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Right Now: May 23, 2010 - May 29, 2010

Joe McGinniss talks about why he moved in next to Sarah Palin

McGinniss said he will limit his interviews on this topic, appearing on NBC's "Today" show next week, before getting back to his own work. And he added that he had been a responsible neighbor, shooing off a pair of Minnesota tourists who stepped onto his property to take photos of Palin's home.

By David Weigel  |  May 28, 2010; 10:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (524)
Categories:  Sarah Palin  
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Last call: Off to the beach

Rob Bluey chats with Ken Cuccinelli.

By David Weigel  |  May 28, 2010; 6:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Last call  
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The tragedy of Indiana congressional candidate Tim Crawford

Click through the video for the next four parts, which include moments like Crawford struggling to explain how bills are passed and calling homosexuality a "mutation."

By David Weigel  |  May 28, 2010; 5:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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GOP candidate makes fishy claim of Palin support

And below the fold is an e-mail Emken's campaign sent out under the subject "Sarah Palin's picks," which informs supporters that she's "one of Sarah Palin's top 11 prospects." Evidence of just how valuable the Palin brand is to Republicans, even if it didn't help Vaughn Ward this week.

By David Weigel  |  May 28, 2010; 4:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  2010 Election , Sarah Palin  
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RedState backs off on bribe claim in Haley 'affair' dispute: 'I have no clue'

In making a point about Folks and his media strategy, Erickson has dinged up the credibility of Haley supporters a little.

By David Weigel  |  May 28, 2010; 2:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  2010 Election , Scandal  
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Gingrich: Rand Paul should have answered civil rights question by blaming Democrats

Gingrich, like a lot of Republicans did last week, suggests that Paul could have easily flipped the script. "The first thing any libertarian should say about the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is that segregation as imposed by Democrats through the state governments was a good example of why libertarians oppose government," he said. "Without the government, under the Democrats, imposing segregation -- without the Democratic sheriff of Birmingham using police dogs on the cover of Newsweek, without the Democratic governor of Arkansas trying to prevent children from going to school, without the Democratic governor of Alabama standing in the door of the schoolhouse, you wouldn't have had to have the federal government bring power to bear against the state governments... you ought to go on offense and first point out to all these nice liberals that it was their party which imposed segregation, it was their party which kept blacks subservient, it was their party that created that mess."

By David Weigel  |  May 28, 2010; 1:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Conservatives , Newt Gingrich  
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No special election to replace Mark Souder

Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-Ind.) will not schedule a special election to replace former Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.), who resigned one week ago after a sex scandal with a part-time staffer. The decision by Daniels means that the 3rd district of Indiana will remain vacant until, at earliest, November 3, 2010, the day after the midterms.

By David Weigel  |  May 28, 2010; 1:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Ron Paul: Constituents changed my mind on 'don't ask, don't tell'

Paul's vote was the lone surprise among the five Republicans who bucked their party to vote for the amendment sponsored by Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Penn.).

By David Weigel  |  May 28, 2010; 12:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Gay  
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Issa: White House memo doesn't hold up, Clinton and Sestak need to answer questions

But Sestak pitched a ball 5 mph down the plate, and it was inevitable that if Issa worked every day to ask these questions -- and Sestak won his primary -- the story would get somewhere. Democrats made a huge error in ignoring him and blowing him off.

By David Weigel  |  May 28, 2010; 12:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (96)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Rand Paul: Back and talking to Russian TV

Liberal sites are hitting Paul for saying the children of illegal immigrants should not automatically gain U.S. citizenship. I don't think Paul or his father have ever been shy about their problem with the interpretation of the 14th Amendment on that issue, but I suppose this demonstrates Paul's Palin-like ability to generate fervid commentary from liberals even in soft interviews.

By David Weigel  |  May 28, 2010; 11:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  2010 Election , Immigration  
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White House explains Sestak story; NRSC launches 'Sestak accountability clock'

How coordinated are Republicans on this? In its announcement, the NRSC sent along a video created by Rep. Darrell Issa's (R-Ca.) team on the House Government Reform & Oversight Committee.

By David Weigel  |  May 28, 2010; 10:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Birther march on Washington postponed to 'August/September'

A quick tip for anyone hoping to spend Saturday outside the White House at the ballyhooed Obama Birth Certificate/Eligibility/Obamacare/March on Washington: You should update your travel plans. It's off. Philip J. Berg, the attorney who announced the march, is asking for a delay.

By David Weigel  |  May 28, 2010; 9:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (76)
Categories:  Fringe  
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Which Republicans voted to repeal 'don't ask, don't tell'?

The Paul votes comes as a surprise. Three years ago, as a presidential candidate, Paul told conservative radio host John Lofton that he supported Don't Ask Don't Tell.

By David Weigel  |  May 28, 2010; 8:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Congress , Gay , Ron Paul  
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Last call

Annie Lowrey sees defeat for the payday loan industry, and draws their defenders into the comments.

By David Weigel  |  May 27, 2010; 8:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Last call  
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The conservative embrace of Zev Chafets's Limbaugh bio

I agree with Andy Alexander that the Post should have been more clear about Frum's long-running criticism of Limbaugh, but I've seen conservative blogs imply that Frum shouldn't have reviewed the book at all, and that seems a little silly -- with so little new information coming from the book, the story here is that Chafets has produced a product Limbaugh promotes every day. It's also being offered as part of a package deal for Townhall magazine buyers:

By David Weigel  |  May 27, 2010; 5:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Media  
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Another tea party split

"We wish them well," said federation spokeswoman Christina Botteri. "I don't know why they left -- I read the same note that you did, probably."

By David Weigel  |  May 27, 2010; 4:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Tea Party  
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A Nikki Haley standoff in South Carolina

The surreality of this aside, obviously a confirmed story from Folks is going to be more damaging than any backstory on why he came out with it.

By David Weigel  |  May 27, 2010; 4:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Scandal  
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Feingold opponent wants no income tax and a longer 'Atlas Shrugged'

Will drops an important fact midway through his column -- Sen. Russ Feingold (R-Wisc.), whom Johnson is running against, did not vote for TARP. That will force Johnson to confront Feingold -- and Feingold to confront Johnson -- on government and spending issues that are less unpopular. But Republicans are currently swooning over a Rasmussen poll showing Johnson, a total unknown, in a statistical tie with Feingold.

By David Weigel  |  May 27, 2010; 3:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Orrin Hatch introduces amendment to criminalize Blumenthal-ism

My emphasis, which makes it clear that Hatch is talking about Blumenthal, even though Hatch's office declined to say this when I asked. "The amendment says what the amendment says," a spokesperson told me.

By David Weigel  |  May 27, 2010; 2:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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The DOJ's response to Virginia's anti-health-care lawsuit

I've been meaning to post more primary documents here, and this is an important one -- the Obama administration's memo explaining its request for dismissal of Virginia's lawsuit against the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act.

By David Weigel  |  May 27, 2010; 1:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Health Care  
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Bush ethics lawyer pours cold water on Sestak 'job offer' story

The steady drumbeat of attacks and investigation demands from Republicans is as damaging for Sestak as the fact that he bumbled into this trap in the first place.

By David Weigel  |  May 27, 2010; 12:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  2010 Election , Scandal  
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Lieberman says he might support Linda McMahon. Again.

This interview occurred when Lieberman's approval in the state was chugging along at 25 percent. McMahon's campaign might welcome a Lieberman endorsement, but chalk this up as another case of the independent senator seeing the media's interest in "infighting" stories and offering up his services.

By David Weigel  |  May 27, 2010; 12:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Minuteman strategist: 'We have to put Mr. Brooks in the best position to win'

I have been reading with great interest about your potential race for Congress in the next election cycle. As someone who has been the Campaign Manager in Tennessee races for Congress in both the 7th and 9th Congressional Districts (Marsha Blackburn’s first race in 2002 and Mark White’s first in 2006) I wanted to let you know I am interested in your race as well.

By David Weigel  |  May 27, 2010; 11:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  2010 Election , Immigration  
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Mukasey: Special prosecutor might be needed in Sestak 'job offer' case

"It seems to me that if the offer came from the White House, you need a special prosecutor," said Mukaskey. "People were railing on me for months, demanding a special prosecutor for this, a special prosecutor for that. But here's a case where... well, he hasn't said what happened."

By David Weigel  |  May 27, 2010; 10:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Scandal  
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The history of the house next door to Palin

I've clipped a few things I don't see Moore offering proof for but the rest of this is verifiable. Palin uses the one-way Facebook information feed to give the impression of openness and honesty about her life -- her fans are the first to know, reporters hustle to type up what she says.

By David Weigel  |  May 27, 2010; 9:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (63)
Categories:  Sarah Palin  
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Richard Blumenthal survives

This is one poll, but it's gospel in Connecticut. And not even Rasmussen showed McMahon taking a lead over Blumenthal. I think it's obvious what happened: McMahon's rush to take credit for the hit softened its impact while making her look like what her expensive campaign swears she's not -- a typical politician. Just look at this amazing number. By a 33-point margin, 60-27, voters say Blumenthal is "honest and trustworthy." The margin on that question for McMahon is only 21 points, 45-24. If both candidates did themselves permanent damage last week, then Blumenthal, who started with a massive poll, has the advantage.

By David Weigel  |  May 27, 2010; 8:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  2010 Election , Conservatives  
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Last call

I'll be on "Countdown" tonight, talking about some former governor of Alaska. Tony Knowles? No, wait, someone else.

By David Weigel  |  May 26, 2010; 7:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Last call  
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GOP candidate explains TARP vote in TV ad: 'As a leader, I made a decision'

I honestly believe with all my heart that we were at a point where men and women were going to reach into their back pocket and pull out a credit card or ATM card and stick it into a machine and nothing was going to come out.

By David Weigel  |  May 26, 2010; 5:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Dept. of Complaints

Erickson provocatively titles his post to say he doesn't "take me seriously." I don't care if I'm taken seriously. I only care that the reporting holds up.

By David Weigel  |  May 26, 2010; 3:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Conservatives  
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GOP keeps up pressure for investigation of Sestak 'job' story

Previously -- and for three whole months -- Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Ca.) did the same thing, asking for a special prosecutor, and even demanding something, anything on this issue when Holder testified before Congress. On paper, seven Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have as much ability to make this happen as Issa does -- none. But Issa wasn't able to get ABC News to publish his latest request as an (all caps in original) EXCLUSIVE. Which means Republicans are winning this argument, and the White House really has to reveal what happened, because Sestak's story is so strange and so unexplained by the timeline of early 2009 that literally any theory about it gets ink.

By David Weigel  |  May 26, 2010; 3:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Rand Paul replaces campaign manager

"I'm the new campaign manager in title, but this isn't a campaign shake-up," said Benton. "David Adams isn't being pushed out in any way. This is just a change in roles. I was just a general consultant, but I'll be taking the official title -- David will become campaign chairman. He'll be Rand's key liaison to groups here in Kentucky."

By David Weigel  |  May 26, 2010; 2:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  2010 Election , Ron Paul  
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Tennessee, Alabama GOP candidates co-star in copycat ads

I've contacted the ad producer to confirm what seems pretty obvious -- that to save some time and money (I've got no problem with that!) the candidates shared a field and a tractor for a day.

By David Weigel  |  May 26, 2010; 1:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Palin: McGinniss 'can do what he wants to,' but I'm protecting my kids

I winced some more at Beck's fantasy about how he'd deal with McGinniss "as a man." Palin claims that her husband has started building a fence, and the interview makes her tack here even more explicit -- she is portraying McGinniss's move as a threat to her children.

By David Weigel  |  May 26, 2010; 1:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  Media , Sarah Palin  
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Orly Taitz, the candidate

Neither Taitz nor her mainstream GOP opponent is expected to beat incumbent Democrat Debra Bowen, although having Taitz on the ticket would be an obvious embarrassment for the state GOP.

By David Weigel  |  May 26, 2010; 12:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  2010 Election , Fringe  
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Misdemeanor plea by James O'Keefe in Landrieu phone case

When the news broke, the response from liberal-leaning reporters was volcanic -- at the time, I used O'Keefe's mistake to explain just how the conservative journalism network worked. At the time, leaders in that network distanced themselves from O'Keefe, saying he'd apparently crossed a line. I'm interested to see how and if he is welcomed back into the movement.

By David Weigel  |  May 26, 2010; 11:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Conservatives  
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BloggingHeads with Joan Walsh

I recorded a conversation with Salon's editor-in-chief Joan Walsh, chewing over the Rand Paul mess, BP, and why liberal news sites are obsessed with conservatives.

By David Weigel  |  May 26, 2010; 10:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Media  
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Minuteman Project co-founder responds to 'endorsement selling' charge

"On the air," said Morgan, "Dale has said he agreed with every endorsement Jim ever made -- except for the guy Dale's endorsing and Jim isn't! He's got to accuse anyone who disagrees with him of a plot."

By David Weigel  |  May 26, 2010; 10:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Inside my Palin mailbag

Maybe I don't want to understand it. Many of the people who wrote me pine for the death of the media, and they do so because they are angry that a politician they like is covered critically.

By David Weigel  |  May 26, 2010; 9:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
Categories:  Sarah Palin  
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Palin-backed, Obama-plagiarizing GOP candidate loses in Idaho

According to Dan Popkey's report in the Idaho Statesman, Sarah Palin's endorsement of Ward was more or less a bust.

By David Weigel  |  May 26, 2010; 8:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Sarah Palin's strange, unprofessional and paranoid grudge

No one in the media should reward Palin for this irresponsible and pathetic bullying.

By David Weigel  |  May 25, 2010; 7:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (238)
Categories:  Sarah Palin  
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Senate GOP: Border troops could lead to immigration compromise

This is basically where hopeful immigration reform advocates have thought the issue was going -- aggressive action from the White House, a quieter border, and then an immigration compromise.

By David Weigel  |  May 25, 2010; 5:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Immigration  
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The brief (and accidental) censorship of the Heritage Foundation

"Apparently," said Rob Bluey, director of Heritage's Center for Media and Public Policy, "the filter we use for the Wi-Fi scans the website for certain words. While I don’t know what on TPM’s site triggered the filter, something did. We’ve already corrected the problem. TPM is now on the safe list."

By David Weigel  |  May 25, 2010; 5:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Media  
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Tea party candidate tearfully leaves race, then inexplicably reenters it

The letter is strange enough that I've printed it below the fold, and am now wondering if Kesha Rogers is only the second-strangest Democrat to win a nomination in a year when the party is having a bit more troubling recruiting.

By David Weigel  |  May 25, 2010; 3:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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McCain gets political win on border troops

McCain's plan calls for 6000 guardsmen to go the border, five times as many as the White House announces. But in his short floor speech, McCain made reference to his own visits to the border, and it was impossible not to think of his much-derided campaign ad that puts him in that scene, talking with a border guard about what needs to be done.

By David Weigel  |  May 25, 2010; 3:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  2010 Election , Immigration  
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Steve King: GOP may not win House

"Once you back away," said King. then you say, 'Well, I was wrong once, but I'm not any more, I got a little political heat,' it implies that your spine's not as strong as people thought it was."

By David Weigel  |  May 25, 2010; 2:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Minuteman Project co-founder accused of selling endorsements

On Friday, Jim Gilchrist -- co-founder of the Minuteman Project, one of the groups that sent citizen patrols to the U.S.-Mexico border in 2006 and 2007 -- endorsed party-switching Rep. Parker Griffith (R-Ala.). That opened up an ugly line of attacks on Gilchrist from local radio host Dale Jackson.

By David Weigel  |  May 25, 2010; 1:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Clarence Thomas's wife launches tea party site

On first blush, it's as non-controversial as I expected back in February, when I first heard about the project. Thomas has been in the conservative trenches for decades, and what her team has put together here looks like a prettier and less red-hot version of sites like ResistNet.

By David Weigel  |  May 25, 2010; 12:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Conservatives , Tea Party  
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Rossi in, Simmons out

“As a successful businesswoman who is ready to restore much-needed checks-and-balances to Washington, I know that Linda McMahon will run an exemplary campaign against Richard Blumenthal. Clearly the Democrats have recruited a flawed candidate in Blumenthal, who has repeatedly demonstrated that he has difficulty simply telling the truth. We’re confident that Linda McMahon will make this Senate seat in Connecticut a competitive pick-up opportunity for Republicans this November.”

By David Weigel  |  May 25, 2010; 11:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Tom Paine versus illegal immigration

This video isn't going viral like Basso's early videos -- his first, nearly incoherent statement about the stimulus is close to 10 million YouTube views -- but here's another example of the lack of cohesion between tea partyers post-health care reform. Libertarians like Dick Armey broke with conservatives over immigration reform, and accused hard-liners of hurting the rest of the movement. As we debated government spending and health care, all the divisions disappeared. But immigration, if we actually deal with it, splits the conservative activists from the libertarians all over again.

By David Weigel  |  May 25, 2010; 10:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Immigration , Tea Party  
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Kentucky reporter stands behind Rand Paul interview

I apologize to Arnold and didn't meant to imply that he was doing shoddy work. There's nothing wrong with an interview that engages instead of combats the subject, and Arnold got Paul to analyze and criticize his own strategy and the media's coverage of him in an interesting, newsy way. My only point was that after a series of interviews in which Paul was asked about how his philosophy would lead him to vote on burning (or, in the Civil Right Act case, theoretical) political issues, he eschewed another round of such interviews while opting to answer hard, but not politically dangerous, questions about his views and the media. Indeed, the headlines that came out of this story were along the lines of "Paul criticizes MSNBC bias" -- the headline that came out of GMA was "Paul says Obama 'un-American' to criticize BP."

By David Weigel  |  May 25, 2010; 8:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Sestak couldn't have been nominated for secretary of the Navy

It's pretty clear that if Sestak was offered a job, it wasn't Secretary of the Navy. And yet David Gregory of Meet the Press asked him that question, point-blank, this weekend. Another example of how Sestak's weird decision to float the story then answer no new questions about it has led to a worse situation than simply explaining what he meant. (For obvious reasons, the story would have been worse for all sides if the callow White House was politicizing the military.)

By David Weigel  |  May 25, 2010; 8:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Last call

It's a much slower news day when Rand Paul declines to give a major TV interview, isn't it? Or do we just end up talking about Palin?

By David Weigel  |  May 24, 2010; 6:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Last call  
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Finally, a comfortable interview for Rand Paul

Josh Green suggested that the media in Kentucky was unusually toothless, but I didn't see much tougher coverage coming from the national press. The difference now is that the local press can get access to Paul by not jumping on the bandwagon.

By David Weigel  |  May 24, 2010; 5:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  2010 Election , Libertarians  
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Dodging the Rand Paul question

The omnipresence of media -- especially video media -- makes it tougher to dodge these sorts of questions, but if I could offer reporters a suggestion: Mentioning Rand Paul's name at the top doesn't make it more likely that you'll get a response.

By David Weigel  |  May 24, 2010; 4:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Palin-backed GOP candidate allegedly rips off Obama's 2004 speech

Vaughn Ward, an Iraq War veteran, has benefited from support from Sarah Palin. But he has been absolutely hounded by tea party groups and fellow Republicans for running a bumbling campaign.

By David Weigel  |  May 24, 2010; 3:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Blasting 'lamestream media,' Palin attacks satirical article

A satirical article slammed by Sarah Palin is pretty far cry from a GOP consultant running to the Associated Press to attack Haley.

By David Weigel  |  May 24, 2010; 3:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Sarah Palin  
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Palin advises Haley: 'You and your supporters will grow stronger through things like this'

Palin, of course, responded to the deluge of accusations against her by quitting the governor's office and becoming a full-time activist and pundit. Haley has an election to win, and while it's unclear what this story does to her chances, Palin's finger is pretty close to the median GOP voter's pulse.

By David Weigel  |  May 24, 2010; 2:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  2010 Election , Sarah Palin , Scandal  
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Ann Coulter, no fan of Linda McMahon

The whole column is probably the best post-PA-12 distillation of the (temporary?) shudder of conservative doubt about the midterms.

By David Weigel  |  May 24, 2010; 1:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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Why liberals aren't hypocrites when they criticize Rand Paul and Barry Goldwater

You can argue, as Paul does, that we're now so bereft of racism that we don't need to the government to mandate non-discrimination policies. Or you can argue, as liberals do, that government still must play a role prosecuting and preventing discrimination. Any other position is a cop-out.

By David Weigel  |  May 24, 2010; 1:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Libertarians , Race  
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Alabama GOP candidate removes forged Obama photo from ad

But the pushback was apparently great enough for the campaign to alter the ad and remove the Obama picture:

By David Weigel  |  May 24, 2010; 12:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  2010 Election , Race  
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Nikki Haley, tea party favorite, denies extramarital affair

Haley's surge came after Sanford's PAC spent $400,000 on TV ads for her, and after Sanford's estranged wife Jenny endorsed her. So even the impression of a scandal, which rocketed around the blogosphere this morning, was toxic. I haven't seen real reaction yet from the blogs that have supported Haley, but there's a palpable hope that Folks -- whom reporters take seriously -- is simply lying.

By David Weigel  |  May 24, 2010; 11:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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The House GOP's new contract, inspired by XBox

According to Republican staff familiar with the site, it's going to be almost entirely user-driven, with Republicans picking avatars and debating, coming up with, and voting on issues like prosperity, fiscal responsibility, national security.

By David Weigel  |  May 24, 2010; 10:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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The fluke in Hawaii

As DCCC Chairman Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) told my colleague Philip Rucker, the Democrats were discounting this election and focusing on November, expecting the combined vote for Democratic candidates Ed Case and Colleen Hanabusa to point to the national majority in the district.

By David Weigel  |  May 24, 2010; 9:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2010 Election  
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'They're not going to call me a racist'

A little backstory: Phillip is a client of BaseConnect, the GOP direct mail/media firm that occasionally comes into criticism for its fees in the early stages of campaigns. As a black Republican who has never had qualms about attacking Obama, Phillip has been an idea, attention-grabbing BaseConnect client.

By David Weigel  |  May 24, 2010; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  2010 Election , Race  
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