TPM News

President Obama filmed an interview with CBS's Steve Kroft for 60 Minutes that will air this Sunday. In a clip of the interview released today, Kroft asks Obama if he's lost his "mojo," and how he accounts for the Democrats' losses on Tuesday.

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The vote count in the tight Connecticut gubernatorial race seems to be winding down, with Democrat Dan Malloy the apparent winner over Republican Tom Foley -- though who knows, the litigation could be just beginning.

The key here is that the city of Bridgeport, which had a controversial poll extension as a result of ballot shortages on Election Day, took a long time to sort out its votes and get them counted. (The total does not include less than 100 votes that were cast after 8 p.m.) Those results came this morning, with Malloy winning a 17,973-4,099 margin in the heavily Democratic city. And with the city's votes now included, Malloy went from trailing his Republican opponent to leading by a statewide margin of 5,465.

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Claims of massive voter fraud efforts backed by Democrats were all the rage in conservative circles in the weeks and months leading up to the election on Tuesday. But since the polls closed, there's been barely a peep.

So says a report from the public policy center Demos issued Friday analyzing the "mixed bag" outcome of the 2010 campaign in the areas of voter access and effective administration of elections.

"Also noteworthy after Election Day had come and gone was the sudden silence from the fraud-mongerers and Tea Party poll watch groups," Tova Andrea Wang, a Senior Democracy Fellow at Demos, wrote in the report. "Not a peep of one case of substantiated fraud at the polling place."

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Stephen Colbert was intrigued last night by Joe Miller's campaign manager's statement that "I'm sure there are going to be two or three dozen votes for Spider-Man" among the write-in ballots, and therefore the race isn't over yet. "What?" Colbert asked. "Spider-Man was a candidate?" But he had "no online presence," Colbert added, and "you'd think that he of all people would know the importance of the web."

Although, Colbert continued, "since no one knows Spider-Man's real identity, those votes could actually be for...Joe Miller!" The proof, he said, is in Miller's campaign song, which he sang (to the tune of the Spider-Man theme song):

Joe Miller, Joe Miller, Wants to be your senator. Grows a beard, shoots a gun, Arrests the press just for fun. Look out! He'll cut your Medicare.

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Jon Stewart enlisted Jason Jones, Wyatt Cenac, and John Oliver last night to help him figure out what cable news pundits mean when they say President Obama's post-election press conference shows that he just "doesn't get it." Jones looked to the moment when Obama made his entrance and walked up to the podium: "Do you see 'it'? I didn't see 'it.' It's a pretty crucial moment, where he needs to show some fight. He shouldn't have strolled in, he should have rolled in -- on those sneakers with the wheels and the blinking lights on them."

Wyatt agreed: "That's what Reagan did in '82. Why? Because he had 'it.'"

John Oliver pointed to history as well: "When Taft suffered a midterm defeat in 1911, did he drag his ass to the podium like a kid going to he dentist?"

Wyatt replied: "No, Taft was one 'it'-having motherfucker." Jason agreed: "Taft wasn't fat. Those were layers of 'it.'"

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The Labor Department released unemployment statistics this morning for the month of October, eliciting cheers from some quarters over the fact that private sector payrolls added 150,000 jobs and beat market expectations. But the unemployment rate remained stuck at 9.6 percent -- and a closer look at the numbers indicate that key sectors impacted by the economic downturn haven't seen the improvement many had hoped for.

And, in a sign that unemployed and semi-employed Americans are getting discouraged again, the labor force participation rate edged down in October, as did the number of Americans employed part-time for economic reasons. The number of people only marginally attached to the labor market -- those who have looked for work in the past year but not in the past month -- increased by 200,000. Furthermore, the number of long-term unemployed -- those who have spent more than 27 weeks without a job -- increased from 6.12 million to 6.2 million over the past month.

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House Speaker-to-be John Boehner put distance last night between himself and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has twice stated that a top political goal for the GOP is to make Barack Obama a one-term President.

"That's Senator McConnell's statement. And -- and his opinion. I think the American people want us to focus on their message during the election," Boehner said in an interview with ABC News.

Boehner's rhetoric has been generally milder than McConnell's since Tuesday's election. But that doesn't mean he's taking it easy on the Democrats.

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On Nov. 9, 2010, former President George W. Bush will release his memoirs, called Decision Points. Bush has said he intends the book not to be a comprehensive review of his eight years in office, but rather, the most important "decision points" he made, from his own perspective. A few insights -- notably, that he personally gave the order to waterboard the 9/11 mastermind and that he considers himself a "dissenting voice" on the Iraq War -- have already been released. So, for the occasion, we put together a brief and, like the memoir itself, completely non-comprehensive, slideshow of the Bush years.

Bush has re-emerged from near hiding as his book's release date nears. On Oct. 31, he threw out the first pitch of Game Three of the World Series, with his father, former President George H.W. Bush.

Max Faulkner/MCT/Newscom




In May 2003, three years after invading Iraq, Bush flew to the Gulf to address troops from the deck of an aircraft carrier. Despite the "Mission Accomplished" banner, the war dragged on throughout is presidency, and American troops remain on the ground to this day.

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On the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln. In an interview about his new book, Bush said he still feels he made the right choice going into Iraq -- but said he considers himself a dissenter on the decision to go to war.

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Bush delivered his last State of the Union address in 2008, beginning, "Seven years have passed since I first stood before you at this rostrum. In that time, our country has been tested in ways none of us could have imagined."

Chuck Kennedy/MCT/Newscom




The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 single-handedly shaped the Bush presidency. Bush's response -- the war in Afghanistan, the Patriot Act, the interrogation and torture of suspected terrorists, Guantanamo Bay, wiretapping -- became among the most divisive issues of the decade.

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In an image that came to symbolize Bush's response to Hurricane Katrina, he surveys the damage from the window of Air Force One after the levees broke.

White House photo by Paul Morse




Bush and First Lady Laura Bush board the plane, no longer Air Force One, that will take them out of D.C. on the day of President Obama's inauguration.

Tech Sgt. Craig Clapper, USAF (via wikimedia)




Bush danced with Ricky Martin during his own inauguration festivities in 2001.

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During an Oval Office address.

Ricardo Watson /Newscom




A young George W. Bush in his Air National Guard uniform.

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Known as a bit of a comedian, Bush mugged for the camera after trying to make a quick exit through a locked door at a Beijing press conference.

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Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002, a law which relied heavily on standardized tests as a means of gauging a school's performance.

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Bush welcomed Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai to the White House in January 2002, a few months after declaring the War on Terror.

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During a malaria awareness event at the White House, Bush joined a West African dance company. Video here.

Roger L. Wollenburg/UPI/Newscom




Bush with Vice President Dick Cheney on their inauguration day in 2001.

Tom Reel/San Antonio Express/ZUMA Press/Newscom




After President Obama took office, Bush took part in a photo op with all living former presidents, including the elder Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

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Bush with his family. Bush has said part of his book is focused on his personal life, including meeting his wife, raising his daughters and his decision to quit drinking at age 40, which opens the book.

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Although born in Connecticut, much of Bush's persona was framed around his life in Texas. Here, he's seen clearing brush at his ranch in Crawford.

Eric Draper/Newscom

Obama Heading For India To Open Asia Trip The Associated Press reports: "President Barack Obama is leaving the fallout from the Democrats' election drubbing behind as he heads for India and what's likely to be a friendlier reception in the world's largest democracy. The president was to depart Friday morning on Air Force One for Mumbai, India, where he was to arrive around noon local time Saturday after refueling in Germany. It's the first stop on a 10-day tour through India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan, the longest foreign outing of Obama's presidency."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will deliver a statement to the press on the monthly jobs numbers at 9:25 a.m. ET. The President and First Lady will depart the White House at 9:45 a.m. ET, and depart from Andrews Air Force Base at 10 a.m. ET, arriving for refueling in Ramstein, Germany, at 5:10 p.m. ET (10:10 p.m. local time).

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Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), who faced a tough challenge this year from former state Senator and two-time Republican gubernatorial nominee Dino Rossi, has now won her race, after Rossi conceded defeat last night.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Meet Your New U.S. Senators]

Aside from the Alaska Senate race, this was the last unsettled Senate contest of the cycle, and also the last one in which partisan control of the seat is up for grabs. (The Alaska Senate race is now a contest between two Republicans.) This result finalizes the Senate makeup as being 53 members of the Democratic caucus, to 47 Senators in the Republican caucus.

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