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

Karl Rove on Wednesday pointed to another reason why Mitt Romney fell short last week: the protracted Republican nomination contest that spanned several months and saw a handful of different frontrunners before the party ultimately settled on the former Massachusetts governor.

Rove, whose super PAC American Crossroads dropped hundreds of millions of dollars in support of Republican candidates this year, told a crowd at Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy in Erie, Pa. that the GOP primaries featured "way too many debates" and often veered away from the paramount issue of the economy to focus on social issues instead. The process, Rove contended, put Romney in an unfavorable light.

"Mitt Romney had what I scientifically call a butt-ugly primary,'' Rove said.

Invoking presidential proclamation, President Barack Obama today declared November 15, 2012 as "America Recycles Day," calling upon the country to "observe this day with appropriate programs and activities."

More from the proclamation:

As many of us prepare to gather with families and friends this Thanksgiving, America Recycles Day offers a chance to highlight another resource that is too often taken for granted: food. Though many Americans lack access to regular, nutritious meals, much of our country's food goes to waste. To put surplus food to better use, the Environmental Protection Agency is partnering with businesses and organizations in the Food Recovery Challenge, which is helping participants support their communities through food donation and protect their bottom line by reducing waste. By consuming carefully and donating what we can, each of us can join in that important work. Food banks and pantries accept wholesome food that meets quality and safety standards, as do many national and local food recovery programs. Through giving to those in need, all Americans can lift up their communities while helping protect the environment we share.

More than 100 rockets fired from militants in the Gaza Strip descended on the suburbs of Tel Aviv on Thursday, the Associated Press reports.

One rocket that landed in Rishon Lezion claimed no casualties but the AP reports that it was "by far the deepest target reached by Gaza militants so far":

Although the rocket in Rishon Lezion, some 60 kilometers, or 40 miles north of Gaza, landed harmlessly in an open area, it illustrated the significant capabilities that Hamas militants have developed in recent years. Gaza militants had previously hit the city in 2009 fighting as well.

Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on much of New Jersey the week before the 2012 campaign drew to a close, and the biennial Election Day exit polls were nearly a casualty of the disaster.

Mark Blumenthal of Pollster reported on Wednesday that the organization in charge of conducting the exit polls is based in an area of New Jersey heavily affected by Sandy, and its operations were nearly jeopardized by the devastating storm:

What made the exit polls especially challenging this year is that Edison Research, the company that conducts the exit polls on behalf of the National Election Pool (NEP) consortium of the five television networks and the Associated Press, is in Somerville, N.J. It was directly in the path of Hurricane Sandy, and nearly knocked out of business by the storm at a critical moment in its preparations.

But Edison was able to anticipate the incoming storm and made the necessary preparations to avoid an outright cancellation of the exit polls:

With the forecast showing Sandy heading toward the mid-Atlantic states, Edison founder and executive vice president Joe Lenski rushed printing the paper questionnaires whose content had been finalized on Oct. 26. By the following day, they were able to print and ship about two- thirds of the questionnaires ahead of schedule.


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee next month on the September terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Politico reports.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), chairwoman of the committee, announced Thursday morning that Clinton had agreed to testify.

“The Secretary has committed to testifying before our Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the Accountability Review Board’s report, which is expected to be concluded by early to mid-December,” Ros-Lehtinen said during a different hearing on the attacks that left four Americans dead.

The Hamas-controlled health ministry said that 13 people have been killed in Gaza due to a spate of Israeli airstrikes, the Washington Post reports. According to the ministry, five of the 13 victims were militans while the other eight were civilians, including two children.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi sharply denounced Israel's recent airstrikes on the Gaza Strip during a televised address on Thursday, Reuters reports.

"We are in contact with the people of Gaza and with Palestinians and we stand by them until we stop the aggression," Morsi said. "The Israelis must realize that this aggression is unacceptable and would only lead to instability in the region".

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) looks poised to finish his first and only term in good standing among his constituents in the Commonwealth, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University released Thursday.

The poll shows that 53 percent of Virginia voters approve of the job McDonnell is doing as governor, while 26 percent disapprove. McDonnell has earned consistently high marks for his job performance since taking office in 2010. His tenure in Richmond will draw to a close at the end of 2013 due to a state law that prohibits governors from serving two consecutive terms.

The PollTracker Average iullustrates McDonnell's steadily strong approval rating.


The re-election of President Obama last week was just too much for some conservatives to handle. Although the doomsday pronouncements of the past four years have yet to materialize, some Americans couldn't help themselves from freaking out over the news that the president will be here for one more term.

TPM has compiled the six most bizarre reactions to Obama's victory.

Read More →

Former CIA Director David Petraeus has agreed to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding the September terrorist attack in Libya, ABC News reports.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chairwoman of the committee, told ABC's Sunlen Miller that Petraeus has agreed to testify and that "details are being worked out." Petraeus was originally scheduled to testify this week, but those plans were muddled when he resigned from his post at the CIA.