Daniel Strauss

Daniel Strauss is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. He was previously a breaking news reporter for The Hill newspaper and has written for Politico, Roll Call, The American Prospect, and Gaper's Block. He has also interned at Democracy: A Journal of Ideas and The New Yorker. Daniel grew up in Chicago and graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in History. At Michigan he helped edit Consider, a weekly opinion magazine. He can be reached at daniel@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Daniel

A conservative super PAC that attacked Republican Liz Cheney throughout her Senate campaign said in a post-mortem memo that her biggest vulnerability was her position on same-sex marriage.

The American Principles Fund released the memo early afternoon. The super PAC, which is run by Sarah Huckabee, the daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), has accused Cheney of being inconsistent on same-sex marriage. Throughout her campaign Cheney battled with her sister, Mary, on same-sex marriage. Mary, who is openly lesbian, is married to her long-term partner and has two children.

"Cheney's greatest vulnerability from day one was her position on marriage - after we introduced her position on marriage in a statewide television buy her internal numbers collapsed," Huckabee said in an email to TPM. "The message from Wyoming is clear - marriage matters and it's a winning issue. Abandoning traditional marriage can have serious political consequences, particularly in a Republican primary. Going forward APF will be involved mostly in general elections, helping Republicans defeat Democrats, but when there is a clear contrast in a Republican primary, like in WY, we aren't afraid to weigh in and make the contrast for candidates who stand for our values."

Read the memo below:

APF WY Post-mortem

The tensions between members of Liz Cheney's camp and supporters of Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) seem to be disappearing quickly in the aftermath of Cheney's decision to end her primary challenge against the incumbent senator.

Cheney reached out to the daughter of former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY) late Sunday night to tell the Simpson family she planned to end her candidacy, Simpson told TPM on Monday. Simpson had opposed Cheney's candidacy and gotten into verbal dustups with members of the Cheney family while Liz was campaigning. Simpson eventually got in touch with Cheney Monday morning.

"So, this morning Ann and I called Liz here in Wyoming, a 307 number," Simpson recounted. "We talked to her and she said I'm stepping out of the race. 'It's a mom thing' she said. 'We had a wonderful holiday and talked about things with the whole family.'"

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Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) released a conciliatory statement in response to Republican Liz Cheney's decision to drop out of the primary against the Wyoming senator.

"While it is not always easy, Diana and I have always believed in putting family first. We have tremendous respect for Liz’s decision. She and her entire family are in our thoughts and prayers," Enzi said in a statement on Monday.

The statement came less than 24 hours after Cheney announced that she was dropping out of the Senate race. Cheney, in her statement, cited recent health issues in her family as her reason for ending her candidacy for Enzi's seat.

"I remain as committed as always to the job the people of Wyoming have elected me to do. I look forward to continuing my campaign for re-election in the coming months," Enzi continued in the statement.

Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA) has decided not to seek re-election.

"Nearing the end of my sixth term in the House and following 12 years of public service in the Pennsylvania House and Senate, it is simply time for me to move on to new challenges and to spend more time with my wife and family," Gerlach said in a statement according to PoliticsPA. "This is a tremendously difficult decision because I have had the opportunity to work with a multitude of dedicated public servants throughout the years. Together, we have worked to strengthen our communities and create opportunities for the hard-working families we have been privileged to represent."

Gerlach's decision gives Democrats a chance to pickup a House district in Pennsylvania. Gerlach's congressional district just barely went for Mitt Romney over President Obama in 2012 with the former Massachusetts governor garnering 51 percent of the vote and Obama getting 48 percent. In 2008, Obama won the district over McCain 53 percent to 46 percent.

Gerlach was first elected in 2002.

The National Republican Congressional Committee praised the six-term congressman's time in office, especially his founding of the House Land Conservation Caucus.

"In Congress, Jim has been a driving force behind numerous measures to reform the tax code, protect the promises made to seniors, and dismantle the disaster that is ObamaCare. As the founder of the House Land Conservation Caucus, Jim was a leading advocate for preserving our nation’s farmland in Congress," National Republican Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) said in a statement. "I join with my colleagues in wishing Jim and his family well in this new chapter in their lives. Though we are losing a strong advocate for Pennsylvania, I have no doubt we will elect another Republican leader in November who will be the same thoughtful lawmaker that Jim is."

This post was updated.

Even though Democrat Alex Sink once called former Gov. Charlie Crist a disaster, the Republican-turned-Democrat still donated $1,000 to her House campaign, according to finance records reported on by the Tampa Bay Times.

Sink, who narrowly lost against current Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) in 2010, is now running for the late Rep. C.W. Bill Young's (R-FL) House seat.

In an interview with the Tampa Bay Times in June Sink, who was deciding whether to run for governor, described Crist as a "disaster." She also criticized Scott saying "this governor's incompetent."

A few days earlier Sink reported out-fundraising all her Republican opponents in the special election for Young's congressional seat.

The health issues that Republican Liz Cheney cited as her reason for dropping out of the Wyoming Senate race has to do with one of her daughters' diagnosis of diabetes, according to ABC News.

In her statement announcing her decision to drop out Cheney cited "serious health issues" that have recently come up in her family. According to Republicans close to the Cheney family, the issue is one of Cheney's daughters had been diagnosed with diabetes. The ABC News report did not specifically name which of Cheney's daughters has diabetes.

ABC News also reported that Cheney made her decision to drop out around the holidays but waited until only recently to inform her top campaign officials.

The Wyoming Republican Party called Liz Cheney a "rising star" in response to her decision to drop out of the Republican primary against Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY).

"The Wyoming Republican Party wishes the best to Liz Cheney and her family as they deal with difficult family health issues," Wyoming Republican Party chairwoman Tammy Hooper said in a statement. "Liz has been a stalwart supporter of our party raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for our candidates and county parties. Liz is a rising star in Wyoming and national politics and we look forward to her return when the time is right for her and her family."

The statement, provided to TPM on Monday, came less than 24 hours after Cheney announced her decision to end her campaign. Cheney cited health problems within her family as her reason for ending her Senate bid.

Nebraska Senate candidate Ben Sasse has a proposal: move the Capitol from Washington D.C. to Nebraska.

"That’s it, the way to cure the incredible ineffectiveness and dysfunction of both parties in Washington — we move the Capitol to Nebraska where they can experience family, conservative values, living within a budget, and pulling together, not pulling apart," Sasse said in a new campaign ad.

Sasse doesn't expect this to actually happen, according to The Washington Times, but he does think it's a useful "thought experiment" to compare whether the state of politics is what America's founders intended.

"I think that they, Nebraska work-a-day folks, think that we're on the precipice of national decline and they don't think Washington gets it at all," Sasse said according to the Times.

Sasse originally threw out the idea in a 30-second ad that aired over the weekend. That ad was meant to draw attention to a longer, biographical clip that his campaign produced. In that video, Sasse also discusses his opposition to Obamacare and argues that the country is becoming a "socialist mess like Europe."

"Look, Obamacare is arguably the worst law in our history. But it's been four years since it's been passed and Republicans still haven't offered an alternative. Of course we need to repeal it but we also need to tell people what we'll do next. We need to show Americans that we're the party of conservative solutions. That's the only way win."

(H/t: Andrew Grossman)

Watch the five-minute clip below:

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is delaying the beginning of the RNC's yearly winter meeting so that committee members and the chairman himself can participate in the pro-life March for Life.

"I saw that there was a real interest among a significant portion of our members to attend and support the Rally for Life," Priebus said in an email obtained by The Washington Times. "This is a core principle of our party. It was natural for me to support our members and our principles."

Mr. Priebus also decided that the RNC will charter a bus to and from the march for those among the RNC’s 168 members who wish to attend, he said.

"I will attend the March for Life and am making a few simple modifications of the schedule and ensuring that the members have safe and adequate transportation to and from the rally," he continued in his email.

The annual winter meeting was originally scheduled to start on January 22nd and move through January 24th. The March of Life is scheduled for January 22nd as well.

Some RNC members praised Priebus' decision.

"I have served under a number of chairmen and not one of them ever made any opportunity for us to attend the March for Life, and they always scheduled critical meetings for the same time as the March for Life. Big thanks to Reince for standing up for the unborn."

In April 2013 Priebus wrote a piece for Redstate.com strongly criticizing abortion rights group and reproductive health care provider Planned Parenthood.

"In the last election, Republicans were repeatedly asked about whether they supported cutting funding to Planned Parenthood," Priebus wrote in the piece. "It’s time Democrats are asked whether they still support funding an organization that refuses to care for a newborn."

This post was updated.

The co-founder of a pro-Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) super PAC responded to Liz Cheney's decision to drop out of the Republican primary by saying her bid was a "fool's errand" all along.

Wyoming's Own super PAC issued the statement via co-founder Bill Cubin who also said they would be dissolving the group, which he started with Wyoming's Dick Bratton, after Cheney announced that she would drop out of the Senate race, citing family health reasons for ending her candidacy.

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