May 2012

2012: The Year Demographics Catches Up With Politics

Posted: Thu, 05/24/2012 - 6:26pm

Christine Mastin, an immigration attorney whose Spanish-speaking grandmother emigrated from Chile to the United States, realizes that most of the Hispanics she knows are surprised she is a Republican.

Barack Obama won two-thirds of the Latino vote in 2008, and no Republican has come close to winning a majority in 40 years. But she is working Colorado for Mitt Romney.

And even though she ran for a state House seat in 2010 and lost, she is optimistic that the GOP will soon be able to crack the code.

History's Romance: Why Politics Past Beats Politics Present

Posted: Thu, 05/17/2012 - 5:41pm

Is it just my imagination, or have politics and politicians grown smaller?

I've been flirting with this conclusion after diving into two enjoyable presidential history books by night while covering 2012 politics by day. The books, Robert Caro's "The Passage of Power" and "The President's Club" by Michael Duffy and Nancy Gibbs, take us inside the West Wing in a way screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s fictional White House never could.

The Big Straddle: Why Compromise Can Be Hazardous to One’s Political Health

Posted: Thu, 05/10/2012 - 4:24pm

“There’s nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos.”

Jim Hightower, a committed liberal and former Texas Agriculture Commissioner, liked to say this so much that he finally used it as a title for a book.

I was reminded of this tart assessment this week as I watched two skilled politicians attempt to negotiate a growing chasm opening under their feet. One of them, Indiana GOP Sen. Richard Lugar, slipped and fell. The other, President Obama, appeared to leap nimbly to the other side of the sinkhole just before it swallowed him up.

The Advantage of Incumbency

Posted: Thu, 05/03/2012 - 3:36pm

Mitt Romney’s May Day plan seemed pretty reasonable for a man who had been systematically and successfully clearing his path to the Republican nomination for more than a year.

Republicans had been quietly dinging President Barack Obama throughout the previous weekend for appearing to be taking a victory lap leading up to the anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden.