On Politics On PoliticsOn Politics
Analysis and perspective about what's happening in the political realm.

Why George W. Bush Won’t Go to the Republican National Convention

For the second elec­tion cycle in a row, former Pres­id­ent George W. Bush won’t at­tend this sum­mer’s Re­pub­lic­an con­ven­tion in Clev­e­land—but this time it’s per­son­al.

Since leav­ing of­fice in 2009, the 43rd pres­id­ent has made it a point to keep a low pub­lic pro­file and re­frain from com­ment­ing about Pres­id­ent Obama, Hil­lary Clin­ton, or the 2016 Re­pub­lic­an con­tenders.

But the emer­gence of Don­ald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz as fi­nal­ists for the GOP nom­in­a­tion made it an easy choice for the young­er Bush to stay away from the Ju­ly con­ven­tion—and to an­nounce that he won’t have any­thing to say about Trump’s re­sound­ing vic­tory, much less en­dorse him.

It’s one of the worst-kept secrets of the Bush clan, in fact, that neither Pres­id­ent Bush has much use for Trump.

George W. Bush “was nev­er go­ing to the con­ven­tion any...

How Trump Rose to the Top of the GOP Race

Donald Trump has emerged as the presumptive Republican U.S. presidential nominee by assembling a coalition that proved remarkably consistent across geographic lines—and ultimately showed more breadth than any of his rivals.

From the primary campaign’s beginning to its effective end Tuesday night, Trump’s core strength remained his overwhelming advantage among several big groups in the GOP electorate, particularly whites without a college education and men. 

But Trump also displayed more ability to reach across the party than any of his rivals, particularly in the weeks after his early April defeat in Wisconsin. In one telling contrast, Trump consistently fared much better among evangelical Christians—who Ted Cruz considered the foundation of his coalition—than Cruz did among voters who are not evangelicals. Over the past month, Trump has posted his best performances not only among the groups that preferred him from the outset, but many of those that had resisted him, including college graduates and women.

» Get the best federal news and ideas delivered right to your inbox. Sign up here.

Despite a striking series of early victories that transcended the party’s usual geographic divides, Trump struggled through most of the primary season to consolidate...

Can Hillary Clinton Make Good on This Opportunity?

The Republicans have made their choice. Now the Democrats’ likely nominee faces a dilemma of her own: Run as a centrist and try to pile up a huge majority—at risk of enraging Sanders voters? Or continue the left turn she’s executed through these primaries, preserve Democratic party unity—at the risk of pushing Trump-averse Republicans back to The Donald as the lesser evil? 

The imminent Trump nomination threatens to rip the Republican party into three parts. Trump repels both the most conservative Republicans and the most moderate: both socially conservative regular church attenders andpro-Kasich affluent suburbanites, especially women. The most conservative Republicans won’t ever vote for Hillary Clinton of course. But they might be induced to stay home—if Clinton does not scare them into rallying to Trump. The most moderate Republicans might well cast a cross party line vote—if Clinton can convince them that she’s the more responsible steward and manager.

» Get the best federal news and ideas delivered right to your inbox. Sign up here.

Those have to be exciting possibilities for the Clinton campaign. For a generation, national politics has been polarized into two unified blocs with minimal cross-over. The Trump...

Why Trump Might Regret Playing 'The Woman Card' Against Clinton

On Tuesday, presidential front-runners Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump built on their leads for their respective parties’ nominations. In the process, they offered a preview of what could be a major—and particularly nasty—general-election theme.

On Monday, Clinton appeared at a town-hall event where she promised if elected, that half of her cabinet would be women. (Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did that last year.) Tuesday started off with Donald Trump on Fox and Friends, where he replied. “I call her 'Crooked Hillary' because she’s crooked, and you know the only thing she’s got is the woman card,” he said. “That’s all she’s got, and it is pandering. It’s a weak card in her hands. In another person’s hands it could be a powerful card. I’d love to see a woman president, but she’s the wrong person.” 

When Clinton went on stage Tuesday night in Philadelphia, she was more than happy to reply to that. “The other day, Mr. Trump accused me, of playing the, quote, ‘woman card,’” she said. “Well, if fighting for women's health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman card, then...

The Lesser of Three Evils

Real­ity-check time: Don­ald Trump’s re­sound­ing vic­tory in his home state of New York didn’t sig­ni­fic­antly al­ter his pro­spects for win­ning the ne­ces­sary del­eg­ates be­fore the Clev­e­land con­ven­tion. He won 89 out of 95 del­eg­ates in his home state, not many more than ex­pec­ted. He’s still on pace to fin­ish short of 1,237 del­eg­ates—and will need a sur­pris­ing vic­tory in In­di­ana or a re­sound­ing fin­ish in Cali­for­nia to al­ter that tra­ject­ory.

The haphaz­ard schedul­ing of the cal­en­dar will likely cre­ate a false sense of mo­mentum for both of the GOP front-run­ners. Trump will enter May with a hot streak if he sweeps the five North­east­ern states (Con­necti­c­ut, Delaware, Mary­land, Pennsylvania, Rhode Is­land) hold­ing primar­ies Tues­day. That doesn’t mean he’ll be closer to clinch­ing.  In May, as the cal­en­dar heads west, Ted Cruz is well-po...