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

Prior to his death Monday evening, Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) lobbied Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) to choose Rep. Colleen Hana­busa (D-HI) as his successor, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports.

Inouye's suggestion came in the form of a letter, which was delivered to Abercrombie on Monday morning. Abercrombie will select Inouye's replacement from a field of candidates selected by the state Democratic party. 

Two males and two females were found dead in Weld County, Colo. Tuesday morning following an apparent murder-suicide, the Denver Post reports. An earlier report indicated there were five deaths in the incident.

According to the Post's latest report, one of the victims may have been a juvenile:

The incident happened at about 4 a.m. in the Longview subdivision, said Sgt. Tim Schwartz, a sheriff's office spokesman.

The bodies of three adults, and a female who may possibly be a juvenile, were found inside a home. A person inside the home called 911 to alert authorities of the incident. There are no surviving witnesses, Schwartz said.

Investigators at the scene have recovered a handgun, which had been fired several times.

Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced via Twitter that he will officially swear in Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) as president pro tempore of the Senate, the distinction given to the most senior member of the chamber's majority party that was previously held by the late Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI), at 11:30 a.m. EST today.

Less than two hours after Inouye's death Monday evening, the Senate passed a resolution making Leahy the new pro tempore.


President Barack Obama claims his highest approval rating since since the killing of Osama bin Laden, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released Tuesday, but the public overwhelmingly dismisses the notion that he has a mandate.

The poll shows 54 percent of American adults approve of the job Obama is doing, compared with 42 percent who disapprove — the highest shown in ABC/WaPo's polling since May 2011. Nevertheless, 56 percent said Obama does not have “a mandate to carry out the agenda he presented during the presidential campaign,” but instead should " “compromise on things the Republicans strongly oppose." Thirty-four percent said the president does have a mandate.

Still, Obama claims an 18-point edge over Republicans in the public's trust to handle the economy, as well as a 26-point advantage over the GOP in trust to protect the middle class. Moreover, 50 percent said they approve of Obama's handling of the economy, his highest mark in the category since the ABC/WaPo poll in June of 2010, while 48 percent disapprove. 


Michael Dukakis, the former Massachusetts governor and one-time Democratic presidential nominee, ended speculation on Monday that he will serve as interim senator following the expected nomination of Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) as Secretary of State. 

“That’s a no,” Dukakis said in a brief interview with Boston-based CBS affiliate WBZ-TV.

If Kerry is tapped to head the State Department as anticipated, Gov. Deval Patrick (D) must fill the seat until a special election is held.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) on Monday said he does not regret his failed presidential campaign last year, a bid that was notable for several gaffes and shaky debate performances.

"It was an extraordinary experience -- I mean, one that I wouldn't trade," Perry said before a local tea party outfit in North Richland Hills, Texas. "And looking back on it ... I would do it again."

Perry has said repeatedly that he will consider running for president again in 2016. 

In response to last week's mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, a Republican legislator in South Dakota on Monday said that she will introduce a bill that would permit school personnel — from teachers to janitors — to bring guns to their workplace. 

State Rep. Betty Olson of Prairie City, S.D. told the Associated Press that arming faculty members could have thwarted gunman Adam Lanza and minimized the carnage in Newtown, Conn.

"Those children and teachers, that was like shooting fish in a barrel," Olson said.

From the AP:

In a scenario described by Olson, armed school personnel could have felled Lanza with a lethal shot by waiting for him to reload or turn his head. Olson dismissed the idea that people attempting to intervene could injure others in the crossfire or become victims themselves.

"They're going to be dead regardless, the way I see it, so (being armed) is the only chance they've got," she said.


Iraqi President Jalal Talabani suffered a stroke on Monday, a spokesman for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told the Associated Press. With Maliki at the Baghdad hospital where Talabani is being treated, medical personnel were still trying to stabilize the president's condition as of Tuesday. 

An official within the Iraqi cabinet told the AP that Talabani fainted Monday and is still unconscious.

From the AP:

Doctors have not decided whether Talabani will continue to be treated in Baghdad or will be flown to another country for treatment, he said. He was unable to provide further details.

Talabani's office earlier said the Iraqi president had been rushed to the hospital after showing signs of fatigue on Monday evening, and that he was being treated for an unspecified health problem.


The Associated Press reports:

Gunmen killed five Pakistani women working on a U.N.-backed polio vaccination campaign in two different cities on Tuesday, officials said. The attacks were likely an attempt by the Taliban to counter an initiative the militant group has opposed.