Benjamin Sarlin is the Washington correspondent for The Daily Beast and edits the site's politics blog, Beltway Beast. He previously covered New York City politics for The New York Sun and has worked for

Michael Williams announced a bid Thursday for Texas’ Senate seat. The Tea Party loves him, but can he overcome a tough primary to become the Senate’s lone black member? Williams talks to Benjamin Sarlin about his plan to win, his friendship with George W. Bush, and his trademark bowtie.

Next year’s deficit will run up to $1.5 trillion, according to new figures from the CBO—thanks in no small part to a deal extending the Bush tax cuts. Benjamin Sarlin asks the pro-stimulus crowd when it’s time to rein in spending.

The Connecticut senator may be quietly riding off into the sunset after driving liberals mad, but plenty of other Democratic senators have progressives up in arms with forays across party lines. Benjamin Sarlin reports on the moderates who could follow Joe’s path.

The House speaker’s tears of joy may soon turn to frustration with the 85 Republican freshmen. The Daily Beast talks to Mike Pence, Paul Ryan, and Ron Paul about trouble spots in the new GOP majority—and pinpoints seven potential backstabbers.

Republicans take back the House Wednesday, pledging a hard line on ethics. Their first scandal: Rep.-elect David Rivera, reportedly under investigation for corruption.

But Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a watchdog group, filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission and asked the Delaware U.S. attorney for an investigation.

The incoming House speaker rode a Tea Party wave into the majority, but a debt-limit vote as early as next month could cost him their backing. Benjamin Sarlin on the battle that can't come soon enough for Democrats.