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Go Big or Go Back

Deval Patrick is running for president. Michael Bloomberg is sort of running for president. Because what the Democratic field needs is more candidates. We’re less than three months away from actual voting, and the structure of the Democratic primary looks nothing like the conventional wisdom of last summer, when I suggested that the Joe Biden-as-sure-thing narrative was a Beltway concoction … Read More

Suburban Realignment and Other Thoughts About Tuesday’s Election

Statewide and local elections held in odd-numbered years are generally not predictive of the big national elections held the year following, but they can offer meaningful insights about the electorate. Tuesday’s off-year contest provided Republicans with glaring warning signs about their 2020 prospects, although it’s unclear they will be able to do anything to address them. Going into Tuesday, I … Read More

What You Wish For

Jimmy Carter wanted to run against Ronald Reagan. Having lost the support of the public over a miserable economy and the never-ending Iranian Hostage Crisis, he understood that his path to re-election depended on having an unacceptable opponent. In Reagan, it was as if Carter’s ideal foil had been sent by Central Casting. A movement conservative who had fronted for … Read More

It’s Not Your Imagination–This IS Different

This is what an inflection point looks like. We’re four days into a concerted impeachment investigation by the House of Representatives and some of the core political dynamics that were propping up the administration are starting to buckle.  To review, one week ago we were living in a polarized world where a small, defiant Republican base drove political outcomes while … Read More

Inflection Point

We have reached an inflection point in the struggle between confrontation and accountability. Last Saturday, I suggested that the Ukraine story would break the logjam on impeachment if the substance of the scandal overpowered a set of political dynamics which for the better part of this year have led congressional Democratic leadership to hold the line against intense and repeated … Read More

What’s Holding Things In Place

With the explosion of the whistleblower story this week, I’m being asked if credible allegations that Donald Trump is extorting Ukraine to undermine Joe Biden will finally — finally — break the political logjam preventing congress from holding Trump accountable for his actions.  I do think there is a well-placed urgency around this story that distinguishes it from the scandals … Read More

The Civil War Election

During my time in Washington last month, I had the opportunity to ask an informed observer of the political scene if 2020 is shaping up to be a change election, along the lines of 2008, 2010, 2016 and 2018. He equivocated. Given how early it is, I couldn’t blame him. In hindsight, though, I may have asked the wrong question. … Read More

Warning Signs

Yes it’s early, but the Biden campaign is on a troublesome trajectory for reasons that stretch beyond how Kamala Harris dominated Biden in the first debate. I wrote recently that Biden’s debate performance undermined his carefully constructed aura of inevitability and damaged his claim that he is the best Democrat to take on Donald Trump. But his troubles run deeper … Read More

Unelectable

Ronald Reagan was unelectable in 1980. Way out of the mainstream, a product of the same conservative movement responsible for the Goldwater debacle sixteen years earlier. Dangerously trigger-happy while the Cold War was still raging. The public will never accept him. Jimmy Carter couldn’t wait to run against him. Bill Clinton was unelectable in 1992. Way too much baggage. He … Read More

What Harris Did

So much has been written about this past week’s two-day overhyped marathon Democratic presidential debate that it’s difficult to add anything new or original. We’re already seeing early data that reaffirms initial social media reactions about winners and losers, namely that Elizabeth Warren impressed on Wednesday, Kamala Harris dominated on Thursday, Julián Castro enhanced his profile a lot, Corey Booker … Read More

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