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Tim Walz Plays Hardball...and Goes Hitless

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On Tuesday afternoon rookie Minnesota Congressman Tim Walz (MN-01) was interviewed by Chris Matthews on MSNBC's political show Hardball. Earlier in the day Walz had spoken multiple times on the floor of the U.S. House supporting a Democrat-backed resolution criticizing President George W. Bush's decision to add more troops to Iraq.

Walz's counterpart on Hardball was Representative Jack Kingston of Georgia; though Kingston is also a new member of the House, he put Walz on the defensive throughout most of the interview.

Kingston stated Democrats needed to come up with an actual plan and "put their money where their mouth is" instead of focusing on non-binding resolutions.

Walz countered that the Democrats did have a plan—but he focused on generalities, such as fixing the "failed plan and failed policy" of the Bush administration and better "securing the nation from the war on terror."

Kingston took advantage of his minority party status and pounced on Walz:

"You guys are now in the front seat, get out of the backseat and start driving the car. This is a non-binding, silly, intramural resolution...If this thing is a lost cause ... why are we spending more and more days there. Why not introduce an immediate withdrawal? ... If we are fighting a lost cause we need to bring the troops home tomorrow."

Walz seemed uncomfortable with the position Kingston had placed him, and the Minnesota Congressman faced the camera speechless for nearly 5 seconds.

When asked by Matthews if there would be a vote on funding for the war sometime this year, Walz said 'yes.'

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Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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