2012 Presidential Election

CRB: How Obama won, and lost

Featured image The Summer issue of the Claremont Review of Books (subscribe here) published Jonah Goldberg’s terrific review of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness: Ten Years of the Claremont Review of Books, edited by Charles Kesler and John Kienker. Jonah closes his review with these comments: The Claremont Review of Books came on the scene far too late, but also just in time. Its influence on the conservative movement has »

Quotable quotes from Harvey Mansfield

Featured image Harvey Manssfield is the great teacher of government and long-time member of the Harvard faculty. Among his books are Manliness and an indispensable edition of Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. The Wall Street Journal Weekend interview profiles Professor Mansfield. At age 80, he can look back on an incredibly distinguished career, but he’s still going strong. The quotable Professor Mansfield offers this: “We have now an American political party and a »

One generation got old; one generation got sold

Featured image I got a kick out of the following letter to the editor of Barron’s that seems to be making the rounds: A Warm Thank You To the Editor: This 50-something, white, conservative Republican wishes to thank America’s youth for sacrificing their financial futures and standard of living so that boomers, such as my wife and I, can look forward to a long and comfy retirement, which we could easily have »


Featured image If there is such a thing as political science, I think the folks who ran the Obama campaign have it mastered. Consider the story behind the Obama campaign emails, which we regularly received without asking and also regularly misread with something like morbid fascination. They were a key component of the campaign’s monumental fundraising haul. At BloombergBusinessWeek Joshua Green provides a glimpse of what he rightly calls “the science” behind »

Inside Mitt Romney’s polling numbers

Featured image I doubt that many of our readers want to look back at the election; more likely they have gotten beyond that defeat, as November draws to a close. But a few may find it worthwhile to read this piece by Noam Scheiber about Romney’s internal polling numbers. The Romney campaign’s polls, taken during the final weekend of the campaign, showed him pulling away in North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida, and »

Sandra Fluke for person of the year

Featured image Sandra Fluke is among the 40 contenders for Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. 2012 was the year in which losers, have-nots, and the immature combined to reelect an unsuccessful (by customary standards) president. Accordingly, Fluke would make an ideal Person of the Year for 2012. I also think that Time should name Lilly Ledbetter its Person of the Year for 2008 in view of her service as Barack Obama’s »

The case of the missing voters [With Comments by John]

Featured image In the new issue of the Weekly Standard Jay Cost undertakes a retrospective on what happened in the election just passed. Cost detects a mystery. It’s the case of the missing voters: In 2008, some 131.5 million Americans went to the polls; while the votes are still being tallied, this time around there probably were between 127 and 130 million votes cast. Most of the decline came from white voters; »

Political suicide, anyone?

Featured image In an article referenced by Scott earlier today, Byron York shows that Mitt Romney did not lose the election because of his failure to win the Hispanic vote. Romnwy would have lost in Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin, Iowa, and New Hampshire even if he had gained a large portion of the Hispanic votes in these key battleground states. York also demonstrates that, as we have argued, Hispanics are not a natural »

The GOP turnout myth

Featured image In her weekly Wall Street Journal column, Kimberly Strassel takes up an issue that is in need of updating since the final vote in the election is nearly tabulated: To win the next presidential race, the GOP will have to understand what went wrong in 2012. To do that, they’ve got to come to grips with what did, and did not, happen with turnout. Even as Republicans have engaged in »

O, Fortuna

Featured image In the post-election “Now What?” edition of National Review just out today, I have an article suggesting that the durable features of the Constitution, however attenuated by a century of “progressivism,” should caution us from overdoing our pessimism.  The whole article is behind a subscriber firewall, but here’s the lede: Conservatives are natural pessimists, based on a realism about fallible human nature that fuels our opposition to the coercive utopianism »

Report: Petraeus testimony will show that the White House fixed the Benghazi intelligence (updated)

Featured image As I wrote last night, yesterday’s testimony to Congress by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Acting CIA Director Mike Morell left plenty of work for General Petraeus, who is testifying today. For example, neither Clapper nor Morell could shed any real light on why the official line of the intelligence community apparently moved away from the initial (and correct) view that the Benghazi attack was terrorism. Now, CNN »

Defeated by Obama’s pandering to losers, have-nots, and the immature, Romney reportedly says so

Featured image During a conference call with donors, Mitt Romney reportedly said that President Obama targeted certain demographic groups, such as African-Americans, Hispanics, and young voters, by conferring “gifts” on them. Among the gifts Romney reportedly cited were Obamacare and “amnesty” for children of illegal immigrants. Romney’s remarks were made to a private audience. However, reporters from the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times apparently were able to listen in »

Freedom Stuff

Featured image Michael Ramirez sums up this year’s election in a manner that I think is about right: »

Bullish on the GOP? Yes: Call Your Broker, and Buy Now

Featured image As we continue to survey the wreckage of the GOP after Hurricane Barry last week’s election, please note Jonathan Last’s terrific article in the Weekly Standard about the overreaction, on both sides, to the Democrats’ narrow but crushing loss to George W. Bush in 2004.  Then, as now, liberals thought it was over for them, that the country was in the grip of evangelical fanatics.  Remember the famous “Jesusland” map »

The solution

Featured image I’m pretty sure Bertolt Brecht was exercising his gift for sarcasm in “The Solution” when he offered a modest proposal to address the people’s loss of confidence in the government. While the government asserted it could regain confidence in the people only by redoubled efforts, Brecht asked: Would it not be easier In that case for the government To dissolve the people And elect another? We seem to be living »

The Weekly Winston: Post-Election Edition

Featured image Some of Churchill’s most famous remarks involved election campaigns and their aftermath, especially losing campaigns.  The most often recalled were his comment after the 1945 landslide loss when Clementine said that perhaps it was a blessing in disguise, to which Winston replied that if so, it was certainly very well disguised.  Or: “In war you can only be killed once, but in politics many times.” But in light of this »

How Long Does It Take A Political Party To Wear Out Its Welcome?

Featured image To those of us who follow the news closely, four years seems like forever. But for most Americans, it seems that four years isn’t enough for a political party to wear out its welcome. In a post yesterday, Paul noted that defeating an incumbent president isn’t easy: from 1896 to the present, only five incumbents who sought re-election have been rejected by the voters. A reader refines that number further »