AUTHOR ARCHIVES

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An Uphill Battle

March 15, 2005 It's the time in the election cycle when the House campaign committees beat the bushes for top-flight candidates to run for the handful of seats that ought to be competitive next time around. And, like Christmas presents that get repackaged year after year, the same old districts get billed as ...

Cut Your Losses

March 8, 2005 The slow, public death of President Bush's Social Security proposal validates the view that the 2004 election was not a transformational one, and that any mandate that Bush received from it was meager indeed. The 2004 election in a nutshell: Thanks to his fabulous campaign organization, Bush, whose stature was ...

Drawing Skills

March 1, 2005 Before the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature redrew that state's 32 congressional districts in 2003, midterm redistricting was unheard-of in modern-day American politics, except under court order. Today, taking a second crack at political boundaries redrawn as a result of the most recent census is a game that a growing number of ...

Midterm Anxiety

February 22, 2005 There is a palpable nervousness among Capitol Hill Republicans these days. They are well aware that history has been unkind during midterm elections to the party of second-term presidents: In such elections since the end of World War II, the president's party has lost an average of 29 seats in ...

Performance Assessment

February 15, 2005 What with President Bush's State of the Union speech, the ongoing debate over his efforts to change Social Security, his federal budget proposal, and the Iraqi elections, political junkies have had plenty to chew on in recent weeks. To top it off, we can mull former Sen. John Edwards's never-too-soon ...

The Hunt for Willing Volunteers

February 8, 2005 Diane Farrell is the Democrat who last November held longtime Republican Rep. Christopher Shays (CT-04) to the lowest winning percentage (52 percent) of his career. She was in Washington recently to check in with top House Democrats and fundraisers. She's hesitant to commit to challenging Shays a second time, despite ...

Fork in the Road

February 1, 2005 House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas, R-Calif., may well be the prickliest and most explosive lawmaker on Capitol Hill, but the White House would be well advised to listen to him on Social Security and tax reform. What Thomas may lack in social graces, he makes up for ...

Follow the Leader?

January 25, 2005 Now that both President Bush and the 109th Congress have been sworn in, the real work is just beginning. It's hard to remember when a new Congress and a re-elected president faced such monumental challenges under such difficult circumstances. Many Republican members of Congress -- particularly those in potentially competitive ...

Rallying Cry

January 18, 2005 Saying that the next major speech to be given by a president is "the most important of his career" has become a tired cliche. After all, no president gets the job without having delivered a number of very important speeches. But George W. Bush's second inaugural address truly will be ...

The Unbeatable

January 11, 2005 In the world of politics, whenever an assumption is almost universally accepted, you can generally count on its being wrong or greatly exaggerated. Such may well be the case with the common explanation for the decline in the number of competitive congressional districts. Many political observers are certain that, during ...