Matt Bai

Did Obama Choose The Right Message?
October 25, 2012

The second-guessing has already begun over whether Barack Obama chose the right message to take on Mitt Romney. Is there anything to it?

Obama’s Stunning Ohio Turnaround
September 25, 2012

The story of the 2012 campaign is Obama's success in the swing state he was thought to be weakest in: Ohio. How did he pull it off?

Matt Bai's Excellent Piece...Shows 2011 Was Pointless
March 28, 2012

Matt Bai’s long-awaited, 10,000-word opus on the rise and fall of last summer’s deficit grand-bargain is finally out and very much worth a read. Bai adds a lot of new detail affirming what we thought we knew—which is that Obama was ready to do a deal and Boehner wasn’t—but which got much hazier in recent weeks amid Team Boehner’s furious spin.  Still, for my money, Bai puts too little emphasis on the much deeper problem looming over the whole exercise, which is that it didn’t actually matter whether Boehner was willing to strike a deal.

Matt Bai Goes Awry
August 12, 2011

[Guest post by Isaac Chotiner] New York Times political writer Matt Bai's almost pathological need to appear evenhanded, even when writing analytically, is nicely captured by his blog post today. He focuses on a moment in the debate, already mentioned below by Jon, when every Republican candidate refused to agree to a deal that included "one dollar in new tax revenue for every 10 dollars’ worth of reductions." This, as Jon says, is "anti-tax mania." And here is Bai: If this were merely a Republican phenomenon, the party would be alone in suffering the wrath of the average American voter.

June 22, 2011

--Mitch McConnell concedes tax cuts didn't help economy, immediately retreats into word blizzard --WashPost: What happens to Vargas stays with Vargas  --A better defense of Nozick than "Hey, look -- Ann Coulter!" --Cutting domestic discretionary spending is the policy response to fiscal ignorance --Matt Bai, citing one data point, says the media hates Jon Huntsman. Not me. I love Huntsman! I just agree with Huntsman circa 2009 that he can't win the nomination. --Case in point, Alex Klein's gonzo journey with the preppy Huntsman hipsters. It doesn't end well.

Huntsman As GOP Litmus Test
June 17, 2011

Matt Bai insists that Jon Huntsman is a serious candidate with a strong chance at winning the Republican nomination, and that anybody who thinks otherwise is just a blinkered Republican-hater: But most Democrats and some of my fellow media types seem to regard Mr. Huntsman more as this year’s Wes Clark or Fred Thompson, a guy who looks good on paper but is going precisely nowhere. Among other things, they point to a recent Washington Post-ABC poll that found that only 35 percent of Republicans had even heard of Mr.

The Tucson Shooter and Arizona Politics
January 09, 2011

Perhaps the stupidest and least surprising comment about the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson came from New York Times columnist Matt Bai. Bai, the author of an interesting book about Democratic politics, analyzed the political environment—the universe of discourse that framed the alleged attempt at assassination by Arizonan Jared Lee Loughner. Here is what he wrote: Within minutes of the first reports Saturday that Representative Gabrielle Giffords, an Arizona Democrat, and a score of people with her had been shot in Tucson, pages began disappearing from the Web.

The Shaky Case For Conservative Democrats
November 10, 2010

Matt Bai devotes his New York Times column to rebutting the fairly silly claim that Democrats are better off without their most conservative members, which is fine. But he also endorses the odd view that retaining Nancy Pelosi is at odds with winning back the majority: If there was any sliver of hope for moderate Democrats on a catastrophic midterm election night, it was their assumption that now, at least, the party’s leaders would have to focus on recapturing the political center.

Matt Bai's Distinction
September 08, 2010

Matt Bai writes: That was a moment, perhaps, when Mr. Obama might have given one of his trademark orations to an anxious public, an opportunity to lay out the different dimensions of the economic crisis in a way that had eluded his predecessors. You could have imagined Mr. Obama explaining then that the country had to respond in two related but distinct ways — first by spending hundreds of billions of dollars in the short term to avoid a depression, and then by making a series of large-scale investments over time that would modernize the foundation of the economy.

Oy Bai
August 18, 2010

[Guest post by Jonathan Bernstein:] Jonathan Bernstein is a political scientist.