2012 Presidential Election

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 »

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 »