Five Things All the GOP Candidates Agree On. (They’re Terrifying.)
September 19, 2011
By the very nature of political journalism, the attention of those covering the 2012 Republican presidential nominating contest tends to be focused on areas of disagreement between the candidates, as well as on the policy positions and messages they are eager to use against Barack Obama. But there are a host of other issues where the Republican candidates are in too much agreement to create a lot of controversy during debates or gin up excitement in the popular media. Areas of agreement, after all, rarely provoke shock or drive readership.
Why We Don't Let People Die
September 16, 2011
The big drama of this week’s Republican debate was over whether front-runner Rick Perry would stumble. But the most interesting moment turned out to involve a man nobody thinks can win the presidency: Ron Paul. CNN host Wolf Blitzer asked Paul whether he was prepared to let an uninsured 30-year-old with cancer die, just because that 30-year-old could not afford the treatments. Paul gave a long, convoluted answer about responsibility. But a handful of audience members were less ambivalent.
The Idiot Box
September 14, 2011
It was a self-inflicted, eye-glazing marathon—50 hours in late August spent watching a full sampling of the Fox News lineup. Looking back, it seems like a nine-day hallucination of strident voices, blonde hair, and more pitchmen hawking gold coins than at any time since the heyday of King Midas. Why did I volunteer for this ordeal when a rational person would have been at the beach? Not to belabor the predictable liberal lament that Fox News fails to uphold the high TV journalistic traditions of Edward R. Murrow and Eliot Spitzer.
Why Neither Romney nor Perry Need to Worry About Their Liberal Heresies
September 13, 2011
For months now, some pundits have been certain that Mitt Romney was doomed because of his record on health care. And yet Romney has outlasted Tim Pawlenty, Haley Barbour, and John Thune, and he’s still going strong. Not as strong, perhaps, as Rick Perry. And yet Perry, too, has an apparent fatal skeleton.
The Debate in Tampa: How Perry's Rivals Are Perfecting Their Attacks on the Frontrunner
September 13, 2011
CNN’s over-produced, odd-couple alliance with the Tea Party produced an unexpected result—the first “Not So Fast, Governor Perry” debate. Direct from Tampa, the site of the 2012 GOP Convention, the debate illustrated Perry’s vulnerabilities as the poll-propelled Republican front-runner. Nothing that happened in Tampa Monday night was so dramatic that it likely will be remembered when the Republicans drench their nominee in confetti and balloons nearly a year from now.
Perry v. Bachmann: TNR’s Scientific Analysis of Who’s Crazier
September 12, 2011
Ever since Rick Perry declared his candidacy, Bachmann has struggled to emerge from his shadow. Once the undisputed craziest candidate who had a plausible shot at the nomination, the congresswoman from Minnesota has suddenly had to contend with a remarkable string of wacky revelations from her Texan opponent. One thing is clear: Between the two of them, there’s more craziness than Ron Paul fans at a straw poll. But who’s the most off-the-wall?
Tonight’s GOP Debate: How Each Candidate Should Attack Rick Perry
September 07, 2011
Since the last full-scale debate in Iowa, Perry’s entrance into the Republican nomination contest and rapid ascension in the polls has been remarkable. The last two national surveys of Republicans show him opening up a double-digit lead over Mitt Romney, and edging up into the high thirties overall. The latest poll from Iowa gives him a double-digit lead over Straw Poll winner Michele Bachmann. The latest poll from South Carolina shows him beating second-place candidate Romney by better than a two-to-one margin.
New Hampshire Dispatch: Mitt Romney Panders to Tea Party, Fails
September 07, 2011
Concord, New Hampshire—With the choreographed precision of a giant amoeba, the crowd of blue-shirted Mitt Romney supporters stopped listening to the speaker on the stage and squeezed its way toward the Tea Party Express bus.
A Libertarian’s Lament: Why Ron Paul Is an Embarrassment to the Creed
September 02, 2011
I don't put much stock in politicians, so I've only twice donated to political campaigns. In 2006, I tossed a few dollars at the Democrat running for Senate against the loathsome Rick Santorum. It could have been a three-headed goat, for all I cared, but Wikipedia says it was Bob Casey. (You're welcome, Bob.) And late in 2007, I gave $50 to Ron Paul. I was working at the time for the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, but it wasn't that I had any plans on voting for him.
TO: MITT ROMNEY FROM: BILL GALSTON SUBJ: YOUR CAMPAIGN Every successful presidential campaign faces at least one defining moment when choices spell the difference between victory and defeat. Your first one has come earlier than just about anyone expected, and much depends on how you respond. Up to now, you’ve pursued a steady-as-you-go, above-the-fray strategy, ignoring your Republican rivals and training your fire on President Obama. And for six months it worked well enough to keep you in the lead.