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Bird in the Hand

October 18, 2011 There were still eight Republican presidential contenders on the Dartmouth College stage on Oct. 11, but this contest has clarified a great deal in recent weeks. Looking at national and state poll standings, fundraising, endorsements by key leaders, and campaign organization, it's pretty clear that Rep. Michele Bachmann, former Speaker ...

It’s Perry’s to Win

October 11, 2011 Now that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has announced he will not seek the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, all of the Republican donors, elected officials, and party activists pining for a savior to jump into the race must face the reality that the field is set. They need to channel ...

Obama as Bush

October 4, 2011 A plethora of articles in recent days have noted President Obama's sudden shift in emphasis back to his party's liberal base, following his largely unrewarded dalliance with independents. What has gone unnoticed, however, is that this move could mimic the strategy that Karl Rove pursued in President Bush's 2004 reelection ...

If the GOP Wins

September 27, 2011 It's hard to find many upbeat and optimistic Democrats these days; many seem distinctly worried if not apoplectic about the 2012 elections. Thinking about those lofty days when Barack Obama was elected and sworn in as president of the United States, let's just say this wasn't the cruise that Democrats ...

Isn’t That Special?

September 20, 2011 Whenever there's a special election for a House or Senate seat, the two parties react predictably. The victorious party proclaims that the election was a national referendum of huge significance. The losing party attributes the outcome to local problems-perhaps the candidate was weak or the campaign was disorganized and off-message. ...

Background Noise

September 13, 2011 By the time you read this, President Obama will have addressed a joint session of Congress outlining his latest proposal to improve the country's economic situation, which is currently teetering on the edge of a double-dip recession. The employment picture is as challenging as any a president has faced since ...

Obama’s Anchor

September 6, 2011 The political significance of unemployment rates in the 9 percent range just 15 months before a presidential election is pretty obvious; indeed, no post-World War II president has faced this bleak a jobs picture at this juncture. Other measures marking the breadth and depth of the jobs problem also merit ...

America's Summer of Discontent

August 30, 2011 Recently, I got back home from a 3,600-mile solo drive that took me from Washington to Iowa, Iowa to Louisiana, and Louisiana back to D.C. I recommend the exercise. It's a big and beautiful country. As my route took me through both Normal, Ill. (east of Peoria), and Peculiar, Mo. ...

Memo to GOP

August 23, 2011 The 2012 presidential election is shaping up to be one of oddest in memory and potentially far more dramatic than one might guess. Obviously, the general election is still more than 14 months away -- and, in politics, and for that matter anything involving human behavior, predictions are dangerous. But ...

Self-Sorting

August 9, 2011 When weary voters saw the news that Washington had struck a bipartisan deal on the debt ceiling, it's doubtful that many of them took out stationery to write Congress a thank-you note; it's not clear how many of us even believed it had happened. Last week, according to a Pew ...