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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

Entering Washington

It’s probably too easy to regard the two-mile backup I encountered approaching the Beltway yesterday as a metaphor for official Washington. After all, horrendous traffic was a hallmark of the District during the days when bipartisan cooperation wasn’t a punchline. But it did get me thinking about how predictability is embedded in the political mechanics of this city as much as it defines its rush hour traffic … Read More

Clinton Is a Poor Fit to the Election Cycle. Trump Is a Poor Fit to the Electorate.

After months of enduring more candidates than could fit on a debate stage, the presidential race has boiled down to a transplanted New Yorker with an extensive resume and limited vision versus a native New Yorker with no resume and limited judgment. Then there’s that third New Yorker—the guy with the Brooklyn accent—who has tapped the imagination of those who want to address their grievances by … Read More

This Has Happened Before

Picture a candidate who acts in ways that appear unsuitable for high office, makes outlandish claims and never walks them back, then blithely refuses to acknowledge or cannot understand that some people find what they say offensive. Sound familiar? Sure it does – except I’m not talking about who you think I am. In 2010, Nevada Assemblywoman Sharron Angle was the Republican nominee … Read More

Primal Scream

Donald Trump has been the story of the Republican primary season, so it should be no surprise that he will be the last Republican candidate standing. It’s long been clear that he was either going to be the Republican nominee or the Republican leadership was going to have to pry away many of its rank-and-file supporters to deny him the prize. With … Read More

Charade Over, Republicans Stare Into the Abyss

Well that was fast.  The newly-minted Cruz/Fiorina ticket folded this evening after a double-digit drubbing in the Indiana primary. It was six days old. This leaves Donald Trump with an unobstructed path to the Republican nomination. It will not end the resistance to Trump’s candidacy by movement conservatives and elected Republicans who fear what a Trump nomination means to their agendas and their … Read More

Ted Cruz Plays Charades

Sargent Shriver is the answer to a trivia question. I’ll give you the question at the end of this post. Last Tuesday, Ted Cruz was soundly defeated in five primaries in the Acela corridor, falling further behind Donald Trump in the Republican delegate count and guaranteeing that it will be mathematically impossible for him to secure the first ballot nomination of … Read More

Acela Tuesday

Donald Trump won five primaries yesterday. Hillary Clinton won four. We could have predicted these outcomes last week from pre-primary polling and the demography of the states in play. Yet as the presidential campaign traveled the Acela line, with Tuesday primaries in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland, some of the same pundits who declared Wisconsin to be the beginning of the end … Read More

No Healthy Party Wants A Contested Convention

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he was “increasingly optimistic” that this summer’s Republican convention will require multiple ballots to determine a nominee, effectively rooting for a contested convention in order to stop Donald Trump from being nominated on the first ballot. It makes perfect sense in the current political environment for McConnell to hope the convention does … Read More

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