Elections & Political Parties

The Overrated Swing Voter

  • By
  • Mark Schmitt,
  • New America Foundation
February 1, 2007 |

One lesson of the 2006 vote was so obvious that Ron Brownstein of the Los Angeles Times was able to write about it two days before the election: the return of the swing voter. Karl Rove’s strategy of mobilizing a conservative Republican base while ignoring the flippable voters in the middle "lay shattered in pieces," exactly as pollster Stan Greenberg told Brownstein it would.

It is with a sense of relief that we welcome back the swing voter. The craziness is ending. The arc of politics again points toward the center. David Broder can exhale.

Chuck Hagel is Hot -- John McCain is Not

  • By
  • James Pinkerton,
  • New America Foundation
January 30, 2007 |

It’s official: Chuck Hagel is the new John McCain, getting the glowing treatment from glam publications such as GQ. And John McCain is the new Bob Dole -- and we know what kind of press Dole got. Perhaps I should explain.

Bush's Iraq Strategy: Don't Be the Loser

  • By
  • James Pinkerton,
  • New America Foundation
January 11, 2007 |

"Who lost Iraq?" That’s the question that nobody wants to have to answer, and if present trends continue, nobody will have to answer it -- at least for a few more years.

President George W. Bush may or may not still think he has a "strategy for victory," but the escalation of troops he proposed last night shows that he doesn’t intend to see America defeated in Iraq during his remaining two years in office. There will be no embassy rooftop evacuation during the 43rd presidency.

If Only These Pols Would Resolve to Listen...

  • By
  • James Pinkerton,
  • New America Foundation
January 2, 2007 |

For my New Year’s resolution, I resolve not to make snap judgments.

But first, resolutions for others -- not that they asked me.

For President George W. Bush: Resolve to listen to your father more. Seriously, talk to him before your advisers convince you that Operation Iraqi Freedom will be a "cakewalk."

Good Man, Minor President, Fodder for Politicking

  • By
  • James Pinkerton,
  • New America Foundation
December 29, 2006 |

Let’s divide this column on the late Gerald Ford into three parts: First, Ford the man. Second, Ford as an historical memory. Third, Ford as a subject of manipulation in the media.

First, I always liked Ford -- who didn’t? He served his country in wartime, was married to the same woman for 58 years, raised four children. And amid all the obituary-ing, it’s hard to find anyone who has any criticism of him as a person. That’s rare enough for anybody, let alone someone who rose to the pinnacle of American politics.

Enter Center

  • By
  • Jacob Hacker,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Paul Pierson, professor of political science, University of California at Berkeley
December 25, 2006 |

Last year, we published a book called Off Center, in which we argued that Republicans were governing well to the right of the U.S. electorate -- and getting away with it. Americans, we wrote, remained resolutely centrist and, if anything, had moved slightly leftward in recent years.

The Way Forward for Political Reform

  • By
  • Steven Hill,
  • New America Foundation
December 19, 2006 |

As Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger renews his call for an independent redistricting commission, a new opinion poll finds that California voters overwhelmingly support improvements in the election process, but there's a catch -- it depends on who is proposing them.

Is Obama the New 'Black'?

  • By
  • Gregory Rodriguez,
  • New America Foundation
December 17, 2006 |

We know this: Barack Obama is a rising star. He's a powerful speaker and a gifted writer. He is the only African American serving in the U.S. Senate. But is he black?

Dubya Has Let the Democrats Off the Hook

  • By
  • James Pinkerton,
  • New America Foundation
December 13, 2006 |

In politics, you can win by losing -- and lose by winning. The Bush administration is winning the battle to beat back the Baker-Hamilton commission. But what does that bode for Iraq? And for the 2008 elections?

The Baker-Hamilton commission will be remembered as a failed bid by the bipartisan centrist establishment to cook up a new policy for Iraq. But the opening sentence of the report -- "The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating" -- set a tone of criticism that understandably caused the Bush administration and its allies to bristle.

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