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Well That Was Different

There have been presidential debates in every election since 1976, but there has never been a spectacle like what we saw this evening because we have never seen a candidate as fragile and unprepared as Donald Trump. I said yesterday that the bar for Trump was set so low it was glued to the floor, yet he was unable to … Read More

Debate Prep

Here are a few points to help you survive the debate phase of the campaign, which starts Monday and ends October 19: They are not debates: At best they are joint press conferences. At worst they illustrate everything that’s wrong with style-over-substance election coverage. Although the candidates may at times engage one another, nobody is keeping score, and they will talk past each other … Read More

We’ve Seen This Move Before

Remember Mitt Romney? The guy Republican voters spent months trying not to nominate until they simply ran out of viable alternatives? The guy who spent most of the campaign pretending he had never been a moderate governor of a liberal northeastern state? The guy who ran away from his signature health care reform accomplishment lest it be seen as the model for Obamacare? … Read More

What Democrats Should Do: Part II

Eight years ago, the economic meltdown gave Democrats control of the White House and Congress and an opportunity to govern in a more leftward direction for a brief two-year period. The resulting burst of government activism produced landmark legislation like the Affordable Care Act, the economic stimulus package and the auto industry bailout, although the imperative of addressing economic free-fall and … Read More

What Democrats Should Do: Part I

In Next Generation Netroots, Chris Bowers and I argue that our era of zero-sum politics is not sustainable and the country will eventually break free of its present dysfunction. But we are less certain of what might replace it or when things will change. When we completed the manuscript in 2015, Bernie Sanders hadn’t yet surfaced as a movement leader and Donald Trump was firing reality TV … Read More

Everything Has Changed and Nothing Has Changed.

You could feel the nervous tension in the corridors of Wells Fargo Center three weeks ago during the Democratic National Convention. Polls were tight, and although Hillary Clinton held a lead it felt tenuous, or at least too narrow to comfort the professionals invested in seeing her prevail. The general consensus was that her weaknesses would ultimately prove less disqualifying than Trump’s weaknesses and she would find … Read More

Summer Vacation

With the conventions behind us, Wolves and Sheep will be taking a break for summer vacation during what is usually the slowest period of the presidential campaign. Over the past few days we have started to get a sense of where the race stands after the Cleveland and Philadelphia marathons. Initial polling suggested Donald Trump had received a modest bounce from his … Read More

DNC Day Three: Pitch Perfect

Forty-eight hours after Democrats threatened to tear themselves apart over lingering and meaningful rifts between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, the Democratic convention blossomed Wednesday into an exultant celebration of American democracy. While vocal pockets of dissent remain, the contrast between the two days was stunning. Wednesday’s session was boisterous, upbeat and fun, not to mention flawlessly managed and slickly produced. It was … Read More

DNC Day Two: Optics and Message

I didn’t attend the second day of the Democratic convention. This turned out to be fortuitous, because yesterday brought a dramatic change in optics best appreciated on television. As late as yesterday afternoon, questions remained about whether Democrats could nominate Hillary Clinton without sparking a rebellion by Sanders loyalists. Their solution was to choreograph a roll call of the states without showing the tally to … Read More

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