Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

In recent days, I've had a very hard time figuring out whether we're in a 'Paul Ryan considering phase' in the House leadership drama or in a 'GOP caucus in epic denial' phase of the same. Frankly, I'm not sure anyone quite knows. Ryan has said he's not running for Speaker. To the best of my knowledge, he's given no specific or even general timeline on whether he'll have an answer if he's considering a run for Speaker. And yet, he has not given a stark: 'I ain't running and I'm never going to change my mind so stop pretending I'm running' statement. I think it's possible that members of the GOP caucus are just in a collective delusional state thinking he's considering it and that he will inevitably decide to run even though there's little reason to believe this is so.

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It appears (maybe-probably) out-going Speaker John Boehner will punch the Tea Party with a blast of sanity on the way out the door - engineering a clean or cleanish debt ceiling increase, with Democratic votes if necessary.

As I noted last night, Hillary Clinton turned in a very solid debate performance. She was polished, turned away questions about what would seem to be her greatest vulnerabilities with confident and convincing pivots and more than anything else she had the feel of a candidate on the rebound. As I also wrote last night, the collapse of the 'Benghazi' committee and its associated nonsense came at the perfect moment for her. The debate would have had a very different feel to it had it been held six weeks ago.

We were running Insight polls overnight and this morning, gauging reactions to the debate and re-testing Democratic primary preference questions we've been running for the last four months. Based on those results I would expect you'll see Hillary get a substantial boost in the polls coming out of night's first debate.

Let me give you a basic breakdown.

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From a Facebook commentator in New Zealand in response my debate wrap-up from last night: "I live quite literally half a world away from America and thus have only a passing interest in these debates. My impression is that this latest one is boring in the same way that an America without mass murders would be boring. For years now America has been in the world headlines for all the wrong reasons. I think a more 'tepid' bunch of politicians might be what the country needs."

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That's a bit harsh. It's a reaction to something I've been thinking about during this debate, which is that the debates on both sides, in both parties, seem somehow two dimensional. The 2008 campaign was historic and epic and an outlier in those terms going back a couple generations. Somehow I think it's more than that - a topic I'll return to. But let me share a few a thoughts on this debate.

I think Hillary had a pretty good debate. I don't think she made a terribly clear argument for her candidacy. But she came into this debate with the debilitating email nonsense seemingly abating, or at least with some turning of the tide.

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10:15 PM: Hillary is incredibly fortunate that the tide of thinking on the 'email' story has shifted in recent weeks and that it happened before this debate. It's not necessarily clear watching the debate because it's a matter of what's not happening, a mood that I think is not hanging over the discussion. Very fortuitous for her.

10:28 PM: Okay, I'm feeling like the wingnut-o-sphere is going to be talking about "Revolution" a lot tomorrow.