Cover photo
Steve Benen
Works at MSNBC
Attended George Washington University
Lives in Essex Junction, Vermont
235 followers|202,641 views


Steve Benen

Shared publicly  - 
I published another dozen new items today -- Wednesday, September 28, 2016 -- and here are some highlights:

* Donald Trump and his top allies seem eager to talk about Bill Clinton's adulterous past. Rudy Giuliani said it makes Hillary Clinton "stupid." As campaign tactics go, this is a very bad idea (

* One of the nation's largest newspapers began publication in 1890 and has literally never endorsed a Democrat over a Republican for president. This year, the paper's editorial board believes, "is different" (

* With another debate on the way, Donald Trump's aides know their candidate needs to get much better. What they don't know is whether or not the Republican candidate is up to the task (

* The controversy surrounding Donald Trump's "charitable" foundation has been ongoing for weeks but the latest revelations are the first that actually qualify as funny (

* The night of this week's debate, Donald Trump said the moderator did "a great job" and was "very fair." But after Trump realized he lost, the Republican candidate said .... something very different (

* Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), the vice-chair of the House Energy Committee, is convinced the Earth is experiencing "a cooling trend." Unfortunately, she's not kidding (
just john's profile photo
Did Rudy accidentally Krazy-Glue his finger to his head again?
Add a comment...

Steve Benen

Shared publicly  - 
I published another dozen new items today -- Friday, September 23, 2016 -- and here are some highlights:

* Donald Trump attacked Ted Cruz's wife and father. Today, Cruz endorsed Trump anyway. There's only one reason the Texas senator would embarrass himself with such a craven move (

* Referring to protesters in Charlotte, a Republican congressman said, "They hate white people because white people are successful and they're not." It's worth taking a closer look at this one (

* "Every critic, every detractor, will have to bow down to President Trump," a Trump campaign aide said. There was a time rhetoric like this was considered creepy (

* Under Donald Trump's striking new vision, stop-and-frisk would expand, and the police could take Americans' guns away. The NRA shouldn't like this one bit (

* When it comes to police, race, violence, and mistrust between minority communities and law enforcement, it's a complex debate. Mike Pence, Donald Trump's running mate, wants us stop talking about it (

* The first Clinton/Trump debate is Monday night. By some measures, the behind-the-scenes debates leading up to the debate are nearly as interesting as the main event itself (

* Gary Johnson, the Libertarian presidential hopeful, really isn't doing himself any favors right now (
Add a comment...

Steve Benen

Shared publicly  - 
I published another dozen new items today -- Tuesday, September 20, 2016 -- and here are some highlights:

* Just when it seemed the controversy surrounding the Trump Foundation couldn't get any more serious, it gets much worse. Unfortunately for the Republican ticket, this one's pretty easy to explain (

* Former Pentagon chief Robert Gates isn't the only former Bush/Cheney official to denounce Donald Trump's candidacy. But it's Trump's over-the-top response to Gates that makes this story different (

* Donald Trump believes ISIS terrorists are "hoping and praying that Hillary Clinton becomes president." Is that true? Actually, the evidence appears to point in the opposite direction (

* How much does Paul Ryan's newest tax plan favor the wealthiest of the wealthy? Even more than you might think (

* All the pieces were in place for a bipartisan breakthrough on criminal justice reform. So why did congressional Republicans kill it? (

* The ongoing Wells Fargo controversy is one of the nation's more important corporate scandals. There's a reason Hillary Clinton is getting increasingly involved in pushing for reforms (
Add a comment...

Steve Benen

Shared publicly  - 
I published another dozen new items today -- Monday, September 19, 2016 -- and here are some highlights:

* Donald Trump has faced a variety of leadership tests in 2016. The explosive devices in New York and New Jersey offered a new one. Alas the Republican candidate keeps flunking (

* On a related note, Trump's latest comments about national security are more amazing than he realizes: "I will give you good results. Don't worry how I get there, okay? Please" (

* For years, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has denied knowing anything about the "Bridgegate" scheme in advance. Today, those claims were called into question in a striking new way (

* In rapid succession, Donald Trump went from lying about the president, to lying about the lie, to dispatching allies to lie on his behalf. No wonder it didn't go well (

* The American mainstream tends not to tolerate candidates promoting violence. Has Donald Trump crossed this line? Hillary Clinton's running mate believes the answer is clearly yes. Let's consider the evidence (

* Donald Trump's running mate has a vice presidential role model: Dick Cheney. Given how much power Trump's VP would have if elected, that's something Americans should care about -- a lot (
Add a comment...

Steve Benen

Shared publicly  - 
I published another dozen new items today -- Thursday, September 15, 2016 -- and here are some highlights:

* The blunt assumption has dominated for months: "There's no way an unqualified, racist television personality will be elected president." New polls are a wake-up call: assumptions about Donald Trump losing need to be reconsidered (

* Trump's visit to Flint, Michigan, clearly didn't go well -- and this morning he made matters much worse by targeting the local church pastor (

* When even the Trump campaign no longer believes its own talking points on tax returns, there's a problem (

* Unemployment down, incomes up, poverty down, health coverage up. Imagine if Mitt Romney had won in 2012 and produced economic results like these (

* If the Trump Foundation is, as the Washington Post's editorial board put it, a "scam," is there any remaining evidence of Trump ever caring about others? (

* Why would Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) and Wisconsin Republicans shield a lead-paint maker from liability lawsuits? It's a rather unsettling story about the role money can play in politics (
The assumption has dominated for months: "There's no way voters will elect a racist television personality to be president." New polls suggest it could happen.
Jennifer Hatcher's profile photo
Thanks Steve!
Add a comment...

Steve Benen

Shared publicly  - 
I published another dozen new items today -- Monday, September 12, 2016 -- and here are some highlights:

* Under normal circumstances, a candidate contracting a fairly common, easily treated infection wouldn't be front-page news. But as Hillary Clinton's pneumonia helps prove, nothing about the 2016 presidential campaign is normal (

* On a related note, there are two broad angles to the pneumonia: conspiracy theories and the significance of transparency. On both counts, Donald Trump is poorly positioned (

* Clinton apparently said something that might have hurt some of Donald Trump's supporters' feelings. The Republican considers it "the biggest mistake" of 2016, but there's a reason to believe otherwise (

* One of the nation's largest banks allegedly launched a massive scheme that ripped off customers. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau noticed and took major action. So why is the future of the CFPB in doubt? (

* Trump's 9/11 problems, including specific claims that turned out to be wrong, are an underappreciated part of the presidential campaign (

* With 57 days until Election Day, the latest polling does not yet tell Republicans what they want to hear (
Add a comment...

Steve Benen

Shared publicly  - 
I published another dozen new items today -- Tuesday, September 27, 2016 -- and here are some highlights:

* About a year ago, Donald Trump boasted that defeating Hillary Clinton in a debate "would be one of the easiest challenges of my life." Oops (

* In the first debate, Trump's defense of misogynistic rhetoric was a complete mess. This morning, unprompted, the Republican made matters much worse (

* Initial polling doesn't leave much doubt as to who won the first big debate -- and who didn't (

* Trump desperately wants voters to believe he opposed the war from the start, but reality keeps getting in the way. Of all his many falsehoods, why can't the Republican candidate let this specific lie go? (

* Is Trump hiding his tax returns because he's paid nothing in federal taxes? Hillary Clinton and the Republican nominee had an interesting exchange in their debate -- which has carried over into today (

* And with each passing day, it's getting easier to imagine the "Bridgegate" scandal leading to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's (R) impeachment (
Add a comment...

Steve Benen

Shared publicly  - 
I published another dozen new items today -- Monday, September 26, 2016 -- and here are some highlights:

* Multiple news organizations all came to an overdue realization very recently: "Donald Trump lies. A lot" (

* A Trump adviser has been accused of secret negotiations with Russian officials, planning for a possible Trump victory. In a normal year, with a normal candidate, this is the sort of controversy that would rock a campaign (

* Maine Gov. Paul LePage made some pretty outrageous claims about his "three-ringed binder" full of drug dealers. It now appears those claims weren't just offensive -- they were also untrue (

* Donald Trump said under oath that he wanted casino gambling in Florida. During a debate, he said the exact opposite. Both claims can't be true (

* Apparently, you can take George Will out of the GOP, but it's much tougher to take the GOP out of George Will (

* And if you're assuming that Hillary Clinton will defeat Donald Trump, it's time to reassess those preconceived ideas (
Add a comment...

Steve Benen

Shared publicly  - 
I published another dozen new items today -- Wednesday, September 21, 2016 -- and here are some highlights:

* House Republicans put together a big show trial today because they want to impeach the IRS chief. What they didn't plan for: Democrats hijacking the proceedings (

* Mitt Romney may have earned a reputation for dishonesty, but let's face it: When it comes to saying things that obviously aren't true, Donald Trump is in a league of his own (

* According to Donald Trump, African-American communities are "in the worst shape that they've ever been in before. Ever, ever, ever." Perhaps the Republican presidential hopeful needs a reminder about American history (

* According to Donald Trump his candidacy is "a movement, not a campaign." In fact, he believes it's quite possibly "the greatest movement ... in the history of our country" ( I can think of quite a few examples to the contrary.

* Donald Trump's campaign is convinced: former President George H.W. Bush is voting for Hillary Clinton. In a risky move, Trump's aides are going after Bush accordingly (

* Trump's allies would clearly love to defend him against the latest controversy surrounding his "charitable foundation," but they can't seem to think of anything that might resemble a compelling defense (
Mark Hart's profile photo
3 comments,_2000

Nader evidently received 97,488 votes in FL in 2000. The difference between Bush and Gore was 537 votes. Some Nader 2000 voters are surely dead. So how many living would claim they voted for Nader in FL in 2000? 1,000,000? 100,000? 5,000? 0?

What is Nader's legacy? What will Ralph Nader be remembered for?

How about Jill Stein and Gary Johnson? What is the upside of their candidacies? Neither will be elected Prez. If Clinton wins, they will become only dimly remembered footnotes. The best they can possibly do is acquire historical notoriety by causing the election of Trump.

Add a comment...

Steve Benen

Shared publicly  - 
I published another dozen new items today -- Friday, September 16, 2016 -- and here are some highlights:

* Watching Donald Trump lie his way through a fake press conference about his birther beliefs was surreal ... even by 2016 standards (

* On a related note, Trump's campaign issued a new statement on his "birther" conspiracy theories last night. It was plainly ridiculous, combining delusion and dishonesty in ways that should alarm fair-minded observers (

* If the FBI is willing to break with its standard practices and release internal documents about Hillary Clinton, why not apply those same standards to Wall Street? In an interesting case, Elizabeth Warren intends to find out (

* Trump's plans for FDA safeguards should only concern Americans who eat food. Everyone else will be fine (

* Ted Cruz and Glenn Beck are worked up because they're convinced Obama is "giving away the Internet" to China, Russia, and George Soros. Surprise, surprise, they're wrong (

* The debate over "deplorables" is increasingly odd. In response to Hillary Clinton's condemnation of racists, misogynists, and other bigots, Trump has described these racists, misogynists, and bigots as "the most admirable people" he knows (
Watching Donald Trump lie his way through a fake press conference about his birther beliefs was surreal, even by 2016 standards.
Add a comment...

Steve Benen

Shared publicly  - 
I published another dozen new items today -- Wednesday, September 14, 2016 -- and here are some highlights:

* In an election filled with strange spectacles, very little can top Donald Trump's bizarre handling of his personal medical information. Consider the developments surrounding his "Dr. Oz" appearance (

* Newly leaked messages offer an unvarnished look at Colin Powell's perspective, including his contempt for his party's presidential nominee. Why the messages were leaked, however, raises very different kinds of questions (

* At first blush, Donald Trump announced a child-care proposal that might seem half-way progressive. The details, however, prove otherwise: the "plan" is a joke (

* The latest developments in one of the nation's most hard-to-predict Senate races: A story involving sex, murder, prostitution, politics, and one doozy of a denial (

* When an elected governor says Hillary Clinton's election could result in armed violence and American bloodshed, there's a problem (

* Some attorneys general are going after ExxonMobil, alleging it knew about climate change decades ago and lied about it. In response, congressional Republicans are going after the Democratic state attorneys general (
Mark Hart's profile photo
Reagan turned 70 after he was inaugurated. Trump is something like 7.5 months older than Reagan was at similar times in their careers. Trump, if elected, would be the oldest Prez ever at the time of first inaugural.
Add a comment...

Steve Benen

Shared publicly  - 
I published another dozen new items today -- Wednesday, September 7, 2016 -- and here are some highlights:

* Forget "soccer moms" and "NASCAR dads." There's a different demographic to watch in 2016: the split between voters with college degrees and those without. As one observer put it, this is "the defining characteristic" of the year (

* How badly are Donald Trump's lessons on national security going? His new plan for ISIS involves turning to generals -- despite the fact he claims to know more than they do (

* The next time Donald Trump says he can't release his tax returns because of an IRS audit, remember: as of last night, even he doesn't believe his own talking points on the matter (

* If Donald Trump was counting on this controversy quietly fading away, he's going to be disappointed. New details keep emerging, and they're not helping the Republican presidential candidate (

* When speaking to Arizona voters, John McCain has one message in English and a very different message in Spanish. Shouldn't the senator be equally proud of his record and policy positions, regardless of the audience? (

* Trump says he has "no idea" if his birther conspiracy theories have hurt him with African-American voters. Perhaps we can help bring him up to speed (
Jennifer Hatcher's profile photoMark Hart's profile photo
Yikes! I forgot about this: Joe Biden was 30 when he assumed office as US Senator.

However, Delaware is quite small, if you speak loudly, you can be heard by everyone in the state. Delaware is 1982 square miles while Miami-Dade County is 2431 square miles.
Add a comment...
Campaign-covering, chart-making, policy-wonking progressive blogger/reporter/commentator for MSNBC

Before joining MSNBC, I was a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, headlining the "Political Animal" blog. I've also written for a variety of other publications, including Talking Points Memo, The American Prospect, the Huffington Post, the New York Daily News, and My blogging career started in February 2003 with the launch of The Carpetbagger Report.

Bragging rights
In July 2009, The Atlantic named me one of the top 50 most influential political commentators in the United States. (I finished one slot above Lou Dobbs, which made the honor that much more satisfying.)
  • George Washington University
Basic Information
    Producer, The Rachel Maddow Show, 2012 - present
  • Washington Monthly
    Contributing Writer, 2008 - 2012
  • The Carpetbagger Report
    Founder, Publisher, 2003 - 2008
  • Americans United for Separation of Church and State
    Communications Department, 1997 - 2002
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Essex Junction, Vermont
Washington, DC - Miami, FL