Bentsen vs. Quayle debate — In 1988, Democrat Lloyd Bentsen “delivered one of the best putdowns in political debate history,” says Sophie Quinton at National Journal. His GOP rival and fellow Sen. Dan Quayle, deflecting criticism that he was young and unprepared, said he had “as much experience in the Congress as Jack Kennedy did when he sought the presidency.”
Bentsen, by then a Washington fixture, replied: "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you are no Jack Kennedy." The audience erupted in applause, and Quayle only seemed to cement his defeat when he said: “That was really uncalled for, senator.”
Fair elections for Egypt? Egypt wrapped up two days of voting Thursday in what’s being hailed as the country’s first legitimate presidential election ever.
The counting continued on Friday, but partial results suggest that Mohammed Mursi, the candidate of the once-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, has earned a spot in a June run-off. The battle for the second slot remains tight, with a darkhorse leftist candidate, Hamdeen Sabahi, neck-and-neck with Ahmed Shafiq, a former air force commander and holdover from the Hosni Mubarak era.
Mitt Romeny trounced his GOP presidential rivals in Puerto Rico’s primary this weekend, winning more than 80 percent of the vote and taking all of the U.S. territory’s 20 delegates. Romney has the support of Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuño, while Santorum spent the last part of the week trying to atone for insulting Puerto Ricans by suggesting that the island be denied statehood until it makes English its official language. Here, three takeaways from Puerto Rico’s GOP primary:
Romney’s “island strategy” is helping him pile up delegates The 20 delegates Romney won in Puerto Rico is “not an insignificant number,” says Silvia Killingsworth at The New Yorker. For instance, “it’s eight more delegates than New Hampshire has.” It doesn’t matter that Puerto Ricans aren’t eligible to cast presidential ballots in November’s general election — they’re still giving Romney a boost in his quest to get the 1,144 delegates needed to seize the nomination. And this is just the latest fruit of Romney’s “carefully planned ‘island strategy,’” says Sam Youngman at Reuters.
Puerto Rico strengthens Mitt’s claims about Latino support… Romney has “antagonized many Latino voters” with his relatively hardline stance on illegal immigration, but he can now argue that his “blowout win” in Puerto Rico means he could “win enough Latino votes in November to oust President Obama,” says John Hoeffel in the Los Angeles Times. “Those people who don’t think that Latinos will vote for Republicans need to take a look at Puerto Rico and see there that conservative principles and Latino voters go together,” Romney told a crowd in Illinois on Sunday.
…And shows Santorum still struggles with Catholics Unlike the U.S. islands in the Pacific, with their substantial Mormon populations, Puerto Rico is “overwhelmingly Catholic,” says Kasie Hunt for the Associated Press. And continuing “one of the more puzzling developments among many in the GOP contest,” the Mormon Romney once again “trounced Santorum” among his fellow Catholics. Even as Santorum cleaned up among evangelical Protestants in his big Southern victories, Catholics still broke for Romney. Still, Santorum isn’t alone — Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the first major-party Catholic presidential candidate since JFK, lost the Catholic vote to the Protestant George W. Bush in 2004.
To no one’s surprise, Vladimir Putin easily won Russia’s presidential election on Sunday, securing another six years at the country’s helm. Thousands gathered today for a massive rally, challenging the legitimacy of the vote. Even so, a recent New York Times article noted that many Russians credit Putin with pulling Russia out of the chaos that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. Lawrence Solomon at The Financial Times argues that Putin is, in fact, Russia’s “greatest leader.” Despite his faults, has Putin actually been a good leader for Russia?
Why didn’t the Dems sack Pelosi? One theory: They’re masochistic and delusional
After the House Democrats’ drubbing, keeping Pelosi on is “an act of electoral self-wounding that calls for psychiatric intervention,” says Clive Crook in The Atlantic. If they chose her because they think her ideas are right, that would be somewhat “admirable.” But they seem to think Americans agree with them, and that “calls into question [their] sanity,” and their seriousness about winning back the majority.
One can’t fault Joe Miller for trying, says Alex Pareene at Salon. The Tea Party favorite came so close to unseating Murkowski, but it’s now pretty clear he doesn’t have “a shot at legitimately winning this thing.” He’s claiming people who misspelled “Murkowski” might have been casting “protest” votes that they knew wouldn’t count. That’s far-fetched, and “even if 8 percent of write-ins are tossed — which is his hopeful estimate” — Miller still loses.
"Democrats are getting killed with white voters," says John Dickerson at Slate. “In 2006 Democrats lost the white vote by 4 percentage points. In exit polls tonight, Democrats are losing white voters by 60 percent to 38 percent.”