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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

As it becomes clearer that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will survive his primary challenge from tea party favorite Matt Bevin, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) has been playing up an emerging theme as the general election approaches: Jobs.

Earlier this month Grimes released an ambitious jobs plan for the state. When McConnell released an ad touting how he'd helped one constituent diagnosed with cancer, Grimes hit back with an ad focusing on jobs, rather than playing up McConnell's steady opposition to Obamacare, which has helped insure over 130,000 Kentuckians under the new law -- beating almost every other state in signups.

"If you look at Mitch McConnell's record it is clear that the only job he has been looking out for in the past 28 years is his own," Grimes told TPM in an interview.

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Sandra Fluke is considering running for outgoing Rep. Henry Waxman's (D-CA) House seat.

Fluke floated the idea on Thursday, after Waxman announced that he would not run for reelection.

"I'm flattered that I'm being discussed as a potential candidate," Fluke told Southern California radio station KPCC. "A number of folks I respect very deeply have reached out today and encouraged me to run. I am strongly considering running."

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South Carolina State Sen. Lee Bright (R), one of a handful of challengers in the Republican primary running to defeat Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), has been endorsed by Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), who has gained little traction in his primary challenge against Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).

Stockman himself has struggled to gain endorsements in his current campaign. After The Washington Post pointed out Stockman had listed endorsements from people who had endorsed the congressman for his House seat -- not for his bid against Cornyn -- Stockman removed the list from his campaign website.

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MSNBC President Phil Griffin has apologized to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus for a tweet by the network that ignited a conservative firestorm

Griffin issued a personal apology for the entire episode on Thursday.

"The tweet last night was outrageous and unacceptable. We immediately acknowledged that it was offensive and wrong, apologized, and deleted it. We have dismissed the person responsible for the tweet," Griffin said in a statement according to The Huffington Post. "I personally apologize to Mr. Priebus and to everyone offended. At msnbc we believe in passionate, strong debate about the issues and we invite voices from all sides to participate. That will never change."

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Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said that Rep. Henry Waxman's (D-CA) retirement is a sign that Democrats are on the defensive this year.

"The House Democrats don't think they're going to be wielding the gavels," the Washington Post reported Walden's reaction to the Waxman news on Thursday.

"I think we will pick up seats," Walden continued, according to Politico. "In a good night in a good year, which I think this will be, we will pick up seats. I’m not going to project is that six or 30, others will do that, the long and the short of it is the field is narrower, the intensity will be higher and where you’re vulnerable is where you have your members in the other party’s seats and the other party is not doing real well."

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Rep. Henry Waxman's (D-CA) decision to retire means the tenure of one of the most influential liberal members in Congress is coming to an end.

In a Mother Jones piece reacting to Waxman's announcement on Thursday Washington Bureau Chief David Corn wrote that Waxman had been "Capitol Hill fixture and progressive crusader for decades, since he was first elected in 1974." Fellow California Democrat Rep. George Miller and Waxman, arguably the two most high profile liberals to announce retirement plans this cycle, are also part of the class of lawmakers elected right after the Watergate scandal. They have served continuously since then.

Waxman's tenure was marked by more than two dozen legislative victories ranging from climate change to health care to modernizing the U.S. Postal Service to passing new telecommunication laws. Waxman was a major player in helping to pass the Affordable Care Act.

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) tea party challenger would be a tougher opponent in the Senate general election than McConnell himself, Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) argued.

"You can make a case that Mitch is easier to beat than Bevin," Yarmuth said in an interview with The Plum Line's Greg Sargent. "People are tired of him. They see him as the embodiment of government dysfunction. He probably will survive the primary. But he’s going to alienate a number of voters in the primary — it’s going to be nasty — who then will not come out."

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When a moderator for a recent Georgia Republican primary debate asked candidates by a show of hands whether they would vote to extend benefits for the thousands of American workers who have been stuck with long-term unemployment, the question was met with an awkward pause.

At the Mayor's Day Senate Forum in Atlanta earlier in the week, none of the six candidates raised their hands in favor of extending benefits, but when the opposite question was asked -- who would vote against such a proposal -- all six candidates raised their hands. Rep. Paul Broun's (R-GA) arm shot up the fastest.

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) leads Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes by just one point in the Kentucky Senate race, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

The Public Policy Polling survey, conducted for Americans United For Change, found McConnell with 45 percent support to Grimes with 44 percent support. Eleven percent, meanwhile, said they were undecided.

The poll also found McConnell with an approval rate of 37 percent while 57 percent of voters disapprove.

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