The Fix: 2013

The 9 best sore-loser moments in politics

The 9 best sore-loser moments in politics

Ken Cuccinelli is declining to call and congratulate Terry McAuliffe on his win in Tuesday’s Virginia governor’s race.

Meanwhile, in the other governor’s race held that day, state Sen. Barbara Buono (D) blamed her loss on an “onslaught of betrayal” from her own political party.

But these two are hardly the first to take losing so hard. Here’s a look at some other notable sore-loser moments in recent political history.

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History suggests Herring would have a shot in Va. recount

The Virginia attorney general’s race appears headed for a recount, with the latest results showing Republican Mark Obenshain leading Democrat Mark Herring by fewer than 800 votes out of about 2.2 million cast.

And according to a study by the group FairVote, Herring is currently well within the margin under which the race could flip in his favor.

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Chris Christie’s dominant performance, by the numbers

Chris Christie’s dominant performance, by the numbers

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) was overwhelmingly reelected to a second term Tuesday. Just how dominant was the governor’s performance in the Democratic state? A dive inside the numbers tells the story:

25: With almost all the votes counted, Christie’s share sits at just over 60 percent. To put that into perspective, it’s been 25 years since any Republican carried more than 50 percent of the vote statewide in New Jersey. (George H.W. Bush last did it in 1988.) Christie’s win was not quite as one-sided as Tom Kean’s 1985 landslide, but it will go down as the one of the most impressive wins by a Republican in Garden State history.

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How the tea party lost on Tuesday night

How the tea party lost on Tuesday night

All in all, Tuesday was a lousy night for the tea party wing of the Republican Party.

Consider all that happened:

* Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II, a tea party-aligned Republican and social conservative, lost the Virginia governor’s race to Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a flawed candidate against whom some Republicans were giddy about running at the beginning of the campaign.

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‘We’re never going to solve our problems in Washington if all we’re doing is fighting’

‘We’re never going to solve our problems in Washington if all we’re doing is fighting’

Voters in Alabama’s 1st congressional district will choose a Republican nominee in a runoff today that pits Bradley Byrne against Dean Young. Byrne has deep support from the business wing of the Republican Party, while Young is a controversial candidate counting on tea party activists and Christian conservative voters to help him spring an upset. Polls show a close race, and the winner is near-certain to win the Dec. 17 general election in the heavily Republican district. We sat down with both candidates in Alabama late last week. Monday, we posted our conversation with Young, edited for length and clarity. Below, is our chat with Byrne, also edited for length and clarity.

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‘The federal government needs a complete overhaul’

‘The federal government needs a complete overhaul’

Voters in Alabama’s 1st district will choose the Republican nominee in a Tuesday runoff that pits Bradley Byrne against Dean Young. Byrne has deep support from the business wing of the Republican Party, while Young is a controversial candidate counting on tea party activists and Christian conservative voters to help him spring an upset. Polls show a close race, and the winner is near-certain to win the Dec. 17 general election in the heavily Republican district. We sat down with both candidates in Alabama late last week. Below is our conversation with Young, edited for length and clarity. Later, we will post our chat with Byrne.

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The five biggest takeaways from the final Cuccinelli-McAuliffe debate

The five biggest takeaways from the final Cuccinelli-McAuliffe debate

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) and former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe debated a third time Thursday night, giving voters one final chance to see the two candidates side by side before heading to the polls in under two weeks.

So what were the most important takeaways from the hour-long showdown hosted by Virginia Tech and and WDBJ? Here are the five biggest things we spotted:

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The five biggest political questions for the fall of 2013

The five biggest political questions for the fall of 2013

The new year is less than three months away.

But before 2014 begins, there are plenty of questions to be answered in the realm of politics, some of which will speak volumes about what the coming year will look like. Below we give you the five biggest things we are watching.

1. Can the GOP establishment overcome cast-iron conservatives’ desire for a confrontation?

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The five biggest takeaways from the Cuccinelli-McAuliffe debate

The five biggest takeaways from the Cuccinelli-McAuliffe debate

The second Virginia gubernatorial debate between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli II is in the books.

What did we take away from the hour-long set-to hosted by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce Wednesday night? Here are the five biggest things that stood out:

1. No knockout blow. That’s good for McAuliffe. Both candidates leaned heavily on arguments and criticisms they’ve made before, and neither landed any big-time hits. McAuliffe sought to cast Cuccinelli as a social conservative ideologue who is the wrong choice for women. His repeated use of the word “mainstream” to define himself was a clear play to paint Cuccinelli as the opposite. Cuccinelli argued that McAuliffe was a creature of politics about whom voters can never be sure. “If Terry’s elected governor, we’re gonna have to change the state motto from ‘Sic Semper Tyrannis’ to ‘Quid Pro Quo,’” he said in one of the most memorable lines of the night. But quotables aside, there were no moments that threatened to upend the race. Count it as a slight victory for McAuliffe, who is leading in polls.

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Five things to watch in the Cuccinelli-McAuliffe debate

Five things to watch in the Cuccinelli-McAuliffe debate

Ready, set, debate!

With just weeks to go until the Nov. 5 election, Virginia gubernatorial candidates Ken Cuccinelli II (R) and former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe will debate for a second time. The Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce and NBC4 Washington will host the debate from 7-8 p.m.

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The tea party’s next test: Alabama’s special election

The tea party’s next test: Alabama’s special election

In the far southwestern corner of Alabama lies the 1st congressional district, a heavily conservative area where voters will head to the polls Tuesday in what’s shaping up as the latest test of the tea party’s electoral heft.

Nine Republicans are vying for the nomination in the special election to replace Jo Bonner (R), who gave up his congressional seat this year to accept a high-ranking position in the University of Alabama system.

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Why Congress isn’t passing new gun laws, Chris Christie edition

Why Congress isn’t passing new gun laws, Chris Christie edition

There has been relatively little movement toward a new gun debate in Congress, despite the shootings of a dozen people just blocks from Capitol Hill last week.

And there’s a reason. Take Chris Christie, for example.

Earlier this year, Christie vetoed three pieces of gun legislation passed by the state legislature — a ban on the .50-caliber Barrett rifle, a bill that expanded background checks and gun safety training, and a bill requiring the state to send information on lost and discarded guns to a federal database.

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Former Obama hands are leading Cory Booker's campaign. Why that could matter in 2014.

Former Obama hands are leading Cory Booker's campaign. Why that could matter in 2014.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) is running for the Senate in 2013. But arguably the most interesting part of his campaign is what it says about Democratic strategy in the 2014 midterm elections.

Booker's campaign team, a roster full of strategists who worked on President Obama's reelection effort, have deployed a turnout model and strategy cut from the same cloth as the Obama campaigns. The result, they say, is the foundation of an approach Democrats hope to deploy in 2014.

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Why Cory Booker is set to become the highest-profile Democratic senator

Why Cory Booker is set to become the highest-profile Democratic senator

Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) took another step toward the Senate Tuesday when he easily won the Democratic nomination in New Jersey. Republican nominee Steve Lonegan isn't expected to be more than an also-ran against Booker, meaning the Newark mayor has basically punched his ticket to Washington.

Which raises the question: What kind of senator would Booker be? From the get-go, he would be poised to become the highest-profile member of the Democratic Caucus.

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Five reasons Cory Booker is set to cruise to victory Tuesday

Five reasons Cory Booker is set to cruise to victory Tuesday

New Jersey voters will head to the polls Tuesday to choose nominees for the race to replace the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D). And on the Democratic side, the only real question mark is Newark Mayor Cory Booker's margin of victory. Yes, it's been that one-sided.

The obvious question is why — as in why is Booker such a prohibitive front-runner? Here are the five biggest reasons:

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Cory Booker gets a free pass

Cory Booker gets a free pass

Rep. Rush Holt (D) is out with a new ad in the New Jersey special Senate election in which he says Cory Booker "is no progressive."

But what's perhaps most notable about the ad is that it's the first TV ad in which anyone attacks Booker.

With the all-important Democratic primary for the seat of the late senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) just eight days away, there is little reason to believe Booker is in anything resembling a close race.

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The best Carlos Danger tweets

The best Carlos Danger tweets

News quickly spread Tuesday that Anthony Weiner had allegedly used the pseudonym "Carlos Danger" while conducting an online relationship with a woman.

The ridiculous nom de plume was kibble for Twitter users, who have spent much of the last 24 hours attempting to top each other for the best/funniest Carlos Danger tweet.

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The danger of 'Carlos Danger'

The danger of 'Carlos Danger'

Anthony Weiner basically knew this day would come: the day his sexual chats with women who were not his wife are released for all in the public to view.

But one of the most damning aspects of the whole episode over the past 24 hours -- in addition to the bombshell admission that he kept engaging in these relationships after his resignation -- is the irresistible shorthand we all now have for Weiner's indiscretions:

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Five things to watch in the first debate of Va. governor's race

Five things to watch in the first debate of Va. governor's race

Cross-posted from the Virginia Politics page.

With less than four months remaining before Virginia picks its next governor, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II and businessman Terry McAuliffe are squaring off Saturday for the first formal debate of their contest.

Cuccinelli (R) and McAuliffe (D) will take the stage at the Homestead Resort in Hot Springs for a debate sponsored by the Virginia Bar Association, the first of at least a handful of debates — the final number is still subject to negotiation — between the two hopefuls. Judy Woodruff, the PBS NewsHour co-anchor, will moderate.

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Colbert presses Spitzer on his lack of 'self-comptrol' (Video)

Eliot Spitzer subjected himself to the Colbert treatment Thursday, and Stephen Colbert came loaded for bear.

A few zingers from Colbert:

"Shouldn't the job of comptroller go to someone who has shown a modicum of self-comptrol?"

"Because, before you had your fall from grace, or whatever her name was ."

"You were the governor. Aren't you at one and the same time above and below this job?"

"It seem that voters are more forgiving than they used to be. Do you think that signals progress for our country or the slow decay of our moral values?"

Who will mount America's next big political comeback?

Who will mount America's next big political comeback?

It's officially the year of the political comeback, with Mark Sanford winning a congressional seat and Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer attempting their own second acts in New York City.

But not all comebacks are created equal.

Below, we look at some of the most recent scandal-plagued politicians and assess their chances at making a Sanford-esque return to public office.

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The not-very-special elections of 2013

The not-very-special elections of 2013

The year of the upset this is not. So far, at least.

Democratic Rep. Ed Markey's Senate special election victory in Massachusetts on Tuesday was widely expected. It was the political equivalent of Occam's Razor -- the simplest explanation tends to be the right one. The same can be said of the rest of the 2013 special election landscape thus far.

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It's Cory Booker's race to lose

It's Cory Booker's race to lose

There are slightly more than two months until the Democratic primary in the New Jersey special election for Senate, and Newark Mayor Cory Booker starts as the prohibitive favorite.

With Republicans unable to land a top-tier candidate, the real action is in the Democratic primary, and two new polls show Booker with a huge early lead.

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Chris Christie's Catch-22 -- and why he made the right (political) decision

Chris Christie's Catch-22 -- and why he made the right (political) decision

To hear the political media tell it, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) made a stinker of a decision Tuesday by setting the state's special Senate election for Oct. 16 rather than on the same day as the general election either this year or in 2014.

But the decision was probably the best of three bad options for Christie.

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Booker will have to break pledge to run in special election

Booker will have to break pledge to run in special election

Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) is widely expected to run in the special election for the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg's (D-N.J.) seat this October.

But in order to do so, he will have to break a pledge.

Back in December, Booker said in a video announcing his Senate exploratory committee -- in no uncertain terms -- that he would serve out the remainder of his tenure as mayor, which ends in mid-2014.

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The most important race of 2013? It's in Virginia. (VIDEO)

Fix Original Recipe got the chance to guest-host "The Daily Rundown" on MSNBC today -- boom! -- and we had a great conversation about the most important race of 2013 with two of our favorite people: Politico's Maggie Haberman and Politico soon-to-be New York Times' Jonathan Martin.

Maggie and Jmart picked the governor's race in Virginia as the contest with the most implications for both the 2014 midterms and the 2016 presidential race. (We agree. We ranked the race in the Old Domion #1 in our list of best 2013 races.) The full clip is below.

Four things to watch in the Massachusetts Senate race

Four things to watch in the Massachusetts Senate race

In five-and-a-half weeks, Massachusetts voters will elect their next senator. The special election for the seat once held by Secretary of State John Kerry is so far shaping up to be a competitive contest between Rep. Ed Markey (D) and businessman and former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez (R). Wondering what to watch during the remainder of the race? Below are four big things keep an eye on.

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4 questions for Election Day in Illinois' 2nd District

4 questions for Election Day in Illinois' 2nd District

It's Election Day in Illinois! Polls are open in a Chicago-area district where voters will select their nominees in the special election to replace former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., who resigned last year and admitted last week to misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign funds.

What really matters today is the Democratic primary. Given the district's heavy Democratic tilt, the party's nominee may as well be considered the next member of Congress. Below are four questions to bear in mind as you watch the returns come in this evening. And stay tuned to Post Politics tonight for results, some time after the polls close at 8 p.m. ET.

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Cory Booker: '2014 is a long way off'

Cory Booker: '2014 is a long way off'

Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) said Sunday that his immediate attention is focused on helping Democrats win in this year's slate of New Jersey elections more than it is on next year's Senate race.

"Right now we have one election in New Jersey, which is our state-wide gubernatorial and legislative elections," Booker said on CBS News' "Face The Nation." "As a Democrat in New Jersey, that's where my focus is. Next year's election for Senate will take care of itself, and again, I hope to be one of those people that the residents of New Jersey will consider giving that honor of fighting for them on a federal level."

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Massachusetts Senate special election: A lost cause for the GOP?

Massachusetts Senate special election: A lost cause for the GOP?

It wasn't too long ago that the race for Secretary of State John Kerry's old Senate seat looked promising for Republicans. But in the last five days, one well-known Republican after another has publicly declined to run, putting the GOP in an unenviable spot as it faces a fast approaching deadline to field a candidate for a contest that looks to be very difficult for the party.

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Senator Ed Markey?

Senator Ed Markey?

Former Republican senator Scott Brown's decision not to make a Senate comeback bid ensures this much: Democratic Rep. Ed Markey is now in the driver's seat in the special election race for Sen. John Kerry's seat.

Markey's road to the Senate is not without obstacles -- he still has to get by Rep. Stephen Lynch in the primary and whoever Republicans wind up nominating (think Gabriel Gomez) -- but what's now clear is that the special election is Markey's to lose.

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Why Mark Sanford's comeback bid just might work

Why Mark Sanford's comeback bid just might work

Former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford has made it official. He's trying to make an unlikely political comeback after a dramatic fall from public grace four years ago.

And for a number of reasons, it just might work.

Sanford, a onetime rising star in the Republican Party who some party strategists viewed as a potential White House contender, fell dramatically in summer 2009 when his whereabouts became a mystery and he abruptly admitted to an extramarital relationship. On Wednesday, he officially announced his candidacy for his old congressional seat.

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What Senate Democrats' support for Ed Markey means

What Senate Democrats' support for Ed Markey means

Veteran Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Ed Markey's announcement Thursday that he will run in the likely 2013 special election for Democratic Sen. John Kerry's seat made him the first major candidate to throw his hat in the ring. A day later, Kerry, the Senate Democrats' campaign arm and the late senator Ted Kennedy's widow, Vicki Kennedy, all offered him their support.

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Cory Booker will explore run for Senate, won't run for governor

Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) will explore a run for the Senate in 2014 and will not pursue a bid for governor next year, he announced in a video released on Thursday morning. Booker's decision will apply new pressure on Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) and spares Gov. Chris Christie (R) a 2013 matchup against a top potential challenger.

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Will Chris Christie's popularity among women last?

Will Chris Christie's popularity among women last?

Some of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's (R) strongest support comes from what might seem like an unlikely source: women.

A new national poll shows Christie outpacing other potential 2016 GOP White House hopefuls among women voters, and state polling shows he's doing just as well with them back home.

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Cory Booker points to policy differences with Christie on 'The Daily Show' (video)

Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) said Wednesday that he has "policy differences" with Gov. Chris Christie (R) that could spur him to challenge the Republican in 2013.

"There are definite areas where I disagree with the governor, and that's what I'm considering right now -- is it worthy of a run," Booker told Jon Stewart in an interview on "The Daily Show."

Booker said Sunday that he intends to decide within a couple of weeks whether he will make a bid. Recent polling shows the mayor would be the most formidable Democrat against Christie.

Booker elaborated on one specific policy difference with Christie, whom he called a "friend." He said disagreed with Christie decision's to cut an earned income tax credit.

Booker also discussed poverty, his food stamp challenge, and his fondness for social networking tools.

Check out the clip of the exchange about Christie below. You can view the entire interview here.

Cory Booker to decide within two weeks whether to challenge Chris Christie

Cory Booker to decide within two weeks whether to challenge Chris Christie

Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) said Sunday he likely will decide within the next two weeks whether he will challenge New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R).

"It's got to be within the next two weeks, especially in New Jersey, because there are a lot of very good candidates for governor in New Jersey on the Democratic side," Booker said on CBS's "Face The Nation."

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Field for Jackson's House seat features one-of-a-kind cast

Field for Jackson's House seat features one-of-a-kind cast

What do two former members of Congress (one of whom served time in prison), a former NFL linebacker, and potentially, an embattled former congressman's wife and brother all have in common?

They are all candidates or potential candidates for the seat Illinois Democrat Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned last week, amid a federal probe and health issues. The contest in Illinois's 2nd District is quickly shaping up to be a crowded competition featuring candidates with starkly different resumes.

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Anthony Weiner’s comeback: How soon is too soon?

Just 13 months after succumbing to scandal that involved pictures of his crotch being broadcast for the world to see and repeated lies about it, those close to former congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) are already talking about a comeback.
Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) speaks to the media regarding a lewd photo tweet May 31, 2011, on Capitol Hill. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The New York Post got the ball rolling on the chatter this weekend, and the New York Times followed with a story Monday citing Weiner’s friends, who said he was weighing his options when it comes to a run for either New York City public advocate or even mayor in 2013.

Nobody doubts that politicians can overcome scandals involving sex and lies; we’ve seen it at the highest levels (Bill Clinton, anyone?).

But the question for Weiner is how soon is too soon.

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