than Teddy Roosevelt on the stump—exactly 100 years ago in his third-party “Bull Moose” progressive campaign. A rousing speech. I’ll be posting others over the next few days.
10:05 THE GAFFE TRACK Good piece at YouGov looks at polls and charts and concludes that much of public is not even aware of candidate “gaffes” that the media obsesses about, and if aware they don’t care all that much. Always a useful reminder: most voters do not watch cable news or The Daily Show.
9:40 AMAZING (TO MEDIA) POLL FINDING OF THE DAY Despite alleged unpopularity of Obamacare, new NBC/WSJ poll finds folks trust Dems to do health reform better than Repubs—by wide margin. But it should shame Dems that same poll finds they are essentially tied with GOPers on watchdogging Wall Street. Very weak. But in the people-are-confused category: by wide margin they feel GOP would do better job fixing economy—but by 51–44 percent they also say economy is “recovering” right now.
BOSOX TREATMENT FOR MITT Remember the uproar yesterday over Obama getting booed (or “Youked”) in Boston after making a flip comment about Red Sox trade? Now a Boston Phoenix reporter claims Romney has lied about being at the historic game four of Red Sox World Series in 2004. Mitt must have forgotten that game was played in St. Louis—not Fenway.
NATIVE INTELLIGENCE From the invaluable Daily Yonder site: push to register 1 million Native American voters. This week the National Congress of American Indians called the problem of access to voting a “civic emergency” requiring an immediate fix. “Native people have remained one of the most disenfranchised group of voters in the United States,” said Jefferson Keel, president of NCAI, the nation’s oldest and most representative tribal advocacy organization. “Today as a result, two out of every five eligible American Indian and Alaska Native voters are not registered to vote, in 2008 over 1 million eligible Native voters were unregistered.”
RANGEL SURVIVES, AND MORE RESULTS New York primary results here, with Charles Rangel (once picked for defeat) rallying to nab Dem nod. Charles Barron, ex–Black Panther and center of controversy, lost badly. Sean Maloney wins right upstate to take on GOPer Representative Nan Hayworth. Grace Meng wins Dem primary for Gary Ackerman’s seat and will become New York’s first Asian-American in Congress. Senator Gillibrand will face another woman, but the Democrat is heavily favored. As expected, Senator Orrin Hatch won hard-fought race for GOP nomination in Utah… and then there’s this: GOP congressman in Oklahoma loses race, becomes fourth House incumbent defeated this year.
OBAMA SWINGS NBC/WSJ poll finds the president with improving numbers vs. Romney in swing states—now leads him in key states by 50–42 percent.
CONS JOB Jon Stewart last night tackled the “Fast and Furious” uproar (allegedly, it’s the New New Watergate), showing how GOPers—especially Darth Vader himself, Dick Cheney—had no problem in past backing executive privilege.
CHAMBER OF HORRORS Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman of New York has issued a subpoena as part of investigating contributions to tax-exempt groups that are heavily involved in political campaigns. He is focusing on a case involving the US Chamber of Commerce, which has been one of the largest outside groups seeking to influence recent elections but is not required to disclose its donors.
BAIN FULL Sherrod Brown: Trust me, Dems, Bain attacks work. “President Obama’s opening shots at Bain Capital prompted epic hand-wringing from Democratic supporters, who worried highlighting layoffs at companies bought by Mitt Romney’s firm could come across as too militantly anti-Wall Street. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) says Obama supporters who think the issue is a loser need to stop by the Rust Belt. ‘It’s a loss in the Upper East Side of Manhattan,’ Brown joked in a wide-ranging interview with TPM Tuesday. But in Ohio, where workers are enjoying a recent bump in manufacturing after decades of decline, Brown says the message has an impact with voters, who are as upset with big finance and companies that outsource as they are at government. Obama, whose campaign has insisted that Romney’s business record will resonate with blue-collar workers, has a real opening to win them over, Brown said.”
PUTTING YOUR SHORTS ON New group forms in Colorado to target legislators who voted against civil unions… TPM moves Ohio back into Obama column and new polling elsewhere boosts him a bit. But Nate Silver at NYT cuts his odds of winning to under 60 percent… Politico piece basically shows money doesn’t “free” speech but muzzles it.
From late Tuesday
QUOTE OF THE DAY “I don’t live a middle-class life any more,” Vice President Joe Biden said at a campaign event in Iowa. “I live in a beautiful home. They fly me around. You know what I mean?” (h/t Zoë Schlanger)
THE FULL MONTY Amazing collection of Monty Python sketches that have been referenced in the 2012 campaign so far, collected by the National Journal. Watch them all, hard to pick one, but here goes—Cleese in prescient impersonation of, let’s say, Romney as super-rich banker who can’t imagine helping poor.
SKIPPING RECORD Senator Claire McCaskill joins long list of Dems planning to skip her party’s convention (does she think this well make voters think she is weak on Obama?). TPM has full current list, which it titles “Running for the Hills.” Includes Senator Joe Manchin, Senator Jon Tester (who prefers hanging with Pearl Jam or his tractor) and various Representatives.
SHORTS Glenn Beck’s electoral map is all red except for Colorado, which he gives to Obama for some reason… New polls shows dead heat in Massachusetts race for Senate… Biden says Romney “devastated” American communities at Bain… Slate: Koch brothers’s “hostile takeover” of Cato Institute ends in rare defeat… Do women’s health issues threaten Representative Eric Cantor’s re-election bid? …Ari Berman: “New voting restrictions pending in MI & NH. They’d be 19th and 20th state[s] to pass voting restrictions since start of 2011”… Condi Rice: Yeah, Romney’s foreign policy wouldn’t be much different than Obama’s. For rare time, she may be right.
HERE AND THERE A few good links via my assistant Zoë Schlanger. Governor Rick Scott has a “secret” list of 180,000 allegedly ineligible voters in Florida… Business Insider: Obama still rules in Silicon Valley fundraising—but Romney making some progress… Top TPM story today: Five sure signs you are an anti-Obama “Fast and Furious” conspiracy person… Herman Cain and Ken Blackwell with new video hitting Eric Holder on “voting rights.”
NEW BOOK My book Tricky Dick and the Pink Lady on the notorious Richard Nixon–Helen Gahagan Douglas race for the US Senate in 1950, appeared in a new print edition this weekend—and for the first time as an ebook. Also, see my piece from Saturday here at The Nation on Helen Douglas’s paving the way for the (still too small number of ) female candidates for Congress ever since. The book also probes 1950 as a high point of the Red Scare in America in all its forms—and, of course, as launch pad for Nixon (and his dirty tricks) in his rise to the White House.