November 5, 2012 |
If the last week has taught us anything, it's the power, and limitations, of political narrative. First, there was Hurricane Sandy, which brought climate change back into the presidential race - and led to an essential photo op: President Obama clasping the arm of Chris Christie, New Jersey's Republican governor. Then there was the Romney campaign's attempt to “expand the map” by staging rallies in Pennsylvania, a state in which most polls put Obama comfortably ahead. Over the weekend, surrogates for both candidates sparred over whether Obama might be slipping or Romney's shift was a desperate act of political sleight-of-hand.
October 31, 2012 |
It would have seemed inconceivable even a week ago that President Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie would find common cause. But there they were Wednesday afternoon, thrown together by Hurricane Sandy, touring the storm-beaten Garden State and looking like the sort of nonpartisan leaders Americans want in a crisis. Doubtless determined to avoid political gestures, political questions and political inferences throughout their joint appearance, the pair of new buddies stood to gain just that - maximum political advantage.
October 23, 2012
Re "U.S. can't link Libya attack to Al Qaeda," Oct. 20 I'm more than disappointed that we have another intelligence failure to deal with. Our national interests have been ill served by an armed attack that no one saw coming. The loss of a good man, Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, will hurt our efforts in Libya. Worst of all, we have the Republicans playing "gotcha" politics, jumping the shark on every rumor to call President Obama a liar. They've even convinced Mitt Romney, who I believe to be a somewhat honest man, to join in. Will the Republicans pay the price for being so badly wrong?
October 12, 2012 |
Two hundred years before the contested election of 2000, another contested election pitted a sitting vice president against a president running for a second term, for the only time in U.S. history. I'm talking, of course, about Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. One of the ironies of that election, though, is that when it was finally resolved in the House of Representatives, the decision was between Jefferson and Aaron Burr. That's because, in the early days of the republic, presidential voting involved double balloting, in which members of the electoral college selected two candidates; as a result, Jefferson and Burr, who was running to be vice president, ended up with the same number of electoral votes.
September 4, 2012 |
What would Norman Mailer have made of Clint Eastwood ? I've been thinking about that these last few days, as we shift from one national nominating convention to another, as Tampa yields to Charlotte and the great miniseries of presidential politics continues its inexorable passage toward Election Day. Mailer , after all, is the big daddy of participatory political reporting, spiritual godfather of Hunter Thompson, Timothy Crouse and Matt...
July 11, 2012 |
CINCINNATI, Ohio - In this battleground state that has seen wedge issues enter into presidential politics in the past, this election year lacks such a sideshow. In 2004, many believed a ballot measure outlawing gay marriage played an important role in helping President George W. Bush win Ohio, a bellwether state in most presidential elections. No Republican has won the White House without winning Ohio. In a squeaker, Bush beat Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry with a 2.1 percentage point margin of victory, or 118,775 votes out of nearly 5.6 million cast.