Matt Bai Still Doesn't Understand Political Parties
December 30, 2010
There’s just so much to get to in Matt Bai’s latest, in today’s NYT, on the 2012 presidential contest. First of all, Bai swallows whole the myth of “next in line” in GOP nominations contests. Next, I don’t really understand what he’s trying to say in his glance at history. Yes, Ford/Reagan in 1976 was the last contest that was a “thriller” in the sense of not being decided until the end (actually, the only one like that on the GOP side under the modern nomination system).
Is Palin-mania A Liberal Plot?
December 30, 2010
A Gallup poll finds that the only contemporary Republican political leader who makes the Republicans' list of "most admired people" is Sarah Palin (who is cited as "most admired woman" by 26% of Republicans -- no other current politician cracks 3% among Republicans.) Ezra Klein notes: The closest thing the GOP has to a Dole or a Gingrich is Sarah Palin, whose interests and messages frequently diverge from those of the Republican Party and who polls very poorly among the broader populace. Perhaps the idea that you need a leader to deliver your message is outdated in an age when Fox News and o
How the Tea Party Is Wrecking Republican Foreign Policy
December 04, 2010
Now that the midterm elections are over and voices of the Tea Party will soon be established in Congress, the movement’s views on foreign policy will come under closer scrutiny, and the results may prove surprising, not least to the Tea Partiers themselves. Those views are far from Republican orthodoxy. On some issues, the Tea Partiers will predictably line up with the Republican leadership, but on others they may find they have more in common with Democrats. They may even provide Barack Obama with unexpected support.
Sarah Palin And The GOP's Collective Action Problem
November 30, 2010
Joe Scarborough implores Republicans to denounce Sarah Palin: Republicans have a problem. The most-talked-about figure in the GOP is a reality show star who cannot be elected. And yet the same leaders who fret that Sarah Palin could devastate their party in 2012 are too scared to say in public what they all complain about in private. Enough. It’s time for the GOP to man up. In fact, many Republicans are castigating Palin in public.
Palin's Unintended Admission
November 24, 2010
[Guest post by Noam Scheiber:] Well, as long as we're highlighting nuggets from the recent Robert Draper profile of Palin, here's my nominee for most telling: “I am,” Sarah Palin told me the next day when I asked her if she was already weighing a run for president. “I’m engaged in the internal deliberations candidly, and having that discussion with my family, because my family is the most important consideration here.” Palin went on to say that there weren’t meaningful differences in policy among the field of G.O.P.
Palin's Self-Sustaining Paranoia
November 24, 2010
I'm a little late to Robert Draper's profile of Sarah Palin's inner circle, but there's good stuff there that merits some attention. The bizarre character of the Palin operation has to be seen to be believed. She seems to operate like some kind of rebel leader surrounded by cult-like devotees. This description of the process of getting to meet Palin... Davis and his colleagues recognize that the issue of trust informs Sarah Palin’s every dealing with the world beyond Wasilla since her circular-firing-squad experience at the close of the 2008 presidential campaign.
How We Will Know Sarah Palin Is Running for President
November 23, 2010
A while back, Andrew Sullivan had a good roundup of some of the punditry about Sarah Palin and the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination. I've given my position before: Anyone who thinks she has it locked up is nuts, and anyone who thinks that there's zero possibility of her winning is also nuts. But that does raise the question: what can we know now? What should we ignore? And by the way, how does the nomination process work, anyhow? First: We can't know what's in any candidate's head.
Palin, Romney, and the 2012 Nomination
November 22, 2010
How will the Republican primary election of 2012 unfold? It's impossible to predict the exact result, but now that the midterms are over, we are in a position to make some educated guesses.
November 17, 2010
-- Noam Scheiber on Sarah Palin's war against the Fed. -- A group of House Democrats are asking Republicans to give up their government health care. -- Roger Ailes wants us to sympathize with "this poor guy" George W. Bush. Good luck.
Sarah Palin, Reader
November 17, 2010
[Guest post by Isaac Chotiner] A few years ago I engaged in a friendly debate with Ross Douthat about the number of books that President Bush had read in 2006. According to Karl Rove, the former president had read 94 books (some of the 94 were big history books). I found this claim dubious, but Ross thought it was believeable. Now, to Sarah Palin. At the end of his big piece on the onetime Alaska governor, Robert Draper writes: Palin became testy when I asked her about the books I heard she had been reading. “I’ve been reading since I was a little girl,” she snapped.