Related Content: Todd Purdum

“The Best Medicine I Know”

Essential Reads

Exactly 48 years ago this week, the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act passed the Senate, after overcoming the longest filibuster in history. Nearly 100 years after the Civil War ended, the bill at last promised to deliver legal equality for all Americans, and though it aroused enormous controversy and sliced straight into the nation’s original sin, it won lopsided approval by a vote of 73 to 27, with overwhelming Republican support.

Reality Check

Essential Reads

Set aside, for the moment, the tendentious charge of The New York Times’s public editor, Arthur Brisbane, that the newspaper’s principal political task between now and Election Day should be to aggressively investigate “Who is the real Barack Obama?” The premise assumes not only that there is just one real Obama but also that he and the Times may somehow have conspired to obscure him.

Back to the Drawing Board

On The Radar

Mitt Romney still has only a bit more than half the delegates he’ll need to become the Republicans’ official nominee in Tampa this summer, but after his sweeping victories in Wisconsin, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, no one can any longer doubt that the nomination is—really, finally—his. Just ask that famously sloppy political operator Barack Obama, who has suddenly trained his sights on Romney as if the general election were well under way—which, come to think of it, it is.

That Presidential Voice

On The Radar

Mitt Romney’s narrow win in his home state of Michigan and his comfortable victory in Arizona salvaged his presidential candidacy, if not his former aura of inevitability, and remade the Republican nominating race yet again. “We didn’t win by a lot but we won by enough, and that’s all that counts!” Romney said in slightly goofy understatement.
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The Gentleman from Michigan

On The Radar

In an election year in which the corrosiveness of politics seems to reach a new high every month, and the bitterness of the G.O.P.-nomination fight a new low with each primary and caucus, I thought it might be instructive to spend a moment with the man who has arguably seen more of politics than anyone else still active in Washington, Representative John D. Dingell of Michigan, the Dean of the House.
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"The Era of Big Government is Over:" Clinton's 1996 State of the Union

Vault Show

In his 1996 reelection, President Clinton’s tried to claim the role as the fiscal responsibility candidate from the Republicans, much like President Obama is trying to do today. In his State of the Union that year, he famously said, "The era of big government is over." Take a look at the Address, a pivotal moment in his reelection campaign. Original air date: January 26, 1996. Moderator: Ken Bode. Panelists: Gloria Borger, US News and World Report; Alan Murray, Wall Street Journal; Todd Purdum, The New York Times; Mara Liasson, NPR.

Medium Cool

On The Radar

The list of President Obama’s potential problems in getting re-elected is almost too long to enumerate: job-approval ratings that hover in the low 40s, a stubbornly stagnant economy, a dysfunctional political culture in Washington that his election was supposed to have changed, and a personality so even-keeled as to make him sometimes seem dead in the roiling waters around him.
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One Nation, Under Arms

On The Radar

They rest in 330 acid-free archival boxes in climate-controlled storage at Princeton University. To pore over the collected papers of George F. Kennan in the cool fluorescent light is to witness the transformation of the United States from the comparatively simple sleeping giant it was before World War II into the complex national-security state it has become.

December 31, 2010

Weekly Show

Will a new year bring more bipartisanship and less gridlock to Washington? This week, Michael Duffy (TIME Magazine), Todd Purdum (Vanity Fair), Karen Tumulty (Washington Post), and David Wessel (Wall Street Journal) join Gwen to discuss the major political stories of 2010 and the issues to watch in 2011 including a new Congress, legal challenges to health care reform, and the economic recovery.

August 13, 2010

Weekly Show

Reading the tea leaves on this week's primary election results, the uproar about Defense Secretary Robert Gates cutting his budget and a look at whether Washington works. Joining Gwen: Dan Balz of the Washington Post, Charles Babington of the Associated Press, Nancy Youssef of McClatchy Newspapers, and Todd Purdum of Vanity Fair.