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

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) elaborated on his decision to seek a second term during a news briefing on Monday, saying that he's "in this for the long haul" and highlighting the work that remains following Superstorm Sandy.

"It would be wrong for me to leave now. I don't want to leave now," Christie said. "We have a job to do. That job won't be finished by next year. The public needs to know that I'm in this for the long haul, that the person who has helped to lead them through the initial crisis wants to help lead them through the rebuilding and restoration of our state."

Despite the incumbent's entrance in the race, the 2013 New Jersey governor's campaign has not fully taken shape. Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker said that he hoped to make a decision on whether to run by December, but Sandy delayed his plans. poll from Quinnipiac University out Tuesday indicated that Christie will be a tough out, with 72 percent of New Jersey voters approving of the job he is doing as governor.

The body of former Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat, who died in 2004, was exhumed in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Tuesday, the Washington Post reports

Authorities are opening an inquiry into Arafat's death after evidence surfaced in July suggesting he may have actually been poisoned.


Police fired tear gas and protesters threw rocks in the streets of Cairo on Tuesday, the Associated Press reports

The clash took place on a street between the U.S. Embassy and Tahrir Square, hours before a planned demonstration by opponents of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. Protesters have been gathered in Tahrir Square since Friday to protest Morsi's controversial power grab. On Monday, Morsi agreed to limits to his decree, which he announced last week.

The date for the special election to fill the House seat being vacated by Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) was set for March 19 on Monday, but the state's governor hopes to ultimately move it back to coincide with municipal elections already planned for April 9, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

A spokeswoman for Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) told the Sun-Times that holding the special election on the same date as the other elections will save the state money. Former Illinois Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson (D) announced Monday that she will pursue Jackson's seat. 

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on Monday agreed to limits to his controversial decree that set off a wave of protests in the country, the New York Times reports.

According to the Times, Morsi reached an agreement with judicial authorities that will subject most of his actions to "review by the courts." Morsi's original decree, made last week, would have exempted his edicts from any judicial review. 

Musician Andrew W.K. will not participate in a cultural exchange with the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain, a State Department spokesperson told Salon on Monday. 

Speaking on behalf of the State Department, Noel Clay called the original invitation — which Andrew W.K. touted on his website late last week — “a mistake and not appropriate."

Shortly after the news broke, the rocker, known for his hard-charging lifestyle, took to Twitter to express his disappointment:



Tom Ricks followed up on his now-viral interview with Fox News Channel on Monday, telling the New York Times that he was simply offering a candid assessment of the network's coverage of the September attack in Benghazi.

“I thought I was being honest,” Ricks told the Times' Brian Stelter via email. “They asked my opinion, and I gave it.”

Ricks said he believes that the interview ended abruptly, cut short by the network after he offered unexpected criticism of Fox.

“I think the segment was about half as long as planned," Ricks said.

Thirty-nine percent of Americans disapprove of President Barack Obama's job performance, according to Monday's edition of the daily Gallup tracking poll, representing the lowest percentage of respondents to give Obama negative marks in Gallup's polling since June of 2011. 

It's the latest sign of Obama's post-election bump. Gallup has shown the president with an approval rating of at least 50 percent in every poll conducted after Election Day, while his disapproval rating has remained below 45 percent during the same span. But save for the one time in 2011, Gallup hadn't shown Obama with a disapproval rating below the 40 percent threshold since his first year in office.

The PollTracker Average illustrates Obama's popularity bounce that's followed his re-election.


Correction: The post has been updated to specify that the last time Obama's disapproval rating dipped below 40 percent in Gallup's poll was June of 2011, not November of 2009 as was originally stated. TPM regrets the error.


Tom Ricks, a blogger for Foreign Policy magazine and a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, took a pointed shot at Fox News Channel's coverage of the September attack in Benghazi, Libya during an interview on the network Monday. 

Asked about Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) softening his stance toward the potential nomination of United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Ricks took the opportunity to characterize the network's coverage as politically motivated, accusing Fox of "operating as a wing of the Republican party." 

Watch the exchange here: