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Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

Here are the best quotes we heard from our sources today. (Click through to read the full stories.)

Heather Armstrong (pictured above), author of Dooce.com and so-called “Queen of the Mommy Bloggers”: “I wrote a blog because it was fun, and I loved doing it. Then it became my job and I hated it. You never want to get to the point where you’re like ‘Ugh I have to go do that thing that I love? Ughhhh.’”

Julian Zelizer, a political historian at Princeton University: “Everyone is aware of the problems, but if there is some sentiment in the electorate that things are still moving in the right way or there’s some optimism that things can get better, then I think Democrats can clearly connect that, or try to connect that to the president in power.”

Matt Strawn, a former state party chairman who is one of the few remaining neutral Republican operatives in Iowa: “If there are five Republicans in Iowa that are getting together someplace, odds are you’re going to see a Ben Carson person there trying to sign them up.”

(Previous quotes from our sources here.)