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

American voters give a slight edge to President Barack Obama over Congressional Republicans when it comes issues related to health care, according to a new poll released Tuesday.

The latest poll from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP), conducted on behalf of Daily Kos and SEIU, shows that 47 percent of respondents trust Obama on health care issues that are important to their families.  Conversely, 43 percent trust members of the GOP in Congress over the president.  

With the Supreme Court expected to rule Thursday on the health care overhaul passed by Congressional Democrats and signed into law by Obama in 2010, the issue could ultimately be revisited on Capitol Hill — particularly if the high court strikes down part or all of the law.  Tuesday's poll also showed Obama with a 3-point lead over presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, 48 percent to 45 percent.  

The PollTracker Average currently shows a Obama and Romney virtually tied.

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Bob Kerrey, the Nebraska Democrat vying to succeed retiring U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), will receive financial assistance from one of the Cornhusker State's most famous native sons, POLITICO reports.

Warren Buffett, the Omaha billionaire who has been a public supporter of President Barack Obama, will host a fundraiser for Kerrey later this month.  But unlike fellow billionaires such as Sheldon Adelson, Buffett's largesse will not be used to help finance any super PACs.   

“I am 100 percent behind Kerrey,” Buffett told POLITICO. “I will not be doing super PACs of any sort. I think allowing unlimited contributions to campaigns is a terrible idea and an important and unfortunate step toward a plutocracy.”

Kerrey previously served Nebraska as governor and U.S. senator, but his 2012 campaign has been rocky thus far.  Most polls show that Republican state Sen. Deb Fischer is a heavy favorite to claim Nelson's seat.  

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U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Monday unveiled a slate of new measures designed to prevent unauthorized leaks of national security information to members of the media.

The new measures will include lie detector tests and will apply to all employees under the purview of the Intelligence Community, which is comprised of 17 organizations and agencies within the executive branch.  

President Barack Obama learned the hard way Monday evening that for fans of the Boston Red Sox, baseball is no laughing matter.

Appearing at a fundraiser at Symphony Hall, Obama jokingly thanked the Boston audience for longtime Red Sox infielder Kevin Youkilis, who was traded Saturday to the president's favorite team, the Chicago White Sox.  

"I'm just saying, he's going to have to change the color of his socks," Obama said, prompting groans and good natured jeers from the crowd.

Youkilis was a mainstay on two World Series championship teams in Boston and a favorite among the city's famously passionate fans.  

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At least 34 members of Congress, including current House Speaker John Boehner, recast their financial portfolios after meetings with former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, his successor Timothy Geithner or Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, the Washington Post reports.  

The meetings and portfolio rearrangements took place in January 2008, when then-President George W. Bush was negotiating with Capitol Hill over a $150 billion stimulus package to stave off an emerging financial crisis.  

From the Post's report:

The lawmakers, many of whom held leadership positions and committee chairmanships in the House and Senate, changed portions of their portfolios a total of 166 times within two business days of speaking or meeting with the administration officials. The party affiliation of the lawmakers was about evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, 19 to 15.

The period covered by The Post analysis was a grim one for the U.S. economy, and many people rushed to reconfigure their investment portfolios. The financial moves by the members of Congress are permitted under congressional ethics rules, but some ethics experts said they should refrain from taking actions in their financial portfolios when they might know more than the public.

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Half of Americans say that, regardless of who wins the 2012 presidential election, the outcome will have virtually no impact on the nation's beleaguered economy, according to a new poll released Monday.

As President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney seek to dinstinguish themselves based on their respective economic visions, the latest Associated Press-GfK poll shows that 6 in 10 Americans believe the winner of the election will have little to no impact on the nation's unemployment rate.  

A clear majority of respondents — 55 percent — say that the eventual winner in November will have "just some impact" or "no impact" on the nation's budget deficit.  Continuing the sense of pessimism that pervades the survey, only 32 percent believe the economy will improve over the course of the next year.

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Latino registered voters identify health care as the top policy issue and overwhelmingly prefer President Barack Obama over Mitt Romney, according to a new poll released Monday.

The latest USA Today/Gallup poll — a survey conducted over a month from mid-April until late May with a sample of 1,005 registered voters — shows that 21 percent of Latinos say health care is the most important issue to them, while 19 percent regard unemployment as the top area of concern.  Twelve percent pegged immigration, a policy area thrust back into the spotlight since Obama's directive announced earlier this month to halt the deportation of some young undcoumented immigrants, as the most important issue.  

The precedence given to health care among Latino voters may at least partly explain why Obama spoke extensively about the Affordable Care Act — colloquially known as Obamacare — during his address at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) conference last week.

Obama's massive lead over Romney among Latino voters — 66 percent to 25 percent — is comparable to the president's level of support among the burgeoning voting bloc in the 2008 election.  The PollTracker Average likewise shows that Obama has consistently held a considerable lead over Romney among Latino voters throughout the current campaign.



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President Barack Obama's campaign is urging supporters to partake in the LGBT-centric events taking place across the country this weekend in conjunction with the annual "Pride" celebration.  A directory on the campaign's website allows users to find Pride festivals near them, while offering a reminder of the president's early May endorsement of same-sex marriage.


Jerry Sandusky's stoic reaction to the slew of guilty verdicts served as "confirmation" of his wrongdoing, a juror in the child sex abuse trial of the former Penn State assistant football coach told NBC.

In an appearance on "TODAY" Saturday, Joshua Harper said Sandusky displayed "no real emotion, just kind of accepting because he knew it was true."  Sandusky was found guilty late Friday evening on 45 of 48 counts of child sexual abuse.

Only 34 percent of Americans correctly identify President Barack Obama as a Christian, according to a new poll from Gallup released Friday. 

Most respondents — 44 percent — were unsure of the president's religious denomination, but the poll also reflects the staying power of a conspiracy theory that has followed Obama since he emerged on the national stage.  According to Gallup, 11 percent of Americans believe he is a Muslim.