President Obama has become the highest-profile backer of the "It Gets Better" series of videos designed to reassure gay teens. But the timing of his video with "don't ask, don't tell" politics has brought it extra scrutiny—and provides a vivid illustration of how Obama manages to annoy liberals.
Back in the spring of 2010, commentators marveled at the strict fiscal focus of the Tea Party. Fast-forward eight months, and it's a different picture, as candidates speak stridently about social issues on the trail. What's behind the switch? Here are three factors at work.
It's often said that the mood of the electorate this year is angry. But at the Women's National Republican Club on Monday night, the mood in the urbane and conservative audience that came to watch the eagerly anticipated New York gubernatorial debate could be described only as nonplused.
Mitch Daniels has been much talked about in the media, and for good reason: he's one of the more interesting Republican contenders for 2012. But the normally mild-mannered Indiana governor has occasionally made headlines for his controversial statements, and he's back at it.
It was billed as the contest Harry Reid had to win. But the Senate majority leader had better hope that's not true: his performance in Thursday night's lone Nevada Senate debate is being widely panned, with Reid coming off as wooden, inarticulate, and shiftless. Meanwhile, Reid's opponent, Tea Party standard-bearer Sharron Angle, avoided a serious gaffe—no small feat, given her track record.
While Christine O'Donnell appears to have avoided campaign-crashing gaffes in Wednesday's Delaware Senate debate, her chances in the race appear to be fading. If she can't come back and win, how might she spend her time after Nov. 2? We've got some suggestions.
It's no secret that conservatives love to hate Barney Frank like almost no other Democrat. Even a hint that the outspoken congressman might be beatable is enough to bring them running.
As expected for several weeks, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has begun cutting funding to House candidates who look too far gone for it to save. But even as it seems to concede defeat in some races, the DCCC is mounting new pushes in several others.
Politico's David Catanese has unearthed a fascinating memo from Illinois GOP Senate nominee Rep. Mark Kirk that shows him moving right to avoid getting squashed by the Tea Party. But while Kirk's campaign is trying to downplay the memo, the candidate ought to be patting himself on the back for grasping what many of his fellow party members failed to grasp.
There's no doubt that the lagging economy is bad news for Democrats heading into the midterm elections next month. Today's release of government jobless statistics doesn't offer them any reprieve. Here's what both sides are saying about the latest figures.
With the creation of a political action committee in Iowa, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum has moved one step closer to a bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Santorum, who is a strong family-values backer, says the Iowa Keystone Political Action Committee will spend at least $25,000 helping candidates Santorum supports in the state before November.
Though his party is ailing as we enter the home stretch of the election, President Obama and his supporters can take heart, knowing that he's getting new strategies for electoral success from a fresh crop of advisers.
It's fair to say that Sarah Palin made Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller: he was an unknown long shot hoping to upset a sitting senator until Palin marshaled the Tea Party Express and helped him to surprise Lisa Murkowski. But has Palin lost control of her protégé? A leaked e-mail chain suggests pretty serious tension between Palin's husband, Todd, and Miller.
Today brings two studies in unorthodox advertising strategies. Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell is making waves with an ad that has one of the most striking opening lines we've ever heard: "I am not a witch."
If you can't get enough of mudslinging politics, train your sights on Connecticut for the month of October. With Senate candidates Richard Blumenthal and Linda McMahon set to square off tonight in a debate tonight, the race is getting uglier and uglier.
The metanarrative of the day: Democrats are back! What's the big deal? Part of it is Republican leaders working to avoid irrational exuberance ahead of the results. And in the media, commentators who have been hot and bothered about the coming GOP wave are hedging their bets. But Democrats have seen some signs for hope—even as there are other reasons for pessimism. Here are their three big hopes, three big reasons for despair, and the a few x-factors to watch in the next week.
Bad Strategy: If you're a CNN anchor, tangling with Jon Stewart. Just ask Tucker Carlson. Worse Strategy: Stridently criticizing the people who sign your paycheck. Worst Strategy: Making recourse to a traditional anti-semitic stereotype by implying that Jews run the media. But bumbling CNN anchor Rick Sanchez has been fired for managing to achieve that hat trick Thursday.
It's a rule even political veterans sometimes forget, but that rookie California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman may be about to learn a hard lesson on: damaging revelations are much less damaging than a bungled response.
The Ohio gubernatorial race has had more ups and downs than the famed roller coasters at Cedar Point in Sandusky. The latest numbers show Gov. Ted Strickland, who recently seemed to be dead in the water, within a point of challenger John Kasich. Does he really have a chance?
Love him or hate him, everyone's got an opinion on Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson. And a new poll suggests more voters in his district fall into the latter column than the former. The Susquehanna/Sunshine State News poll has Grayson trailing Republican Dan Webster by 7 points.
The travails of Richard Blumenthal in his quest for a Connecticut Senate seat show the steep challenge Democrats face in November: even candidates who are wildly popular statewide can't seem to gain traction in elections for jobs in Washington.
West Virginia Senate candidate Joe Manchin is the latest Democrat to say he favors repealing at least part of the health-reform bill passed earlier this year. Conventional wisdom says that Democrats should be running away from health reform as fast as possible. But do voters say the same thing?
Remember Doug Hoffman? You might say he was the original Christine O'Donnell—and now he's back for a victory lap. He's the very conservative candidate who cost Republicans New York's 23rd Congressional District in 2009, and now he's threatening to do it again.
With their electoral chances faltering, key votes on "don't ask, don't tell" and the Dream and Disclose acts defeated, and an attempt to push through an extension of the Bush tax cuts stopped in its tracks, what could Democrats do to make themselves look good? Well, there's always the option of inviting a comedian known for attention-grabbing goofiness as an expert witness for a congressional hearing.
This hour, Republican leaders are officially unveiling their "Pledge to America," but the plan's been circulating since Wednesday, and battle lines are already drawn. Early reactions show that the document isn't inspiring many: while liberals are predictably critical, both conservative and moderate Republicans are upset, too.
Sarah Palin's successful endorsements of Joe Miller, Christine O'Donnell, and Kelly Ayotte in recent primaries have set off (sigh) yet another round of will-she-or-won't-she and is-she-the-frontrunner talk about the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. But here's a handy two-word shorthand for just how wide open the GOP battle is: John Bolton.
In a terrible election year, there are some things Democrats ought to be able to count on. For example: three-term senators seeking reelection, statewide candidates with massive approval ratings, and really any New York gubernatorial candidate. Or can they? This week brings some potentially unsettling numbers for Democratic National Committee chair Tim Kaine & Co.