Eve Fairbanks

Mad Skills

In the spring of 2006, Jim Webb was not yet a rising superstar. In fact, he was late getting started and low on cash in his effort to win the Virginia Democratic primary, so an admiring Roanoke circuit clerk named Steve McGraw took pity on him and agreed to put him up when he came to southwestern Virginia to campaign. Webb quickly established himself as the model houseguest, washing everybody's chili bowls and shooting pool with McGraw over a bottle of Maker's Mark bourbon.

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The Groveler

Has ever a politician gone so cheerfully into defeat as Mitt Romney? Remember Romney around the time of the Michigan and Florida GOP primaries: As he derided John McCain's economic policies as defeatist and lashed out at the senator for dishonestly distorting his rhetoric on Iraq, Romney appeared to be a man barely in control of an immense, quivering, anti-McCain outrage.

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According to the Daily News, Ted Kennedy has a plan for his succession: Ted Kennedy has made clear to confidants that when his time is up, he wants his Senate seat to stay in the family - with his wife, Vicki. Multiple sources in Massachusetts with close ties to the liberal lion say his wife of 16 years has long been his choice to continue carrying the family flame in the Senate. Kennedy won the seat in 1962; his brother John held it from 1953 to 1960. Ted, who defiantly went sailing (!) yesterday, isn't giving up yet, so it may not even come to this. And Vicki isn't unqualified.

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Wiki Woman

Back when we got basic information from encyclopedias instead of Wikipedia, politicians were at the mercy of the encyclopedia-writers' particular biases. Take the 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Apparently controlled by smug British nationalists, it described the important Irish leader Charles Stewart Parnell as "not over-scrupulous," "repellent," "powerful for evil," and, owing to the "mental affliction of his ancestors," probably possessing a "mental equilibrium [that] was not always stable." Wikipedia was supposed to fix this problem.

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Endorsement Chart

Rocky Top

In certain towns in Scotland, there exist museums filled with relics of the rebel Bonnie Prince Charlie--pieces of his tartan, portraits, goblets, scraps of things he once touched, and rings inscribed with king charles iii, as if he really had become King of England instead of dying in exile in Rome.Unbeknownst to most local tour guides, a similar kind of museum exists in Washington. It's tucked away on the fourth floor of the Dirksen Senate Office Building: the museum to the not-quite-presidency of Lamar Alexander.

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The Squeak

The scene at the November 15, 2007 Democratic debate in Las Vegas was thick with the usual suspects—the candidates, the flacks, Wolf Blitzer, Dennis Kucinich's Amazonian wife. But there was someone who seemed out of place, a ghost of campaigns past: Howard Dean.  The 2004 presidential candidate turned Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman had been strangely absent all fall, not just a ghost of an earlier campaign but seemingly the ghost of his former self. Among campaign junkies, suddenly glimpsing him up on stage shaking hands with John Edwards "set off a flurry of commentary," remembe

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Voting Rites

Even though he lost South Carolina, Huckabee’s running about even with Giuliani and McCain in fluid Florida. Those who predict he still has a chance to be, at least, a convention kingmaker point to the delegates he can rack up in Southern states on February 5: Lots of evangelicals in those states = lots of votes for Mike Huckabee. But South Carolina showed this math doesn’t work.

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Young and in Love

I get to Ron Paul's headquarters in Des Moines just as an army of student volunteers is surging out of the doors, yelling and clutching signs. "This is the herd we can't contain!" one staffer laughs. ABC's Jake Tapper is taping a live segment in front of Mike Huckabee's neighboring headquarters, and it's time to make some mischief. The volunteers conform to a Washington reporter's expectations about Ron Paul youth--almost all boys, rowdy, eager to disrupt--until they don't.

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The TNR Q&A

An exclusive interview with former presidential candidate Tom Tancredo, who dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination on December 20, conducted on the eve of the Iowa Caucuses. The New Republic: What do you miss about being out here, in the mix? Representative Tom Tancredo: I don’t miss it. There’s absolutely nothing appealing about it from the standpoint of the effort that goes into it, especially while [Congress was] in session. I was so jealous when Democrats did a debate and the moderator asked them which of them flew their own planes out here.

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