Obama's Latino Strategy Takes Shape
May 12, 2011
Here are three stories that don't make a ton of sense individually, but make a great deal of sense taken together.
Obama to Talk Entitlement Reform. Gulp.
April 11, 2011
The big news on Sunday was the announcement, from senior White House adviser David Plouffe, that President Obama plans to make a major policy speech about how to reduce the deficit. And I am worried--not about the substantive position Obama will stake out, but how that positioning will affect the rest of the debate about federal spending. The speech will be Obama’s formal response to House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, who last week put forward a Republican blueprint for balancing the government’s books.
December 08, 2010
Of all the historical analogies urged on Obama following November’s drubbing—Truman in ’48, Reagan after ’82, Clinton after ’94—the one the White House has opted for is easily the most obscure. That would be Patrick in ’10—as in Deval Patrick, the recently re-elected governor of Massachusetts. Months after Patrick signed the state’s first sales-tax hike in 33 years, political chatterers gave him little chance of surviving to a second term.
What’s Eating David Axelrod?
September 27, 2010
Among the many distinctions David Axelrod has achieved in his career, there is one that requires special elaboration: He is, it turns out, one of the few customers to have ever run a tab at Manny’s, the Chicago cafeteria and deli. This is not because the odd knish ($4.25) or side of potato chips ($0.75) threatened to leave him cash-poor. It is, rather, because Axelrod has long styled himself someone who accumulates wisdom at places regular people frequent, not the lacquered haunts of downtown Washington. What the Oval Room is to Beltway consultant-dom, Manny’s is to Axelrod.
Citizens of the Week
August 06, 2010
Good Citizen of the Week: Mo Vaughn Maurice "Mo" Vaughn had an illustrious career with the Boston Red Sox, winning an MVP title and thrilling a generation of Fenway faithful with laser shots out of the park. But he injured his knee when he tumbled down the dugout steps, while fielding a pop-up in foul territory. He was never the same and, after two lackluster seasons with the Mets, he retired. Vaughn, who idolized Jackie Robinson and wore #42 to honor him, said he wanted to give back to society after retirement. Unlike most pro athletes, he meant it.
June 06, 2010
Marc Ambinder says the news media should be ashamed for chasing the Sestak pseudo-scandal: I will grant that the statutes themselves can be interpreted in such a way as to prohibit virtually all political activity by anyone remotely connected with the executive branch. But practice -- and not simply underhanded practice, but open, above-board practice, since the time those laws were written suggests that the law's authors intended them as a bulwark against official corruption, not against the mixing of politics and policy.
Political Scientist vs. Pundit
May 20, 2010
Jonathan Bernstein fisks New York Times political analyst Matt Bai. First, Bai: What all this probably means is that we are living in the era of the upstart. Thirty years ago, when you needed a party infrastructure to make a serious run for higher office, taking it to the establishment was quixotic venture undertaken on the national level, where a Jesse Jackson or a Pat Buchanan could at least make a powerful statement along the road to obliteration.
May 05, 2010
Americans for Job Security is a corporate front group. It has spent millions on behalf of campaigns to repeal the estate tax and take down the Employee Free Choice Act. This week it unrolled a spot that can’t help but be described as racist. The ad targets Bill Halter, who is running in the Arkansas Democratic primary against Senator Blanche Lincoln. It features Indian actors—in Indian outfits, with Indian accents, with images of India behind them.
The Great Unknowns (Updated)
February 19, 2010
If you read this blog, you probably want to know the true state of play in the health care reform debate. Well, join the club. After yet another a round of phone calls on Friday, I've become convinced that nobody really knows for sure. There's a lot of activity and discussion right now. But the key discussions involve a very small circle of people--smaller, in fact, than the circle of people you see quoted in the media, even anonymously.
The End of Health Care Reform?
January 23, 2010
From today's New York Times piece about David Plouffe's re-emergence in Obamaland: It remains an open question how much new legislation will pass Congress, but the coming months will help frame the campaigns. While some form of financial regulation and job creation measures may pass, Obama aides said, the larger initiatives like health care, a cap on carbon emissions and an immigration overhaul may have to wait, even though the White House denies trimming its ambitions.