Michael Lester

Originally from Scotland, Michael was a freelance video editor before joining TPM in the summer of 2011. He lives in New York with his wife and two cats and is a lifelong fan of The World Famous Dundee United.

Articles by Michael

Mitt Romney's suddenly being barraged for his Bain Capital days even by GOPers who are meant to *like* high finance and enterprise. So he's yanking out the same message for them that he was probably saving for the Dems in the general election: "Back off, Commies!"

Benjy Sarlin decodes it all below:

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TPM State Television is saddened to report that the visionary prophet-leader Newt Gingrich's poll numbers have fallen to earth, like tears from his supporters' gushing eyes. Evan McMorris-Santoro files this story so lesser mortals can reflect on the golden rays that have been occluded as the dark clouds swallow up our shining sun.

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Brace yourself, but there isn't going to be another GOP debate until 2012.

Now that that information has sunk in, let Benjy Sarlin walk you through the candidate's final pitches before voters descend on the Iowa caucuses in January:

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As the GOP candidates lined up for their last debate before voters take to the Iowa caucuses, everyone took their chance to get a last pitch in with some final free airtime.

Everyone's swagger was in abundance and some rocks were thrown at the frontrunner, but now we have to wait until votes are cast before everyone gets together to yell at one another on TV again...

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As the final debate before the Iowa caucuses hits us tonight, the wacky race that is the GOP primary has been getting more and more manic. Or, as some might say, zany.

The two front runners are going head to head in a "you're richer than I am" debate and enlisting surrogates across the board to push their message and attack their opponents.

Evan McMorris-Santoro waves the checkered flag and lets them have at it.

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A finely judged campaign song can reach almost legendary level. Think of FDR's "Happy Days Are Here Again" or Bill Clinton's "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow."

But on the other hand there are the campaign songs that are laughable or worse. Adlai Stevenson's much-derided Madison Avenue ditties may have done as much to harm his own campaign as President Eisenhower's "I Like Ike" tune did to help his.

Thomas Lane takes us through the top three mistakes campaigns can make, starting with Mitt Romney's new anthem.

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Around this time in the last presidential primaries cycle, Mitt Romney was riding high in Iowa, until a certain fellow strolled into town by the name of "Chuck Norris." Mike Huckabee had picked up his endorsement and received a sudden boost that took him through to victory in the Hawkeye State.

But could someone of equal import throw in a game-changing endorsement this time round? Benjy Sarlin runs through the likeliest suspects.

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In the throes of his most high-stakes GOP debate yet, Mitt Romney did himself no favors by casually throwing down a $10,000 bet over a line in his latest book.

His original point has now long become lost in the furore that has blown up around the bet and Mitt is having to come to terms with having secured his image as a big-money high-roller.

Benjy Sarlin goes "all in" to bring us the story:

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The GOP presidential candidates gathered once again, this time in the glare of the Iowa voters who will be the first to have their say in the race.

All bets were off as the candidates raised the stakes and as everyone clashed the room filled with laughter. Nervous, nervous laughter.....

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Remember when Rick Perry was the "jobs" candidate? As in, three months ago?

Those days are long gone now, though, as Rick Perry rings in the holidays by telling voters it's unfair gays get to fight in Iraq while your poor children can't "openly" celebrate Christmas without fear of religious persecution.

So why has seasonal cheer become seasonal jeer? Benjy Sarlin turned off the Brokeback Mountain DVD and puzzled it out.

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