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No Wonder Republican Criticism of Obama Isn’t Working

May 28, 2013 Henny Youngman, the late borscht belt comedian, told hundreds of politically incorrect jokes. One of them was his response when asked, “How’s your wife?” “Compared to what?” he’d say. Many women find the joke tasteless, but it can be a useful framework for thinking about national politics. Americans may not...

Republicans Should Go Easy on Obama, At Least in Public

May 20, 2013 With the newest controversy over Justice Department subpoenas of Associated Press reporters’ and editors’ telephone records, President Obama and his administration find themselves drawing fire from three different directions. Last week’s stories indicating that the Internal Revenue Service targeted tea-party groups and other conservative organizations for investigation sent a shiver...

Virginia Means More Than South Carolina

May 13, 2013 Republican Mark Sanford’s victory Tuesday in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District tells us only one thing about the 2014 midterm elections—that Democrats still need to capture 17 seats to win back the House majority they lost in 2010. Nothing more, nothing less. Had Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch won the special...

The Fight for Millennials

May 7, 2013 President Obama carried the 18-to-29-year-old voting bloc by 34 points in 2008 and by 23 points last year. But a new national survey of millennial voters conducted by Harvard’s Institute of Politics suggests this emerging generation might not be as locked into the Democratic camp as conventional wisdom suggests, and...

Can Boston Be the Unifying Event That Our Nation Needs?

April 23, 2013 In the days and weeks after the 9/11 tragedy, virtually every national-security and terrorism expert predicted it was only a matter of weeks or months before another major attack came. They said a terrorist event within six months was a virtual certainty; and that certainly seemed plausible to many of...

The Republican Advantage

April 16, 2013 The “Incredible Shrinking Swing Seat” really does keep shrinking. In August 1997, The Cook Political Reportintroduced the Partisan Voter Index, an attempt to uniformly measure the competitiveness of all 435 congressional districts by comparing each district’s performance in the two most recent presidential elections with that of the nation as...

The Second-Term Jinx

April 8, 2013 Pretend for a moment that you are President Obama, his chief of staff, his counselor, or another top adviser. The question before you is how to avoid the fate of so many other second-term presidencies. Dwight Eisenhower’s final four years were marred by a recession, Richard Nixon’s by Watergate. Ronald...

Analysis: Sequestration Shows That Congress Needs to Be Fixed

March 26, 2013 Almost a month into budget sequestration, the sky has not fallen, the sun comes out most days, and birds are still chirping. Few would argue against the proposition that sequestration is a blunt, mindless instrument to cut budgets, treating all affected programs equally, largely ignoring Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare,...

Rebuilding the GOP

March 25, 2013 The first six months or so after a president’s reelection are usually pretty dull, particularly if neither chamber of Congress changed hands. Sure the Cabinet gets reshuffled and some members of Congress leave town and are replaced by new ones, but things can usually be described as “more of the...

The GOP Keeps Getting Whiter

March 18, 2013 After Republicans won only 48 percent of all votes cast for the House in 2012 but 54 percent of the seats, it’s no secret that the party enjoys the huge built-in structural advantages in the chamber that Democrats had going for them decades ago. In a January memo, veteran GOP...

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