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Resurrection

Extraordinary times produce extraordinary events. One week ago, the most relevant question about Joe Biden was whether he could exit the presidential contest with grace and end his political career with dignity. Today, he sits atop the Democratic field with the most delegates and a clear path to the nomination. If there is a more stunning turnaround in American political … Read More

After South Carolina

Joe Biden chose the right time to win a primary for the first time in three attempts at the presidency. Or maybe a better way to put it is if Biden hadn’t won South Carolina yesterday, it would have been his last presidential primary. Instead, by finishing almost thirty points ahead of Bernie Sanders, Biden dominated in South Carolina and … Read More

Dazed and Confused

He yells at you from the podium. His ideas are crazy. He’s too old. He’s not even a member of the party he wants to lead. He’s unelectable.  Yet, as much as they tried, establishment Republicans were unable to stop him. Their legacy frontrunner, Jeb Bush, couldn’t resonate with an electorate that sixteen years earlier had rallied enthusiastically to his … Read More

Money Can’t Buy You Love

Can Elizabeth Warren be the “centrist” alternative to Bernie Sanders? As the political world reacts to the fallout from Wednesday’s explosive Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas, Warren may emerge as the only remaining candidate with the potential to build a coalition broad enough to contest the deep, unwavering support that has propelled Bernie to frontrunner status and allowed him … Read More

After New Hampshire, A Work In Progress

Rightly or wrongly, Iowa and New Hampshire have traditionally winnowed the field of candidates and given structure to presidential contests. Not this year. In this most unconventional of cycles, when Democratic voters are desperate to find a candidate who can defeat Donald Trump and no one has yet emerged as the clear choice to do it, the Democratic presidential race … Read More

Re-Mystifying Iowa

Well that was . . . interesting. One week ago I tried to demystify the opaque Iowa caucus process in a post about what to expect and how to interpret the results. Of all the possibilities I considered, I somehow overlooked the one where an untested app used by precinct captains to report their results to the state party would … Read More

Demystifying Iowa

The longest pre-season in America will end one week from tonight when votes are cast in the Iowa caucuses, closing a year of campaigning that has seen 17 candidates drop out before the balloting began. I’m asked a lot of questions about Iowa — usually about how the caucus works and why it matters so much — because the process … Read More

Extraction

In my year-end post, I raised the possibility that a large portion of the country is poised to reject the outcome of this year’s election, regardless of what that outcome might be. That’s because the 2020 election will be about whether to bring the Trump Reaction to an end or ratify it. Barring an unlikely turn of events leading to … Read More

Transitions

We are in a period of dramatic transition, but we can’t see our destination and that makes the journey unsettling. For decades we have taken for granted the terms of political and social engagement. We could anticipate how political figures would behave, and we had a shared sense of political and policy boundaries. Not so today, when we don’t know … Read More

Scenarios

Disclaimer: It’s silly to try to predict the outcome of the Democratic primary race so long before the actual voting begins (and — yes — it’s a long time until February). Still, one of the two questions I’m asked most often is who I think the Democrats are going to nominate (the other is what I think will happen with the … Read More

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