March 2012

Tea Leaf Reading at Its Best: Eavesdropping on the Supreme Court

Posted: Thu, 03/29/2012 - 4:28pm

Updated 3/30/12 12:24pm

I was never tempted to go to law school. But I love to parse language and reasoning, so listening to the audio of this week’s Supreme Court health care arguments was -- in its nerdy way -- actually quite enjoyable.

Because the courts remain the only branch of the federal government that still stubbornly bans cameras from proceedings, we rely on audiotapes released later in the day to hear history unfold. It’s there where those of us who don’t get into the room get to listen for cadence, eloquence, and even humor.

Backbone, Consistency and Standing Your Ground

Posted: Thu, 03/22/2012 - 1:34pm

I've spent a fair amount of time this week pondering what it means to stand one's ground.

The term has taken on a new, disturbing meaning as the story of the shooting of an unarmed Florida teenager took on a life of its own. I don't know anyone who's ever loved a boy who was not unnerved by this. Florida's self-defense law, known as “Stand Your Ground,” allows citizens who feel they are in imminent danger to protect themselves -- with a gun, if need be.

Politics By The Numbers: Countdown to Chaos

Posted: Thu, 03/15/2012 - 4:35pm

Almost every Tuesday night this year, political junkies everywhere have gathered by the flickering light of their computer screens. We have pored over exit polls, tallied the minutes until results came in from Vermont to Hawaii and crunched delegate allocations.

Invariably, we wake Wednesday morning at least as confused as we were the day before.

Answering Those Super Tuesday Questions

Posted: Thu, 03/08/2012 - 5:22pm

Remember those five things we asked you to watch Tuesday night? It turns out the voters decided to raise more questions than even we had.

But here are the things we were watching for:

The Road to the White House: Gutting it Out

Posted: Wed, 03/07/2012 - 6:16pm

Michael Dukakis was the first politician I ever heard describe the Presidential campaign as a “marathon, not a sprint.” But he was not the last.

Since the first campaign I covered in 1988, I’ve always been sort of impressed by candidates who – win or lose—just hang in there.

Sometimes it is unfathomable. Hopefuls stay on the trail long after their viability has been expended, as a race for the White House morphs into a campaign to get politics’ ultimate consolation prize -- a speaking role at the party’s nominating convention.

5 Things to Watch For On Super Tuesday

Posted: Mon, 03/05/2012 - 5:21pm

At the end of a long evening of introductions and speeches, President Clinton used to like to say that everything had been said, but everyone had not yet said it.

If you follow politics, you already may have read all the pre-game analysis you can stand in advance of the pivotal Super Tuesday primaries.

What? You say you haven’t? Then, please allow me.