Alec MacGillis
Senior Editor

The Post-Wisconsin Overreaction Commences
June 06, 2012

Well, here we go with the overstated reactions to the Wisconsin recall results. I already tried to head off one thread of the overreaction—the notion that Scott Walker’s victory spelled doomed for President Obama in Wisconsin. But now I see that there is another front where the punditocracy’s going way overboard—the notion that Wisconsin pretty much spells the end of public employee unions, if not all of organized labor.

Meet The Walker-Obama Voter
June 06, 2012

Amid the big mood swings last night as exit polls gave way to real vote tallies, one question began to rise above the din: how to reconcile Scott Walker’s victory with exit polls showing that a majority of voters—52-43 percent, according to the Washington Post—would vote for Barack Obama in November? We can argue about just how much those exit polls can be trusted, given that they suggested a stronger result for Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett than he ultimately received. Still, it’s clear that there was a crucial sliver of voters who backed Walker but plan to support Obama in the fall.

“We Must Have An Individual Mandate”
June 05, 2012

When the Boston Globe reported last year that Mitt Romney’s gubernatorial team had wiped clean hard drives and even paid to take them home with them at the end of his term in 2006, one couldn’t help but wonder: what were they trying so hard to hide? The Romney crew seems unlikely to be indulging in office porn. Maybe some secret hot-cocoa recipes? Well, today we got a hint.

How Pundits Are Misreading Wisconsin’s Recall
June 04, 2012

Pretty much all previews of Tuesday’s recall election in Wisconsin are framing it as a precursor of the November election, and declaring that a win for Scott Walker, the Republican incumbent who is up for recall, would necessarily bode terribly for Barack Obama in Wisconsin and beyond. I don’t buy it. And that goes the other way, too—I don’t think Democrats should take away too much optimism for their fall prospects if Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett pulls off an upset win.

The Obama Administration's "Racial Incitement"
June 04, 2012

Just the other day, someone wrote this: The United States of America has a black President whose chief law enforcement officer, Attorney General Eric Holder, is also black. They have a lot of political power. So how are they using it? Well, one way is to assert to black audiences that voter ID laws are really attempts to disenfranchise black Americans.

Let Us Bow Down Before The Big Dog
June 03, 2012

Well, so much for Barack Obama's reelection campaign talking at all about Mitt Romney's career at Bain Capital. The private equity firm has proven a great vulnerability for Romney in the past and it exemplifies the economic vision Romney is running on, but Obama better lay off it for the rest of the campaign.

Why Walker's Urban-Crime Scare Ad Might Work
June 01, 2012

Well, so much for Scott Walker's brand of Republicanism being all about forward-looking, green-eyeshade bottom-line reform. It's flown mostly under the national radar this week, but Walker decided to go old-school, late-1980s-style, with a TV ad conjuring the menace of inner-city crime to attack his opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

The Strained Attack On Mitt’s Mass. Record
June 01, 2012

It was overshadowed by the return of the jury in the John Edwards case, but the Obama campaign opened a whole new front of attack against Mitt Romney on Thursday: going after his record as governor of Massachusetts. Romney has of late been starting to invoke his gubernatorial record, after running mainly on his years in business during the Republican primaries, so it makes sense for Team Obama to try to undermine his claims of success on Beacon Hill as it is trying to undermine his record at Bain Capital.

Have Mitt’s Women Troubles Been Overstated?
May 31, 2012

A couple months ago, Democrats were taking comfort in the reports of the massive gender gap facing Mitt Romney, who was trailing Barack Obama badly among women voters. At the time, the size of the gap struck me as slightly counter-intuitive. Yes, Romney had just come through a Republican primary season that was not exactly designed to attract women swing voters, what with all its talk about limiting contraception access and such. It was clear why the Republican brand, at that moment, might not be so popular with women.

In Coal Country, Proof That Politics Matters
May 31, 2012

In a moment of Washington gridlock of the sort we’ve had since the 2010 midterms (and arguably before that in the filibuster-bound Senate), it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that truly nothing has been getting done, and perhaps even that there won’t be all that much of a difference if the other guys win the White House this fall, as long as Democrats still can filibuster bills in the Senate.