The Great Debate

Key fiscal questions nominees must answer

By David M. Walker
October 19, 2012

 

We can only hope the final presidential debate Monday provides less heat and more light than the previous two. Especially with regard to fiscal matters, the debates have so far not provided the substance and solutions that voters need and deserve to hear.

What women want is political key

By Anne Taylor Fleming
October 18, 2012

No matter how artificial and canned the candidates can seem at a presidential debate, no matter how competent or ineffectual the moderator — the nominee’s true self will peak out at some point.

Romney somersaults on to the middle ground

By Nicholas Wapshott
October 4, 2012

Do you recall just seven months ago when Romney campaign aide Eric Fehrnstrom let slip that having won the Republican primaries, his candidate would “shake it up and restart it all over again” as if wiping clean an Etch-a-Sketch screen? Romney did just that last night. From a standing start Romney executed a perfect backward somersault, landing with both feet slap-bang in front of a bemused president, who appeared quite taken aback that his rival should plant his feet firmly in the middle ground where elections are won and lost.

Tax reform does not guarantee growth

By David Callahan
September 28, 2012

One of the few thin­gs that President Obama and Mitt Romney are likely to agree on when they debate next week is the need for tax reform. Both candidates have backed streamlining America’s crazy-quilt tax code, and both have said that reforms could boost economic growth. Meanwhile, two key congressional committees held a rare bipartisan hearing last week – with lawmakers from both parties saying that tax reform is needed to rev up the economy.

Romney is powerless against Murdoch’s lash

By Nicholas Wapshott
September 27, 2012

Mitt Romney must be wondering where it all went wrong. With the president presiding over a jobless, barely perceptible recovery, with most Americans thinking Obama is on the wrong track, and with his healthcare legislation widely derided, the Republican champion should be coasting by now. Yet Romney has been languishing in the head-to-head polls for almost a year, and prominent conservative commentators are complaining.

Why doesn’t Mitt Romney contribute to his own campaign?

By Michael Waldman
September 25, 2012

Lately, Mitt Romney has been so consumed with fundraising that his aides have had to defend his absence from the stump. Like his foe, the Republican nominee is in the midst of a frenzied financial arms race. But one hugely wealthy individual has not yet been persuaded to part with much cash to support the Republican cause: Mitt Romney himself.

Romney’s campaign into oblivion

By Harold Evans
September 24, 2012

Willard Mitt Romney was born with a silver foot in his mouth.

It is possible to forgive it as a congenital trait. After all, his Dad, the genial George Romney, successful head of the American Motor Corp and governor of Michigan (1963-69), lost his bid for the Republican nomination for the presidency in 1968 by setting a world record for the mass manufacture of gaffes. He had such a penchant for saying one thing and then retracting it, the reporter Jack Germond announced he was fixing his keyboard so that one keystroke produced “Romney later explained…” It was charming for a time to hear what George had said lately, but when he came back from a look at the Vietnam War, he announced he’d had “the greatest brainwashing anyone could get.” His rival Eugene McCarthy cracked that a light rinse would have been enough to relieve George’s neurological condition, but this time George had gone a gaffe too far. Some American prisoners released by the Chinese had renounced their U.S. citizenship, saying they’d been brainwashed, and primary voters had no enthusiasm for electing a president who might turn out to have been the Manchurian candidate. So we got Nixon and Agnew instead. Thanks, George.

It’s time for the candidates to offer a strong education strategy

By Joel Klein and Margaret Spellings
September 13, 2012

In the late 1960s, a Stanford University psychologist began conducting his now famous “marshmallow test” to understand “delayed gratification” – the ability to wait.

The ‘Yes We Can’ orphans: Obama’s missing constituency

By Clifford Young and Julia Clark
September 6, 2012

By all accounts, the 2012 presidential election will be a squeaker – probably no more than a point or two in the popular vote will separate the candidates. Such close elections put a special premium on getting one’s base out to vote and targeting the small, yet important, group of “undecided voters”.

Paul Ryan: a VP with a mandate

By Tom McDonnell
August 14, 2012

The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza rightly called Mitt Romney’s bold selection of Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) as his running mate, “the most daring decision of his political career.”