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Hillary Feels the Bern

Less than two weeks ago we said things seemed to be coming together for Democrats after a bruising and passionate primary campaign, except Bernie Sanders continued to withhold his endorsement of Hillary Clinton as his surrogates negotiated the terms of the Democratic platform. Today, at a joint appearance in New Hampshire, Hillary got her endorsement: Together we have begun a political … Read More

As Cleveland Approaches, Uncertainty Abounds

How do you hold a national convention when you are about to nominate someone who is running a product placement scam rather than actually running for president? We’re about to find out. During these final days before Republicans (or at least those Republicans willing to be seen in public with Donald Trump) gather in Cleveland, the most noteworthy thing about the … Read More

Coming Apart

Let’s start with a simple premise: the Trump campaign is not about running for president. It is about product placement. With the eyes of the world on Great Britain as it voted on one of the most consequential matters in recent memory, Donald Trump positioned himself at one of his golf properties in Scotland, not to comment on Brexit but to … Read More

Coming Together

The bad news for Hillary: It’s almost July and Bernie Sanders still refuses to endorse her. He’s admitted he will vote for her to keep Donald Trump out of the White House, but that’s as far as he has been willing to go as he negotiates with the Clinton campaign over the language of the Democratic platform. But that’s the … Read More

Where Things Stand: Summer Solstice Edition

Periodically I like to take a comparative look at the nomination process, and with summer here and the conventions still several weeks away this seems like a good time to take the temperature of the Democratic and Republican campaigns. Besides, I promised last Sunday that I would. Right now the campaigns are in a silent phase between the whirlwind primary season and the formal nomination … Read More

UK vs. US

I have been asked by a couple of readers to comment on whether this week’s Brexit vote foreshadows the outcome of the American presidential election. After all, there are nontrivial similarities between forces in the UK driving the decision to exit the European Union and the dynamics of a presidential contest where Donald Trump has emerged as the presumptive Republican nominee—including … Read More

Leverage vs. Letting Go

The California and New Jersey primaries have finally come and gone, and Hillary Clinton has claimed her place in history as the first presumptive female presidential nominee of a major political party. Her overwhelming victory in New Jersey was expected, her comfortable victory in California was not, but even before the votes were counted on the west coast the campaign had … Read More

Two Islands

Ten days ago, at the start of my DC program, I noted that few people I met in official Washington seemed to have a grasp of the political situation. With two-thirds of the program now complete, I would say that quite a few political professionals are rattled by Trump’s rise and confused about how it happened. To help them out, I offer the … Read More

Defending Trump

When Republicans appeared to be heading toward a divided convention we said the cost of denying Trump the nomination would be conceding the presidential election. But I thought this outcome might be better than allowing Trump to win the nomination and rebrand the Republican Party in his image. We are now getting the first glimpse of what that rebranding looks like and it … Read More

Covering Trump

Donald Trump’s ad hoc presidential campaign has upended official Washington as political professionals try to figure out how to deal with the outsider nominee-in-waiting who by every indication appears to be uninterested in toning down his outrageous tactics. Trump’s unconventional ways pose a particularly acute problem for political reporters. My students and I have had the opportunity to talk with several prominent … Read More

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