Inside the Awkward New York Gubernatorial Debate

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.

The Passion of Harry Reid: Senator Flails Against Angle in Nevada Debate

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.

Six Things O'Donnell Could Do After the Election

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.

Illinois Senate Candidate Mark Kirk, Political Visionary

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.

How Politicians Are Spinning the New Jobless Numbers

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.

Santorum Forms Iowa PAC; 2012 Presidential Run Looks More Likely

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.

Leaked E-mails Suggest Feud Between Palins, Joe Miller

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.

Three Reasons for Hope and Three Reasons for Despair for Democrats

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.

CNN's Rick Sanchez Fired After Implying Jews Run the Media, Calling Jon Stewart a Bigot

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.

Ted Strickland: Back From the Dead in Ohio Gubernatorial Race?

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?

Alan Grayson, Outspoken Florida Congressman, Could Be in Trouble

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.

Manchin Flails as Democrats Search for a Message on Health Care

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?

Democrats' Stupid Stephen Colbert Stunt

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.

Obama Defends His Record in U.N. Speech

One year after delivering a clarion call for world cooperation, Barack Obama returned to Turtle Bay to speak to the U.N. General Assembly, offering a defense of his actions in the last 12 months. But his report card is full of incompletes.

Reactions to the 'Pledge to America': Mixed, but Mostly Negative

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.

Bolton Bid Shows Just How Open the 2012 GOP Field Is

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.

New Polls Show Democratic Candidates Flagging in W.Va., Wis., N.Y.

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.

The Myth of the Inexperienced Tea Partiers

Both liberals and conservatives have a stake in portraying the Tea Party movement as a bunch of political newcomers without much experience. Unfortunately for both sides, it's simply not an accurate portrait of reality.

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