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

Mitt Romney was set to place a concession call to President Barack Obama on Election Night, but Karl Rove's now-viral on-air meltdown caused the former Republican presidential nominee to hesitate, the Boston Globe reported on Saturday:

As Romney’s campaign plane landed at Logan International Airport at around 6 p.m. on Election Day, he turned on his iPad and opened the Drudge Report. “Uh oh,” someone said upon seeing reports of early exit polls. But Romney still had hope.

Arriving at his suite in the Westin Boston Waterfront ­hotel, Romney received regular updates from his staff. He made small talk about the Patriots and the Celtics and played with his grandchildren. He was about to concede around 11:15 p.m when Republican strategist Karl Rove made his now-infamous appearance on Fox News Channel, insisting that his own network was wrong in calling Ohio for the president.

The concession call was canceled, followed by an hour of uncertainty. Then, after Fox ­executives dismissed Rove’s concerns and stood by the network’s projection, Romney said: Call the president.

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After reports surfaced Sautrday suggesting that he may run for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts if Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) is confirmed as Secretary of State, Ted Kennedy Jr. will reportedly take a pass on a bid in the special election, a source told the Boston Globe:

Kennedy decided against a run for three reasons, the source said. He does not want to uproot his family; he doesn’t feel right about moving from Connecticut to Massachusetts to run; and officials in Connecticut have urged him to stay there and run there eventually.

The person familiar with his decision said that the 51-year-old Kennedy was in no way ruling out a future run for public office. In fact, he hopes to run for office in Connecticut someday, the source said.

Kennedy, president of a financial firm and a leading advocate for disability rights, is the son of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the liberal lion of the Senate who served for more than four decades before dying in 2009.

(Photo: SJD/ZOJ WENN Photos/Newscom)

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The merry band of cable news personalities celebrated the season in their own unique way this year -- whether it was with appearances by Santa impersonators or painful fiscal cliff-themed Christmas puns. TPM cobbled together some of our favorite holiday bits from the likes of CNN, MSNBC and, of course, Fox News.

In the words of Don Imus, "Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, or Happy Hanukkah, or whatever you celebrate."


Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), perhaps the most notable pro-gun lawmaker to call for new laws on firearms in the wake of last week's mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., expanded on his thoughts with an op/ed in the Washington Post on Friday. In the piece, Manchin rejected an "all-or-nothing approach" to reducing gun violence, and signaled that he is "open" to the call for armed guards in schools made by the National Rifle Association at a press conference on Friday morning:

No matter how strongly any one of us holds our positions, we all must be willing to respectfully hear each other out — elected leaders must hear recommendations from the mental health community; gun-control advocates must listen to gun rights supporters; the entertainment community must listen to those who want to see less violence on their screens. And vice versa.

If we let irrational fear and antagonism control the debate, then we will continue to be a nation of violence. We need leaders who can be open-minded. We can’t villainize those who disagree with us, and we can’t dismiss their legitimate concerns outright. We cannot pay lip service to those perspectives; they must be the driving force of change.

At the same time, as a proud gun owner and a lifetime member of the NRA, I will continue to urge the organization’s leadership to come to the table because I would like to see a more meaningful discussion — because every group with a role to play in this conversation should contribute. I’m open to a discussion about whether we need more security in our schools, as the NRA proposed in Friday’s news conference, but that can’t be the only measure that comes out of this. An all-or-nothing approach from any of these parties won’t result in the changes we need to keep our children safe.

Because if you think the problem of mass violence in our country is about just guns, you’re wrong. If you think it’s about just an entertainment industry that markets violence to kids, you’re wrong. If you it’s about just insufficient security at our schools, you’re wrong. If you think it’s about just the lack of mental health services for troubled young people and adults, you’re wrong. We need to address all of them. I, for one, simply cannot support any proposal that doesn’t address all aspects of this problem.

Read the entire piece here.


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Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), released a statement Friday night in response to remarks made by President Obama earlier in the evening on the looming fiscal cliff:

Though the President has failed to offer any solution that passes the test of balance, we remain hopeful he is finally ready to get serious about averting the fiscal cliff. The House has already acted to stop all of the looming tax hikes and replace the automatic defense cuts. It is time for the Democratic-run Senate to act, and that is what the Speaker told the President tonight. Speaker Boehner will return to Washington following the holiday, ready to find a solution that can pass both houses of Congress.

The Associated Press reports:

A peacekeeper serving with the joint U.N.-African Union force in Darfur opened fire at fellow peacekeepers killing four and injuring one, the United Nations said Friday.

Kieran Dwyer, spokesman for the U.N. peacekeeping force, said the peacekeeping mission in Darfur, known as UNAMID, is investigating the shooting.

He said there were no further details of the so-called "blue-on-blue" incident which took place Thursday at a peacekeeping site in Mukjar in West Darfur.

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President Barack Obama and his family on Friday night will travel to Hawaii to celebrate Christmas, according to a White House pool report.

They will depart Andrews Air Force Base at 7:15 p.m. EST and are expected to arrive in Honolulu at 12:45 a.m. HST.