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Archive of Articles in the "2024 Elections" Category

Let New Hampshire Go First

[ Posted Thursday, January 26th, 2023 – 17:17 UTC ]

At President Joe Biden's urging, the Democratic National Committee has picked a big and (in my opinion) a completely unnecessary fight with the state of New Hampshire. Last year, when the party met to decide which states would go first in the presidential primary calendar, Biden blindsided just about everyone with his own preferred schedule. Earlier, the party had announced there would be a free-for-all for states to apply for early primary slots, which was largely seen as a convenient way to demote Iowa from the early states, for multiple reasons (the largest being how incompetent they had been in 2020). This conventional wisdom held that one or perhaps even two other additional states would be elevated to the ranks of the early-voting states, again for multiple reasons. But few predicted that New Hampshire would be affected. This proved to be wrong, as Biden released his preferred schedule: South Carolina would be the "first in the nation" state, followed by Nevada and New Hampshire three days later (both voting on the same day). Yesterday, the party met again and instead of locking in Biden's new schedule, gave two states until June to comply with the new setup -- New Hampshire and Georgia (which was newly elevated into the ranks of early-voting states).

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Will Sinema Even Run?

[ Posted Monday, January 23rd, 2023 – 16:34 UTC ]

Representative Ruben Gallego made some news today with his announcement that he is running for the 2024 Democratic nomination for a Senate seat in Arizona. If she were still a Democrat, this would be framed as Senator Kyrsten Sinema "drawing a challenger" or "being primaried" from within her own party, but since she became an Independent that is no longer true. With a Republican in the mix as well, there may wind up being a three-way contest for the seat. But then again, maybe not.

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Friday Talking Points -- Biden's First Two Years

[ Posted Friday, January 20th, 2023 – 18:27 UTC ]

Two years ago today, Joseph Robinette Biden Junior was sworn in as the nation's 46th president. So how is he doing at his job? His approval rating in public opinion polls has generally improved since the midterm elections, hitting numbers he hasn't seen in a year. But those numbers are still south of 45 percent (on average), which is fairly common for a first-term president but certainly nothing to brag about.

Biden has had some notable successes as president, and some notable rocky patches as well. He entered office as the COVID-19 vaccines were becoming widely and freely available, and things seemed rosy on this front for his first year, only to get a lot grimmer as the Omicron strain hit much harder than any of the previous variants of the virus. All of a sudden we weren't done with COVID-19 and life didn't return to normal as expected. But since then, the virus has become almost an afterthought and didn't matter much to voters in the midterms (even though it had been predicted that it would be a major issue).

Biden's legislative accomplishments are more impressive than any president since Lyndon B. Johnson. True, Biden did have a Democratic Senate and House to work with, but both of those had historically-slender majorities -- L.B.J., for instance, had as many as 68 Democratic senators to work with. Biden only had 50 -- including two who loved the media spotlight so much they didn't care if they torpedoed Biden's agenda in major ways. Biden also managed to pass some major bills with bipartisan support, which is almost miraculous, these days.

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Friday Talking Points -- Joe's Garage

[ Posted Friday, January 13th, 2023 – 17:43 UTC ]

With apologies to Frank Zappa, this week's big political story might be summed up as coming from "Joe's garage." But we'll get to all of that in a moment, down in the awards section (it shouldn't be any mystery which one he's going to get). First, though, let's take a look at the other momentous things that happened during the past week.

This column, of course, measures weeks from Friday afternoon to Friday afternoon. As we were writing last week, the House of Representatives was still deadlocked over who would become the next speaker. This continued far into the night, until Kevin McCarthy finally emerged victorious. Weakened, bloodied, diminished... but finally victorious.

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The Big Difference

[ Posted Thursday, January 12th, 2023 – 16:55 UTC ]

Attorney General Merrick Garland has now announced the appointment of a special counsel to look into President Joe Biden's apparent mishandling of classified documents. This bombshell hit the political world earlier today and everyone has been furiously reacting ever since. Personally, when we first heard the news (earlier in the week) that an organization that Biden created (after he left office as Barack Obama's vice president) had turned over classified documents to the National Archives, we took a "wait and see" approach to writing about it. Now that the other shoe has dropped in a dramatic way, though, it's time for some reactions.

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Let The Race Begin!

[ Posted Tuesday, January 10th, 2023 – 15:38 UTC ]

The 2024 campaign has begun. Not the big one -- not the race for president, that already started when Donald Trump threw his hat in the ring laughably early, in a naked attempt to avoid justice. Instead, this one is closer to home for me. Representative Katie Porter announced today that she is running for Dianne Feinstein's Senate seat. Which means California may get the first truly open Senate race since 1992 (when Feinstein first got elected). And since it's California, there is no real question of a Republican winning the seat, since they are all but irrelevant out here.

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My 2022 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 2]

[ Posted Friday, December 23rd, 2022 – 19:51 UTC ]

Welcome back to the second of our year-end awards columns! And if you missed it last Friday, go check out [Part 1] as well.

As always, this is long. Horrendously long. Insanely long. It takes a lot of stamina to read all the way to the end. You have been duly warned! But because it is so long, we certainly don't want to add any more here at the start, so let's just dive in, shall we?

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Trump's Taxes To Be Released

[ Posted Tuesday, December 20th, 2022 – 18:06 UTC ]

As I write this, the news is just coming in from the House Ways and Means Committee -- Donald Trump's tax returns will be sent to the full House, meaning they will become public record.

I've been waiting all day to hear the outcome, and reading arguments both for and against this release in the media. And I have to say, the arguments for keeping Trump's tax returns private don't seem very convincing.

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Aid Or Comfort

[ Posted Monday, December 19th, 2022 – 17:19 UTC ]

Today Donald Trump was publicly accused of four serious crimes by a unanimous vote of the House Select Committee on January 6th. The committee made referrals to the Department of Justice, and the committee will release both their final report and voluminous amounts of evidence in two days. For now, they released their "executive summary" of what the final report is going to say. This is unprecedented territory, but then so much of Trump's political career would also fit that description, so it's hardly unusual for him.

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Friday Talking Points -- ($-AZ)

[ Posted Friday, December 9th, 2022 – 18:55 UTC ]

We had fully intended to begin today's column with the news from Georgia, to celebrate Senator Raphael Warnock's re-election. At some point, we would have gotten around to some snark directed at Joe Manchin, since he wouldn't be such a pivotal vote any more, given the 51-seat majority Democrats will now enjoy. And as an afterthought, we would have tossed in Kyrsten Sinema's name as well, since she deserves a heaping helping of snark as well.

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