Alec MacGillis
Senior Editor

No, This Was Not The Better Outcome For Mitt
June 29, 2012

During the run-up to the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, I tried to avoid making predictions about how various outcomes would play politically—such conjectures too often skirted entirely the matter of the millions of people who had so much at stake in the ruling. But now that the ruling has been delivered, I’m going to weigh in briefly on this score, to rebut a notion that has quickly started making the rounds: that the upholding of Barack Obama’s law is actually better for Mitt Romney than if the law had been struck down.

Now Can We Start Talking About The Law?
June 28, 2012

As word of the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act exploded across the Twittersphere, one thought came to my mind: would Robin Layman even hear about it?  Layman, some readers may recall, was a 38-year-old woman I met in rural southeastern Tennessee at a weekend health clinic where hundreds of people, most of them uninsured, came for free care a few weeks ago.

Did Dems Dodge Bullet In AFSCME Election?
June 22, 2012

It's not often that in-house elections for union leadership positions have nationwide political ramifications, but the one held yesterday in Los Angeles to elect a replacement for Gerald McEntee, the very-longtime president of the 1.3 million-member American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, almost certainly did. For starters, of course, AFSCME has found itself very much at the front lines of the Republican move against public-sector unions.

June 22, 2012

IN EARLY JUNE, a small group of Barack Obama's top fund-raisers gathered for an urgent meeting in a bar on Chicago's Michigan Avenue. They had been summoned to town for a briefing from campaign manager Jim Messina to the several dozen moneyed men and women who make up Obama's finance committee. But, in a classic example of Citizens United-era subterfuge, a handful of the attendees slipped away from the Renaissance Blackstone Hotel in the South Loop and headed to the bar.

The Unwitting Beneficiaries of Obamacare
June 21, 2012

Now that the Supreme Court has left the fate of the Affordable Care Act hanging another few days, it seems an opportune moment to pose a question that has been growing on me after several recent reporting trips: why aren’t the most obvious beneficiaries of the law more aware of it?  There is an assumption in much national coverage of the law’s unpopularity that the right has won the “messaging war” on the law, partly, as Abby Goodnough lays out in a strong New York Times piece today, by spending far more to bash it on the airwaves than the law’s supporters have to defend it.

How Lucky is Obama in His Opponent?
June 20, 2012

The new Bloomberg poll showing Barack Obama up 13 points over Mitt Romney is an obvious outlier. But it is prodding me again to a question that has been nagging at me the past few weeks: how is that Obama is not in truly serious trouble? All the talk recently has been of Obama’s prospects slipping, with him now only a couple points ahead of Romney, at best, in most polls. But he should be slipping! The economy, after showing signs of a solid recovery just a few months ago, is gasping for air again, and there may be worse on the way. This should be disastrous for the incumbent.

Full Disclosure: Praise For Fred Hiatt
June 19, 2012

Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt has come in for his share of criticism over here at TNR, so it’s only fair to note when he hits one right on the mark, as he did with his latest column, on what is emerging as one of the top stories of the 2012 campaign: the demise of disclosure. Not so long ago, conservatives arguing against campaign finance contribution limits offered a deal that was, Hiatt notes, rather seductive: let everyone give whatever they want, but put it all out on the table.

First We'll Take Manhattan, Then We'll Take Charlottesville (Updated)
June 18, 2012

A few months ago, I wrote a cover story about the big hedge fund managers who, after feeling a special bond with Barack Obama in 2007 and 2008, are now contributing heavily to Mitt Romney and the Republicans. A classic example of this type is Paul Tudor Jones, a highly successful Greenwich fund manager who was an early Obama backer last time around but has already given more than $200,000 to Romney's SuperPAC, Restore Our Future. Well, it looks like Mr.

‘What New Law?’
June 18, 2012

SEWANEE, Tenn. — As Robin Layman, a mother of two who has major health troubles but no insurance, arrived at a free clinic here, she had a big personal stake in the Supreme Court’s imminent decision on the new national health care law.  Not that she realized that. “What new law?” she said. “I’ve not heard anything about that.” Layman was one of 600 people who on a recent weekend came from across southeastern Tennessee for the clinic held by Remote Area Medical, a Knoxville-based organization that for two decades has been providing free medical, dental and vision care in underserved areas.

The Solution For Europe? Scott Walker.
June 15, 2012

It’s small consolation for the pain and havoc being experienced across much of Europe, and for the economic fallout that is hitting us over on this side of the Atlantic, but there is a bit of amusement to be had these days in the confusion that the European crisis is causing on the American right.