Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin at the launch of his party’s election advertising campaign which has been described as a negative effort. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Negative campaigning is not a new phenomenon in Irish politics. Three decades ago Fianna Fáil launched a billboard campaign against the ruling coalit(...)

Patrick Nulty: will scuttle off into that murky place in our consciousness reserved for public figures who once did something wrong, only no one can quite remember what. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Patrick Nulty’s behaviour – sending creepy Facebook messages to female constituents, including one of 17 – was sordid and wrong. Once it had be(...)

New Jersey governor Chris Christie. “The epic news conference felt like a scene out of the governor’s favourite movie, The Godfather: Christie offering his tremulous, grandiose, self-pitying public apologia while in cross-cut scenes, his henchmen were getting rid of those who threatened his operation.” Photograph: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

I have learned two things covering politics. One, first impressions are often right. John Edwards is slick. Hillary Clinton is expedient. W was in ove(...)

“Clintonworld is a galaxy where personal enrichment and political advancement blend seamlessly, and where a cast of jarringly familiar characters pads its pockets every which way to Sunday.” Photograph: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Clinton nostalgia is being replaced by Clinton neuralgia.Why is it that America’s roil family always seems better in abstract than in concrete? The cl(...)

Christine Callaghan Quinn, the 47-year-old speaker of the New York City Council, wants to be seen as a member of the fighting Irish. Photograph: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

A well-dressed man at the West 72nd Street subway entrance stops to take one of the fliers Christine Quinn is handing out.“You don’t seem quite as evi(...)

People in Huma Abedin’s circle are worried that her decision to vouch for her husband,  Anthony Weiner, “is starting to hurt her, the one person they all assumed would never be ensnared in anything weird or bad”. Photograph: Michael Appleton/The New York Times

When you puzzle over why the elegant Huma Abedin is propping up the eel-like Anthony Weiner, you must remember one thing: Huma was raised in Saudi Ara(...)

Huma Abedin, Anthony Weiner’s wife of three years and mother to his son, stood awkwardly beside him during the press conference in which he addressed the “sexting” scandal, bowing her head when he blamed his behaviour on his marital problems. Photograph: Michael Appleton/The New York Times

New York’s tabloids had a field day. Anthony Weiner, the New York City mayoral candidate topping the polls in what had until yesterday been a stunning(...)

Former New York governor Eliot Spitzer:  asked New Yorkers for forgiveness and a second chance over the prostitution scandal that forced him into the political wilderness for more than five years. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Former New York governor Eliot Spitzer has become the latest former politician to seek a comeback following scandal by announcing that he plans to run(...)

Former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford celebrates his victory with a large crowd in the South Carolina first district congressional race at Liberty Tap Room in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, on Tuesday. Photograph: Randall Hill/Reuters

Sanford, a Republican, won 54 per cent of the vote, defeating Democratic candidate Elizabeth Colbert Busch, a sister of the political sa(...)