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Taking a Stand

April 17, 2007 Politicians are routinely accused of blowing with the wind, of doing whatever seems to be most expedient. Although it's true that the final edition of Profiles in Courage left the printer long ago, we too often tend to think that politicos who take a stand that we agree with are ...

Combining Polls

April 10, 2007 The proliferation of polls makes modern presidential campaigns more fun to watch than those of earlier periods. There are so many polls that it's not hard to figure out where a race stands at a given point, even if it's very unclear where it is headed. Looking at an average ...

Bottoming Out

April 3, 2007 For the longest time, the political consequences of the war in Iraq were very simple: It was hurting Republicans -- no ifs, ands, or buts. Scandals and other issues certainly contributed to the GOP's loss of six Senate seats, 30 House seats, a half-dozen governorships, and more than 300 state ...

On a Roll

March 27, 2007 Streaks are one of the great mysteries of sports. Why do teams and athletes have periods where they are on fire and nothing seems to go wrong, and other times when they are totally cold and can't seem to buy a break? Hot streaks, like cold ones, aren't confined to ...

Discounting Experience

March 20, 2007 Samuel Johnson wrote, "Second marriages are the triumph of hope over experience." As the 2008 presidential campaign unfolds, a curiously large number of voters in each of the two major parties seem to be banking more on hope than experience. Romantic idealism is hardly new in American politics, but the ...

Proceed With Caution

March 13, 2007 Politics just doesn't get much more colorful and fascinating than it does in my home state of Louisiana. The latest escapade began when former Democratic Sen. John Breaux signaled that he is quite interested in going home to run for governor this year. That is, if Gov. Kathleen Blanco, also ...

Timing is Everything

March 6, 2007 State legislatures are falling all over themselves these days to move their states' presidential primaries up to February 5, making for one very Super Tuesday. Nine states, including Missouri, are set to hold their primaries on that date. At least 11 more, including such major prizes as California, Florida, Illinois, ...

Hillary Rising

February 27, 2007 If history teaches anything about presidential elections, it is that there is no foolproof predictor of who will win either party's nomination. A case can be made for looking at the national polls of each party's likely voters and at the polls of likely Iowa caucus attendees or New Hampshire ...

Vicious Cycle

February 20, 2007 It's not hard to see that the Republican Party has problems -- and to understand why. Just over three months ago, the GOP took a beating in the midterm elections, losing the majorities it had held for 12 years in the House and 11 of the past 12 years in ...

League of Her Own

February 13, 2007 Part of me hated to see Barack Obama jump into the presidential race. Don't get me wrong: I have nothing against the senator from Illinois. But I had a theory about how the contest for the Democratic nomination would play out, and I worried that Obama's entry could complicate things. ...