Columnist who will soon be covering 10th presidential race. Fellow at Brennan Center. Teaching at Yale. Writing book on con-man great uncle who cheated Hitler.

Phoning It In and Failing to Show: The Story of the 2014 House Primaries — Too often impressions of congressional primaries are based entirely on the outcomes of high-profile Senate races, write Jill Lawrence and Walter Shapiro. Rather than making conclusions based on a handful of headline races, Lawrence and Shapiro create a fuller picture of the 2014 midterm election cycle by evaluating more than 200 candidates in over 60 House primaries.

Sometimes Candidates Should Just Say No to Campaign Cash — A version of this post first appeared at Brennan Center for Justice. The gathering at a Capitol Hill Starbucks at 8:00 on the morning of June 10th remains the most memorable scene from Campaign 2014. As reported by the Washington Post , House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was holding his regular monthly fund-raising meeting with a group of lobbyists.

The PAC to End All PACs Is a Farce — Tuesday’s Democratic House primary in Arizona’s Seventh District is what the local weekly Phoenix New Times calls “a battle between Latino royalty in Phoenix.” The leading contenders for the safe Democratic seat of retiring Ed Pastor are long-time Maricopa County supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox and former state representative Ruben...

Joni Ernst’s role in sex assault case questioned — In recent days, Iowa Senate hopeful Joni Ernst has pitched herself as a leader-in-waiting on the hot-button issue of sexual assault in the military, telling Time that she experienced harassment firsthand while serving and calling for investigations into sexual misconduct to be removed from the chain of command.

Super PACs: The Nominating Committees of the Future — Even though they have come to dominate political campaigns, Super PACs and their shadowy counterparts are barely old enough to qualify for pre-kindergarten. Since these big-bucks independent groups have only been legal since 2010, we are still groping to understand the long-term role that Super PACs are apt to play in congressional politics-especially primaries.

The Primaries Project: Are the Dems on Xanax? — In the midst of the upheaval in the Republican party recently, it would be easy to forget that the Democrats are also having primary elections. In this post, reporter Walter Shapiro observes that the Democrats have swapped robust policy debates for bland statements in support of Social Security and Medicare.

The First Bimbo — She is the most famous person since Helen Keller to achieve her notoriety without uttering a single public word. Not long ago, she toured an art exhibition at a private gallery on Manhattan's Upper East Side. "She was sweet and charming," recalls the artist, who is a friend of mine....

The good old days of the Nixon campaign — Maybe it's the summer doldrums, or the Barack Obama campaign's continual pain-from-Bain refrain, or the speculative no-news-here if-clauses surrounding Mitt Romney's vice presidential search. But whatever the cause, I am caught in a wave of nostalgia for the old-fashioned innocence of Richard Nixon's 1968 campaign-the one where he didn't break into Democratic headquarters.

Can the media avoid inaugural over-hype? — After Bill Clinton took the oath of office for the second time in 1997, a USA Today columnist burbled, "Clinton's inaugural address should be regarded as the opening bell of his final campaign to win a measure of historical greatness... By that standard, Clinton deserves two-and-a-half cheers for his decision to frame his speech around a renewed appeal for racial...

How right is the (1st round of) CW about 2012? — Theodore White's The Making of the President 1960 was published in hardcover in July 1961, a breakneck pace in an era when manuscripts were edited by hand. Of course, by contemporary standards, that timetable seems as languid as waiting on the docks for the latest news from Europe to be delivered by clipper ship.
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Oct 31, 2014

Reward for watching clips of Shaheen-Brown debate online from NY: My computer is now filled with Brown and Shaheen ads.

Oct 31, 2014

A Kentucky Senator controls fewer local patronage jobs than a county coroner. Worth recalling amid McConnell-Grimes GOTV appeals.

Oct 31, 2014

RT @greenfield64: "We must work together to build a better future for New York'--And, Gov. Cuomo wins the "Most Fatuous Comment Of The Midterms" Award.

Oct 30, 2014

@jzembik @nielslesniewski This boy from Fairfield County (Norwalk) continues to be embarrassed over my two forgotten counties.

Oct 30, 2014

.@nielslesniewski I am embarrassed. I grew up in Connecticut. So I did the counties from my memory. Big mistake. But still fewer than NH.

Oct 30, 2014

@politicoroger If he loses NH, Connecticut should be Scott Brown's next constituency. Just six counties -- and no county government.

Oct 30, 2014

@politicoroger Can't wait for presidential candidate Scott Brown to hit Iowa and its 99 counties. He'll be writing from his cuffs to elbow.

Oct 30, 2014

.@derekwillis I do notice that the "sit down and talk" caucus requires examples dating back to first months of Obama presidency. Thanks.

Oct 30, 2014

.@derekwillis I'd love to see opposite (much shorter) list -- politicians willing to sit down. No one loves cliches like a press secretary.

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