John B. Judis

Osama's Book Club
October 08, 2007

What has Osama bin Laden been doing all these years? Some suspect that he's cave-hopping while trying to evade the U.S. military. Others have posited that he's plotting his comeback, training a brand new coterie of jihadis. But in his most recent video, released September 7, he inadvertently gives away his game: He's been holed up in the Waziristan Public Library.Specifically, he's been reading books that purport to explain his own rise and the failure of the United States to capture him.

Moran Down
October 01, 2007

Virginia Representative Jim Moran is no stranger to controversy. And he now finds himself in midst of another one--over what he said about Jews, Iraq, and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in an interview in the September-October issue of Tikkun magazine. Moran's statements have been denounced as anti-Semitic by the officials of Jewish political and religious organizations and by members of Congress. These critics see Moran's statements as part of a wave of anti-Semitism--of which Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer's book The Israel Lobby and U.S.

Three-way
September 24, 2007

With former senator Fred Thompson's entry into the presidential race, Republicans now have at least three candidates who could have the money and votes to compete, if necessary, through the end of the primary process. And they might have to do so. In fact, when the Republicans meet in Minneapolis-St. Paul in September 2008 to choose their nominee, they might be looking at a brokered convention.Of course, dire prognostications of brokered conventions are made nearly every election, and the GOP has had multiple strong candidates before--in 1980, for instance, in 1988, and even in 2000.

Change of Heartland
September 10, 2007

What's not the matter with Kansas.

Delegate Responsibility
September 10, 2007

With former Senator Fred Thompson's entry into the presidential race, the Republicans now have at least three candidates who could have the money and votes to compete, if necessary, all the way to June 2008. And they might have to do so. Indeed, when the Republicans meet in Minneapolis-St. Paul in September 2008 to choose their nominee, they might be looking at a brokered convention. Of course, the party has had multiple strong candidates before--in 1980, for instance, and 1988 and even in 2000. But the old schedule of primaries and caucuses was designed to winnow down the field.

Turd Blossom
August 27, 2007

Every political reporter has a Karl Rove story, and I have mine. I met Rove in Austin in 1995, when I was writing a profile of presidential aspirant Phil Gramm. Rove had done direct mail for Gramm's campaigns for Senate, and I expected nothing but praise for the senator. Rove did praise him, but he would occasionally interject a surprisingly critical note. He said that people in Texas were "sick of being dunned for money" by Gramm.

Red Dawn
August 27, 2007

The scandal surrounding Idaho Senator Larry Craig and his arrest in a Minneapolis airport restroom will preoccupy politicians, ethicists, and bloggers for the next few weeks. But it probably won't alter Republican political prospects next year in deeply red Idaho. As far as the 2008 election is concerned, the big political news this week was Virginia Representative Tom Davis's visit to southwest Virginia to test the waters for a possible Senate race for the seat now held by Republican Senator John Warner. Why is that a big deal?

Death Grip
August 27, 2007

In June 2004, I went door to door in a white, working- class neighborhood of Martinsburg, West Virginia, a small blue-collar town in decline. There, I found voters disillusioned with both the Iraq war and the flagging economy. But, when I returned five months later-- the Sunday before the election--I had difficulty digging up anyone who didn't plan to vote for George W. Bush.

Bye Rove!
August 13, 2007

Every political reporter has a Karl Rove story, and I have mine. I met Rove in Austin in 1995 when I was writing a profile of presidential aspirant Phil Gramm. Rove had done direct mail for Gramm's campaigns for Senate, and I expected nothing but praise for the senator. Rove did praise him, but he would occasionally interject a surprisingly critical note about Gramm. He said that people in Texas were "sick of being dunned for money" by Gramm.

An American Suicide
August 06, 2007

On July 26, the parents of Jeffrey Lucey, an Iraq vet who committed suicide, filed suit in Massachusetts against the Department of Veterans Affairs for "wrongful death" and "medical malpractice." The Luceys could win their case. In April 2007, the VA's Inspector General concluded that the VA Medical Center in Leeds had made mistakes in dealing with Jeffrey Lucey. But the questions about this case go beyond the already well-documented incompetence of the Veterans Administration. They involve the effect of the Iraq war on the mental health of American soldiers.

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