Jim VandeHei

Very Important People say America needs more tax certainty, and therefore tax reform. Those people are wrong.

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When Politico declared a consensus on how to fix the economy, they forgot to call some folks—say, economists. So, we made the calls for them.

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Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen argue that the Tea Party redefined the purpose of the GOP as opposition to spending: The Republican Party is undergoing a messy but unmistakable 20-month transformation from fanatically anti-Obama to fanatically anti-spending, providing top party officials a new and intriguing playbook for recapturing the White House in 2012. To understand the current evolution, flash back to late spring of 2009. The GOP was disoriented and adrift, its leadership void filled by the bombastic voices of Palin, Beck and Rush Limbaugh.

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Politico reported the other day that Wall Street is upset at the Obama administration. It seems to me as if the hurt feelings of this tiny (albeit very rich) segment of society has received enormous attention in the media.

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It's striking, though unsurprising, that the post-election Democratic recriminations center around President Obama's alleged failure to sufficiently court political and economic elites. First you have a left-of-center columnist arguing with a straight face that a president who was closer to Wall Street would have fared better. Then  you have this complaint, passed on by Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei: Democratic lobbyists feel maligned by his holier-than-though take on their profession.

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Politico honchos John Harris and Jim Vandehei have a big story on their site about how the Obama administration, despite numerous major policy successes, is bad at politics. I find the thesis unpersuasive -- Obama remains by far the most popular national politician. Indeed, their argument is almost a self-contradiction -- enacting your policy agenda is the purpose of politics.

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Post Apocalypse

On July 2 of last year, Politico broke a startling story: The Washington Post was planning to host off-the-record salons at which sponsors would pay to mingle with D.C. eminences and Post writers. The dinners--the first of which had been advertised in Post fliers as an “exclusive opportunity to participate in the health-care reform debate among the select few who will actually get it done”--were to take place at the home of Katharine Weymouth, the Post’s publisher. Weymouth, granddaughter of legendary Post owner Katharine Graham, had only been on the job for a year and a half.

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Did Politico Executive Editor Jim VandeHei get named to the Pulitzer Prize Board? It was hard to tell from the four references to this captivating news story that were included on the Politico website in the last 24 hours. There it is on the homepage, again on Ben Smith’s blog, again on Mike Allen’s Playbook (did you know it’s journalism’s most prestigious prize?), and then, in case you missed it, the Click ‘Sightings’ section includes it right after a muckraking image of Sarah Palin holding a cup of coffee.

Is Obama Over?

I really hope Obama brought some books with him to Martha's Vineyard, because reading the newspaper is going to ruin his vacation. Over at Politico, M

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On the evening of January 22, a few hours after his administration's debut news conference, Barack Obama made a surprise visit to the cramped quarters of the White House press corps. It was meant to be a friendly event, and Obama glad-handed his way through reporters and cameramen, exchanging light banter as he went. But Politico reporter Jonathan Martin wasn't there to chat. Martin pressed Obama about the president's decision to nominate William J. Lynn III, a former defense lobbyist, to deputy defense secretary and about Obama's pledge to curtail the influence of lobbyists.

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