presidential campaign

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders sought to put behind him a strange episode concerning a bizarre piece of fiction he authored four decades ago, likening the work to Fifty Shades of Grey during his appearance on NBC's Meet the Press.

Answering a question from the show's host, Chuck Todd, the Vermont lawmaker said, "This is a piece of fiction that I wrote in 1972, I think. That was 43 years ago. It was very poorly written.

Updated at 11:25 a.m. ET

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley announced Saturday that he will seek the Democratic nomination for president, joining front-runner Hillary Clinton and dark horse candidate Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primary race.

Speaking at a rally in Baltimore, where O'Malley served as mayor before becoming governor, he decried "an economy that has so concentrated wealth in the hands of the very few that it has taken opportunity out of the homes of the many."

Until Tuesday, it had been almost a month since Hillary Clinton had answered a question from the press.

After taking questions from Iowans in Cedar Rapids, where she spoke about small business, the former secretary of state then answered six questions from reporters. She also took an awkwardly timed one about whether she'll answer questions from media in the middle of the event. The questions after the event ranged from the release of her emails when she was secretary of state and criticism over foreign donations to the Clinton foundation to the state of Iraq and more.

via The Texas Tribune

After the Republican presidential candidates finish their first debate this summer, many will head to Atlanta for a summit hosted by Erick Erickson, conservative activist and editor-in-chief of RedState.com.

This year, Erickson's RedState Gathering is scheduled for the same weekend as the Iowa Straw Poll.

Jeb Bush has already indicated he will go to the RedState Gathering rather than Iowa. Scott Walker, Carly Fiorina, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio and Rick Perry are also going. Most will try to attend both events, Erickson says.

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