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Morning Fix: Are Primaries A Good Thing?



Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D- N.Y.) and former Ambassador Tom Foley (R-Conn.) are pursuing primary challenges. Photos by Hyungwon Kang of Reuters and Marc-Yves Regis of the Hartford Courant

Two Northeastern states are headed toward competitive Senate primaries in 2010, contests that will road-test the idea that intraparty squabbles do more harm than good.

In Connecticut, former Ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley made his challenge to former Rep. Rob Simmons in that state's Republican primary official late Wednesday, filing papers with the Federal Election Commission. State Sen. Sam Caliguri is also in the race.

In New York, Rep. Carolyn Maloney is expected to challenge appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in next year's Democratic primary with a first step toward the race coming in the very near future.

"Primaries are actually helpful," said Foley. "You take on each other and get each other ready for the bigger fight."

Many strategists in both parties would disagree -- including, apparently, President Barack Obama who personally asked Rep. Steve Israel not to challenge Gillibrand in 2010, a request with which the Congressman complied.

"I wouldn't have put it aside without an appeal from the president," Israel said of his no-go decision.

At issue is whether a serious primary race forces candidates to spend precious time and money battling one another rather than focusing on the general election or whether it provides a chance for politicians to prove themselves in the eyes of voters and allows the cream to rise to the top.

Recent political history provides evidence for both cases.

Sen. Sherrod Brown's ability to push Paul Hackett out of the Democratic primary in 2006 allowed him to focus full time on raising the money he needed to prosecute a campaign against then Sen. Mike DeWine (R).

On the other hand, Sen. Jeff Merkley clearly improved as a candidate during his surprisingly competitive Democratic primary race against Steve Novick -- polishing a skill set that allowed him to oust then Sen. Gordon Smith (R) in the general election.

In the cases of New York and Connecticut, the x-factor in determining whether the party primaries will ultimately be help or hindrance may be the timing of the votes. Both states hold relatively late primaries (Connecticut in August, New York in September), a reality that will force the eventual nominee to pivot quickly to a general election fight with limited resources.

With a slew of competitive Senate primaries on tap for 2010 -- in addition to New York and Connecticut, keep an eye on the Florida Republican race, the Kentucky Democratic contest and Missouri Republican battle -- the age-old question of whether these intraparty fights strengthen or weaken the party's nominee will be front and center.

Thursday Fix Picks: Who is the best band in the world right now? Contenders: U2, Radiohead, Wilco. Who else?

1. The Muslim Speech.
2. The most important article about the coming health care debate you (probably) haven't read.
3. Same-sex marriage now legal in New Hampshire.
4. Elizabeth Edwards ain't running for office.
5. "Skip to My Lou" goes mainstream.

Barnes Running in Ga.: National Democrats scored a major recruiting coup in Georgia as former Gov. Roy Barnes announced Wednesday that he would run to reclaim his old office in 2010 when the seat is vacant. "I've listened and I realized that when I was governor before I didn't do enough listening," said Barnes of his upset loss in 2002 to then state Sen. Sonny Perdue (R). "I realize that I was impatient and that I had an aggressive agenda." (Barnes was famously cast as "King Roy" by Perdue in one of the most infamous -- and effective -- ads in recent political history.) Barnes' announcement drew immediate praise from the Democratic Governors Association Chairman Brian Schweitzer (Mont.) who lauded the former governor's "knowledge and character". Barnes' entry into the contest will likely drive several other Democratic candidates out; before he announced, state Attorney General Thurbert Baker, former Secretary of State David Poythress and state Sen. DuBose Porter were declared.

Deeds on NOVA TV: Less than one week before Virginia Democrats head to the poll to pick their nominee for governor, state Sen. Creigh Deeds is up with an ad touting his endorsement by the Washington Post in the crucial northern Virginia media market. The ad is centered on the idea -- advanced by the Post endorsement -- that Deeds is the best candidate in the field to carry on the policies of former Gov. Mark Warner (D) and current Gov. Tim Kaine (D). Deeds joins former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe on the airwaves in the costly Washington, D.C. media market, which reaches northern Virginia -- the home of an ever-growing number of Democrats. Deeds appears to be surging in the final weeks of the campaign although polling in the race is complicated by the distinct lack of prior competitive Democratic primaries for governor in the Commonwealth.

Follow Me: Four more good Twitterers on social media to check out -- Steve Rubel, Guy Kawasaki, Jason Preston and Carrie Bugbee.

Republicans For Reid: Hoping to discourage Rep. Dean Heller, Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki and any other potential Republican candidates from running against him in 2010, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) released a list of prominent GOPers who are backing his re-election bid. At the top of the list? Dawn Gibbons, an unsuccessful Congressional candidate and the ex-wife of the current Republican governor. Among the other boldfaced GOP names backing Reid: boxing official Joe Cortez, GOP money man Sig Rogich and Wayne Newton!

Hutchison Rides High in New Poll: A new poll conducted for the Texas Credit Union League by GOP pollster Glen Bolger and Democratic pollster Dave Beattie provides good news for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison as she prepares for a 2010 Republican primary against Gov. Rick Perry. Roughly two-thirds (66 percent) of Texas voters approve of the job Hutchison is doing while just 18 percent disapprove; Perry's numbers are less stellar with 52 percent approving and 40 percent disapproving. Among Republican primary voters, Hutchison is also well regarded with a 74 percent approve/12 percent disapprove number. Among those primary voters who define themselves as very conservative -- theoretically Perry's base -- Hutchison and the governor have virtually identical approval ratings (74 percent for Hutchison, 73 percent for Perry). The Perry forces would argue -- we can almost hear it now -- that these numbers reflect the fact that GOP voters have little more than a superficial knowledge of Hutchison's record and that when the campaign starts in earnest issues like her vote last fall for the bank bailout will badly damage her image.

Rollins to XM: Longtime Republican strategist Ed Rollins is getting his own show on Sirius XM starting on Sunday. Rollins, who served as a senior strategist for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) during the 2008 presidential primary, will host a show on "politics, health care, business, the economy and beyond" (!) from 1-2 p.m. Sundays on the POTUS channel.

Say What?: "My initial reaction was strong and direct -- perhaps too strong and direct." -- Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) walks back his calling Judge Sonia Sotomayor in the immediate aftermath of her nomination to the Supreme Court.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 4, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Next: What To Watch For: Obama's Muslim Speech, Sotomayor and the Senate, Lakers-Magic

Comments

Chris- Radiohead is the best band in the world.

Also, speaking of primaries and how wild they might get, everybody should look in to the 4th Congressional District in South Carolina. Yes, the winner of the Republican primary will win the election running away. This is probably the most conservative district in America, it is the area that refused to support Sen. Graham last year in his primary race because of his stance on immigration. The incumbent, Bob Inglis, is being challenged by a popular state senator and a popular D.A. in the primary because he is not sufficiently conservative for them. This race is going to get ugly quick. It will be a good one to watch.

Posted by: robbinsjoh | June 4, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Personal to scrivener50 (put your decoder glasses on now):

I may have missed your answer last time I asked, but do you believe it's possible that SEATBELTS are the ultimate "directed energy" weapons your have been searching for this whole time?

Posted by: JakeD | June 4, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox8:

Your lame psy ops is an embarrassment to the community and is being forwarded to DNI Inspector General Roz Mazer as an example of how not to conduct covert domestic operations.

Posted by: scrivener50 | June 4, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

THE NEXUS BETWEEN APPARENT GOVERNMENT PRIOR RESTRAINT AND/OR CENSORSHIP OF POSTS TO 'THE FIX'... AND THE WEAPONIZATION OF THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM

==

You're a freak. Go find a good shrink.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 4, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Arcade Fire?

And if the Republicans don't come up with a strong opponent for Gillbrand, Maloney won't matter.

Posted by: billmcg1 | June 4, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

THE NEXUS BETWEEN APPARENT GOVERNMENT PRIOR RESTRAINT AND/OR CENSORSHIP OF POSTS TO 'THE FIX'... AND THE WEAPONIZATION OF THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM


Personal to JakeD:

There is no more basic a freedom than the freedom to THINK and FUNCTION without external interference or malicious manipulation.

The apparent censorship and/or prior restraint being imposed on unjustly "targeted" American citizens and their families (including many, if not most, journalists and politically-oriented "bloggers") is just the tip of the iceberg.

A growing body of evidence indicates that the telecommunications system isn't just being censored and controlled...

... It appears that terrestrial and/or satellite telecommunications have been WEAPONIZED as a means to impose authoritarian control over speech, thought, and even physiology.

Microwave radiation of various forms is not just being used in place of bullets and artillery in the military and in law enforcement.... It appears that a GPS-like transmission network can be used to target individuals for microwave radiation attack, or to influence neurological and physiological processes including thought, emotion, and organ function.

WaPo's Bob Woodward appeared to be describing such developments in an appearance last year on "60 Minutes" concerning new weapons systems being tested and deployed in Iraq.

Is it possible that the government told Woodward just enough to keep him, and WaPo, from pursuing the real story -- the weaponization of the electromagnetic spectrum as a means to conduct not just "warfare" against "terrorists," but physiological CONTROL over the neurological and physiological functioning of "targeted" individuals?

In other words, the purposeful denial of that most basic human right: The right to freely THINK and FUNCTION.

Where are the libertarians on this?

Like Team Obama, apparently unaware, perhaps purposely misled, as to the ramifications of swelling "black operations" budgets to refine and deploy so-called "directed energy weapons" to every community in America -- by way of hand-held or stationary microwave radiation weaponry -- AND via the weaponization of the telecommunications system.

This, I believe, is why I am subject daily to draconian attempts at censorship -- which I have countered by persistent resistance to this creeping fascism.

My article, "Gestapo USA," provides an overview of the real danger to democracy in America. Please read it at:


http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR (link link is corrupted / disabled):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener


Posted by: scrivener50 | June 4, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Best band today: The Killers

Posted by: andrea81 | June 4, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

scrivener50:

Maybe you used "fowl" language or tried to post too much?

Posted by: JakeD | June 4, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Trying to make a blanket statement about primaries by asking "Are primaries a good thing?" is akin to asking "Are waves a good thing?". Context, as has been pointed out, matters.

Nice 6 ft. rollers are good; tsunamis are bad.

Posted by: mnteng | June 4, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

vbhoomes: "liberal" is a compliment. The three-letter variant is only used by the trolls. Thanks for responding as you did.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 4, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

As long as the candidates in a primary avoid the kind of scorched-Earth attacks that we get in the general election and have a reasoned battle over issues, primaries are almost always a good thing. They should remember not to say something they might have to swallow later if they lose and end up having to endorse their erstwhile opponent.

Posted by: Budikavlan | June 4, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

DOES WA-PO 'HOLD' POSTS TO 'THE FIX' AND '44' FOR THE 'BLOG OWNER'?

UNLESS FOUL LANGUAGE IS USED, THE ANSWER IS 'NO.'

SO WHAT ENTITY GENERATED THAT MESSAGE WHEN I JUST ATTEMPTED TO EXPRESS POLITICAL OPINIONS HERE THAT ARE CRITICAL OF GOVERNMENT BUREAUCRATS WHO APPARENTLY USE THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM TO HARASS AND CONTROL UNJUSTLY 'TARGETED' CITIZENS?

DHS SECRETARY JANET NAPOLITANO: PLEASE READ THIS:

http://nowpublic.com/world/govt-fusion-center-spying-pretext-harass-and-censor

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "Gov't Fusion Center Spying: Pretext to Harass and Censor?"


Mainstream media that increasingly depend on the internet to reach the public must wake up to the apparent FACT of pervasive, unconstitutional government censorship being conducted under the false flag of "keeping America safe."

Posted by: scrivener50 | June 4, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

On Primaries:

Whether they are good or bad is a question that CANNOT be answered in a vacuum.

For example, timing must be a critical consideration. In Colorado, primaries are almost certain to end in defeat during a contested general (See Senate '04, Gov '06). Why? Because the primary is held in MID-AUGUST!!! That is barely two and a half months before the general. Compounding matters? The very high mail-in voting that go out even a month before. That leaves only six weeks between a brutal primary and ballots in hands. Its just not enough time to recover ...

That is just one example. Certainly the answer must change if there isn't a contested general, name ID, salience of particular issues, etc.

But it is always a fun debate!

Posted by: MarioNicolais | June 4, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Didn't know libs or liberals were a perjorative chrisfox. If it makes you feel any better, I promise to use Progressives in the future.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 4, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I was thinking about that. Newt and Rush have zero credibility outside of their base, so political capital isn't a concern for them directly

==

On the contrary. Gingrich has some notion of running for President in 2012, he's gibbering for attention and, like the few remaining, aiming all his appeals at the teabaggers. What makes these nincompoops think they can win a national election by appealing to 19% of the electorate and repelling everyone else?

But nobody outside of DC bothers to distinguish Gingrich and Limbaugh from elected GOP officials. There really is no need to.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 4, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

"What exactly is "bullets" a metaphor for? Time? Political capital?"


To use a metaphor to answer your question, think of the boy who cried 'wolf'. The wingers are attacking a moderate as an extreme liberal. If you count their attacks on Obama, Sotomayor is the 2nd time they're making that claim. The next time a justice steps down, if Obama appoints a real liberal - who will believe the cries of the wingers, who are rapidly firing the last shots of their credibility?

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 4, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Why do libs

==

Well I guess we can lay to rest any suggestion that vbhoomes is any better than the rest of the GOP trolls

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 4, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I see chrissuxit has already engaged in blog pollution again. What a loser.

When will the Libs begin to see that simply giving speeches and standing for nothing is ineffective for governing, despite being a winning tactic for election. you just can't change your mind every week and expect ongoing support for your socialist ways. Particulary when you ran as anti-bush, then promptly became bush.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 4, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Love U2, but in terms of pure energy, excitement and craft, no one beats Springsteen and the E Street Band. Saw them in the 70's and recently and they're better than ever. The Fix should also appreciate their political edge.

Deeds has been the stealth candidate in NoVA for some time. Moran and McAuliffe have been putting incredible pressure on active NoVA Dems. The Moran camp just seems to expect that all NoVA Dems must support Brian. McAuliffe's people seem to expect that lots of paid staff necessarily means votes for Terry. Moran's attacks on McAuliffe have been very effective -- in making them both look bad. I know many Dems who are quietly planning to vote for Creigh. Maybe nice guys can finish first.

Posted by: estreet1 | June 4, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Regarding primaries, I wish more places would use a non-partisan primary. I know that Nebraska has some different political elements including a non-partisan unicameral legislature, but the non-partisan primary is a wonderful experience at all stages of our politics. In the recent Omaha municipal elections we had three mayoral candidates (2 R, 1 D) and many city council races had multiple candidates. In each race the top two vote getters in the primary were in the general election. For the mayor race this happened to mean a Republican and a Democrat, but in many of the city council races the general featured two members of the same party. In heavily Democratic North Omaha, two African-American Democrats were in the general. The incumbent (often accused of being combative over his 12 years of previous service) lost to a more moderate challenger. In a Southwest Omaha district, two Republicans met in the general. The more moderate incumbent was reelected having defeated a more conservative challenger. The self-moderating influence of the non-partisan primary makes city government much more effective. If our city races were structured in a typical partisan primary these districts would be represented by much more extreme Democrats and Republicans and compromise would be even more difficult on the council.

Posted by: Peter_Zenger | June 4, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Primaries are a good thing, especially in the Senate. Senators think their seats are a birthright and an entitlement. They deserve to have their records challenged. I hate when the establishment acts like we have no right to democracy. See Lieberman, Joe.

Posted by: havok26 | June 4, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"Political capital DDAWD. She's going to get confrimed with or withour republican votes, so don't fall into the trap of idenity politics set by Obama."

I was thinking about that. Newt and Rush have zero credibility outside of their base, so political capital isn't a concern for them directly, but you have to presume that their comments would be tied around the necks of actual Republican politicians who have to run in actual elections. Furthermore, it would just be another data point in the "party of no" meme.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 4, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Political capital DDAWD. She's going to get confrimed with or withour republican votes, so don't fall into the trap of idenity politics set by Obama.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 4, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

"“The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.”

... has me all a-dither, a spring in my step."


Yeah, that was surprisingly direct and specific, wasn't it?

Posted by: DDAWD | June 4, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Strongly disagree with the first two posters about the senate primary in NY.

Nobody loves Gillibrand. We'll tolerate her if we have to, but if Maloney's the only one with the guts to take her on, she's got my vote.

I've always thought Maloney was a bit of a ditz, but at least she's a solid liberal vote (as opposed to Ms. "100% NRA approval rating" Gillibrand).

Posted by: Bondosan | June 4, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

"Glad to see Rush and Newt came around to my thinking on treating Sonia with respect and dignity. you don't want to waste bullets on a lost cause."

What exactly is "bullets" a metaphor for? Time? Political capital?

Posted by: DDAWD | June 4, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I spent most of my life in a state (WV) where the Democratic primary was the most important election.. if the D's happened to get a candidate they didn't like during the primary.. they would get the GOP to put up a candidate and would vote for the GOP...

Speaking of WV Dems / Jay Rockefeller was my long time hero (from the time he spoke at my high school gym and then came to the grand opening of our new factory)..
.. anyway Jay did an excellent job yesterday when heading the Chrysler/GM hearing on Wednesday.. he was fair and bipartisan.. why he was never a Pres./V.P. candidate baffles me.. maybe he just didn't want it.. I was proud to have voted for him, so many times (and now, I'm a non Obama person.. politics is weird ((and personal)))

Posted by: newbeeboy | June 4, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

"I think the one that's got the righties the most inflamed so far is his reference to the US as a Muslim nation."

Which is classic, because he didn't actually say that.

Posted by: VTDuffman | June 4, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Good points on the beneficial aspects of primaries helping candidates focus on their message and on the problem of using money to fight like-minded candidates. I'd like it if you would be willing to discuss other issues regarding primaries and general elections. Here are a few of my issues.

I'm no fan of primaries for several reasons. As an independent I frequently find that the candidate that is selected in the primaries is not the candidate I want to vote for (this is a problem as in many places an independent cannot vote in primaries and rules for running in the general election are more different and more difficult to achieve for parties that aren't democrat or republican).

Also, in either primaries or general elections, I'd rather that a majority of the votes be required to be cast for the winner as opposed to the plurality which is in common use today.

Having said all that, as organizations I feel that the political parties should have discretion on picking one or more candidates to run in the general election as long as no local/state/federal money is spent on the primaries. And I am stongly opposed to primaries, paid for by tax dollars, that restrict who can vote in them. As such, I like that I can vote in both the democratic and republican primaries in VA.

I'd like to see our general elections changed to remove/reduce these objections. I've read about how an instant-runoff voting system might work but I'm open to other systems.

Posted by: ArlingtonSMP | June 4, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Why do libs believe a speech is action. Its just talk, it will not change the game on the ground what so ever. Do you really think Iran will stop its drive to be a nuclear armed nation because Obama wants to have a new beginning. How come North Korea didn't get the message?

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 4, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I think the one that's got the righties the most inflamed so far is his reference to the US as a Muslim nation.

==

Didn't read that one, but the part about

“The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.”

... has me all a-dither, a spring in my step.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 4, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Too late, Newt. You should have kept your fat mouth shut. Latinos are 15 percent of the electorate now, a third of them voted GOP last time, now only the worst of the self-haters would pull the lever for the goops. Stupid, stupid, stupid, playing to the 19-percenters. You guys won't get a hundred electoral votes in 2012.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 4, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

"Anyway today's *real* topic is Obama speaking to the Muslim world in Cairo. This should be a banner day for synthetic outrage by the trolls. Bowing to Abdullah, "apologizing," Obamanation, etc. No doubt they've all gotten their "phrase of the day" emails."

I think the one that's got the righties the most inflamed so far is his reference to the US as a Muslim nation.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 4, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Glad to see Rush and Newt came around to my thinking on treating Sonia with respect and dignity. you don't want to waste bullets on a lost cause. Dems may want to have a primary in Ohio's Gov race. After NCR deciding to move to Ga., Kasich is going to put a good old fashion butt whipping on Ted Strickland. Ohio is bleeding jobs at a rate that soon the state will not be able to absorb. Businesses go where taxes are low.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 4, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

pyoung1 writes
"The real issue here is your list of nominees for best band in the world right now. Radiohead and Wilco are both excellent choices and each has a legitimate claim to the title. Even U2 could make a case. However, your omission of Elbow is a clear oversight. They may not have the commercial success of U2 (or even Wilco), but they have made consistently awesome records. Their latest album, "The Seldom Seen Kid," is sublime. The Fix should check it out and then add it to your list."


I missed this list. Of those listed by pyoung, I would go with Radiohead, by a large margin. Wilco & U2 were both better on earlier albums than later. Radiohead has been consistently very good.


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 4, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Putting Israel on notice regarding their settlements is the best news I've read since Obama took office. It's about time an American president faced up to that nasty little apartheid nation and its squatter movement. Time to send Netanyahu back to the penalty box.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 4, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

The Fix writes
"At issue is whether a serious primary race forces candidates to spend precious time and money battling one another rather than focusing on the general election or whether it provides a chance for politicians to prove themselves in the eyes of voters and allows the cream to rise to the top."

You missed one. Primaries might be an extremely poor way of identifying the candidate that is best suited for the job. In Minnesota, anyway, the victors of primaries tend to be the candidates who have the most appeal among party activists. Mike Hatch was the last DFL gubernatorial candidate, who had little appeal to swing voters - particularly once he lived up to his reputation for being a hothead. On the GOP side, Michele Bachmann won both her seats by enthusing evangelicals who normally aren't politically active, but swarmed to her cause in the primary. She's won two fairly close elections to gain & keep her seat, but a moderate Republican would be untouchable in her district.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 4, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Good or bad, the whole process is too long. We should be able to have the whole election in a month, not this endless tw-year affair.

Anyway today's *real* topic is Obama speaking to the Muslim world in Cairo. This should be a banner day for synthetic outrage by the trolls. Bowing to Abdullah, "apologizing," Obamanation, etc. No doubt they've all gotten their "phrase of the day" emails.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 4, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

So any predictions on the talking points by the conservatives? He showed weakness? He was too apologetic? He didn't send his entire audience to Guantanamo?

Posted by: DDAWD | June 4, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

it's too early......

to answer the question,
are primaries a good thing?

oh gee, heck no chris;
let's just forget about the democratic process in totality----

i see you only did a one liner (with a link) on the New Hampshire decision.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | June 4, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse


(((whooosh )))

the babe has crawled out of the Tyler Refrigeration pit .....

The Muslim Speech? Is that what it was?
Wasn't it refreshing to see elonquence instead of....hmmm, "ambling"?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | June 4, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Irony, thy name is Texas. At the end of the Lege session, the Ds fought off voter ID by "chubbing" most other unfinished business. The "chubbed" business was little stuff that passed after a max debate on each item. So two real biggies; CHIPS and expanded UI failed to even come up for a vote. No expanded UI loses TX the half billion of "stimulus" Perry did not want but the Lege leadership did. My UI tax [as an employer] may be raised by a factor of eight.

http://www.statesman.com/news/content/region/legislature/stories/06/01/0601legeissues.html

This might have ended better with KBH as Gov. She WILL beat Goodhair.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 4, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

I agree that primaries in general are a very good idea. Anytime the voters get to choose our leaders, or who runs to be our leaders as the case may be, the people win. Do primaries hurt some candidates, yes. But that is most likely because the candidates were flawed in the beginning. It is the same reason why I think Sestak should challenge Arlen Specter in PA. I personally thinkt hat Specter is a good senator, but I also tend to agree with Sestak's views more often. It is this type of dilemna that primaries are designed to address.

Posted by: AndyR3 | June 4, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Primaries are a good thing, if only because it's the most fair method of a party picking a nominee. The real issue here is your list of nominees for best band in the world right now. Radiohead and Wilco are both excellent choices and each has a legitimate claim to the title. Even U2 (if they would stop saving the world and get back to music) could make a case. However, your omission of Elbow is a clear oversight. They may not have the commercial success of U2 (or even Wilco), but they have made consistently awesome records. Their latest album, "The Seldom Seen Kid," is sublime. The Fix should check it out and then add it to your list.

Posted by: pyoung1 | June 4, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Looks like the "Skip to My Lou" link has a copy/paste error - it goes to the NH story.

Posted by: KatherineWelsh | June 4, 2009 7:17 AM | Report abuse

Primaries are almost always a good thing, because anointments are almost always bad - cf. Jim Gilmore in VA. (While Warner most likely would have won anyway, Davis would have been a much stronger candidate against him.) Lots of voters really, really don't like anointments and show their resentment at the ballot box - cf Kathleen Kennedy Townsend; after strong-arming other contenders out of the Maryland Democratic gubernatorial primary, she STILL dropped 25% of the vote to a retired grocery clerk - a clear sign of her impending loss to Bob Ehrlich.

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | June 4, 2009 6:59 AM | Report abuse

I agree with prettierthanyou's assessment, particularly for open seats. I think Maloney is entering the primary as a grudge match and Gillibrand seems to be settling in. On the CT Republican side it makes sense for a field of candidates to enter the race since a Dem holds the seat now. Anointments (eg Simmons) don't go down well.

And Gingrich should just go away!

Posted by: RickJ | June 4, 2009 6:42 AM | Report abuse

Primaries are a good thing when a seat is about to become vacant. Primaries are a stupid thing when a liberal tries to replace a liberal incumbent. Primaries are moronic when the challenger -- Maloney -- is mainly acting out a personal grudge.

Posted by: prettierthanyou | June 4, 2009 6:18 AM | Report abuse

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