Phoenix, Arizona--The outcome of Arizona's February 22 Republican primary isn't in doubt. Although George W. Bush led here last summer, home-state Senator John McCain had surged ahead even before his victory in New Hampshire. Indeed, with the latest polls showing McCain up by almost 20 points, Bush has all but conceded defeat. He has a skeletal staff in the state, and he's run ads only sporadically. Bush's Arizona campaign manager, Mike Hull, doesn't claim that his man will win--just that he'll hold McCain to a smaller-than-usual margin for a favorite son.
On November 15, when President Clinton's weary negotiators agreed to back China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), they set the stage for the last great struggle of this presidency. The battle lines are clear. Arrayed behind the administration is the entire political establishment: the four leading Democratic and Republican presidential candidates, every living former secretary of state and secretary of the treasury, and every major business lobby and farm lobby in Washington, D.C.
Newark, New Jersey "Did i sound like I was a liberal and a progressive?" Jon Corzine asked me as we pulled out of the parking lot of a senior citizens' center in Monroe, New Jersey, where Corzine, a candidate for the U.S. Senate, had just addressed the local Democratic club. Corzine wasn't worried that he sounded too liberal and progressive. He was worried that he might not have sounded liberal and progressive enough.
Government-appointed bipartisan commissions have played an important role in recent American politics. The social security commission in the early '80s and the commission on closing military bases in the early '90s both helped resolve thorny issues that legislators, beholden to special interests, couldn't settle on their own.
After Richard Nixon's re-election in 1972, Democrats accused Arthur Burns, whom Nixon had appointed chairman of the Federal Reserve in 1970, of rigging the election by overstimulating the economy. Burns, they charged, had produced a temporary reprieve from recession, but had also built up inflationary pressures that would burst forth later and produce an even sharper recession. In coming years, Republicans may make similar charges against Robert Rubin, Bill Clinton's secretary of the Treasury.
On the airplane, I caught sight of someone reading the latest issue of U.S. News and World Report, with a cover story on "How to Raise a Moral Child." It sounded like typical middlebrow sermonizing, based on the assumption that morality (that is, morality as defined by the editors of the magazine) could be taught in the same way as spelling or darts. It's not that simple, as I could attest. Here I was traveling to Las Vegas with a polygraph expert to interview a man who, I believed, did not have an adult sense of right and wrong.
LARRY KING: "Can a three party system work?" ROSS PEROT: "There won't be a three party system. One of these parties is going to disappear. One of those special interest parties will have a meltdown." KING: "Are you saying the Republicans or the Democrats are going to disappear?" PEROT: "Two will last. That is my fearless forecast." Here in Washington, campaign junkies obsess about whether Ross Perot's candidacy will help Clinton or Dole.
John Judis's 1996 cover story on Pat Buchanan's warm reception in the state.