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The Rundown

December 17, 2008

8 a.m. ET: The parlor game of guessing Barack Obama's Cabinet picks is sadly nearing its end, as almost every position is now filled. Tom Vilsack and Ken Salazar are set to be named today to head Agriculture and Interior,...

By Ben Pershing | December 17, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

December 16, 2008

4:45 p.m. ET: The three biggest political stories of the moment -- the auto bailout, Rod Blagojevich and The Kennedy Succession (which should be the title of the next Robert Ludlum novel) -- all seem to be in a state...

By Ben Pershing | December 16, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

December 15, 2008

3:45 p.m. ET: Let's see, the word "impeachment" is in the headlines, and there's a Kennedy running for the Senate. What decade is this, and has the Christmas season brought back the ghosts of Democrats past? In a twist, the...

By Ben Pershing | December 15, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

December 12, 2008

3:30 p.m. ET: In Washington, bad news is traditionally dumped on Friday afternoons, particularly during the holiday season when everyone has better things than politics to think about. So, given that already this week the auto bailout stalled, the Rod...

By Ben Pershing | December 12, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (28)

December 11, 2008

4 p.m. ET: When Barack Obama and his advisers sat down last week, or last month, or whenever it was that they made a basic outline of today's schedule, they probably envisioned the lead headlines would be something like, "Daschle...

By Ben Pershing | December 11, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (3)

December 10, 2008

8 a.m. ET: The sun will rise over Chicago a few minutes from now, and as of this writing, no Illinois politicians have been arrested yet this morning. But it's still early. As Jimmy Malone once put it, "That's the...

By Ben Pershing | December 10, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

December 9, 2008

3:30 p.m. ET: We interrupt our ongoing coverage of the depressing auto bailout to bring you this special report on a stunningly good scandal story. We'd like to thank our sponsor, Rod Blagojevich, without whom our lives would be a...

By Ben Pershing | December 9, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

December 8, 2008

4 p.m. ET: If Dana Perino and Barney Frank agree on something, it must be true, right? If yes, then a deal on the auto bailout is at hand, with the White House spokeswoman calling a deal "very likely" and...

By Ben Pershing | December 8, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

December 5, 2008

2:30 p.m. ET: Continuing with this morning's theme, President Bush went before the cameras a few hours ago and stoutly demanded that Congress deal with the auto bailout before it leaves town, and that the auto industry must pay back...

By Ben Pershing | December 5, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (10)

December 4, 2008

4:30 p.m. ET: Didn't we just have an election? The news this afternoon is filled with tidbits about various future races, though perhaps that's because campaign stories are less depressing than all the ones about bailouts and bankruptcies emanating from...

By Ben Pershing | December 4, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

December 3, 2008

8 a.m. ET: Today's front pages look less like a series of news dispatches and more like Craigslist, filled with news of people winning, losing and seeking new jobs, whether in the Senate, the Cabinet or Detroit. In Georgia, Saxby...

By Ben Pershing | December 3, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

December 2, 2008

4:15 p.m. ET: All is mostly quiet on the Obama front this afternoon -- aside from confirmation of what we already knew about Bill Richardson and Commerce -- most of the day's news is happening on or about Capitol Hill....

By Ben Pershing | December 2, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

December 1, 2008

2:30 p.m. ET: Okay, it's over. You can put away your copy of "Team of Rivals" -- really, please, put it away -- and stop hedging your bets. Barack Obama appeared this morning in Chicago and announced that Hillary Clinton...

By Ben Pershing | December 1, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (3)

November 28, 2008

By John Amick 2:50 p.m. ET: CNN is now reporting at least 160 killed and 327 wounded in the attacks in Mumbai, India. Among the known dead are a father and daughter from Virginia. The Oberoi Hotel and the Nariman...

By washingtonpost.com editors | November 28, 2008; 09:05 AM ET | Comments (0)

November 26, 2008

By John Amick 11:40 a.m., ET: President-elect Barack Obama held his third press conference in three days today in Chicago to announce the creation of the "President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board" to be led by former Federal Reserve Chair Paul...

By washingtonpost.com editors | November 26, 2008; 08:15 AM ET | Comments (1)

November 25, 2008

By John Amick 3:00 p.m., ET: Treasury Sec. Henry Paulson announced the commitment of $800 billon to relieve consumer debt and allow easier borrowing in an effort to strengthen the economy. The pledge of hundreds of billions of dollars to...

By washingtonpost.com editors | November 25, 2008; 03:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

November 24, 2008

By John Amick 2:14 p.m. ET: President-elect Obama formally introduced his economic team to the nation today from Chicago. The nominees: much-discussed appointees Timothy Geithner as Treasury secretary and Lawrence Summers as director of the White House National Economic Council,...

By washingtonpost.com editors | November 24, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

November 21, 2008

8 a.m. ET: We interrupt our regularly scheduled parsing of the latest Hillary Clinton updates to bring you more serious and tangible news: Michael Mukasey is said to be "conscious, conversant and alert" after the attorney general collapsed while giving...

By Ben Pershing | November 21, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

November 20, 2008

4 p.m. ET: Sometimes, complete sentences and complex ideas can be a drag, especially in the afternoon when the morning caffeine has long worn off. At such times, a celebrity magazine-style "In/Out" list seems like the best way to capture...

By Ben Pershing | November 20, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (4)

November 19, 2008

8 a.m. ET: Like the moon blotting out the sun, the Clintons and their attendant dramas continue to eclipse other stories on this cold and newsy Wednesday morning. Even as Eric Holder appears likely to become the nation's first African...

By Ben Pershing | November 19, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

November 18, 2008

1 p.m. ET: Senate Democrats have spoken, deciding to keep Joe Lieberman atop the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee while stripping him of a relatively minor subcommittee chairmanship. And now the liberal blogosphere is speaking too, and it's not...

By Ben Pershing | November 18, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (31)

November 17, 2008

4:45 p.m. ET: As we speak, lawyers for the Obama transition effort are busily vetting Hillary and Bill Clinton's finances and other professional entanglements to determine whether she can serve as Secretary of State without raising too many headaches and/or...

By Ben Pershing | November 17, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

November 14, 2008

2:45 p.m. ET: The Hillary-to-State train is now picking up some serious steam. She and Barack Obama met in Chicago Thursday, her advisors are whispering that it's "a very good possibility" and the buzz up in New York has already...

By Ben Pershing | November 14, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

November 13, 2008

8 a.m. ET: With less than 10 weeks to go until Inauguration Day, are expectations for Barack Obama's presidency impossibly high? Yes and no, according to an interesting Quinnipiac Poll released yesterday, which concluded -- almost paradoxically -- that voters...

By Ben Pershing | November 13, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

November 12, 2008

2:30 p.m. ET: As Republican governors and their chroniclers gather in Miami, let's journey back a bit to a more sordid episode in South Florida's political history. Yes, we're talking about the Mark Foley "page scandal". Why? Well, because former...

By Ben Pershing | November 12, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (3)

November 11, 2008

2 p.m. ET: Barack Obama may have just made the smartest move yet in his (short) stint as president-elect -- throwing a lifeline to Joe Lieberman. Obama told Harry Reid last week that expelling Lieberman from the Democratic Caucus for...

By Ben Pershing | November 11, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (14)

November 10, 2008

2:45 p.m. ET: If a campaign suddenly broke out tomorrow, would there be anyone left in town to run it? It's a legitimate question, given the news today that Howard Dean will be stepping down as Democratic National Committee chairman...

By Ben Pershing | November 10, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

November 7, 2008

4 p.m. ET: Wondering what the big takeway from Barack Obama's first press conference as President-elect was for many conservative blogs? That's right, it was his little shot at Nancy Reagan, which he may well have regretted the moment it...

By Ben Pershing | November 7, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (13)

November 6, 2008

3:30 p.m. ET: This morning, we mentioned our craven desire to boost our ranking on Google. In furtherance of that effort, we bring you this Very Special All-Sarah Palin Edition of The Rundown. Why, you might be wondering, should we...

By Ben Pershing | November 6, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (8)

November 5, 2008

8 a.m. ET: Having entered Election Day with so many questions, our brains are now absolutely filled with election results. The Rundown's head actually hurts this morning from processing all this information -- though the pain might also be attributable...

By Ben Pershing | November 5, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

November 4, 2008

8 a.m. ET: Time to kick back and relax, as the well-oiled machine that is American democracy essentially runs itself today. We all deserve a rest, after everything that has happened in the last 24 hours: The polls opened. Dixville...

By Ben Pershing | November 4, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

November 3, 2008

3:20 p.m. ET: The Day of Reckoning is nearly upon us, so it's time for one last afternoon poll roundup. So much has changed since the first one of these roundups we did ... let's think back nostalgically for a...

By Ben Pershing | November 3, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

November 1, 2008

2:55 p.m. ET: Barack Obama and John McCain are spending the final Saturday barnstorming for last-minute votes, as their itineraries and the latest polling data continue to show a playing field that favors the Democratic nominee. McCain was in Virginia...

By Ben Pershing | November 1, 2008; 03:20 PM ET | Comments (40)

October 31, 2008

2:15 p.m. ET: With apologies to Thomas Friedman, the world -- specifically, the bizarre, overheated world of the presidential campaign -- is flat. In the past month, there have been debates and ads, gaffes and controversies, tens of millions of...

By Ben Pershing | October 31, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

October 30, 2008

1:45 p.m. ET: So, did you watch the Obamamercial last night? (The Rundown admits to having been sucked in instead by a fine Law & Order rerun, but that's why there's YouTube.). According to preliminary Nielsen ratings, about 30.1 million...

By Ben Pershing | October 30, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

October 29, 2008

4 p.m. ET: There's really only one viable storyline left in this campaign -- barring a surprise, as we are contractually and karmically required to say -- and that's whether John McCain can mount a comeback. So as a public...

By Ben Pershing | October 29, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (5)

October 28, 2008

4:40 p.m. ET: Sarah Palin -- the vice presidential candidate who keeps giving. Specifically, she keeps giving us grubby reporters and bloggers new things to write about in a race whose storylines have otherwise mostly turned stale. Palin today boldly...

By Ben Pershing | October 28, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (30)

October 27, 2008

12:30 p.m. ET: Did someone send out a memo saying that Monday of the week before the election was "Advice Day"? It certainly seems that way, as the series of tubes have been jam-packed today with all manner of suggestions...

By Ben Pershing | October 27, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

October 24, 2008

8 a.m. ET: Both vice presidential nominees move into the spotlight today, for good reasons and bad, offering the perfect opportunity to let our eyes wander down the ticket and see just what Joe Biden and Sarah Palin have been...

By Ben Pershing | October 24, 2008; 07:50 AM ET | Comments (0)

October 23, 2008

2:45 p.m.: It's college football season, so maybe we should have realized a long time ago that there's an obvious way to sort out the presidential campaign battleground states -- by conference. In fact, a strong argument can be made...

By Ben Pershing | October 23, 2008; 08:15 AM ET | Comments (4)

October 22, 2008

1 p.m. ET: For your lunchtime reading pleasure, we offer this "all-Palin's-shopping-spree" edition of The Rundown. We provide this service not because this is the most important or informative story of the day -- for that, go read Robert Draper's...

By Ben Pershing | October 22, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (4)

October 21, 2008

1 p.m. ET: Does John McCain's (narrow) road to victory run through Pennsylvania? The Washington Times -- from a wonderful SALTLICK, Pa. dateline -- reports today that the GOP nominee is "throwing almost everything he can" into the state, looking...

By Ben Pershing | October 21, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (9)

October 20, 2008

2 p.m. ET: Is the race for the White House getting closer? The Rundown spent much of this morning looking at polls -- he doesn't recommend it -- trying to pick through the trends, the tracks, the weights, the blips...

By Ben Pershing | October 20, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

October 17, 2008

12:45 p.m. ET: Lots of attention on the Old Dominion, as Barack Obama rallies in Roanoke today, John McCain heads to Woodbridge tomorrow (will he stop at Potomac Mills?) and pundits ponder whether the rapidly transforming southern state is moving...

By Ben Pershing | October 17, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (5)

October 16, 2008

12:30 p.m. ET: It's looking like we may have been better served watching last night's debate with the sound muted, because much of the chatter this morning has been about facial expressions and body language. From the left, check out...

By Ben Pershing | October 16, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (6)

October 15, 2008

12:30 p.m. ET: The debate is now only hours away, which means our televisions and Internet caches are full of suggestions for "What McCain/Obama Needs to Do Tonight..." Well, The Rundown would like to hear what YOU think they "need...

By Ben Pershing | October 15, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (11)

October 14, 2008

12 p.m. ET: We interrupt your regular presidential campaign blog to bring you news from a different and, frankly, more interesting race taking place down in sunny Palm Beach. That's where Tim Mahoney, the freshman Democratic congressman, is battling allegations...

By Ben Pershing | October 14, 2008; 07:45 AM ET | Comments (14)

October 13, 2008

12:30 p.m. ET: If Barack Obama beats John McCain three weeks from tomorrow, we may just look back at one particular date on the calendar as the day the race was decided -- June 19. That was the day McCain...

By Ben Pershing | October 13, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (5)

October 10, 2008

1:30 p.m. ET: Does John McCain have a problem with women voters? Yes, he's got a woman on his ticket, but that hasn't stopped his polling numbers with the fairer sex from trending in the wrong direction. Two of the...

By Ben Pershing | October 10, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (47)

October 9, 2008

12:45 p.m. ET: Politics is all about combat, and four competitions are dominating today's news: 1) Free vs. Paid Media. So far, John McCain has gotten a remarkable amount of mileage out of the William Ayers story without spending a...

By Ben Pershing | October 9, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (31)

October 8, 2008

3:30 p.m. ET: We won't know for a few days how last night's debate affects the polling in the presidential race. We do know that, at this moment, Barack Obama seems to be ahead. But by how much? With so...

By Ben Pershing | October 8, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (40)

October 7, 2008

2:30 p.m. ET: The debate is less than seven hours away. What music does each candidate put on to get fired up before going on stage? Eminem? The Superman theme? If you know the answers, drop them in the comments...

By Ben Pershing | October 7, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (8)

October 6, 2008

12:15 p.m. ET: Sarah Palin continued her role as designated attack dog this morning (or, of course, designated lipstick-wearing pit bull) by going after Barack Obama again on his Bill Ayers connection. Some questions to consider: 1) Will anybody pay...

By Ben Pershing | October 6, 2008; 07:55 AM ET | Comments (20)

October 3, 2008

1:30 p.m. ET: Our long national nightmare is (maybe) over: The House has passed the financial rescue bill. Go do your Christmas shopping! Buy a car! All is well. Meanwhile, debate reviews continue to roll in and their collective conclusion...

By Ben Pershing | October 3, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

October 2, 2008

4 p.m. ET: Five hours to go, and the air is thick with anticipation: Will Sarah Palin talk in circles when she doesn't know the answer to a question? Will Joe Biden call Palin "little lady" or harken back to...

By Ben Pershing | October 2, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

October 1, 2008

4:15 p.m. ET: More polls, more bad news for Sarah Palin as she gets ready for her closeup at tomorrow night's debate. First the Pew poll showed that 51 percent of respondents don't think she's qualified to be president, and...

By Ben Pershing | October 1, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (11)

September 30, 2008

1 p.m. ET: After an appropriate period of mourning for the economic bailout/rescue bill, attention has shifted this fine Tuesday to how and when to bring the patient back to life. President Bush spoke again from the White House this...

By Ben Pershing | September 30, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (16)

September 29, 2008

4:30 p.m. ET: Wow. The Takeaway, who predicted just a few hours ago that the bailout bill would pass (go to the jump for the gory details), feels chastened. As does, presumably, everyone who was backing the bill: Bush, Paulson,...

By Ben Pershing | September 29, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

September 27, 2008

8 a.m. ET: The almost-didn't-happen debate happened, and today is the first day of the rest of the presidential campaign. The week leading up to Friday night's face-off at Ole Miss was such a whirlwind of activity that the debate...

By Ben Pershing | September 27, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (10)

September 26, 2008

3:30 p.m. ET: Now that the debate over whether to debate is over, we can get on to the debate itself and then the post-debate debate over the winner. Previews are breaking out all over the Interweb, along with advice...

By Ben Pershing | September 26, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (10)

September 25, 2008

2:20 p.m. ET: A deal on bailout legislation is at hand on Capitol Hill -- sort of. Key members of the House and Senate spoke not long ago to say that they had reached what Chris Dodd called a "fundamental...

By Ben Pershing | September 25, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (8)

September 24, 2008

2:30 p.m. ET: President Bush (32 percent approval rating) will address the nation tonight on the economy, in a speech that seems likely to be aimed as much at a recalcitrant Congress (21 percent approval rating) as it is at...

By Ben Pershing | September 24, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (4)

September 23, 2008

2:30 p.m. ET: John McCain got $84 million in public financing in early September, and Barack Obama started the month with $77 million and the likelihood that he would raise well over $100 million more between now and November. The...

By Ben Pershing | September 23, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (5)

September 22, 2008

2:30 PM EST: What does it mean when Newt Gingrich and Paul Krugman both dislike the same legislative proposal? That it must be bad? That it's "just right"? That the Earth has tilted off its axis? We'll learn more as...

By Ben Pershing | September 22, 2008; 06:31 AM ET | Comments (15)

September 19, 2008

Hello and welcome to Political Browser, the Washington Post's daily guide to politics on the Web. You're getting a sneak preview of this new feature, which officially launches at 8 am EST on Monday, Sept. 22. Each weekday, the Browser...

By Ben Pershing | September 19, 2008; 09:40 AM ET | Comments (0)

September 18, 2008

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By Ben Pershing | September 18, 2008; 02:48 PM ET | Comments (0)

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