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Political Wire logo South Carolina House Passes 6-Week Abortion Ban
GOP Congressman Manhandles Protester
DeSantis Plans to Outwork Trump in Iowa
Trump’s Lawyer May Be Target of Georgia Probe
Inside Biden’s Plan to Win Back Latino Voters
Santos Spokesperson Resigns

TODAY'S HEADLINES (click to jump there; use your browser's "Back" button to return here)
      •  The Results Are In
      •  North Carolina Legislature Overrides Governor's Abortion Veto
      •  EMILY's List... Kingmaker?
      •  Progress in Debt Ceiling Talks?
      •  Feinstein Appears to Have Gone from Bad to Worse
      •  Rep. Robert Garcia Introduces Legislation to Expel Rep. "George Santos"
      •  The Greatest Political Movies Ever Made, Part II

The Results Are In

Yesterday was probably the biggest Election Day of the year, save for Nov. 7. On the whole, things went about as expected. Here are the main storylines:

  • Kentucky Governor: There was no doubt that Gov. Andy Beshear (D-KY) would be renominated by his party for another term, and he was, taking 91.3% of the vote on that side of the contest. On the Republican side, there was talk that Kelly Craft had emerged as a serious challenger to state AG Daniel Cameron, thanks to a bunch of money and high-profile endorsements. Ha! Cameron took 47.7% of the vote in the 12-way race. Craft not only failed to make Cameron sweat, she didn't even finish in second place. Her 17.2% of the vote trailed the 21.7% collected by state Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles.

    As we've noted several times, Cameron is Black and very Trumpy. Beshear is white and very moderate. He's also the most popular Democratic governor in the nation, by approval rating. If you wish to read the primary election tea leaves, roughly 300,000 people showed up to cast a Republican ballot yesterday, whereas only 200,000 showed up to cast a Democratic ballot. On the other hand, there were no competitive races on the Democratic side, and Beshear's dominance of that contest means that he actually collected more total votes (176,673) than Cameron did (144,415). So, that would seem to be a wash. There's been one poll of the general election race, and it had Beshear up nine points, 49% to 40%. However, that was way back in January, when Cameron would have been considerably less well-known. Our guess is that Beshear is probably the favorite here, but that's really just gut feel more than anything else.

  • Pennsylvania State House: The Democrats will retain control of the Pennsylvania Assembly. There were actually two open seats on the ballot yesterday, but there was no doubt that the Republicans would hold PA-SD-108, and they did, with Michael Stender (R) easily defeating Trevor Finn (D), 61.0% to 35.5%. The question was what would happen in PA-SD-163. As it turns out, it was a laugher, with Heather Boyd (D) trouncing Katie Ford (R) by more than 20 points, 60.1% to 38.7%. Not too surprising; in our general experience, it's not too hard to leave a Ford in the dust. Anyhow, the Democrats will hold a slim advantage in the Assembly, 102-101. Of course, readers of this site will know the technical term for a party that holds a slim advantage in a legislative chamber. They are called "the majority." It's only one seat, but it's the one that really, really matters. And given that the central issue in the Boyd-Ford campaign was abortion access, and that campaign was waged in the suburbs, and that Boyd won in a landslide, there might be a silver lining in this for Republicans, who won't be able to put an abortion referendum on next year's ballot. At least, not through legislative action.

  • Pennsylvania Supreme Court: Patricia McCullough (R), the judge who gave Donald Trump his only favorable "stop the steal" ruling, was defeated in her primary by Carolyn Carluccio, a moderate, 53.5% to 46.5%. As a reminder, Trumpy candidate Doug Mastriano lost bigly last year, and so too did Trumpy candidate Mehmet Oz. Perhaps there is a lesson here for the Pennsylvania GOP. On the Democratic side, the candidate will be Daniel McCaffery. We won't pretend to know anything about the dynamics of Pennsylvania judicial politics, and there's been no polling of course, so all we can tell you is that there were more Democratic votes cast yesterday overall (1,006,230 to 816,038) and that McCaffrey also collected more votes than Carluccio did (600,082 to 436,866).

  • Philadelphia Mayor: The city of Philadelphia is something like 90% Democratic, and hasn't elected a Republican mayor since Harry S. Truman was in the White House. So, the Democratic primary is the de facto general election. That means that the city's next mayor is former city councilwoman Cherelle Parker (D), who beat out eight other candidates. She will go on to crush David Oh (R), who ran uncontested, in the general election and will become Philadelphia's first Black woman mayor, and fourth Black mayor overall. We wouldn't be doing our job, however, if we did not point out that the last Black mayor of Philadelphia was a Nutter. Specifically, Michael Nutter, who now teaches at Columbia University.

  • Jacksonville Mayor: The city of Jacksonville held a mayoral runoff yesterday after no candidate managed to cross the 50% threshold in the first round of voting back in March. Coming out on top was Democrat Donna Deegan, who outpolled Republican Daniel Davis 52% to 48%. Davis, who leads the city's Chamber of Commerce had way more money, and a gaggle of prominent endorsements, including that of Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL). So, Davis was supposedly a heavy favorite. Not so much, as it turns out. Incidentally, Deegan is a former TV journalist and current activist for breast cancer research, and ran on a platform of women's bodily autonomy. Again, perhaps there is a lesson in there, somewhere.

    Before yesterday, Jacksonville was the largest city in America with a Republican mayor (it's #12). Now that honor goes to #14 Fort Worth. Overall, of the country's 25 largest cities, 21 now have Democratic mayors, two have independent mayors (San Antonio and Honolulu) and two have Republican mayors (Fort Worth and Oklahoma City).

  • Not a Great Night for DeSantis: A lot of attention has been paid to Donald Trump's rather middling record when it comes to endorsements. He's very good at picking winners... when the result is not in doubt. He's rather less good at backing the right horse when the outcome is less obvious. And, as it turns out, Ron DeSantis may not have much in the way of coattails, either. He gave a strong endorsement to Kelly Craft in Kentucky, only to see her finish a distant third. And, as we note above, the Governor backed Daniel Davis in the Jacksonville mayoral race, only to see Davis upset. And this is a city where four of the last five mayors, covering 26 of the last 30 years, were Republicans. Perhaps there is a growing backlash to DeSantis' brand of Republicanism?

And that's the news on the elections front. The next interesting election is probably the Virginia state primaries on June 20. Well, unless we look beyond America's borders, in which case it's the Turkish runoff on May 28. (Z)

North Carolina Legislature Overrides Governor's Abortion Veto

It was expected, and now it's happened: The North Carolina legislature, after passing a semi-strict abortion bill, has overriden Gov. Roy Cooper's (D-NC) veto of that bill. It was an entirely party-line vote, made possible by the new veto-proof majority afforded by state Rep. Tricia Cotham's (R) having switched parties.

We used the descriptor "semi-strict" to distinguish the bill from the more aggressive bills seen in the Deep South and many other red states, which generally set the cutoff at 6 weeks, and which often offer little to nothing in the way of exceptions. The North Carolina bill sets the cutoff at 12 weeks, which is extended to 20 weeks for cases of rape and incest, and 24 weeks if life-threatening anomalies are discovered. Doctors are also theoretically allowed to perform abortions at any point if "an abortion is necessary to avert death," although that sort of stipulation ends up being messy in practice. Among other problems, there are complications that predictably will become life threatening, but might not be so at the moment of examination. So, is an abortion necessary to avert death in those circumstances? Who knows, and many physicians are not enthusiastic about the possibility of finding out and potentially losing their license.

This "semi-strict" bill is a clear attempt to thread the needle. Given North Carolina's status as a purple state, opinion on abortion is about as divided as it could be. A Pew Research poll reports that 49% of North Carolinians would like abortion to remain legal in all/most cases, while 45% would like it to be illegal in all/most cases. A Meredith College poll takes a slightly different approach, and found that about 20% of North Carolinians wanted a more liberal law than what the state previously had (20-week ban), 30% liked the law just the way it was, and 30% wanted a stricter law. If Meredith has it right, then 30% of the state's voters just won out over 50% of the state's voters, which is kind of par for the course for North Carolina governance.

Now, we will see if this kind of needle threading is possible. Is the new, stricter law still flexible enough that it won't aggravate moderate voters too much? Is the new, stricter law flexible to the point that conservative voters won't be happy? As we have pointed out numerous times, the North Carolina legislature is gerrymandered six ways to Sunday in favor of the Republicans, a situation that could produce devastating results for the GOP if there's anything close to a blue wave in 2024. Or, perhaps more accurately, a pro-choice wave. (Z)

EMILY's List... Kingmaker?

Maybe we should have gone with "Queenmaker," since it's mostly going to be female candidates. Whatever you prefer, there's some interesting news out of Maryland, where the free-for-all occasioned by the imminent retirement of Sen. Ben Cardin (D) is underway. Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D) jumped in last week, as expected. And shortly thereafter, she got the endorsement of pro-choice group EMILY's list.

Under normal circumstances, the endorsement of various PACs and activist groups doesn't matter all that much, unless it's also backed with money (which, it should be noted, EMILY's List has). However, let us imagine that abortion access becomes the dominant issue in 2024, particularly among Democratic voters. If a candidate could land the support of the three or four most prominent pro-choice organizations—a list that probably includes EMILY's List, Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America and maybe the Center for Reproductive Rights—that could very well be decisive. That is to say, if two or three candidates are pretty similar, but one of them can claim to be the bona fide, activist-certified pro-choice candidate, that could and should be a huge leg up. We're just speculating at this point, but it's worth keeping in mind as the 2024 cycle unfolds. (Z)

Progress in Debt Ceiling Talks?

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) does not appear to be particularly interested, for lack of a better word, in addressing the looming debt ceiling problem. He talked to CNN yesterday, and did some of that buck-passing that he does oh-so-well: "It doesn't seem to me yet [that the Democrats] want a deal, it just seems like they want to look like they are in a meeting but they aren't talking anything serious. Seems like they want a default more than a deal."

We are not in Washington, and we are certainly not in McCarthy's office in the Capitol. So, if he says "The Democrats aren't really negotiating yet," that could possibly be true. But the moment he moves on to "seems like they want a default more than a deal," that is when you know he's full of crap. The Democrats do not want a default, any more than (most) Republicans want a default. For McCarthy to say otherwise is a baldfaced lie, and throws everything else he says into question. Not that he has been much of a truth-teller in the past.

In truth, the Democrats—who seem always to be the ones who have to behave like grown-ups in these situations—have taken some meaningful steps towards trying to reach a meeting of the minds. There have been regular meetings at the White House. Joe Biden has tapped two top aides to be his full-time point people in negotiations, while also shortening the itinerary for his upcoming trip to Asia and the Pacific, so he can be certain to be in Washington at crunch time. Perhaps most important, the White House has tipped its hand, and is framing any agreement here as being about "the budget" and not "the debt ceiling." In other words, Biden & Co. are in a position to make some concessions to McCarthy & Co. without establishing a clear precedent that the debt ceiling can be wielded annually as a weapon by House Republicans.

As to McCarthy, his contribution has been to show up to the meetings, chat with the president, complain to CNN, and... that's pretty much it. In particular, he's not moving off his position that certain benefits (i.e., Medicaid) must be tied to work requirements. This is a demand that comes from the far-right elements in McCarthy's conference, and it's also a deal-breaker for many (or, very possibly, most) Democrats. If McCarthy is not willing to yield on any point, then this isn't a negotiation, it's a hostage situation. That said, he may not be able to afford to yield, since his conference might toss him out on his ear if he does. Point is, he's the linchpin here, and the ball is in his court.

Recognizing this reality, a group of centrist Democrats in the House have been quietly assuring some of their more moderate Republican colleagues that if McCarthy reaches a reasonable compromise, and his right flank revolts, they (the centrist Democrats) will back him and will not vote to get rid of him. The Speaker wasn't willing to reach across the aisle in this way to avoid the week's worth of humiliating speakership elections, so it's hard to imagine he'd be willing to do so now. On the other hand, it may be the only way out of the hole he's dug for himself. If McCarthy does indeed tell the Freedom Caucusers to piss off, and starts thinking of his conference as the 180 or so sane Republicans and the 40 or so most centrist Democrats, then that would be a fundamental shift of power in the House, indeed. (Z)

Feinstein Appears to Have Gone from Bad to Worse

Slate's Jim Newell is one of the best political reporters working today. And he published a piece yesterday about a brief conversation he and a fellow reporter had with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Here's the key portion:

It was about a minute later that I encountered Feinstein coming off an elevator, sitting in a wheelchair and flanked by staff. It's been hard to find the senator since her return; she's kept her movements mostly to the least-populated passageways and skipped luncheons and non-urgent committee hearings.

I asked her how she was feeling.

"Oh, I'm feeling fine. I have a problem with the leg." A fellow reporter staking out the elevator asked what was wrong with the leg.

"Well, nothing that's anyone concern but mine," she said.

When the fellow reporter asked her what the response from her colleagues had been like since her return, though, the conversation took an odd turn.

"No, I haven't been gone," she said.


"You should follow the—I haven't been gone. I've been working."

When asked whether she meant that she'd been working from home, she turned feisty.

"No, I've been here. I've been voting," she said. "Please. You either know or don't know."

We provide the full text so readers can judge for themselves, but for our part, we agree with Newell's conclusion: "The senator seems to not remember being absent from the Capitol."

As we pointed out in this week's Q&A, no member of Congress has been removed on the basis of incapacity, per se. There are three cases where a member was physically unable to take their oath, and the lack of oath-taking was interpreted as, in effect, a resignation, and the seats in question were declared vacant. This happened with Nick Begich (D-AK) and Hale Boggs (D-LA) in 1973 and Gladys Spellman (D-MD) in 1981. There is also one case of a seat being declared vacant in 1882 because its occupant (George Q. Cannon) was a polygamist.

Obviously, none of these circumstances apply to Feinstein. She took her oath and she's not a polygamist. So, we're in a brave new world right now. If she is really so far gone that she cannot remember having been in California until a week ago, it raises all sorts of questions:

  1. Are the votes she takes right now legal? Could judicial appointments and/or legislation that are successful only because of her vote later be challenged in court if she's found to have been incompetent?

  2. Is she mentally capable of resigning? Can she be made to understand what the issues are here, and persuaded to make the choice that Senate Democrats would like her to make? We spoke to someone whose professional work involves dealing with neurological dysfunction, and they said it is unlikely that someone as far gone as Feinstein appears to be can simultaneously understand a complicated situation like this and be persuaded to make a decision they don't want to make.

  3. Is she legally capable of resigning? If someone is not mentally competent, they cannot sign a will or a contract or any other legal document. So, can they sign a letter of resignation?

  4. Is it time for a conservatorship?

  5. If a conservator is appointed, can that conservator resign on Feinstein's behalf?

There are no clear answers to these questions because they largely haven't come up. And when they did come up, they were not resolved, because workarounds were found. But with Feinstein having nearly 2 years left in her term, and with her incapacity apparently being quite profound, and with her vote absolutely critical to the Democrats' being able to implement their agenda? We may have reached the time when these questions will have to be addressed. (Z)

Rep. Robert Garcia Introduces Legislation to Expel Rep. "George Santos"

Yesterday, Rep. Robert Garcia (D-CA) introduced the shortest resolution we think we've ever seen. The complete text:

Resolved, That, pursuant to Article I, Section 5, Clause 2 of the Constitution of the United States, Representative George Santos, be, and he hereby is, expelled from the House of Representatives.

That's just 31 words. Even if the members are just renaming a post office, it generally takes two or three times that many.

Considering expulsion is House "business" and so is a privileged matter. That means that Kevin McCarthy can't ignore the bill or delay it; he has to bring it up in short order, probably this week. This, of course, is not something the Speaker wants to do. What he wants, as he reiterated yesterday, is for the House Ethics Committee to conduct an investigation and to make its recommendations before the House, as a whole, takes any action.

McCarthy still does not impress us as a particularly shrewd political operator, but he's certainly shrewd enough to know that "Santos'" position is untenable. The Republicans have no hope of holding that seat in 2024 if he's still in it, and there's every chance he would drag down other Republican members, too. At the same time, McCarthy really wants that extra vote in his pocket for a few more weeks, at least until the current round of debt-ceiling chicken has ended. He would also like the political cover of "the House Ethics Committee said the Representative had to go."

In short, the odds are good that "Santos" doesn't last that much longer. But, House Republicans aren't going to be enthusiastic about voting him out this week, either. So, Garcia and the Democrats will probably lose when the new motion is voted upon. The blue team knows, and expects, this, they just want to get the Republican members on record as having voted to keep "Santos."

And as long as we're on this subject, challengers for "Santos'" seat keep throwing their hats into the ring. The latest is Zak Malamed, a Democratic activist whose primary project has been raising money for Democratic candidates under the age of 50. State Sen. Anna Kaplan (D), member of the Nassau County Legislature Josh Lafazan (D), St. John's law professor Will Murphy (D), and financial analyst and Iraq War veteran Kellen Curry (R) are also in.

As a general rule, the May of the year before the election is a little early to be declaring House bids. However, all of these folks clearly expect "Santos" to be shown the door long before that. And under New York's unusual rules for filling a vacant House seat, each party committee will nominate one person to run in a special election (as long as "Santos" vacates the seat prior to July of next year). So, aspiring replacements really need to get their names out there now, because the party committees could be choosing candidates within months, or maybe even weeks. (Z)

The Greatest Political Movies Ever Made, Part II

Yesterday, we ran down 10 political movies that did not make our ballot back in February when we asked people to vote, but that one or more readers thought should have. Today we're going to add an additional baker's dozen worth of films to the list.

Incidentally, we got a few complaints that these capsules only include directors and performers, and not screenwriters, producers, etc. We did that because too many little bits and pieces of information make it hard to read, and we thought that directors and performers are the people that are generally of most interest. The title of the movie, in each case, is a link to the IMDB page for that movie, and all of the cast and crew are listed there, of course.

And with that out of the way, let's get to the films (these are once again in alphabetical order):

12 Angry Men (1957)

Directed By: Sidney Lumet

Starring: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Ed Begley, E.G. Marshall, Jack Warden

What's It About?: One persistent juror turns a 1-11 vote into 12-0 for "not guilty." It's not an overtly political film, in that all the characters are private citizens, but the film certainly does raise some of the core dividing issues of modern America, most obviously immigration, xenophobia and capital punishment. In particular, the Begley character would be right at home in a MAGA hat.

Representative Quote: "It's always difficult to keep personal prejudice out of a thing like this. And wherever you run into it, prejudice always obscures the truth. I don't really know what the truth is. I don't suppose anybody will ever really know."

A Bit of Trivia: One of the relatively rare films that features no women with speaking parts.

Air Force One (1997)

Directed By: Wolfgang Petersen

Starring: Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Wendy Crewson, Paul Guilfoyle and William H. Macy

What's It About?: The President of the United States, who is a decorated combat veteran, does battle with Russian terrorists who have seized control of the presidential airplane.

Representative Quote: "Your national security advisor has just been executed. He's a very good negotiator. He bought you another half hour."

A Bit of Trivia: Bill Clinton gave filmmakers access to the real Air Force One, and enjoyed the finished film so much that he screened it twice at the White House. Though he pointed out that the "escape pods" that appear in the film are pure fantasy.

Being There (1979)

Directed By: Hal Ashby

Starring: Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Melvyn Douglas, Jack Warden and Richard Dysart

What's It About?: Through a series of misunderstandings, a poor, simple-minded, naive man whose only interest is gardening becomes a key advisor to the president, and the frontrunner to become the next president.

Representative Quote: "Yes. In the garden, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer...

"I think what our insightful young friend is saying is that we welcome the inevitable seasons of nature, but we're upset by the seasons of our economy."

A Bit of Trivia: When star Peter Sellers died about a year after this film was released, a key line from the film ("Life is a state of mind.") was engraved on his tombstone.

Bob Roberts (1992)

Directed By: Tim Robbins

Starring: Tim Robbins, Giancarlo Esposito, Ray Wise, Gore Vidal and John Cusack

What's It About?: A mockumentary about the 1990 Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race betweem conservative Republican folk singer Bob Roberts and incumbent Democratic senator Brickley Paiste.

Representative Quote: "Bob Roberts is yet another of that faction that lives to destroy whatever good came out of the 60s, to rewrite the history of that important period. A period where the American people actually were informed and aware, and realized that they had a voice. They demanded that a war end. Bob Roberts is Nixon, only he's shrewder, more complicated, this Bob Roberts. Now here is a man who has adopted the persona and mindset of a free-thinking rebel and turned it on itself. The Rebel Conservative! That is deviant brilliance. What a Machiavellian poseur."

A Bit of Trivia: Tim Robbins, an outspoken liberal, refused to allow the sale of a soundtrack for the film because he didn't want anyone to hear the songs of the conservative "Bob Roberts" out of context and take them seriously.

The Campaign (2012)

Directed By: Jay Roach

Starring: Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis, Katherine LaNasa and Dylan McDermott

What's It About?: Rep. Camden Brady (D-NC) is caught having an extramarital affair, and two corrupt businessmen persuade dopey tour guide Martin Huggins to challenge him, with the idea that Huggins will be their puppet once elected to Congress.

Representative Quote: "Bizarre news coming out of the 14th district congressional race in North Carolina. Now, get this: Cam Brady, four-time congressman, punched a baby...

"This is likely to hurt him with the Christian right, social conservatives. Really any group that opposes baby-punching."

A Bit of Trivia: The corrupt businessmen who back Huggins are the "Motch Brothers." Hard to imagine who that might be a reference to.

Casablanca (1942)

Directed By: Michael Curtiz

Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains and Conrad Veidt

What's It About?: An American expat named Rick Blaine manages his Moroccan cafe, dealing with tensions between French resistance soldiers and Nazi sympathizers, and also with his feelings for his ex-girlfriend, who has inadvertently reentered his life. As one reader who suggested this film noted: "You didn't say it had to be limited to American politics."

Representative Quote: "Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine."

A Bit of Trivia: The Epstein Brothers, who wrote the film, could not come up with a compelling reason why Rick Blaine could never return to America, without undermining his heroic status. So, they decided to just not give one.

Dick (1999)

Directed By: Andrew Fleming

Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Michelle Williams, Dave Foley, Harry Shearer and Dan Hedaya

What's It About?: A pair of high schoolers inadvertently stumbles across the Watergate break-in, which initiates a series of events that cause Richard Nixon's staffers to believe the duo are media spies. In an effort to buy their silence, they are given a job as the presidential dog-walker, and in that capacity they actually do acquire inside information that puts them at odds with the administration, causing things to add badly for all involved.

Representative Quote: "I hate Dick! It was stupid of me to fall in love with Dick. What was I thinking? Dick just disgusts me now."

A Bit of Trivia: The film essentially implies that the two female protagonists were Deep Throat. That worked in 1999, because the identity of the real Deep Throat was not revealed until 2006.

Frost/Nixon (2008)

Directed By: Ron Howard

Starring: Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Kevin Bacon, Rebecca Hall and Toby Jones

What's It About?: A docudrama about the (in?)famous interviews that Richard Nixon did with British TV presenter David Frost shortly after resigning the presidency.

Representative Quote: "These men, Haldeman, Ehrlichman, I knew their families, I knew them since they were just kids. But you know, politically the pressure on me to let them go, that became overwhelming. So, I did it. I cut off one arm then I cut off the other and I'm not a good butcher. And I have always mantained what they were doing, what we were all doing was not criminal. Look, when you're in office you gotta do a lot of things sometimes that are not always in the strictest sense of the law, legal, but you do them because they're in the greater interest of the nation."

A Bit of Trivia: Langella became the second actor to be nominated for an Oscar for playing Nixon. The first was Anthony Hopkins for Nixon. Neither of them won, however.

The Last Hurrah (1958)

Directed By: John Ford

Starring: Spencer Tracy, Jeffrey Hunter, Dianne Foster, Pat O'Brien and Basil Rathbone

What's It About?: An aged and somewhat corrupt political boss, at the end of the age of the machines, runs for a fifth and final term as mayor of a "New England town" (implied to be Boston).

Representative Quote: "The fact is that the city is no longer yours. It's ours. You have this musty shrine to your bluenose ancestors, but my people have the City Hall and that's what sticks in your craw. You can't swallow it and you can't forget it. Well I'm going to make you eat it. That housing project is going up as planned and it's going to be open on schedule. And you know what day that's going to be? St Patrick's Day!"

A Bit of Trivia: The film is a roman à clef of the life of longtime Boston mayor James Michael Curley; he was paid $25,000 (about $265,000 today) not to sue the filmmakers.

My Fellow Americans (1996)

Directed By: Peter Segal

Starring: Jack Lemmon, James Garner, Dan Aykroyd, John Heard and Wilford Brimley

What's It About?: Two former one-term presidents, motivated by both love of country and desire to reclaim their former office, work to expose the corruption of the current president.

Representative Quote: "I hate these funerals. It's just awful when another good Democrat passes on.

"I believe the deceased was a Republican, sir.

"Oh, well, then it might not be so bad."

A Bit of Trivia: Dan Aykroyd joins Raymond Massey, Walter Huston, Alexander Knox Edward Earle, Stan Jones and Christopher Plummer among the Canadian-born actors who have played U.S. presidents on the silver screen. Hmmmmmmm...

Network (1976)

Directed By: Sidney Lumet

Starring: Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall and Wesley Addy

What's It About?: This is the film that predicted Fox "News" with somewhat eerie prescience, 20 years before the cable channel went on the air.

Representative Quote: "We'll tell you any sh** you want to hear. We deal in illusions, man! None of it is true! But you people sit there, day after day, night after night... We're all you know. You're beginning to believe the illusions we're spinning here. You're beginning to think that the tube is reality, and that your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you!"

A Bit of Trivia: This film is famous for two bits of Oscar trivia. First, in winning Best Actor for this film, Peter Finch became the first performer to win an Oscar posthumously. Second, Beatrice Straight won Best Supporting Actress despite being on screen for only 5 minutes, 2 seconds. This is the least screen time ever to win an Academy Award.

Seven Days in May (1964)

Directed By: John Frankenheimer

Starring: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Fredric March, Ava Gardner and Edmond O'Brien

What's It About?: U.S. President Jordan Lyman is weak and unpopular. After he negotiates a nuclear disarmament treaty with the U.S.S.R., the Joint Chiefs of Staff plot a coup d'etat.

Representative Quote: "And if you want to talk about your oath of office, I'm here to tell you face to face, President Lyman, that you violated that oath when you stripped this country of its muscles—when you deliberately played upon the fear and fatigue of the people and told them they could remove that fear by the stroke of a pen. And then when this nation rejected you, lost faith in you, and began militantly to oppose you, you violated that oath by not resigning from office and turning the country over to someone who could represent the people of the United States."

A Bit of Trivia: John F. Kennedy thought the plot of the novel Seven Days in May, on which the movie was based, was very plausible, and was very interested to see it made into a film. But although he was aware that production had commenced, he did not live to see the final product. In fact, the first ads for the movie appeared, coincidentally, on the day that newspapers announced his assassination.

Veep (2012-19)

Created By: Armando Iannucci

Starring: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale, Reid Scott and Timothy Simons

What's It About?: A TV show, not a movie, but we're overlooking that like we did yesterday with The West Wing. Over 65 episodes, the show follows the ups and downs of the political career of VP Selina Meyer, with a blend of both comedy and drama. Oh, and they never make 100% clear which party she is a member of, so if you like your political shows to be somewhat apolitical, this may be the show for you.

Representative Quote: "I'm the Vice President of the United States, you stupid little fu**ers! These people should be begging me! That door should be half its height so that people can only approach me in my office on their goddamn, motherfu**ing knees!"

A Bit of Trivia: The show never made use of real-life politicians, either in cameos, or in passing reference. However, Simons says he based the "charmless," "graceless" and "universally disliked" Jonah Ryan on... Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Tomorrow, we'll start to reveal the actual results of the poll. (Z)

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
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