John B. Judis

Obama-hillary: A Dream Or A Nightmare?
May 24, 2008

I am not going to get into the game of saying whom Barack Obama should choose to be his vice-presidential nominee. I am chastened from having argued for John Kerry to pick John Edwards in 2004. And I am not going to say whom he shouldn't choose either. But I want to suggest that there are pitfalls to his endorsing the "dream ticket" of himself and Hillary Clinton, which prominent Clinton supporters like Diane Feinstein are promoting. There are two arguments for Obama choosing Clinton: one is plausible; the other is bogus.

The Autopsy Report
May 21, 2008

Tuesday's results replicated much of the Democratic race during the last two months. Hillary Clinton once more showed her strength and Barack Obama's weakness among white working class voters in Midwestern swing states, while Obama proved his hold on young and college-educated voters in states where a new post-industrial economy has developed, and where college-educated voters make up about half of the Democratic electorate. For Obama, the question will be how to capture enough of these white working class voters in November to defeat Republican John McCain.

The Local
May 19, 2008

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that last summer, Illinois Senator Barack Obama told officials in the Teamsters union that he favored ending the Independent Review Board (IRB) that was created in 1989 by the federal government to rid the union of organized crime.

The Big Race, Continued
May 13, 2008

In my cover story this week, "The Big Race," I mention that white women voters who have been backing Democrats should prove sympathetic to Barack Obama’s candidacy. I had a specific study of women voters in mind, but I didn’t want to exhaust readers’ patience with the description of another psychological experiment. I will describe the study here, because I think it has important implications for the 2008 election.

It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
May 07, 2008

The Democratic primary is over. Hillary Clinton might still run in West Virginia and Kentucky, which she’ll win handily, but by failing to win Indiana decisively and by losing North Carolina decisively, she lost the argument for her own candidacy. She can’t surpass Barack Obama’s delegate or popular vote count. The question is no longer who will be the Democratic nominee, but whether Obama can defeat Republican John McCain in November. And the answer to that is still unclear. During the last two months, Obama has faltered as a candidate.

The Next McGovern?
April 23, 2008

Hillary Clinton won a decisive ten-round decision over Barack Obama in Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary, but she didn’t score a knockout. The struggle continues. Clinton still has virtually no chance of overtaking Obama’s delegate lead or his edge in the popular vote. And the superdelegates will be loath to ignore this advantage. Meanwhile, Obama’s weaknesses as a general election candidate grow more apparent with each successive primary.

Woe Is He
April 15, 2008

Some liberal commentators have downplayed the effect of Barack Obama’s fundraising speech at a San Francisco fundraiser last week. But that’s wishful thinking. Along with the revelations about Obama’s pastor Jeremiah Wright, his remarks in San Francisco will haunt him not only in the upcoming primaries in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia, but also in the general election against John McCain, assuming he gets the Democratic nomination.

Trade Secrets
April 09, 2008

In the weeks leading up to the March 4 primary in Ohio, a new insult entered the increasingly caustic vocabularies of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton: hypocrite. Hoping to curry favor in a state that has shed thousands of manufacturing jobs in recent years, each attacked the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the treaty that lowered barriers to commerce between the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Bookmarks: Recommended Reading About Labor
April 09, 2008

The labor movement once loomed large over American politics. If the nineteenth century was dominated by conflict with Indians and over slavery, the early twentieth center was dominated by what was called “the labor question.” But very few Americans outside Washington today know anything about the labor movement. I talked recently to a historian who was writing a book on liberalism who didn’t know that in 2005, a group of unions had split off from the AFL-CIO to form Change to Win.

The Remnant
March 26, 2008

In the last years of his life, William F. Buckley Jr., who died on February 27 at the age of 82, broke with many of his fellow conservatives by pronouncing the Iraq war a failure and calling for an end to the embargo on Cuba. He even expressed doubt as to whether George W. Bush is really a conservative—and he asked the same about neoconservatives. To Buckley's liberal admirers, these sentiments suggested that the godfather of the Right had, like Barry Goldwater, crept toward the center in his old age.