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Closing In

February 26, 2008 Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., clearly had a good night on Tuesday. With his wins in Wisconsin and Hawaii, he seems to be closing in on his party's presidential nomination. Not nearing a majority of the delegates, mind you, but building enough of a delegate lead that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton,...

Depressed Old Party

February 19, 2008 In a funny way, I can identify with how Republicans are feeling and acting these days. I've been fighting a cold since before I boarded a plane for Des Moines to attend the Iowa caucuses, feeling lousy the whole time. Republicans aren't feeling well either. Their 12-year leadership run in...

The Middle Man

February 5, 2008 With John McCain's 5-point victory in Florida's Republican primary, he appears all but unstoppable. The momentum that this win, wider than expected, gives the Arizonan going into Super Tuesday means that only a massive mistake would derail his candidacy now. The vacuum that existed in the GOP field, unfilled by...

Chaos Keeps Winning

January 22, 2008 Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney should have been dancing, singing, and doing his best imitation of John Travolta's "Staying Alive" when the Michigan results rolled in on Tuesday night, because that is just what he did: He kept his campaign alive. When Romney invested millions of dollars and scores of...

A Strange Game of Hearts

January 15, 2008 This presidential campaign season is perhaps the most confusing and disorienting one I've ever watched closely. As strange as the unfolding drama for the Republican nomination is, the turn of events on the Democratic side is what really has political analysts scratching our heads. The situation in the Republican race...

The Enthusiasm Gap

January 8, 2008 DES MOINES -- One key difference between the way Iowa Democrats and their GOP counterparts conduct their caucuses is that the Republicans cast paper ballots while Democratic caucus-goers must publicly stand for their preferred candidate. This time around, another big difference was a quite noticeable enthusiasm gap. As Republican candidates...

Slip-Sliding Away

December 18, 2007 In 2006, the Republicans' majorities in the House and Senate were buffeted, indeed destroyed, by a tidal wave. The situation developing for 2008 is not so much a wave as a drainage problem -- with Republican retirements, resignations, and deaths slipping districts into open-seat status. Republicans can expect a few...

Seeing the Election From Abroad

December 11, 2007 There is something about overseas travel during our presidential campaigns that helps put things into perspective, reminds us of the dangers of overemphasizing the day-to-day verbal jousting and towel-snapping, and frames the election in a broader context. Trips and meetings this year took me to Paris in January; Melbourne, Australia,...

It's the Economy, Maybe

December 4, 2007 The biggest question in the race for the Republican presidential nomination so far has been whether Rudy Giuliani's national support can withstand the effect of expected victories by Mitt Romney in early primaries. Romney has spent considerable time and money trying to build support in Iowa, enjoys next-door-neighbor status in...

Two Contests, Worlds Apart

November 20, 2007 The contrast between the two presidential nomination contests continues to be startling. On the Democratic side, the divide is almost theological: Some party members believe that the nomination of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is virtually inevitable; others believe that resistance to her is too strong for her to prevail. The...

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