Campaign

The Negotiator, Bill Clinton

President Clinton's involvement alone tells anyone with a pulse the White House was trying to move Mr. Sestak off a very nice perch. 

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Campaign fiction

A.B. Stoddard talks about politicians embellishing their military resumes in campaign races, and looks at what Democrats and Republicans will have to do to win votes in future midterm and presidential elections.

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Will Matt Drudge report about the Comeback Kid, Harry Reid?

Look who's coming on strong in the Nevada Senate campaign: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) has virtually caught up with Republican Sue Lowden in the latest Mason-Dixon poll, and he has pulled ahead of Sharron Angle, the Tea Party candidate in the race.

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Connect the dots

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel supposedly asked former President Bill Clinton to pitch a job offer to Rep. Joe Sestak (Pa.), if he would stay out of a Democratic Senate primary.

Sestak revealed this explosive offer in an interview, which has set off a firestorm for the Obama administration.

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Good advice for the phonies

Good for Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). He pointed out that the senatorial nomination of Dr. Rand Paul by Kentucky Republicans was one thing; his qualifications for the job as a possible senator are quite another. Candidates like Rand, and Sarah Palin, are popular advocates, but they would make lousy government officials. The attraction of the spiels of Tea Party candidates and their media cheerleaders is that broad-stroke challenges and theoretical principles are easier to espouse to the public than the real challenges of bringing ideas to reality in a democratic society.

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Vietnamgate

Over the weekend, the Democrats decided to do one more thing to shoot themselves in the foot, breaking the rule that warns, "If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging."

In Connecticut, Democrats nominated someone for U.S. Senate, to fill the seat held by Sen. Chris Dodd (D), who created a record of combat in Vietnam when he had none. Richard Blumenthal was attorney general for the last 20 years and was the most popular politician in the state — the Democrats’ golden boy who couldn't lose — until The New York Times revealed last week that he has trouble with the truth. Blumenthal not only spoke often of when he came "back" from Vietnam — and sprinkled remarks to veterans groups and other crowds throughout his career — profiles repeatedly identified him as a Vietnam veteran, which he never attempted to correct. Did someone tell them this isn't a good year for candidates who aren't the real thing?

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Business as usual

Yesterday, on ABC’s weekly gab-fast “This Week,” America’s last remaining Whig, the bowtied George Will, blithely dismissed the kerfuffle surrounding the latest accusations of illegality in the White House. “Business as usual,” he huffed.

But moments later, on a separate network, the one who was offered the bribe, Joe Sestak, acknowledged that he was offered such a deal — a high-ranking government appointment in exchange for a discontinued Senate bid. “I was offered a job, but I am not going to tell you what it was.”

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The D.C. investment

Let's thank The Washington Post and reporters T.W. Farnam and Carol Leonnig for a comment that speaks volumes about a political system in the United States that is bought and paid for.

In their Saturday story "PACs betting on GOP takeover,” one of them got a quote from Rep. Greg Walden (Ore.), who is the deputy chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. He's not just a House member, but a party fundraiser, who says that in pitching corporate givers to spread some of their wealth to his side, "I tell them, 'I understand you have to give money to Democrats, but I want to be back in the majority.

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As goes Hawaii?

As Washington sorts through this weekend's Pacific upset and victory by Republican candidate Charles Djou in Hawaii's heavily Democratic 1st congressional district, I believe there are emerging indicators of how Hawaii could be a bellwether of sorts for November.

Yes, Congressman-elect Djou garnered 39 percent of the vote in a three-way special election in which two Democrats essentially brought each other down with their bickering and failure to cede the stage. Conventional wisdom holds that, when Djou is forced to run against just one Democratic opponent in less than six months, all will be corrected in Hawaii and Democrats will once again assume control of the seat. But conventional wisdom can't seem to assign an empirical value to two key factors, and it's these ingredients that may propel Republicans to the majority in the House of Representatives come November.

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Reductio ad absurdum

In 1803, emissaries from the American president, including future President James Monroe, signed a treaty, which was then the largest real estate purchase in history. Thomas Jefferson authorized his ambassadors to sign the Louisiana Purchase Treaty despite some misgivings he had about its constitutionality. He did it because he thought it was a great deal (it was — 15 million bucks for property that would later make up parts of 14 states) and because he wanted to enhance American security.

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