Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 3:36 pm
The Virginia attorney general's race, which cut a relatively low profile heading into Election Day, now has a chance to end up as part of history.
With more than 2.2 million ballots cast and Democratic state Sen. Mark Herring leading Republican state Sen. Mark Obenshain by a mere 117 votes, the election is shaping up as one of the closest statewide contests in decades.
With a recount looming, the winner isn't expected to be officially declared until December. But in the meantime, here's a look back at some of the closest statewide elections of the past five decades:
Even taken together, the charges didn't seem to amount to that big a deal — just a matter of quoting a few factual statements and a Wikipedia passage without attributing them. But as Rand Paul discovered, the word "plagiarism" can still rouse people to steaming indignation. Samuel Johnson called plagiarism the most reproachful of literary crimes, and the word itself began as the name of a real crime. In Roman law, a plagiarius was someone who abducted a child or a slave — it's from "plaga," the Latin word for a net or a snare.
Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 2:06 pm
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he can teach national Republicans an important lesson: If they want to appeal to voters beyond their traditional conservative base, they need to go to where those voters are.
As he made the rounds of Sunday's Washington talk shows, Christie explained his rationale to Fox News' Chris Wallace:
Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 2:06 pm
There's still one election yet to be decided from last Tuesday: the Virginia attorney general's race.
The latest figures released Sunday night show it's about as close as it gets: Republican state Sen. Mark Obenshain leads Democratic state Sen. Mark Herring by just 17 votes out of more than 2.2 million cast.
Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 7:44 am
Good morning, fellow political junkies.
It's Veteran's Day 2013. Our deepest thanks to those who've worn the nation's uniform both home and abroad and made countless sacrifices to serve it with courage and integrity.
The House returns this week from a recess. Its Republican leaders will waste little time placing Democrats on the defensive and positioning the GOP as coming to the rescue of those beleaguered individuals who have received notices that their health plans were cancelled. The GOP-controlled House plans to vote this week on the Keep Your Health Plan Act of 2013.
President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney left office on Jan. 20, 2009, ending a consequential — and controversial — administration. The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and Hurricane Katrina were just some of the major events that challenged the administration.
Peter Baker, Chief White House Correspondent for The New York Times, covered those events in real time. But he's now taken a second look at the administration and the relationship at its heart.
President Obama apologized this week for the fact that some Americans are losing their health plans despite his promises they wouldn't. The President spoke with NBC News.
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "NBC NEWS")
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I am sorry that they are, you know, finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me. We've got to work hard to make sure that they know we hear them and that we're going to do everything we can to deal with folks who find themselves in a tough position as a consequence of this.
Election results this week painted a mixed picture for the GOP as the party wrestles with its political strategy for the 2014 midterms and beyond. A more moderate Republican, Chris Christie, won his re-election in the very blue state of New Jersey with a landslide victory. Yet conservative Republican Ken Cuccinelli lost the Virginia governor's race to his Democratic opponent, Terry McAuliffe.
The outcome in Virginia's governor's race this week seemed to illustrate anew the Democratic Party's grip on the women's vote, and the power of the abortion issue.
Even some Republicans argued that social conservative Ken Cuccinelli's defeat at the hands of Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who won women by a 9-point margin, was another sign that the GOP's anti-abortion stance would continue to doom the party at the polls.
Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 5:42 pm
This week's hot rumor in Virginia: Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Robert Sarvis was a spoiler, bankrolled by an Obama bundler from Texas, to undercut Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli.
On Election Day, Sarvis captured nearly 7 percent of the vote in a race Cuccinelli lost by less than 3 percentage points to Democrat Terry McAuliffe.
It's time for our regular Friday conversation with our political commentators and we begin by talking about this apology last night. President Obama apologizing to Americans who are losing their current health insurance despite his repeated promises that if people like their healthcare plan, they can keep it, period. Here he is on NBC News.
Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 2:46 pm
After winning an election on a platform of pragmatism and compromise, Robert "Heshy" Bucholz, 39, is set to become what many believe will be the first Whig to hold elected office in Philadelphia since before the Civil War. A member of the upstart Modern Whig Party, Bucholz won the post of judge of elections in one of the city's wards.
Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 12:31 pm
Now that President Obama has apologized to those who've seen their health care plans canceled due to the Affordable Care Act, losses he pledged beforehand wouldn't happen, he joins the line of modern presidents who have had to look the American people in the eye and give their regrets.
Twitter may be worth billions of dollars. Let's talk about another number $2 billion. That is how much federal employees were paid not to work during the government shutdown. This is just one of many eye-popping numbers in a new report on the shutdown from the White House Budget Office.
In the wake of the partial government shutdown, many establishment Republicans argued that the hardliners in the GOP, backed by the Tea Party, needed to be reigned in. Former Republican Rep. Steve LaTourette of Ohio tells David Greene about his efforts to put millions of dollars toward that goal in the 2014 mid-term elections.
Two of the big winners in Virginia's elections this week were not on the ballot. They actually aren't even Virginians. They are two men who spent more than $2 million each to help elect Democrat Terry McAuliffe as governor.
NPR's Peter Overby reports on the Election Day impact of San Francisco environmentalist Tom Steyer and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 3:34 pm
The Senate has approved the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which gives workplace protections to workers and job applicants who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. The bill would apply to any private employer that has more than 15 employees; it includes an exemption for religious groups.
The measure adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of characteristics that cannot be discriminated against in the workplace passed by a vote of 64-32 — a slightly stronger showing than an earlier vote to move forward on the legislation, which passed 61-30.
Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 2:58 pm
Good morning, fellow political junkies.
The assessments of the meaning of the 2013 off-year elections continue, with both parties trying to draw lessons from Election Day's outcomes, with the likely overinterpretation of some of them, though it wasn't always clear which.