The Fix: Master Archives
The biggest problem for advocates of a Joe Biden presidential bid is this: How does he differentiate himself in any meaningful way from Hillary Clinton? Both are firmly rooted in their party's establishment, at their heart political pragmatists and close to the same age.
New polling from Quinnipiac University in the swing states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania provide a clue as to where Biden might be able draw a sharp -- and winning -- contrast with Clinton: On honesty.
Draft Biden, a group that exists to do what its name says, released an ad Wednesday which pairs an emotional speech from its preferred presidential candidate with photos from his life. It's an incredibly rare paean for an elected official.
Being vice president is, all things considered, a good gig. It's sort of hard to annoy people too much (unless you're trying to) and most of your job responsibilities are of the show-up-and-smile variety.
My dream job — other than this one, of course — is starring in a political version of "Mystery Science Theater 3000." For those of you uninitiated with the second-greatest show ever on television — "Friday Night Lights" is, obviously, No. 1 — the basic idea is that a human and two robots (stay with me here) watch really, really bad movies and comment on them. Some of the comments are snarky, some are informational. Most are funny. It's freaking awesome. (Watch an episode here.)
In just less than two weeks, Canada will hold a national election. Who knew, right? They have ballot boxes and candidates and everything. They even have ThreeHundredEight.com, a polling site akin to FiveThirtyEight, except run by a guy named Éric Grenier (French for "Nate Silver").
And there's another way in which Canada's elections might look familiar: The politics.
There's a lot being written about Vice President Biden's potential presidential bid. But very little is coming from the man himself.
And that creates ambiguity. As Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank points out, depending on which anonymous aide a reporter talks to, Biden is either almost in or almost out of the Democratic primary -- or kind of in but first he has to do this and even then ... well, you get the picture.
The whats and whys of the 2016 presidential election have so far evaded the best predictions of pundits and pollsters.
But former president Bill Clinton didn't get his nickname "Secretary of Explaining Stuff" for nothing.
On Tuesday, he accepted a challenge from Stephen Colbert to try to explain -- quickly and casually, too -- what the heck's going on on the campaign trail, including why surprise candidates like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are besting establishment candidates like Clinton's wife, Hillary Clinton.
Clinton, notably, talks about Sanders's success without talking about his wife's campaign. He also dispels a rumor that he urged GOP front-runner Donald Trump to run when the two men spoke by phone in May.
But Clinton admits that it would have been a positively genius -- others might say Clintonian -- move.
A trio of Washington Post stories this week detail the horrible toll of rising heroin addiction, along with the very much related issues of limited access to substance-abuse treatment and other forms of mental health care.
When the campaign of Bernie Sanders announced its third-quarter fundraising totals last week, it put an emphasis on the candidate's continued ability to raise money from small donors -- people who gave substantially less than the $2,700 maximum that one person can give for each election. That was the case in the first quarter, too, when the bulk of Sanders's fundraising came from people who gave smaller contributions.
Note: The above chart compares the amount spent by Donald Trump through September to the amounts spent by the other candidates through June. So even over the longer time period, Trump has spent far less than his opponents. With that out of the way...
MSNBC reported Tuesday morning that aides to Donald Trump estimate that the real estate mogul has spent roughly $2 million on his 2016 presidential campaign to date. That's consistent with a Wall Street Journal report from over the summer that Trump had loaned his campaign $1.8 million and raised another $100,000 for the effort.
Last week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided to poke a little fun at Donald Trump by unveiling a branded ballcap of his own.
Instead of saying "MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN," as Trump's hat does, de Blasio's said -- get this -- "MAKE AMERICA FAIR AGAIN."
Now, I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, "That is corny." And you are correct.
At first we thought, Man, we can make better jokes than that. We thought, Let's make hats for all the 2016 candidates. And then we thought, Well, actually, maybe we're not that funny. And then we thought, You know who is funny? America. America is funny. I mean, mostly, anyway.
So instead of making our own hats, we're going to invite you to make one -- for yourself or for Bobby Jindal or for Martin O’Malley or whoever. So go make a hat.
By the way, you can just drag this image to the desktop to tweet it or whatever.