Candidates and Their Tall-Tale Biographies

Jonathan Bernstein is a Bloomberg View columnist. He taught political science at the University of Texas at San Antonio and DePauw University and wrote A Plain Blog About Politics.
Read More.
a | A

1. At the Monkey Cage, Andy Guess, Jonathan Nagler, and Joshua Tucker look at Twitter data from the last Republican debate. Yup: What mattered wasn’t so much people’s initial reactions during the debate, but how the media covered the debate after it was over.

2. Jeb Bush didn’t file a full slate of delegates in Alabama (candidates in most cases choose their potential delegates in advance of primaries).  Josh Putnam has an analysis of the situation. One minor nitpick: If Bush exceeds expectations enough that he’s entitled to more delegates than he filed for, then delegate math is going to be beside the point, because it would mean Bush was winning the nomination easily. But generally, Putnam is right: It’s a sign of Bush’s weakness that won’t mean anything in practical terms as far as delegate accumulation goes.

3. At Mischiefs of Faction, Julia Azari on party balance and what comes next.

4. Dave Hopkins on Marco Rubio, abortion and the general election.

5. Jack Shafer on candidates and their tall-tale biographies. I think Ben Carson’s stories have a lot in common with Ronald Reagan’s -- although good call to include Hillary Clinton’s sniper fire story here.

6. Andrew Sprung argues that, yes, Obamacare is egalitarian.

7. Economist Dean Baker at CEPR makes the same case: Some people of modest means lose on the Affordable Care Act, but overall it’s a progressive program, better for the poor and middle class than for the rich.

8. And at HuffPost, Jonathan Cohn considers Republican empathy.

Get Early Returns every morning in your inbox. Click here to subscribe.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

To contact the author of this story:
Jonathan Bernstein at

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Katy Roberts at