Sue Lowden

Candid Camera

“You’re back, William!” Tim Pawlenty called out to the young man with the video camera. “I am,” William Schoell said as Pawlenty passed by, working his way through the crowd at Carey’s Café and Restaurant in Cherokee, Iowa. “We missed you,” Pawlenty said. “Where’ve you been?” “Going where my boss tells me.” Pawlenty laughed, a note of relief in his voice. Schoell, an Iowa-based video tracker for the Democratic super PAC American Bridge 21st Century, had been following the former Minnesota governor around the state since May.

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Christine O’Donnell is not someone you’d expect to be a Republican nominee for a competitive U.S. Senate contest, particularly in the staid state of Delaware, and particularly as the choice of primary voters over Congressman Mike Castle, who up until yesterday had won twelve consecutive statewide races. O’Donnell is a recent newcomer to Delaware and, since arriving, has managed to get into trouble with her student loans, her taxes, her mortgage, and her job. She also unsuccessfully sued a conservative organization for gender discrimination.

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One interesting sidelight of the current election cycle is that there are several races in which the Republican establishment has either lost control of the race or lost any sense of its own partisan self-interest. The Nevada Senate race is a prime example. Harry Reid, once a dead man walking, is now sitting on a nice lead because Republicans nominated a lunatic to oppose him. "A total f*** up by the state and national Republicans to allow Angle to get nominated," a source notes to Ben Smith. But of course there are numerous such fuckups.

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Off to the Races!

Political junkies rejoice! There are twelve states holding elections today, including ten primaries, one runoff, and one special-election runoff. Among these, the contests that have drawn most national attention are in California, South Carolina, Nevada, Iowa, and Arkansas. The following is an overview of why these primaries matter and what you should look for in the results. California: Mega-Money Chases Micro–Voter Interest The Governor's Race As I recently explained for TNR, citizens of the Golden State are in a very bad mood, even by the jaundiced national standards of Election 2010.

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Off to the Races!

Political junkies rejoice! There are twelve states holding elections today, including ten primaries, one runoff, and one special-election runoff. Among these, the contests that have drawn most national attention are in California, South Carolina, Nevada, Iowa, and Arkansas. The following is an overview of why these primaries matter and what you should look for in the results. California: Mega-Money Chases Micro–Voter Interest The Governor's Race As I recently explained for TNR, citizens of the Golden State are in a very bad mood, even by the jaundiced national standards of Election 2010.

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Trading Down

A lot of people laughed when Sue Lowden, the Nevada Republican running for the U.S. Senate, suggested last month that people start paying for their medical care with chickens. I didn’t. I thought about my late grandfather Kurt, a family doctor who practiced in Brooklyn starting in the 1940s. His office was in the basement of his house and his clientele (like him) was very Jewish. He never mentioned getting paid with a chicken.

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Crapshoot

Where is it most painful to be a highly visible incumbent politician at this particular moment in U.S. history? Perhaps it’s California, where current economic and budgetary discontents are compounding a growing public fury over chronically dysfunctional state government and an imprisoning constitution.

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Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sue Lowden says that, instead of giving health insurance to people who lack it, those people should barter for medical care: Matthew Yglesias objects: Checkups for chickens might work if we were all farmers, but what’s a blogger supposed to do? Maybe I could offer the guy free publicity with a few posts touting his services. A Web designer could build a website for the doctor. But what does the designer do if he needs to see the doctor again? Look, there are all kinds of personal services one can perform and be well-compensated.

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