Alec MacGillis
Senior Editor

Chris Christie and the Ghosts of Madison
October 04, 2011

I'll leave it to the pundits to decide what will happen in the Republican primary now that Chris Christie has decided to keep his talents in Trenton. What does seem worth some thought, though, is what we won't see happen that we likely would have if Christie had gotten in: a full rekindling of the war over public employee unions. The issue has receded somewhat in the public consciousness since the showdowns in Wisconsin, Ohio and elsewhere earlier this year, even as the fight carries on in several states.

From Clinton’s Mouth To Rove’s Ad
October 04, 2011

When Barack Obama arrives in St. Louis tonight for a couple of fundraisers, he will be greeted by a targeted media hit from American Crossroads, the outside group led by Karl Rove that had such an impact in the 2010 midterms and is gearing up for the same next year. The group's new ad, a $50,000 buy in Missouri, will attack Obama's jobs plan by invoking the recent words of the president's ever-helpful fellow Democrat: Bill Clinton.

Three Months And Counting
October 03, 2011

The window for Chris Christie to climb through just got even narrower (and no, that's not a catty reference -- I'm not joining this debate just yet.) The South Carolina Republican Party announced today that, in reaction to Florida moving its primary to Jan. 31, the state would hold its primary on Saturday, Jan. 21. This means that the nominating calendar is going to be pushed back even earlier than many were predicting after Florida's move.

Rick Perry And The Map Worth A Thousand Words
October 03, 2011

Amid all the talk today about what sort of place Rick Perry comes from—and how much people there clung to their appellation of a certain piece of land —it's worth calling attention to what has to be one of the most telling and eye-opening maps of contemporary voting behavior. In 2004, George W. Bush beat John Kerry with 50.7 percent of the vote. Four years later, Barack Obama beat John McCain with nearly 53 percent of the vote.

“He’s Just Not Like That”
October 03, 2011

Something about Rick Perry seems to inspire conversation that is awfully elemental. First, he was praying for rain. Then there were the Texas wildfires last month, and the question of whether or not they were related to the man-made climate change in which Perry does not believe. And now comes the rock. We'll leave it to others to litigate just exactly when a certain offensive word was visible on the boulder at the entrance to piece of land that Perry and his father starting leasing as a hunting ranch starting in the 1980s.

Christmas in Sioux City
September 30, 2011

They better start laying in the Champagne in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, because it looks like it's going to be another holiday season in Iowa for the political circus. Florida Republicans today announced that they would, as they'd been threatening to, move their primary to January 31st. This will push the traditional first four states earlier into January, with one plausible scenario putting the Iowa caucuses on January 9, the New Hampshire primary on January 17, the Nevada caucuses on January 21 and the South Carolina primary January 28.

A Heartfelt Apology To The Club For Growth
September 30, 2011

Earlier this week, I posed what I saw as a crucial question hanging over Rick Perry's prospects in the primary: whether Republican voters nationally would show more concern than Texas voters have about the pay for play, corporate-welfare aura that has enveloped Perry's tenure as govenror.

Crandall Who?
September 29, 2011

This evening, Rick Perry heads to Wheeling, W.V. for a private fundraising event hosted by Bob Murray, founder and CEO of Murray Energy. Does that name ring a bell? It should: Murray Energy was the lead partner in the Crandall Canyon mine in Utah where nine miners were killed in 2007, six in an initial collapse and three more who went in 10 days later on a rescue mission.

Marcus To The Rescue
September 29, 2011

Not so long ago, it looked like Marcus Bachmann might be a liability for his wife's campaign, what with all the talk of his clinic's unusual therapeutic approach. But with its post-Ames buzz vanished, the Bachmann campaign has now apparently decided that Marcus is an asset to be deployed, based on this missive that just arrived in my in-box: Dear Fellow Conservative, Michele is the real deal. Not only does she continue to inspire me every day with her strength, but she is the same woman of character as when I first met her 35 years ago. Michele is not your typical politician.

The Permanent Candidate
What’s driving Rick Perry?
September 28, 2011

What’s driving Rick Perry?

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