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

The latest campaign ad for Senate Minority Mitch McConnell (R-KY) starts out a bit strangely.

The video starts out with a series of shots of McConnell smiling at the camera, first at a desk, then with his wife, then in front of a flag, and finally with his campaign staff.

The shots are a bit stiff. In the first few seconds of the ad, called McConnell Working For Kentuckians, McConnell somewhat robotically looks up, then smiles. In each successive shot it takes the top Senate Republican a few moments to smile.

The ad was posted to YouTube on Tuesday.

After the first 15 seconds or so though the ad shifts. McConnell is seen looking more serious and talking with voters, staff, and appearing at campaign events. He doesn't do much more smiling straight into the camera.

The first bit of the ad already won a gif, via journalist Chris Moody:

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National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) doesn't want to focus on the spats his campaign arm had with now Rep.-elect David Jolly (R-FL).

A day after Jolly won a special election for Florida's 13th Congressional District Walden got into a spat with MSNBC's Chuck Todd over previous reporting that said that the NRCC at times fought with the Jolly campaign.

Todd, citing reports that there was "real frustration" between the Jolly campaign and the NRCC asked, "Are you guys going to be able to make up?"

"Chuck, we had a great team on the ground with the Jolly team working together to eke out a very strong win," Walden responded.

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Updated: March 12, 2014, 9:44 AM

Lobbyist David Jolly (R) beat former Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink (D) in the Florida special election for the late Rep. C. W. Young's (R-FL) House seat.

The race was called by the Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal less than an hour after polls closed.

Jolly in the end won with 89,099 votes (48.43 percent) to Sink's 85,642 (46.55 percent). Libertarian candidate Lucas Overby got 8,893 votes or 4.83 percent.

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Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) suggested that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) may not have intended to say he would "crush" tea party candidates challenging incumbent Republicans.

Paul, in an interview on Glenn Beck's radio show posted on Tuesday, said that "in the middle of the campaign things are said that may not be intended."

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Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) is going to headline a fundraising luncheon for House Republicans' campaign arm on March 26.

The Hill reported Tuesday that the former Arkansas governor would be speaking at the National Republican Campaign Committee's (NRCC) annual luncheon. The luncheon is the biggest fundraising event of the year.

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President Barack Obama gets early copies of HBO's Game of Thrones before the general public.

The show's creators confirmed to Vanity Fair that the president received copies of the show before it's released to the general public.

In a report published Tuesday, Vanity Fair asked Game of Thrones creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff about a rumor that Obama regularly gets episodes of the show early. They responded in an email "one perk of being the most powerful man in the world: yes, you get to see episodes early."

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David Perdue, one of the handful of candidates running in the Republican primary for the Senate in Georgia, has been an outspoken proponent of repealing Obamacare.

The thing is, back in 2006 the businessman and Senate hopeful also argued that the only way to help unemployed Americans get health insurance was at the "federal level" rather than through states.

During a meeting at the Retail Industry Leaders Association in 2006, Perdue (pictured above), the then CEO of Dollar General, said that it was a "tragedy that so many people are uninsured," according to the Dallas Morning News on Oct. 17, 2006.

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A fairly large donation to Florida Gov. Rick Scott's (R) re-election campaign seems to have disappeared from financial records.

Florida Crystals, a major sugar producer that's privately owned by the Fanjul family, donated $500,000 to Scott's Let's Get to Work organization, the political group established to help boost the governor's re-election campaign.

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and other Republicans who have fallen on the "establishment" side of the so-called GOP Civil War are feeling pretty smug right now.

Over the past few days McConnell and his allies have suggested more and more that they're winning the ongoing primary fights between outside group-backed conservative candidates and the incumbent Republicans they're challenging. In an interview with The New York Times published on Sunday, McConnell said he and his allies would "crush them everywhere."

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Senate Republicans are attacking Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) for Democrats' all-night talk-a-thon on climate change -- which she did not participate in.

In a new ad the National Republican Senatorial Committee attacks Landrieu for skipping the talk-a-thon. CNN said the ad hits her for "allowing" the event to take place despite her role as chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

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