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Analysis and perspective about what's happening in the political realm.

Why Trump Might Regret Playing 'The Woman Card' Against Clinton

On Tuesday, presidential front-runners Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump built on their leads for their respective parties’ nominations. In the process, they offered a preview of what could be a major—and particularly nasty—general-election theme.

On Monday, Clinton appeared at a town-hall event where she promised if elected, that half of her cabinet would be women. (Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did that last year.) Tuesday started off with Donald Trump on Fox and Friends, where he replied. “I call her 'Crooked Hillary' because she’s crooked, and you know the only thing she’s got is the woman card,” he said. “That’s all she’s got, and it is pandering. It’s a weak card in her hands. In another person’s hands it could be a powerful card. I’d love to see a woman president, but she’s the wrong person.” 

When Clinton went on stage Tuesday night in Philadelphia, she was more than happy to reply to that. “The other day, Mr. Trump accused me, of playing the, quote, ‘woman card,’” she said. “Well, if fighting for women's health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman card, then...

The Lesser of Three Evils

Real­ity-check time: Don­ald Trump’s re­sound­ing vic­tory in his home state of New York didn’t sig­ni­fic­antly al­ter his pro­spects for win­ning the ne­ces­sary del­eg­ates be­fore the Clev­e­land con­ven­tion. He won 89 out of 95 del­eg­ates in his home state, not many more than ex­pec­ted. He’s still on pace to fin­ish short of 1,237 del­eg­ates—and will need a sur­pris­ing vic­tory in In­di­ana or a re­sound­ing fin­ish in Cali­for­nia to al­ter that tra­ject­ory.

The haphaz­ard schedul­ing of the cal­en­dar will likely cre­ate a false sense of mo­mentum for both of the GOP front-run­ners. Trump will enter May with a hot streak if he sweeps the five North­east­ern states (Con­necti­c­ut, Delaware, Mary­land, Pennsylvania, Rhode Is­land) hold­ing primar­ies Tues­day. That doesn’t mean he’ll be closer to clinch­ing.  In May, as the cal­en­dar heads west, Ted Cruz is well-po...

A Vice Presidential Free-for-All?

Donald Trump still has a chance to capture the Republican presidential nomination on the first ballot at the party’s national convention this summer, thanks in part to his commanding victory in New York on Tuesday.

Unlike past GOP nominees, however, he might not have carte blanche to pick his running mate.

Delegates at the convention in Cleveland will vote separately on the nominations for president and vice president, and there is a key difference in the rules governing each vote: Although most of the delegates will be bound by their states to vote for a certain presidential candidate on the first ballot, none of them are required to vote for any candidate for vice president. 

That distinction opens up a Pandora’s Box for Republicans, as they decide how to fill out their national ticket in November. It’s possible, and even likely, that Trump will announce an agreeable, consensus pick for vice president, and in a vote for party unity, the delegates will ratify that choice.

But here’s another possibility: Trump heads into Cleveland having just barely secured the 1,237 “pledged” delegates needed to win the nomination on the first ballot. In a last minute bid...

Would Clinton Pick a Female Running Mate?

What’s more historic than the first major female presidential nominee? The first two-woman presidential ticket, of course.

If it happens. But according to Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, it’s a distinct possibility. “We’ll start with a broad list and then begin to narrow it. But there is no question that there will be women on that list,” he told The Boston Globe. To be fair, this isn’t the first time Clinton or her aides have mentioned the idea. In January, she told Rachel Maddow she would “absolutely not” rule out a female running mate. Some of the names that are circulating: Senators Elizabeth Warren (of course), Claire McCaskill, Jean Shaheen, and Amy Klobuchar; and Governors Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire (an unlikely choice, as she’s running for U.S. Senate) and Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island.

It’s tough to say just how serious a possibility the two-woman ticket is. After all, Clinton is simply not ruling things out, and there’s a long time to go until she has to make the final choice. But what would she stand to gain by picking a woman as her running mate?

One reason could be...

Clinton is Stuck In Late-Primary Limbo

Hil­lary Clin­ton can now feel Barack Obama’s pain.

The former sec­ret­ary of State de­clared Tues­day night after a de­cis­ive primary win in New York that “vic­tory is in sight,” with a nearly in­sur­mount­able del­eg­ate lead over Bernie Sanders and just more than a hand­ful of primary dates left on the cal­en­dar.  

But the Sanders cam­paign signaled he in­tends to stick it out un­til the fi­nal primar­ies in June, or through the Ju­ly con­ven­tion, mean­ing Clin­ton will have to wait to fully pivot to the gen­er­al elec­tion. 

It’s a re­versal of for­tunes from 2008, when it was Clin­ton who re­fused to drop out even as Obama was well on his way to win­ning the Demo­crat­ic nom­in­a­tion. Clin­ton sol­diered on through early June, while Obama be­came the pre­sumptive Demo­crat­ic nom­in­ee weeks earli­er.

“It was the greatest six weeks of our lives,” former Obama speech­writer Jon Favr­eau mused in a...