Paul Begala

Begala to Dems: Come Out Swinging on Obamacare
March 14, 2014

Some wisdom from a campaign veteran: If you're backpedaling, then you're losing the argument.

Washington Isn't Spooked by the Secret McConnell Tape
April 11, 2013

On Tuesday, Mother Jones reporter David Corn released audio of Senator Mitch McConnell and his reelection campaign staff yukking it up over the various zany quotes and writings of Ashley Judd, who was considering a run against McConnell at the time.

Wall Street Is Probably Preparing to Crawl Back to Democrats
November 05, 2012

Wall Street did everything it could to get Romney and the Republicans elected. What will it do if it failed?

How I Got Ejected From a Super PAC Reception
September 06, 2012

What I learned at a Democratic super PAC reception before being thrown out

The Campaign’s Biggest Buckrakers
August 24, 2012

AFTER THE SUPREME COURT issued its Citizens United decision in 2010, money poured into the U.S. electoral system like never before. Ten billion dollars will likely be spent on the 2012 race, up from $7 billion in 2008—making electioneering one of the few U.S. growth industries in an ailing economy. Campaigns and super PACs have already spent $332 million on TV advertising in the presidential race alone (three-quarters of that sum on negative ads). This avalanche of cash has caused a lot of angst about the future of democracy.

Dough-Faced
June 22, 2012

IN EARLY JUNE, a small group of Barack Obama's top fund-raisers gathered for an urgent meeting in a bar on Chicago's Michigan Avenue. They had been summoned to town for a briefing from campaign manager Jim Messina to the several dozen moneyed men and women who make up Obama's finance committee. But, in a classic example of Citizens United-era subterfuge, a handful of the attendees slipped away from the Renaissance Blackstone Hotel in the South Loop and headed to the bar.

Mitt Romney, Teen Barber
May 11, 2012

Unlike Paul Begala (“Once A Bully, Always A Bully,” Daily Beast) I’m not inclined to connect the story of Mitt Romney’s teenage homophobic cruelty to such adult cruelties as imposing layoffs on companies leveraged to the hilt by Bain Capital or making his dog Seamus ride on the roof of the family car. Clearly Romney had a mean streak in him back then.

Is Lone Star Money Cursed In Politics?
January 19, 2012

God knows Rick Perry was his own worst enemy as a presidential candidate--always spoiling for a fight but never mentally agile enough to win one. But Perry entered the race with one substantial asset: He was really good at raising money. Perry had reportedly raised more than $100 million in campaign contributions since he entered the Texas governor's mansion in 2001. Paul Begala estimates that Perry ended up spending at least $1,477 for every vote he received in Iowa and New Hampshire.

So Is Roger Altman Replacing Larry Summers or Not?
December 14, 2010

[Guest post by Noam Scheiber:] Anyone interested in this question has no doubt read about Altman's multiple White House visits to discuss relieving Larry Summers as head of the National Economic Council (NEC). And yet, here we stand, just days from Summers's planned departure--NEC staffers have been busy writing exit memos, as I understand it--without an announcement about his replacement.

Adaptation
March 22, 2010

Earlier this month, in a profile of White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, I identified two tactical mistakes the president had made while trying to pass health care reform. The first was his extensive efforts to reach a bipartisan deal—in particular, allowing Montana Senator Max Baucus to negotiate with Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee through most of the summer before weighing in. The second was Obama’s decision to attack insurance companies late last July after months of trying to co-opt them and other powerful groups.

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