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Is Barack Obama Avoiding the Press?

Obama press conferences front-loaded during 'honeymoon period' of 1st term; President has held fourth fewest solo press conferences during 1st year of office since Herbert Hoover

Rybak Hopes to Revive the Gopher State Tradition of Journalist-Turned-Governor

Rybak seeks to become the first Minnesota governor in over 80 years with a newspaper background

Pawlenty Unflappable Amid Press Corps Accusations that 2012 Aspirations Hindering His Ability to Govern During Budget Crisis

Governor is adamant that, despite rumored political aspirations or busy travel schedule, there is "no work in his office or administration that is left undone"

New HHH Political News Site with Reporting by U of MN Students

Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs' CSPG launches a new site on political news reporting by University of Minnesota students

National Radio Host Mike Gallagher Fundraises for Rep. Joe Wilson

Gallagher called Representative Wilson a "hero" in standing up to the President and vowed he could raise $100,000 in 30 minutes from his listeners

Which Lawmaker (and Political Party) Leaves the Biggest Twitter Footprint in Minnesota Politics?

Last month Smart Politics conducted a case study as to how one Minnesota lawmaker, Republican Representative Laura Brod, utilized the social networking site Twitter during the last legislative session. That study found the plurality of Rep. Brod's tweets were about substantive policy issues, with approximately one-sixth about her own personal...

Michele Bachmann Appears on National Cable TV Every 9 Days

With her A-block interview on health care reform on Fox News' Hannity program Tuesday evening, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has now equaled in 7+ months in 2009 the number of national cable television news appearances she made in all of 2008. A Smart Politics analysis of media transcripts dating back...

Is Barack Obama the World's President?

With Monday's news conference in Guadalajara, Mexico with Mexican President Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, President Barack Obama continues to build on his record number of press conferences held outside of the United States. Through his first 6 months and 20 days in office,...

How Do Politicians Use Twitter? A Case Study of Rep. Laura Brod

Minnesota politicians (and the news media) increasingly used Twitter to communicate to their respective audiences during the 2009 legislative session in St. Paul. Some news outlets, such as Politics in Minnesota, tweeted thousands of policy updates and commentaries on the burgeoning social network, while politicians used it, at times, as...

Minnesota U.S. Senate Race Still Fodder for Late-Night Comedians

Now seven and a half months out from Election Day, the U.S. Senate contest between DFLer Al Franken and Republican Norm Coleman is still providing a few yucks on late-night television. In recent weeks, Bill Maher has been a virtual Norm Coleman joke factory on his Real Time with Bill...

Practicing What He Preaches: Obama's (Safe) Post-Partisan NCAA Picks

President Barack Obama has been bluntly criticized by some pundits and politicians for taking time out of his White House schedule to fill out his NCAA Men's Basketball tournament picks on ESPN last week. While some Americans enjoyed Obama's 'man-of-the-people' demonstration, others, such as Republican Senators Lamar Alexander and Jon...

Michele Bachmann on D.C.: "I'm a Foreign Correspondent On Enemy Lines"

During a Saturday afternoon interview on WWTC 1280 AM with The Northern Alliance's John Hinderaker and Brian Ward, Minnesota Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann discussed her staunch opposition to several Democratic-led efforts on Capitol Hill this session - such as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the recently passed HR 1586...

Radio Host Mike Gallagher Blames Failure to Sell His House on Obama and Congressional Democrats

Nationally syndicated conservative radio talk show host Mike Gallagher lamented this morning that his failure to sell his own house, that he recently placed on the market, was due to the psychological effects burdening the wealthy resulting from the class warfare propagated by President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats. Gallagher...

The Unsinkable Michele Bachmann

The Rothenberg Political Report came out with its first U.S. House rankings for the 2010 election cycle on Wednesday, and both of Minnesota's competitive Republican-held Congressional districts made the list. Erik Paulsen's 3rd CD and Michele Bachmann's 6th CD are listed as "Republican favored" - two of ten GOP seats...

How Will the National Media Cover the Franken vs. Coleman Recount?

As the headline of Barack Obama’s historic victory begins to fade and political reporters and analysts need to turn their attention elsewhere, it is likely the recount in Minnesota's U.S. Senate race will satisfy their cravings and subsequently garner even more national attention. To date, due to its understandably Obama-centric...

Michele Bachmann Still Courting the National Media

Michele Bachmann, a cable television fixture this year with multiple appearances on Larry King Live, is hitting TV and radio programs hard to get her side of the Chris Matthews controversy across the airwaves, during which she questioned whether Barack Obama and other members of Congress were “anti-American.? But...

Follow Up: Obama to Disappoint Supporters…By Appearing On The O’Reilly Factor

On July 31st Smart Politics outlined several reasons why Barack Obama should not follow in the footsteps of 2000 Democratic Presidential nominee Al Gore, who declined to grant an interview to Bill O’Reilly on his top-rated cable television news program, The O’Reilly Factor. I argued that, in addition to Senator...

Live Blog: Truth Telling in the Media and the Fall Elections

11:40 a.m. The third forum this morning at the Humphrey Institute's America's Future: Conversations about Politics and Policy during the 2008 Republican National Convention is "Truth Telling in the Media and the Fall Elections." The panel is moderated by Kathleen Hall Jamieson (Professor of Communication and Director, Annenberg Public Policy...

Will Barack Obama Ever Appear On ‘The O’Reilly Factor’?

As popular television commentator and host Bill O’Reilly has pointed out on a near daily basis, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has yet to appear on his program, despite numerous on-air (and presumably private) invitations. Should Obama make the pilgrimage to ‘The Factor?’ O’Reilly has led in the cable television...

Bill O'Reilly: A Voice for Independents for '08 Election Coverage?

On multiple occasions during his weeknight telecast The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly has made a particular effort to tell the viewers, and his right-wing guests, that he is not endorsing a presidential candidate and has no horse in the race. O'Reilly has maintained for years that he is only...

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Political Crumbs

Final Four Has Presidential Approval

By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


Three for the Road

A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


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