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    Gravity Hits The Obama Campaign

    This is a must-read Sean Trende column on why Obama’s bandwagon strategy has demanded that he remain in the lead at every point in the campaign. I’ve been saying for months now that Obama’s fundraising in particular – and even moreso, his ability to deter Romney from raising money from business – was hugely dependent on convincing business interests that Obama’s regulators would still be | Read More »

    More Than 67 Million People Watched Last Night’s Debate

    More Than 67 Million People Watched Last Night's Debate

    How important was last night’s Romney-Obama debate, which nearly everyone agrees was a lopsided win for Romney? Time will tell. But one thing we can know for sure is that it was, by far, the most-watched event of the 2012 campaign. The importance of debates is itself endlessly debated, and you can’t really tell the role of the debates in a race except with hindsight. | Read More »

    Debate Advice for Romney & Obama

    Debate Advice for Romney & Obama

    Allow me to remedy the nation’s critical shortage of advice for the participants in the presidential debates that kick off with Wednesday’s Obama-Romney debate. Below, a few suggested do’s and don’ts for each of the two candidates. Advice for Romney I’ve watched Romney debate a lot (although this will be the first presidential debate where I’ll be rooting for him rather than against him – | Read More »

    Romney and Obama Sing From The Same Hymnal on Emergency Room Care

    A sure sign of political silly season: seeing a whole lot of Obama supporters reflexively pushing the same attacks on Romney with the same overheated rhetoric at the same time on points that don’t stand up to even the most modest logical scrutiny. You’d think, given the clear and obvious points of disagreement between these two tickets on some issues, that would be the focus, | Read More »

    Mitt Romney, Friend in Need

    Mitt Romney, Friend in Need

    The Obama campaign has spent months laboring to get this election to be about anything but the president’s record and the candidates’ policy proposals. As often happens in campaigns, this requires painting caricatures with no connection to the facts. The Obama camp has worked hard to make Mitt Romney out as a bad, unfeeling, cold-hearted rich guy who only cares about his own bottom line. | Read More »

    Human Nature, Culture and the Arab Spring’s Fall

    2011′s Arab Spring, like its predecessor in 2005, presented a sight that always elicits natural sympathy among Americans: a popular revolt against tyrannical dictators. But beneath the immediate euphoria, harder questions lurked: who would these crowds follow? Would American interests, and the interests of our democratic allies, be better served if the dictators won? The Obama Administration has never offered any kind of coherent answer | Read More »

    Barack Obama’s Passivity in Crisis

    Barack Obama's Passivity in Crisis

    If there is one common theme about Barack Obama’s leadership style in a crisis that runs throughout his time on the national stage and is evident yet again in his response to the attacks in Cairo and Benghazi, it is passivity. Obama has shown, time and again, that he prefers to sit back, keep his distance and see what other people do first before he | Read More »

    Where I Was On September 11

    Where I Was On September 11

    Until September 11, 2001, I worked in the World Trade Center, halfway up Tower One. I wasn’t doing political blogging at the time, but was writing “the Baseball Crank” as a weekly baseball column for the online edition of the Providence (R.I.) Journal. Here’s my account of that day, written for ProJo two days later while it was all still fresh. We run this every | Read More »

    No, President Obama Didn’t Find Osama bin Laden

    No, President Obama Didn't Find Osama bin Laden

    With few other unquestionably popular accomplishments for this president to crow about, we should expect to hear a lot at the Democratic Convention the next two days about how President Obama authorized a Navy SEAL team to kill Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. Vice President Biden, who opposed the mission, has made it a favorite stump speech line: “Bin Laden is dead and General Motors | Read More »

    The Registration Gap

    The Boston Globe notices that the Democrats have a problem: [A] Globe analysis of voter registration data in swing states reveals scant evidence that the massive undertaking [of Democratic voter registration drives] is yielding much fresh support for Obama. In stark contrast to 2008, when a strong partisan tailwind propelled Democratic voter registration to record levels, this year Republican and independent gains are far outpacing | Read More »

    The Vice Presidential Stakes

    Ten of the last twenty presidents, dating back to 1900, have been forced from office or come close: one was forced to resign (Nixon), one was impeached (Clinton), two were assassinated (Kennedy and McKinley), one was shot (Reagan), one was shot at twice in three weeks (Ford), two died in office of natural causes (FDR and Harding), one was incapacitated by a stroke (Wilson), and | Read More »

    The Southern Strategy Myth and the Lost Majority

    I recently finished reading Sean Trende’s excellent book The Lost Majority, which is a must-read for anyone attempting to intelligently discuss its subject: how winning political coalitions are built, maintained and undone in the modern American two-party system. Trende covers a range of topics. At the level of political science theory, he dismantles the theory of periodic realigning elections. In his historical analysis, he may | Read More »

    The Supreme Court’s Disappointing Tax Ruling

    Yesterday’s ruling that Obamacare’s individual mandate exceeded Congress’ power under the Commerce Clause showcased the Supreme Court at its intellectual best: the fruits of years of detailed and heated scholarly and judicial debate, intensive briefing and vigorous argument were reflected in the various opinions. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the Court’s opinions on the alternative ground – the taxing power – that Chief | Read More »

    Tim Noah’s Sad Parade

    The publication of Jonah Goldberg’s new book The Tyranny of Clichés has brought forth a number of responses from liberals and progressives, many of them either essentially proving Goldberg’s point or entirely avoiding grappling with the book’s substance. The latest entrant is Tim Noah, now writing with The New Republic, who seeks to offer a companion to Goldberg’s collection of liberal clichés with his own | Read More »

    #shrug

    You would think it’s easy enough to get bipartisan agreement that the kind of tactics described here by a recipient of millions of dollars from supposedly respectable left-wing foundations are beyond the pale. But Markos Moulitsas, the man who has never failed in the immediate aftermath of any kind of political violence – even violence by people who turned out to be left-wingers – to | Read More »