2012 Presidential Election

Diversity of thought, Princeton style

Featured image The Daily Princetonian reports that during the 2012 presidential campaign, 157 Princeton University faculty and staff members donated directly to the presidential candidates. Two of them gave to Mitt Romney; the rest gave to President Obama. The amount donated to Obama exceeded $169,000. The two donations to Romney amounted to $1,901. Who were the two renegades that gave to Romney? One was James Shinn, a visiting lecturer at the Keller »

Someone misled us on AQ’s demise

Featured image The Wall Street Journal carries an important column by Steve Hayes and Tom Joscelyn on the status of al Qaeda. The column is “How America was misled on al Qaeda’s demise.” The column is behind the Journal’s subscription paywall but accessible here via Google. One of the central themes of President Obama’s campaign for reelection in 2012 rested on the proposition that he had essentially defeated al Qaeda. By one »

The year in reading

Featured image Scott has done a great job handling the year-end list department. But I thought I would add Tevi Troy’s discussion of his year of reading. Tevi offers praise for two books about the 2012 presidential race — Mark Halperin’s Double Down and Dan Balz’s Collision 2012. As much as I respect Tevi, I’m going to pass on these two works The 2012 campaign was too painful, and I could never »

Can We Have a Do-Over? [Updated]

Featured image As “more bad poll numbers continue to pour in for President Barack Obama,” a Washington Post/ABC News poll finds that if the 2012 election were re-run today, Mitt Romney would beat Barack Obama among registered voters by 49%-45%. That result reflects, of course, buyer’s remorse over Obamacare. But it also raises the question: how might the 2012 election have been different if the press had not collaborated with the Obama »

A Few More Minutes with Gabe Schoenfeld

Featured image As preface to the second half of our conversation with Gabriel Schoenfeld about his e-book A Bad Day on the Romney Campaign, here’s one passage of the concluding chapter about how the GOP establishment is reflecting on the aftermath of Romney’s loss that is worth taking on board: The RNC’s quest for better data so that it can have better “messaging” is not a mechanism for leadership.  It is a »

A Few Minutes With Gabriel Schoenfeld

Featured image We ran a short excerpt here a couple of weeks ago from Gabriel Schoenfeld about his new ebook, A Bad Day on the Romney Campaign: An Insider’s Account, which you can get on Kindle for just $2.99, but we thought it worth following up with Power Line’s first ever video chat.  (More of these to come as we get better at it.)  Gabe’s book is wonderfully compact; you can read »

What would you expect Romney to say?

Featured image Mitt Romney says that the Benghazi talking points had no bearing on the outcome of the 2012 presidential election. He made this remark in response to a question by an inquisitive Jay Leno. Romney added that he doesn’t spend a lot of time reflecting on what could have been done differently during his campaign. “I don’t go back and look at: ‘Gee, if this would have happened differently, could I »

This just in: Demise of Obamacare exaggerated

Featured image My introduction to the concept of the low information voter came in my capacity as Treasurer of Rudy Boschwitz’s 1996 campaign against then incumbent Paul Wellstone. Rudy had engaged the services of a prominent political consultant who had polled Minnesota voters on issues relevant to the race. The poll resulted in a briefly book that was a couple of inches thick, slicing and dicing the electorate with great sophisticatoin. According »

Are There Really Two Republican Parties? And If So, Why?

Featured image Following the 2012 election, the Republican National Committee commissioned a group of Republicans to study the results of that election and make recommendations as to how the GOP can do better in future cycles. The resulting report, which you can read here, has been roundly criticized by many conservatives, sometimes unfairly, in my view. I wrote about the report’s recommendations on immigration here. But as far as I know, no »

David Horowitz: How Republicans can win

Featured image I’ve known David Horowitz for more than 20 years, from the time he came through town with Peter Collier talking about their invaluable book Destructive Generation: Second Thoughts About the Sixties. As Jay Nordlinger has written, David was a leader of the New Left who became a leader of the fighting Reaganite Right: “He is a thinker and a doer, an intellectual and an activist. His mind ranges widely, and »

The economic uptick that may have saved Obama

Featured image The Commerce Department has upwardly revised third-quarter real GDP to 3.1 percent. Previously, third-quarter growth was reported as 2.7 percent. With this revision, the third quarter of 2012 becomes the strongest quarter of the year and the third strongest since the economy began picking up in the summer of 2009. As James Pethokoukis suggests, the increasing strength of the economy during this summer likely played a significant role in President »

It’s Never The Economy, Stupid

Featured image That’s the title of a fine column from John Agresto that appeared in the Washington Examiner on Wednesday, making a more succinct case for the same point I’ve tried to make in my two previous posts on why Republicans are losing the tax debate, here and here.  While I focused on the lack of an argument about justice for fairness, Agresto takes dead aim at the view that might be »

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 »