Without Huck
May 16, 2011

Mike Huckabee pulled off quite a Sweeps Week carny act Saturday night, pulling in what must have been a record audience for his Fox show by sending all sorts of mixed signals about his presidential intentions. Prior to his announcement, he presided over a spirited trashing of Mitt Romney’s health care speech and listened good-naturedly to guest Ted Nugent call for Navy SEAL teams to “secure” the borders by giving transgressors the ol’ bin Laden treatment.

Made in America, Made for the World
April 22, 2011

Can U.S. firms--and workers--still make things here at home? For the past six weeks, ABC News has been examining this question in its “Made in America” series. This past week, they visited a group of small “Manufacturing All Stars” across the country, including Annin Flagmakers outside the Columbus metro, Channel Craft Toys in greater Pittsburgh, and Nordic Ware, a family owned kitchenware manufacturer in Minneapolis. What did they learn?

No More ‘Waiting for the Regs’
April 14, 2011

Our big event Monday debuting the concept of metropolitan business plans--a new variety of action-oriented strategy-making in which regions assert “bottom-up” what they need from federal, state, or private-sector “investors”—contained a number of great moments. Brad Whitehead’s obvious pride in presenting Northeast Ohio’s new initiative to help small manufacturing companies get more innovative was infectious. The jovial mutual affection of mayors R.T. Rybak and Chris Coleman of Minneapolis and St.

U.S. Metros: Open for Business Despite Everything
April 08, 2011

Whether or not the federal government shuts down this weekend, I have an announcement: U.S. metropolitan areas are open for business and striving innovatively to create jobs and transform the economy. How do I know it?

Are State and Local Government Workers Sharing the Pain of Job Cuts?
March 14, 2011

In proposing to increase state government workers’ payments for their pensions and health insurance (read: cut their pay) and gut their collective bargaining rights, Wisconsin Gov.

Colorado vs. Ohio
February 23, 2011

In some presidential cycles, an incumbent’s reelection strategy doesn’t matter all that much. When the economy is very strong (1984), the incumbent wins big; when it’s very weak (1932), he loses even bigger. And when a party chooses a nominee seen as outside the mainstream (1964, 1972), it suffers a crushing defeat. It’s possible that one or more of these circumstances could prevail next year. The economy could over- or under-perform current projections; the Republicans could choose a nominee who’s too conservative or lacks credibility as a potential president.

The Next Daley
February 18, 2011

After trailing along with Chicago mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel on a Sunday morning last month, I got a chance to talk to him when we stopped at Bagel on Damen, a small coffee shop in Wicker Park that features fresh bagels and Stumptown coffee. Emanuel had just visited a church, a South Side restaurant, and a North Avenue bicycle store, at which he proposed going the Daley administration one better by adding 25 rather than eight miles a year to the city’s dedicated bike lanes.

The New Normal
February 10, 2011

And the Show Went On: Cultural Life in Nazi-Occupied Paris By Alan Riding (Alfred A. Knopf, 399 pp., $28.95) By the ghastly standards of World War II, the history of France from 1939 to 1944 was a sideshow. Poland, with a smaller pre-war population, suffered at least ten times as many wartime deaths. The Soviet Union, four times larger in 1939, had fully forty times more losses. French cities, in comparison with Polish or Soviet or German cities, survived the war relatively unscathed.

Eeyore for Governor
October 14, 2010

Mark Dayton’s place in Washington’s collective memory can be distilled to exactly one moment, on one day: October 12, 2004. That morning, Dayton, a freshman Democratic senator from Minnesota, appeared in front of a line of TV cameras and announced that in the coming weeks the Capitol would likely be the target of a terrorist attack.

Malkin Unhappy, Obamacare Rattling Insurers. It's All Good.
August 31, 2010

Note: Here is my latest column for Kaiser Health News. When Assurant Health, a Milwaukee-based health insurance company, announced this month it was laying off 130 employees in Milwaukee and Minneapolis, it blamed the health care overhaul for its struggles -- and at least one prominent critic of reform quickly chimed in. "There are more and more Obamacare job-killing stories piling up like this one," conservative columnist Michelle Malkin wrote in an item with the headline, "The White House War on Jobs." I know a lot of smart, thoughtful health reform critics. Malkin is not one of them.