Opinions, Context & Ideas from the TPM Editors TPM Editor's Blog

I know who I am not voting for next Tuesday

The Maryland primary is coming up next Tuesday, and I know whom I am not voting for. I live in Chris Van Hollen’s district in Montgomery County, which is dependably Democratic. Last January, national wine mogul David Trone threw his fedora into the ring. Trone is spending as of this date $12.4 million to buy this seat. It’s the most a candidate has ever spent of his own money on a House seat.

Read More →

Prince Dead at 57

We're mainly a news and politics site. Celebrity deaths are sometimes mentioned but usually in passing. Prince's just announced death at age 57 is in a different category. It's reminiscent in some ways of the death of Michael Jackson in 2009, though because of the untimeliness of death, not the cause. (We don't know the cause of death.) But while Michael Jackson was clearly a great talent, his talent was not one that greatly interested me. Prince is an altogether different story. Just a towering, towering talent - an innovator and brilliant musician and composer, electric, charismatic force.

I'm stunned, upset and just bereft at what an immense loss this is.

Pity the Poor Weaver?

I don't totally agree with this. But there's a lot of insight into the world of political campaigns contained in this note from TPM Reader JD. For context, this is largely a response to this post from yesterday ...

Hey, I struggled yesterday not to send you a full-throated defense of Weaver. So here's my half-throated one.

Read More →

Chickens Coming Home to Roost (Sorta)

TPM Reader BW sees things looking up ...

With all the talk about how the system is rigged, it’s easy (at least for me) to feel hopeless and cynical, and forget that elections actually matter. But here’s an example from poor, broke, beleaguered Louisiana, of how much they really do matter.

We’ve gone from a governor who billed our poor state millions of dollars for the security detail that accompanied him on his delusional presidential campaign (then vetoed legislation that sought to forbid such charges), to a governor who installed a nice chicken coop and 16 laying hens (paid for with his own money) on the Governor’s Mansion grounds in order to “get back to a sense of normalcy" and "to keep in touch with who we are."

Oh, and enrollment for Louisiana’s Medicaid expansion begins in a little more than a month. From the farcical coffee shop spy caper of Fargo, Louisiana…to this. Still seems hard to believe sometimes.

Very Very Different

Tad Devine, Sanders message and strategy guy, is on CNN right now finishing up an interview. His message was dramatically different from the one I noted below from Campaign Manager Jeff Weaver. He never brought up Weaver's comments, as near as I could tell. But what he did say was very significant. He framed the entirety of his comments on Sanders' continuing ability to win a the majority/plurality of pledged delegates and assessing after more primaries in the coming weeks whether that is still possible. As a statistical matter, that's a stretch - the ability to catch up on pledged delegates, given the Democrats' use of proportional representation. But the point is he made no mention whatsoever of an effort to get Super Delegates to override the pledged delegates.

He's definitely not throwing in the towel. He clearly wants Sanders to stay in through California. And there's no reason why he shouldn't. But he's very conspicuously not on the same page as Weaver.

This Dude is Toxic

There appears to be a cleavage at the highest level of the Sanders campaign between Jeff Weaver and Tad Devine. The latter is in the more typical mode: We're going to keep fighting and see where things are after the run of Northeast states in the next couple weeks. But Weaver, at least based on what he said last night on MSNBC is in a pretty different place. Weaver says that if Sanders is mathematically eliminated from winning the pledged delegate race, the campaign will spend June and July lobbying Super Delegates to overrule the pledged delegates and give the nomination to Sanders.

Read More →

Still Waiting

I'm quite confident that after crowing over the UnitedHealth withdrawal from the Obamacare exchanges, House Republicans are going to have a "fix" for this in their six-years-overdue, election year Obamacare alternative that they plan on rolling out soon. Very, very soon. Wait for it.