Eve Fairbanks

Annals Of Infighting
November 24, 2008

As Al Franken gains in the Minnesota recount and the Georgia senate runoff heats up, it's easy to assume that math -- in other words, the slog to 60 seats -- is the principal factor in whether Democrats can push their agenda through the Senate. But since the Senate conferences are so fluid at the edges -- Maine Republican Olympia Snowe might have more in common with Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson than she does with Mitch McConnell -- party discipline matters a great deal, too.

John Boehner, Cleverest Republican In Washington
November 19, 2008

The House Republican leadership elections are today, and GOPers will almost certainly reselect John Boehner, their eternally tan, chain-smoking, long-suffering caporegime, as their leader - and not only that, but they'll also probably approve Boehner's entire hand-picked roster of candidates for the caucus's other leadership positions. On the face of it, this seems nothing short of crazy. In 1998, Newt Gingrich lost the GOP less than ten House seats and was promptly defenestrated.

Joe Lieberman's Odd Punishment
November 18, 2008

Politico's Glenn Thrush makes an intelligent point in a blog post titled, "Isn't it ironic": Some Democrats have sniped at Joe Lieberman for not grilling the Bush administration hard enough as head of the homeland security committee. He gets to keep this job. Democrats have (mostly) offered praise for his positions on the Environment and Public Works Committee, where he has criticized the Bush administration's global warming policies. He loses that job. Whether or not you think Joe's slap-on-the-wrist punishment matches his crime in scale, it certainly doesn't match it in content. --Eve Fairb

Sore Loser Award
November 18, 2008

In the aftermath of the 2006 bloodbath, defeated New York Republican John Sweeney couldn't even get out of bed, he was so heartbroken and physically ill from the trauma of loss.

The Mac Is Back!
November 18, 2008

No, not McCain, who apparently brushed into this morning's Senate Republicans meeting with nary a word for his once-beloved press scrum.

Unsafe At Any District
November 05, 2008

In many ways, it was your standard Democratic fund-raiser in a Republican stronghold. On a recent Friday, a largely bleeding-heart contingent from Maryland's first congressional district--professors from the nearby liberal arts college, a left-wing lobbyist, a Sears scion turned Obama donor, the president of an environmental foundation--holed up in a Patton Boggs lawyer's Eastern Shore home to give their earnest young congressional candidate, state prosecutor Frank Kratovil, a sympathetic pat on the back. But somebody there was not like most of the others.

Last Night's Under-sung Winner: New Mexico Democrats
November 05, 2008

Last night, New Mexico easily added a Democratic senator and two (out of three total) Democratic representatives, fully shifting its top statewide offices from half GOP, half Democrat to entirely Democrat. Somewhere, beneath that goatee, Bill Richardson is smiling. Update: Evidently, Richardson has shaved. --Eve Fairbanks

A Much More Pro-incumbent Night Than Expected
November 05, 2008

Why did the Democrats -- whose House gain currently stands at 18 seats, with some still uncalled -- somewhat underperform Congress-watchers' expectations of a 25 to 35 seat pickup last night? The basic answer is that, downticket, yesterday simply wasn't as big a "change" election as anticipated. Take Alaska, which didn't even see fit to trade in two of the most loathed Capitol Hill denizens in decades!

Not To Rain On The Parade
November 04, 2008

And this could change, but Michele "McCarthy" Bachmann is ahead in her race. --Eve Fairbanks

A Race To Watch Amid The Huge House Wave
November 03, 2008

Electoral guru Stu Rothenberg has offered up his final House prediction: Democrats could capture Republican seats numbering "quite possibly well into the 30s." The drama here has been overshadowed by the presidential race, but that's just as big a Democratic congressional wave as we saw in 2006, when 31 seats switched. Anti-Bush fervor and excitement over Obama helped fuel this -- knock on wood -- tremendous wave, but so did adaptibility.