Opening Act: Bob Menendez, New Jersey’s Favorite Son

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) speaks during the final day of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) annual meeting at the Washington Convention Center on March 5, 2013 in Washington, DC.


Sen. Bob Menendez should teach some classes about how to endure a scandal. (It helps if the story that sparks the scandal goes through a slow-mo disintegration, covered by local media.) From Quinnipiac:

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez’ job approval rating has bounced back to 40 - 37 percent from a negative 36 - 41 percent approval rating in a February 20 Quinnipiac University poll. The negative rating, in the wake of allegations of impropriety, marked a 15-point drop from a 51 - 33 percent approval January 23.

Not for nothing, but I speculated about this outcome two months ago. The far stickier financial scandals would fade if Menendez beat the prostitution rap. Will something else come out on that story, and bring him down? This world is full of miracles and wonder. But there’s more and more circumstantial evidence suggesting that the hooker story was fabricated by Menendez’s enemies.

Andrew Kroll finds Democratic donors keeping checkbooks under the sink until Hillary Clinton runs. Good for them! The presidential race starts too early anyway.

David Freedlander tracks the (inevitable, post-Obama) Evolution of Democrats on gay marriage.

And Emily Bazelon’s first SCOTUS dispatch does not disappoint. Come back for part two today.

Read more from Slate’s coverage of gay marriage cases at the Supreme Court.