Mr. America
July 12, 2010

There are moments when Scott Brown evokes a 12-year-old boy who woke up one day in a politician’s body—as if the Tom Hanks character in Big had asked that fortune-telling machine for a Senate seat. He certainly has the 12-year-old’s vernacular. Stumping for John McCain at a small Christian college in March, the junior senator from Massachusetts opined, “If you told me five months ago that I'd be standing here in front of you, I would say, ‘You're full of it.''' He also has the 12-year-old’s gee-whiz sensibility.

Obama and the Coming "Choice Election"
July 09, 2010

[Guest post by Noam Scheiber:] Mike Allen reports in his "White House Mindmeld" today that Obama is settling into a "choice election" strategy for November (i.e., trying to make it as much about the other guys as you) rather than a "referendum election" strategy (i.e., making it solely about you): The President used his remarks in Missouri to frame the November elections as a choice between the economic policies that led us into this mess and the policies that are leading us out – a theme you’ll hear a lot of in the coming four months. Setting aside the fact that this is almost always the stra

Substance, At Last!
July 01, 2010

Far from turning into a “vapid and hollow charade,” to use Elena Kagan’s now-famous condemnation of other Supreme Court confirmation hearings, her own have been impressively substantive.

Republican Health Care Fratricide
June 30, 2010

One of the political benefits to Democrats of passing the Affordable Care Act, rather than following the crawl into a hole and die strategy urged upon them in all sincerity by Republicans, is that it shifted the debate to favorable terrain. Now Democrats are favoring the status quo, and Republicans are trying to pass a radical change.

How Republicans Can Win Back Latinos (By Stiffing Them)
May 26, 2010

The new WSJ/NBC poll on immigration shows that Republicans are getting a short-term bump from whites for their tough-on-illegal immigration stance, but "Latinos, once a semi-swing group of voters, now have swung overwhelmingly for President Obama and the Democratic Party, and younger Hispanics are moving to the Democrats in even greater numbers." First Read suggests that Latinos might sour on Obama if he fails to pass immigration reform: Of course, this doesn't mean that Latino voters won't hesitate to hold Obama and the Democrats accountable, either.

The Sestak Pseudo-Scandal
May 25, 2010

Any meaningful political scandal must have one of three elements. The highest level of scandal involves some breaking of a law. The next-highest involves breaking some well-established behavioral norm. The lowest level involves a public official lying. The odd thing about the "scandal" of whether the White House offered a job to Joe Sestak is that it involves no credible charge of any of the three.

Health Care Repeal And The GOP Suicide Squad
May 13, 2010

A National Review editorial urges Republicans to unite around a simple bill repealing the Affordable Care Act: We understand that House Republicans are divided among several repeal bills, and that some House Republicans believe legislation should replace as well as repeal Obamacare. In our judgment, replacing Obamacare with workable conservative reforms should remain part of the conservative platform without being part of this year’s repeal legislation.

Tanking Hard
May 07, 2010

Early on Monday, BP’s boyish CEO, Tony Hayward, sat in an open-collared white dress shirt and, rocking back and forth in a studio chair, submitted to a series of four network interviews about his company’s catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The questions from NBC, CBS, ABC, and the BBC differed slightly, but to all the anchors, Hayward delivered a similar line: “This is not our accident.” In other words, it's not BP's fault.

Second Guessing The Dems
March 22, 2010

When there's a big political event, the news media has a tendency to retrospectively analyze the tactical decisions of those involved. If they won, they did everything right, and if they lost, they did everything wrong.

UPDATED: Very, Very Close
March 21, 2010

(Click here to follow all the latest developments via Jonathan Cohn's Twitter feed.) John Larson, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, told ABC News' Jonathan Karl on Sunday morning that 216 of his members have committed to vote "yes" on the Senate's health care bill. NBC reported early in the afternoon that Michigan's Bart Stupak, who led a group of Democrats threatening to oppose reform over abortion rights, has agreed to support it. And while House Democratic leaders have been warning that final commitments are not nailed down--indeed, CNN has since reported that Stupak has not yet affi