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

Scenes From the DNC: Day One

When you start a revolution you are going to attract revolutionaries. Some Sanders supporters at the Democratic convention are never going to be persuaded to support Hillary Clinton, even after Sanders himself delivered a passionate and heartfelt plea for unity that deftly wove his stump speech into an endorsement of the Clinton/Kaine ticket. But after several hours spent roaming the floor of the … Read More

Some Thoughts Before Leaving For the DNC

I’m about to leave for the Democratic convention, where I will be offering commentary for WPVI, Philadelphia’s channel 6 (cue the Action News theme). Before heading to the Wells Fargo Center, I wanted to note two things I’ll be watching while I’m there: Optics: The Republican Convention was riddled with divisions, symbolized by a defiant Ted Cruz refusing to endorse Donald … Read More

Manageable Risks and Potential Rewards

Lagging in the polls and facing a popular incumbent, Walter Mondale tapped Rep. Geraldine Ferraro to be his running mate in a bold move designed to upend the 1984 presidential race. Twenty-four years later, John McCain plucked Sarah Palin from obscurity and placed her on the ticket in an ill-fated bid to inject life into his underdog campaign. In 1992, Bill Clinton disregarded conventional wisdom and … Read More

RIP GOP

The Republican convention opened Monday with the Colorado and Washington, DC delegations walking off the convention floor in protest over being denied a roll call vote on the Rules Committee report in an apparent violation of convention rules. Several hours later it ended with the speech by Melania Trump that plagiarized Michelle Obama (Politico elected to call the speeches “strikingly similar,” … Read More

If History Is A Guide, A Progressive Democratic Party May Be Closer Than You Think

By Matt Kerbel and Chris Bowers This is the last of five diaries looking at the 2016 election from the perspective of our new book Next Generation Netroots: Realignment and the Rise of the Internet Left.  Cross-posted at Daily Kos In our new book Next Generation Netroots, we tell the story of a relatively small group of philosophically-aligned citizens operating on the … Read More

A Surprising, Unexpected, Recurring Factor in Partisan Realignment—And What It Means to the Netroots

By Matt Kerbel and Chris Bowers This is the fourth of five diaries looking at the 2016 election from the perspective of our new book Next Generation Netroots: Realignment and the Rise of the Internet Left.  Cross-posted at Daily Kos At several moments in American history we have experienced inflection points in our political direction. 1828. 1860. 1932. 1968. In these years, … Read More

Pence-ive

Chris Christie must be wondering what he has to do to get the national recognition he feels he deserves. By choosing Indiana governor Mike Pence as his running mate, Donald Trump bypassed the bombastic New Jersey governor and decided to make sure his campaign remains all about himself. Pence reportedly bested two outsized figures—Christie and Newt Gingrich—who were among the few Republicans who don’t … Read More

Bernie’s Loss Highlights the Progressive Movement’s Greatest Liability

By Matt Kerbel and Chris Bowers This is the third of five diaries looking at the 2016 election from the perspective of our new book Next Generation Netroots: Realignment and the Rise of the Internet Left. See part one, The Unmistakable Lesson of the Sanders Campaign: The Left-Wing is Ascendent in the Democratic Party, and part two, The Biggest Difference … Read More

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