Tom Kludt

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Tom

Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker has opted against challenging Gov. Chris Christie (R) in the state's gubernatorial election next year, according to multiple reports Thursday.

NBC 4 New York reported that Booker plans to run for the U.S. Senate in 2014 and will announce his intentions on Twitter today. Meanwhile, PolitickerNJ.com reported only that Booker will not run for governor. The road to the Senate looks smoother than one to the governor's mansion for Booker. Christie's approval ratings saw a dramatic rise following Superstorm Sandy. According to NBC 4, Booker will pursue the seat currently held by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), who is 88 years old and not expected to run for re-election when his term ends in two years.

PolitickerNJ, citing anonymous sources, reported that people close to Booker were "hedging and referring to his potential to go suddenly out of the box" as late as Wednesday night. But most in Booker's inner circle were "shifting gears away from the mayor to consider other possibilities" aside from the 2013 gubernatorial run. One person close to Booker floated the idea of a third term as mayor of Newark, "which seemed to have legs" even though he has ruled out such an option in the past.

This post has been updated.

Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) may be on his way out of public office following his November defeat to Elizabeth Warren, but a poll released Thursday indicates that the moderate Republican may be well-positioned for a shot at redemption.

The poll, conducted by MassINC Polling Group, shows that Brown remains in good standing among his Massachusetts constituents, with 58 percent of Bay State voters viewing their junior senator favorably. Additionally, the poll suggests that Brown would be the favorite in a special election to fill the seat expected to be vacated by Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), the anticipated successor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. 

Brown tops every Democratic opponent in hypothetical matchups tested in the poll. He leads Gov. Deval Patrick (D) -- the preferred choice among Democrats to run in the special election -- by 7 points and state Attorney General Martha Coakley (D), who he defeated in the 2010 special election to fill the seat held by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D), by 15 points. 


Outgoing Rep. Allen West (R-FL) on Thursday morning suggested that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who postponed her testimony regarding the September attack on a U.S. mission in Libya that was scheduled for this week after fainting and suffering a concussion, is not legitimately under the weather but instead came down "with a case of Benghazi flu."

“I’m not a doctor, but it seems as though that the secretary of state has come down with a case of Benghazi flu,” West said during an appearance on "Fox & Friends." “I think we have to get to the bottom of this, there’s still very — countless amount of unanswered questions.” 

Watch the exchange:


Seventy-three percent of Americans oppose immediate military intervention in Syria, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll released Thursday, but those attitudes would flip completely if circumstances were to deteriorate in the war-torn country. 

The poll indicates that the public would be more supportive of military intervention if chemical weapons were used or if Syria attacks launches an attack on American ally. Sixty-three percent said they would support military involvement if the regime led by President Bashar al-Assad deploys chemical weapons on its own people, while 70 percent would be in favor of a U.S. military intervention if the Syrian government loses control of those weapons. 

Moreover, 69 percent said they would back military intervention if Syria attacks an ally to the U.S.

Former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin on Wednesday dismissed Time magazine's selection of President Barack Obama as its person of the year for 2012, arguing that the news weekly is no longer relevant. Appearing on Fox News, Palin backed up her argument by citing the magazine's previous selection of her on its annual list of the most influential people in the world.

“Time magazine, you know, I think there is some irrelevancy there, to tell you the truth,” Palin told Fox's Greta Van Susteren. “I mean consider their list of the most influential people in the country and the world, some who have made that list — yours truly! that ought to tell you something right there regarding the credence that we should give Time magazine and their list of people.”

Watch the exchange:


A report from the Sri Lankan government on Thursday said that 25 people are dead and 14 more are missing from flooding and mudslides caused by three days of driving rain throughout the country, the Associated Press reports.

The New York Giants' Victor Cruz on Wednesday met with the family of Jack Pinto, the 6-year-old boy who was killed last week in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. 

Cruz was Pinto's favorite player, and the youngster was buried in the star wide receiver's jersey on Monday. 

"You never go through some circumstances like this," Cruz told ESPN about his meeting with Pinto's family. "This was definitely the toughest by far."

A slight majority of the American public believes the policies advocated by the Republican Party are too extreme, according to a CNN/ORC International poll released Thursday. 

The 53 percent of adults who said the GOP's policies are too extreme dwarfs the 37 percent who view the Democratic Party the same way. Fifty-three percent also believe that Republicans should be the side to compromise more in fiscal cliff negotiations, compared with 41 percent who believe that Democrats should concede on more of the positions they support. 

The poll was conducted Dec. 17-18 using live phone interviews with 620 American adults. It has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

The millions of dollars President Barack Obama's re-election team spent on ads tailored for mobile devices paid off, campaign operatives told AdWeek in a story published Tuesday:

In the case of mobile video ads, the Democratic operatives said they got click-through rates from 3 percent to 19.5 percent during the race's crucial stretch run when Mitt Romney appeared to surge in late October and early November. The promos criticized the GOP candidate's tax plan and praised Obama's auto industry bailout, among other examples.

"We knew we had to be in mobile," said Shannon Lee, the campaign's digital lead who previously worked at interactive shop Digitas. "The work we did there was exciting because we felt it was directly impacting the election."

More from AdWeek on who the ads targeted:

The ads typically zeroed in on young, female and Hispanic voters in Ohio, Michigan, Nevada, Iowa, Florida and Colorado, appearing via mobile properties owned by major regional news outlets such as the Cincinnati EnquirerDetroit Free PressLas Vegas Review-Journal, Des Moines RegisterMiami Herald and Denver Post. The Obama digital team also bought ads directly from CNN, The Weather Channel, Associated Press and Pandora, leveraging through those publishers' mobile apps.

Half of the country is dissatisfied with the Obama administration's handling of the September attack in Benghazi, Libya that left four Americans dead, but a solid majority rejects the notion that the White House misled the American public on what transpired, according to a CNN/ORC International poll released Wednesday. 

On the heels of a scathing report released Tuesday by an independent panel that highlighted a litany of failures on the part of the State Department in the lead-up to the attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi, the poll shows that 50 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the way the administrationhave handled the matter. Forty-three percent are satisfied. 

But 56 percent of respondents said they do not believe the White House has "intentionally misled" the public about the attack, compared with 40 percent who believe it has.