Alec MacGillis
Senior Editor

Obama’s Bid To Cast Mitt In Hoover Mold
May 25, 2012

Amid all of the commentary this week on what the mayor of the 68th biggest city in the country thinks of the Obama’s campaign attacks on Bain Capital (Democratic blowback!), I’ve seen little analysis of what Obama is actually up to with his critique of Romney. If you take a look at what Obama is actually saying, he’s not only attacking Romney for the infelicitous particulars of private equity, he is more broadly suggesting that Romney’s background as a businessman—the chief asset Romney is running on—does not necessarily translate into being a good president.

So Which Is It, Politico?
May 25, 2012

Politico went big with one of its conventional wisdom-setting 30,000-foot pieces today: “Obama Stumbles Out of The Gate.” As typical for this form, the piece is full of sniping quotes from anonymous consultants. The piece also manages to turn a smattering of voices speaking out against Obama’s anti-Bain Capital attacks—most notably Cory Booker, mayor of the 68th biggest city in the country—into a “Democratic blowback” against Obama. But what struck me most about it was its glaring internal contradiction. First, the article gives us this: Bain has turned into pain this week.

How Ohio Democrats View Rob Portman
May 24, 2012

Rob Portman has been enjoying his moment of buzz for a couple weeks now. The aggressively unobtrusive Ohio senator—a former congressman and trade representative and budget director in George W.  Bush’s administration—is the insiders’ top bet to be Mitt Romney’s running mate, and today he got his big Washington Post Style profile, a rather Seinfeldesque piece that was basically about the weird nothingness that is the state of being a veep short-lister.

Reining In Corporate $$, The Back Door Approach
May 23, 2012

I’m a day late to this, but I wanted to be sure to draw attention to an important article by Tom Hamburger and Brady Dennis that ran too far inside Tuesday’s Washington Post: looking at the gathering movement to rein in campaign contributions by corporations by coaxing them to disclose more of their political spending.

A Gift For Snickering Pundits: A Map
May 22, 2012

In what has become a regular ritual this spring, the punditocracy is cracking itself up tonight over Barack Obama's embarrassingly poor performance in Democratic primaries in Appalachia and the Upland South.

Who Will Tell The People?
May 22, 2012

It’s been heartening to see a broad response to the disclosure, deep within the magazine’s new cover story on the Ohio political landscape, that the FBI is investigating questionable donations by employees of a direct-marketing company in Canton, Ohio to the campaigns of Republicans Josh Mandel, the state treasurer challenging Sen. Sherrod Brown, and Rep. Jim Renacci, who is running against Rep. Betty Sutton in a newly configured House district.

The Book On Cory Booker
May 21, 2012

In further evidence that this city knows what to do with molehills (suggested Trenton-style motto: “what Washington makes, the world re-tweets”), much has already been said and written about Newark superman (and mayor) Cory Booker’s unhelpful criticism of Team Obama’s attacks on Bain Capital, the private equity firm that made Mitt Romney a quarter-billionaire and taught him “how jobs come and how they go.” For those who missed it, Booker declared on Meet The Press: “I have to just say from a very personal level I’m not about to sit here and indict private equity,” he said.

The Battleground
May 18, 2012

Lodge 141 of the Fraternal Order of Police is housed, along with 446 jail cells, inside the Mahoning County Justice Center, a forbidding brick and steel hulk at the edge of the frayed downtown of Youngstown, Ohio. It’s a humble office, but its proprietors have embellished it with a number of rather pointed political decorations.

The Anti-Obama Ad That IS Running
May 17, 2012

My colleague Tim Noah and many others are rightly lampooning the aborted effort to resuscitate Jeremiah Wright for another go-round. But it’s worth noting that this trial balloon did accomplish something for Republicans, intended or not—it drew scrutiny away from the anti-Obama attack ad that is running, a minute-long broadside from Crossroads GPS, the group co-founded by Karl Rove, that went up this week in all the big swing states with a $25 million buy. Folks, that is a lot of dough, even in this day and age. And who’s behind that money?

About That Obama Enemies List
May 16, 2012

One of the rewards of being a loyal Wall Street Journal subscriber is that one gets to read things one might not see anywhere else.