Michael-Barone is senior Political Analyst for the Washington Examiner.
A resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, he is also a
Fox News Channel contributor and co-author of The Almanac of
American Politics. His column is published Wednesdays and Sundays.
A presidential campaign exposes candidates' strengths and weaknesses. The strengths they're eager to tell you about. So let's look at the weaknesses.
Start with Rick Santorum, whose poll numbers in New Hampshire and South Carolina have been surging since (by last count) he lost the Iowa caucuses by the Chinese lucky number of 8 votes. Read More
Elections are contests held during a moment in time between candidates who have records stretching back, often far back, into the past. So there is always a tension between the man (or woman) who is running and the moment.
That tension is greater than usual when the contest is for the nomination of a political party dominated by a large number of newcomers to politics motivated by strong opposition to current policies. Read More
Election year has finally arrived, well after the beginning of a turbulent and unpredictable elections season, and voting begins two days from now in the Iowa Republicans caucuses.
The few days of post-Christmas polling have shown the numbers oscillating and opinion changing in ways it hadn't been earlier in the campaign. Read More
Dec. 7, 1941. Nov. 22, 1963. Sept. 11, 2001. All of us old enough to remember know exactly where we were and what we were doing when we first heard the awful news. We remember the stunning feeling that suddenly everything had changed, that nothing would be the same. We remember feeling that unknown horrors lay ahead.
Scroll down to see or download a graphic mapping out milestones in national security and the war on terrorism since Sept. 11, 2001. Read More
Who voted for the debt limit bill in the House? Scott Bland and Peter Bell, in National Journal, say that members from marginal districts tended to support it while members from safe districts tended to oppose it. Read More
I have been one who has been inclined to dismiss the presidential candidacy of former Senator Rick Santorum, who was defeated when he sought a third term in 2006 by a 59%-41% margin. The argument has been that a politician who has been rejected by 18 points by his longtime constituents, and in a perennial target state, just isn’t a viable nominee with any chance to win a general election.
Well, I may need to revise this view, at least a little bit. Read More
In a blogpost today my Examiner colleague Tim Carney notes the opposition of defense hawks David Frum and Bill Kristol to the budget deal and predicts that “defense cuts could cause serious divisions on the Right.” Which prompts the question, where do the Republican presidential candidates stand? After all, one of them may turn out to be the 45th president, with more power over defense and military policy than any Republican in Congress has today. Read More
Commentary on the debt limit issue is littered with citations of poll results that show, for example, respondents saying they would blame “congressional Republicans” more than “President Obama” for default or failure to reach agreement. Those citations are mostly accurate, but they miss the point. One of the rules of thumb in polling is that individuals are almost always more favorably regarded than groups. So we should expect comparisons between a well-known individual like President Obama and a group the individual members of whom are mostly not well-known would favor the individual. Read More
In a recent article in American Enterprise’s american.com, in an Examiner blogpost, and in an Examiner column last Sunday, I noted Read More
Paul Burka is a longtime writer for Texas Monthly and a superb political reporter. He is known to be generous to out-of-state reporters trying to learn about Texas, and in that spirit he has provided us with a succinct article entitled “Dear Yankee: Eight things you ought to know before you start writing stories about Rick Perry. You’re welcome.” It’s the place to start for anyone covering or curious about the Texas governor's likely run for president. Read More
The Pew Hispanic Center has issued a report http://pewhispanic.org/reports/report.php?ReportID=145 based on Census data showing that the net worth of Hispanic households declined 66% between 2005 and 2009. Also it shows the net worth of black households down 53% in the same period. This sounds terribly alarming, but it is less so than may at first appear. Read More
My Sunday Examiner column begins by urging “constitutional conservatives” to keep in mind the structure of elections the Constitution sets up when deciding what to do on the debt limit issue. The Constitution requires them to win more than one election to reverse major national policies.
Here’s something else for constitutional conservatives to keep in mind. The Constitution gives the president no role whatever in amending the Constitution. Read More
With somewhat curious timing, Arkansas Democratic Rep. Mike Ross has announced that he will not run for reelection in 2012. One year ago today, Ross was part of a congressional delegation that was 5-1 Democratic: both the state’s U.S. senators, Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, and three out of its four congressmen—Ross of the 4th district, Marion Berry of the 1st district and Vic Snyder of the 2nd district—were all Democrats. Read More
I’m more than a little bit stunned to see the Speaker of the House say that the President welshed on a deal and that dealing with him is like dealing with Jell-O. Yet from the accounts we have those comments seem justified. Barack Obama agreed to $800 billion in additional revenues, from eliminating tax preferences and perhaps cutting tax rates, as a ceiling, and then insisted on $400 billion more, in tax rate increases. No wonder John Boehner cut the negotiations off. Read More
My Examiner colleague Conn Carroll has pointed to the Kauffman Foundation’s “Starting Smaller; Staying Smaller” study of how job creation has slowed up and its “Startup Act” ten-point legislative program for Read More