TPM News

Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D) officially received his party's nomination to replace retiring Sen. Evan Bayh by the Indiana Democratic Central Committee this afternoon.

Ellsworth, who first won his seat in Congress in 2006, has been expected to be the Democratic Senate nominee since shortly after Bayh announced his retirement in February.

As the Indianapolis Star reports, Ellsworth's nomination today was largely a ceremonial affair. Ellsworth will now face former Sen. Dan Coats, who won the Republican nomination in a May 4 primary.

Read More →

Obama: 'Wall Street Reform Will Bring Greater Security To Folks On Main Street' In this weekend's YouTube address, President Obama promoted what he said would be the benefits of the financial reform bill currently being considered in the Senate, in the areas of consumer protection and institutional oversight.

"With reform, we'll make our financial system more transparent by bringing the kinds of complex, backroom deals that helped trigger this crisis into the light of day," said Obama. "We'll prevent banks from taking on so much risk that they could collapse and threaten our whole economy. And we'll give shareholders more of a say on pay to help change the perverse incentives that encouraged reckless risk-taking in the first place. Put simply, Wall Street reform will bring greater security to folks on Main Street."

Read More →

In a new interview with The Hill, Sen. Blanche Lincoln -- facing a tough Democratic primary challenge funded by national progressives on Tuesday -- called out her opponents on the Democratic left wing. Lincoln said she is facing criticism from a political movement that she suggested is divorced from the political reality.

"Just like the far right, I think the far left also believes that you've got to be with them 100 percent of the time or you don't meet the test," Lincoln told the paper. "I don't think there's anybody that you're going to be with 100 percent of the time -- not and be true to your constituency. My first commitment here is to Arkansas."

National progressive groups and organized labor have backed Lt. Gov. Bill Halter in the primary, funneling millions of dollars to Arkansas to support him. Their anger at LincoIn, they say, comes in response to her opposition to new labor organizing rules, EPA regulation of greenhouse gasses and the inclusion of a public option in health care reform efforts.

Read More →

The two men vying for the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate nomination enter the last weekend of the race locked in a dead heat according to the latest tracking poll released by Muhlenberg College. The latest results of the poll, taken between May 11-14: Sen. Arlen Specter 44, Rep. Joe Sestak 43.

The poll, which has tracked 400 likely voters since Apr. 28 and has a margin of error of 5%, has fluctuated in the homestretch of the primary, alternately showing Sestak or Specter ahead by as much as 5 points. Overall, however, the poll has shown the race to be too close to call. Though Sestak has had all the momentum in the closing weeks, the Muhlenberg poll suggests he has not achieved a big enough lead to write off a Specter win by any means.

The TPM Poll Average for the primary, which includes the new Muhlenberg poll, shows Sestak ahead by a margin of 44.5-43.1.

Read More →

May 5, 2010: President Barack Obama talks with Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., during a walk around the South Lawn of the White House.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

March 29: Obama and the First Family mark the first night of Passover with a Seder with friends and staff in the Old Family Dining Room at the White House.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

March 29: Setting a good example, Obama fills out his 2010 Census form.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

March 31: First Lady Michelle Obama dances with students from Bancroft and Hollin Meadows Elementary Schools, after planting rhubarb in the White House Kitchen Garden.


April 7: The President and First Lady film a taping for the television show "American Idol" in Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House.

Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

April 8: Obama admires a tapestry at Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

April 8: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus, and President Obama share a toast during a luncheon at Prague Castle.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

April 14: Obama talks with Garth Brooks, who was presented with the "Grammy on the Hill Award" for his leadership in advancing the rights of music makers, in the Oval Office. The President had also been presented with the 2007 Grammy Award for best spoken word album for his book "The Audacity of Hope."

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

April 14: Michelle Obama greets children during her visit to a school, Escuela Siete de Enero, in Mexico City, Mexico.

Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton

April 21: The First Lady and President greet members of the U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey team in the Diplomatic Reception Room.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

April 22: Bo Obama paws at Michelle Obama as she answers questions from children of White House staff members during a "Take Your Child To Work Day" event in the East Room.

Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy

April 23: The President and First Lady meet other hikers while walking along a trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway outside of Asheville, N.C.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

April 26: Alex Rodriguez, Andy Pettitte, Derek Jeter, Manager Joe Girardi and Mark Teixeira of the New York Yankees stand outside the White House after attended a press conference with the President. Obama welcomed the Yankees following their win of the 2009 World Series.


April 28: President Obama tours a farm with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, left, and Marcia Schachtsiek in Palmyra, MO.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

April: Obama meets with Solicitor General Elena Kagan in the Oval Office, just weeks before announcing her as his nominee to the Supreme Court.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

April 30: White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel stands in the shade as the President speaks about the country's first quarter GDP numbers in the Rose Garden.


May 1: Obama receives an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws before delivering the commencement address to University of Michigan graduates, at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, MI.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

May 2: Obama talks with U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal aboard Marine One, as they fly along the coastline from Venice to New Orleans following the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Assistant John Brennan is in the background.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

May 3: The President receives a jersey from the U.S. Naval Academy football team at the Commander in Chief trophy presentation in the East Room of the White House.


May 6, 2010: National Economic Council Director Larry Summers and Rahm Emanuel brief the President in the Oval Office.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

May 13: Vice President Joe Biden calls the Navistar Electric Truck Team to congratulate them on shipping their first vehicle as a result of Recovery Act funding, from his home office in Wilmington, Delaware.

Official White House Photo by David Lienemann

May 13: Obama kisses a baby during a lunch stop at Duff's Famous Wings in Cheektowaga, NY.

Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton

Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele will speak later this month at the Israel Day Concert, a pro-Israeli settlement rally in New York's Central Park.

Think Progress reported this afternoon and the RNC confirmed that Steele will address the crowd on May 23. According to Think Progress, it's the 17th annual concert and is sponsored by groups that support the Jewish takeover of Palestinian neighborhoods, Friends of Ateret Cohanim and the Hebron Fund.

Read More →

Gov. Charlie Crist (I-FL), who left the Republican Party two weeks ago to run for Senate as an independent, is giving further hints that he will likely veto a piece of anti-abortion legislation passed by his state's Republican legislature -- going so far as to call the bill "mean-spirited."

The bill would require women seeking an abortion to get an ultrasound, and to listen to a doctor give a description of the fetus. The legislature has not yet formally sent the bill to Crist. When he does receive the bill, Crist will then have 15 days to decide whether to sign or veto it, or to allow it to become law without his signature.

"On two fronts it disturbs me," Crist told the Tampa Tribune editorial board. "That you would force a woman to go through this procedure...almost seems mean-spirited. To have your government impose on you, listen to a lecture, then on top of that, you have to pay for it."

Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter (D) has a new ad for the home stretch of his primary challenge against Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln, attacking LIncoln for supporting the TARP bailout -- and for being supported by a Republican business group.

"Blanche Lincoln took a million dollars from Wall Street, then voted for the $700 billion bailout," the announcer says, followed by a crowd of people shouting out a rhetorical question: "Why, Blanche Lincoln?"

The announcer goes on to list another grievance. "Now a Republican front group is spending millions to buy Blanche Lincoln the election," the announcer says, referring to the conservative group Americans For Job Security. The group has produced ads and mailers attacking Halter -- such as a recent one using Hindi writing to mockingly "thank" Halter for allegedly sending U.S. jobs to India. Again, the crowd yells out, "Why, Blanche Lincoln?"

Read More →

Here are the line-ups for the Sunday talk shows this weekend:

• ABC, This Week: Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL).

• CBS, Face The Nation: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ)

• CNN, State Of The Union: Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA), Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT).

• Fox News Sunday: Former First Lady Laura Bush, former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA).

• NBC, Meet The Press: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY).