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Seth McLaughlin

Seth McLaughlin, a reporter on the Politics Desk, can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com. Follow him on Twitter: @SethMcLaughlin1

Articles by Seth McLaughlin

Former governor of Alaska Sarah Palin looks back at a crowd as she walks to the door of Trump Tower for a scheduled meeting with Donald Trump in New York Tuesday, May 31, 2011. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

GOP presidential field needs excitement

In a Republican presidential field where no top-tier candidate offers a flawless resume, the question facing GOP primary voters is whether they can find a diamond in the rough — a standard-bearer who embodies the party's conservative backbone and can give President Obama a run for his money. Published May 31, 2011

Palin bus tour seen by some as a signal

With many conservatives dissatisfied with the GOP field of White House hopefuls, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is taking steps - including a bus tour - that appear to be setting her up for a presidential bid. Published May 26, 2011

Kathy Hochul

Dem chief: House is 'in play' for 2012

The head of the Democratic campaign arm in the House said Thursday that the party's upset win in Tuesday's special congressional election for a New York House seat shows that the lower chamber is up for grabs in the next election. Published May 26, 2011

Ryan stands firm on Medicare after N.Y. vote

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan pushed back Wednesday against critics eager to cast the result of Tuesday's special election in New York as a stiff rebuke of his plan to curb the cost of Medicare. Published May 25, 2011

N.Y. vote has GOP rethinking Medicare

A day after watching Democrats use Republicans' Medicare plan to score an upset victory in a special congressional election in New York, the GOP regrouped, retooled its message and saw most of its troops rally behind the plan in a key test Senate vote. Published May 25, 2011

Pawlenty urges freeze on federal salaries, will counter Ryan plan

Appearing in Washington for the first time since announcing his presidential bid, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said salaries of federal employees should be frozen temporarily until they fall in line with the earning levels of their private sector counterparts. Published May 25, 2011

Kathy Hochul

Democrat wins 3-way race for House seat from N.Y.

Democrat Kathy Hochul pulled off a stunning, come-from-behind victory Tuesday night in New York's 26th Congressional District in a race that was billed as a proxy fight over the GOP's plans to change Medicare. Published May 24, 2011

GOP 2012 hopefuls atoning for flaws

The GOP presidential field is firming up, and all the major White House hopefuls have something in common besides a desire to defeat President Obama: Each has on his resume a violation of conservative orthodoxy certain to anger primary voters. Published May 23, 2011

Associated Press photographs
A former Democrat, Jack Davis, is running as a tea party candidate in the race, complicating for Republicans what should be an easy seat to hold.

Election seen as test for Ryan, Medicare

A special congressional election in western New York on Tuesday could offer an early answer to one of the key questions of the 2012 election cycle: Will Rep. Paul Ryan's plan to reshape Medicare cost the GOP at the ballot box? Published May 22, 2011

ASSOCIATED PRESS PHOTOGRAPHS
His current position "allows me to have a greater impact in averting this debt-fueled economic crisis than if I were to run for the United States Senate," said Rep. Paul Ryan (top). His decision clears the way for former Gov. Tommy Thompson (above).

Pass by Ryan still leaves Democrats in tough spot

Rising GOP star Rep. Paul Ryan is taking a pass on next year's open Senate race in Wisconsin, but that doesn't make the contest any easier for the Democratic Party, which is facing an uphill slog in a slew of battles across the Midwest. Published May 17, 2011

Gingrich's spending call irritates his base

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich did something Monday that few of his potential Republican primary challengers have dared: He proposed new spending. Published May 16, 2011

Lawmakers push for car chargers on Capitol Hill lots

Sen. Carl Levin and Rep. Dale E. Kildee have offered plans in the House and Senate that would task the architect of the Capitol to install electric vehicle recharge stations for lawmakers, congressional staffers and others authorized to park in the Capitol complex. Published May 15, 2011

ASSOCIATED PRESS
DIAGNOSIS: "Our plan was a state solution to a state problem," Mitt Romney said about Massachusetts' health care reform.

Romney: I was right, Obama wrong on health care reform

Taking on an issue that threatens to undermine his 2012 presidential bid, Republican contender Mitt Romney argued Thursday that the health care overhaul plan he signed as governor of Massachusetts was a constitutionally acceptable policy experiment by a state while President Obama's similar health care law represented an unconstitutional power grab by Washington. Published May 12, 2011

Romney speech venue raises pro-life doubts

Mitt Romney will deliver a major speech Thursday to try to silence conservative critics of the health care plan he signed as Massachusetts governor, but the choice of venue - the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center - could open up a new line of attack on the potential presidential candidate. Published May 11, 2011

Associated Press photographs
An unconventional politician, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has said that China should face taxes on imports until it stops manipulating its currency and that the U.S. should seize Iraq's oil fields to pay itself back for the cost of the war. But a retired GOP senator says few are taking his candidacy seriously.

GOP field has own 'change' ideas

The GOP base may not be overly excited about its early crop of White House hopefuls, but with one calling for an end to the Federal Reserve, some open to the legalization of marijuana and others pushing to scrap the tax code, it's hard to say they aren't delivering in spades for those craving real change in Washington. Published May 10, 2011

Brown challengers in Massachusetts starting to add up

The field of Democrats angling to challenge Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts next year got a little more crowded Monday when Newton Mayor Setti Warren announced his intent to seek his party's nomination. Published May 9, 2011

Republican primary voters in New Hampshire say it's natural to be attracted to a new face. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty could be among the beneficiaries of that phenomenon if Mr. Romney falters.

In N.H., ambivalence on Romney

On paper, Mitt Romney is the favorite to win next year's GOP primary in New Hampshire - he ran a respectable second here in 2008 to eventual nominee John McCain, and as the 2012 cycle begins, he's the clear front-runner in a crowded field of would-be contenders. Published May 8, 2011

DNC elects Floridian as new chief

The Democratic National Committee formally tapped Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz as its new chairwoman Wednesday, opening a new chapter in the party's history as it looks to regain some of the footing lost to Republicans in last year's election. Published May 4, 2011

Further U.S. aid could hinge on what the Pakistanis knew

Several lawmakers said Tuesday that it is time to rethink U.S. aid to Pakistan in light of revelations that Osama bin Laden spent the past six years squirreled away in a safe house a mere football field away from one of country's top military academies and miles from the capital of Islamabad. Published May 3, 2011

Senators: Bin Laden photos may need to be released

The top lawmakers on the Senate Homeland Security Committee said that while they have no doubt that Osama bin Laden has been killed, it may be necessary to release some of the pictures to erase any suspicion that the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks is still alive. Published May 2, 2011