JIDDA Date: late 1950s–1970s
If President Obama's planned "call to unity" and pledge to work on centrist initiatives in his second State of the Union speech don't have you itching to tune in Tuesday night, don't feel too bad. Not many of your fellow citizens will watch, and even if they do, they're unlikely to remember what it was they heard.
The Iowa caucuses are still more than a year away, and already the former senator from Pennsylvania has spent 14 days in the state since the 2008 election—more than any other potential Republican presidential candidate, according to Democracy in Action.
Rumor has it that defeated GOP Connecticut Senate candidate Linda McMahon wants to try her hand again in 2012. But old exit polls show that if she couldn't gain traction in 2010, she's almost certainly toast in a three-way race that includes Joe Lieberman.
If you think the Senate is broken, today's vote to block a defense appropriations bill that carries the repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" law provides certain proof. And if you don't think so, you might want to reconsider. By a 57–40 margin, the vote to repeal the bill failed; 60 votes were required for passage. Although it's possible that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid can shoehorn it in somewhere in the few remaining days of the session, the policy is now likely to remain...
Environmental groups are dreading the 112th Congress, in which the number of members who are either skeptical or outright derisive of claims of anthropogenic global warming will skyrocket. But even in that group, the contenders to chair the House Energy and Commerce and Science committees stick out. Here's what they have to say on matters scientific.
The House of Representatives failed to pass a crucial bill extending jobless benefits this afternoon. The inability of the chamber to move the legislation could have serious effects on the economy and is a bad omen for Congress's ability to get things done—both during the lame-duck session and in the 112th congress.
On Wednesday, the government successfully put a major terrorist away for 20 years to life. But you wouldn't know it from news coverage, which portrays this as a huge defeat. It's the latest in a string of botched public-relations efforts from the Justice Department, which finds itself repeatedly flat-footed in the face of political attacks from its critics.
Apparently caving to talking heads' demands for him to show more contrition and humility, President Obama has been on an apology tour, apparently trying to appease voters who battered his party in the midterm elections. But is that really a smart strategy, in Washington or with voters?
There's little consensus on which job-creation proposals would work best, how quickly they would work, or how many jobs they might create. Here are the most popular proposals, how they work, and who's calling for them.
With Democrats losing control of the House—the chamber that had already passed a climate-change bill—and an influx of newly minted Republican members of Congress who are skeptical of warming, frustrated advocates say they expect only small advances between now and the 2012 elections, while a "cap-and-trade" law for carbon emissions is almost certainly dead in the water.
There are plenty of reasons that President Obama was disappointed by Republican victories in gubernatorial elections in swing states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida. But one oft-suggested reason doesn't hold up: there's simply no data to support the idea that the losses will hurt Obama's reelection chances in 2012.
For Republicans, it's a single annoyance marring an otherwise terrific night. For Democrats, it's about the only thing worth celebrating. Somehow, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has defeated Sharron Angle and managed to hold on to his Nevada seat. Reid seemed doomed long ago.
There isn't a lot of good news for Democrats early on election night, but Connecticut is one bright spot. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has defeated Republican Linda McMahon in the race for Senate, replacing retiring Sen. Chris Dodd.
Liberals are dulling the pain of an expected rout by celebrating the predicted demise of many moderate Blue Dog Democrats. But they ought to be more worried about their left flank, which will likely take some hits of its own.
As the midterm-election season winds down and voter attitudes harden, some races are too close to call. Others are painfully easy to call—the ones where campaign headquarters seem to be emitting chaos, disarray, and sometimes outright surrender. Here is NEWSWEEK's five-step self-diagnostic manual for candidates to tell whether they're toast.
Polls have been a mainstay of American politics since at least the 1930s, when George Gallup starting running surveys on elections. But with state-of-the-art technology, improved polling techniques, and ever greater scrutiny of political news, the endless march of polls has become almost deafening. How do you know which polls are most reliable?
Is Tea Party–backed Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller falling apart? As the Republican nominee struggles with a proliferating set of gaffes and revelations, the vultures are circling. The New York Times says incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who lost the GOP primary to Miller but opted for a write-in campaign, is "the candidate treated like the front-runner." The Atlantic says Miller has lost his momentum. But prognosticators shouldn't count him out yet.
We've come a long way since the days when Preston Brooks attacked his colleague Charles Sumner on the Senate floor, but those looking for a little civility in politics won't find it at their local debate. The latest example came when supporters of Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul attacked a member of the liberal activist group MoveOn and stomped on her head. Though appalling, it's hardly the first offense. We offer a short history of the 2010 pugilistic political season.
Can one Blue Dog's unorthodox ad strategy localize his election and head off the demise of another incumbent?