Brokered Conventions, Last-Minute Comebacks, and Other Crazy Ways the GOP Could End Up With a Nominee
December 16, 2011
Has there ever been a worse year for the conventional wisdom in handicapping a presidential primary race? Sure, the pundit pack has been grotesquely wrong before, from over-hyping Hillary Clinton’s chances in 2008 to smugly dismissing Howard Dean’s potential to galvanize anti-war Democrats in 2004. But never have the political railbirds so frequently compounded their errors as they reeled from one smug, but erroneous, prediction to another.
The Turnaround Men
October 26, 2011
Just after dawn on a cool morning in September 2008, two FBI agents and a police officer walked into the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas and took the security elevator up to the twenty-third floor, where they knocked on the door of a high-roller haven known as the Grand Lakeview Suite. A Minnesota businessman named Tom Petters answered wrapped in a bathrobe. After a moment’s hesitation, he invited them in.
Geraldine Ferraro’s Legacy
March 31, 2011
When news reached me this past weekend that Geraldine Ferraro had succumbed to cancer at the relatively tender age of 75, I felt an inexplicable sense of loss. This wasn’t a generic sensation—the abstracted sadness we inevitably feel when public figures die—or a civic mourning for the loss of a champion of women’s rights. Rather, my feeling of loss stemmed from something I never had, a sense of nostalgia for a moment I didn’t experience. Ferraro’s funeral is today, her death justifiably triggering a surge of tributes and recollections about her life and career, including my own.
Requiem for the DLC
February 09, 2011
After a good quarter-century run, the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) has announced it will close its doors this month. Its original mission has long been accomplished: This small but famous—or, depending on your orientation, infamous—organization was founded in the wake of the 1984 Walter Mondale debacle by two House Democratic Caucus staffers named Al From and Will Marshall, who enlisted an assortment of elected officials with names like Clinton, Gore, Gephardt, Nunn, Babbitt, and Robb.
Reagan And Alzheimer's
January 17, 2011
Ron Reagan's book about his father discusses the very strong possibility that he had symptoms of Alzheimer's disease during his presidency: In his memoir “My Father at 100,” Reagan writes: “Today we are aware that the psychological and neurological changes associated with Alzheimer’s can be in evidence years, even decades, before identifiable symptoms arise.
Six Key Filibuster Facts for the 112th Congress
January 03, 2011
The countdown is on for a major rules confrontation in the Senate beginning Wednesday, the first day of the 112th Congress. Here's a reset of how I see the issues. 1. In the historic 111th Congress, we finally saw the triumph of the complete 60 vote Senate. Nothing passed without 60 votes (and, because minority Senators often fully exerted their rights under Senate rules, many things did not pass despite having more than 60 votes because Senate floor time is scarce).
Walter Mondale for the Supreme Court?
October 25, 2010
Over the weekend, I asked back at my blog what would happen if the Supremes have an opening in the next couple of years. A filibuster (or outright defeat, if there are 51 Republican Senators) seems inevitable to me and most of the people who responded, summed up by commenter JazzBumpa who supposed that the GOP would filibuster Robert Bork’s clone if Barack Obama sent him up. Nor is it really plausible that Obama would nominate someone that conservatives like.
Blaming Ted Kennedy
October 14, 2010
I remember Ted Kennedy announcing his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president in 1980. It was an unusual candidacy because there was already a Democrat in the White House and he intended to run for a second a term. That president was Jimmy Carter, poor man. Poor haughty man. But it was Kennedy's own announcement that could not have been more mortifying. On television one night he was questioned by Roger Mudd. I believe he lost the nod right then and there.
Where's the Obama I Voted For?
January 21, 2010
If you’ve been a Democrat for more than two or three years, disappointment with your leaders is something that comes rather naturally. From the 1970s until well into the previous decade, the party produced presidents and presidential candidates like Jimmy Carter, Michael Dukakis, and John Kerry. These men weren’t lovable losers. They were just losers. Even the lone winner among them--Bill Clinton--famously and infamously found ways to disappoint. But then Barack Obama came along.
Today's Dispatch From Planet Krauthammer
December 11, 2009
The increasingly nutty columnist unearths a novel historical counterfactual: In the 1970s and early '80s, having seized control of the U.N. apparatus (by power of numbers), Third World countries decided to cash in. OPEC was pulling off the greatest wealth transfer from rich to poor in history. Why not them? So in grand U.N.