Elections & Political Parties

A Changing of the Guard

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
September 7, 2012 |

The conventions these past two weeks—and particularly the final speeches Thursday night—have cemented the fact that the Democratic party is now the party of national-security policy; not just a wise or thoughtful foreign and military policy, but any kind of thinking whatsoever about matters beyond the water’s edge.

For anyone who’s followed American politics the past 40 years, since the election between George McGovern and Richard Nixon, this is a staggering shift.

Obama Acceptance Speech Goes Vague Instead of Getting Tough

  • By
  • Peter Beinart,
  • New America Foundation
September 7, 2012 |

Obama’s acceptance speech had two apparent goals: The first was to lay out an agenda for the next four years so people feel they have something forward-looking to vote for. The second was to recapture the sense of hope that defined Obama’s 2008 campaign.

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The Other Election

  • By
  • Steve Coll,
  • New America Foundation
September 6, 2012 |

There is really only one plausible scenario in which Republicans could enact some version of Paul Ryan’s radical, government-shrinking budget plan during the next two years. That would be if Mitt Romney wins the White House and Republicans eke out control of the Senate in November. (The Democrats now hold the Senate by a 53-47 margin.)

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The Democratic Convention’s Message Discipline

  • By
  • Peter Beinart,
  • New America Foundation
September 5, 2012 |

We’re only one day into the Democratic convention but this much is already clear: So far, the Democrats are better at this.

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Obama’s Democratic Convention Speech: Explain the Financial Crisis

  • By
  • Peter Beinart,
  • New America Foundation
September 4, 2012 |

This week in Charlotte, N.C., Barack Obama will answer Mitt Romney. It’s a doable task, given that Obama is one of the most gifted orators in modern American history, and Romney, as he reminded us Thursday, is not. But to succeed, Obama’s speech must include two phrases that he doesn’t usually utter on the stump. The first is “financial crisis.” The second is “budgetary crisis.”

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Mitt Romney’s Speech Conflicts With Paul Ryan’s Tough Message

  • By
  • Peter Beinart,
  • New America Foundation
August 31, 2012 |

The Romney campaign seems unable to make up its mind. In choosing Paul Ryan three weeks ago, it defined the presidential race as a referendum on the American welfare state.

Ryan’s core claim is that unless America radically downsizes the domestic functions of the federal government, the country will end up not only broke, but enslaved. From Ryan to Chris Christie to Marco Rubio, it was that core contention that again and again brought the delegates at the Tampa Bay Times Forum to their feet.

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Condoleezza Rice Has a Lot of Nerve

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
August 31, 2012 |

To watch Condoleezza Rice, the face of George W. Bush’s foreign policy, stand before a convention of cheering Republicans and condemn Barack Obama for diminishing America’s standing in the world—one can only gasp at the magnitude of chutzpah in one woman.

Two Keynotes

  • By
  • Steve Coll,
  • New America Foundation
August 30, 2012 |

Barack Obama announced himself as a contender for high national office on Tuesday, July 27, 2004, when he delivered a soaring keynote address to the Democratic National Convention in Boston. He started off with self-deprecation: “Tonight is a particular honor for me because, let’s face it, my presence on this stage is pretty unlikely.”

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The Sidebar: Our Dysfunctional Patent System and the Relevance of Political Conventions

August 30, 2012
Marvin Ammori discusses the significance of the Apple-Samsung ruling and how this highlights major problems in our patent system. Andrés Martinez explains why political conventions are still relevant. Elizabeth Weingarten hosts.

Tough Chris Christie Convention Speech Articulates Paul Ryan’s Message

  • By
  • Peter Beinart,
  • New America Foundation
August 30, 2012 |

On the first night of the Republican convention, Ann Romney tried to make Americans like Mitt Romney. Then Chris Christie took the stage and reminded them that, ideologically, this campaign isn’t about Mitt Romney. It’s about Paul Ryan.

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