Nicholas Wapshott

Fighting for the future of conservativism

By Nicholas Wapshott
May 13, 2014

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron delivers a speech to placard waving Conservatives during an European election campaign rally at a science park in Bristol

Establishment Republicans have been delighted by the victory of Thom Tillis, their favored candidate in last week’s North Carolina primary. After expensive advertising campaigns by establishment bagmen like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Karl Rove’s American Crossroads, mainstream conservatives believe they have a candidate who can beat Democrat Kay Hagan to win a valuable Senate seat in November.

Rand Paul: The pied piper

By Nicholas Wapshott
March 24, 2014

The warm welcome that Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) received from an audience of mostly young Americans at the University of California, Berkeley, last week should send a shiver down the spines of Democrats.

Message for Clinton: Look before you leap

By Nicholas Wapshott
January 28, 2014

There seems to be a rush to get former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to declare her run for the presidency.

The end of budget scare politics

By Nicholas Wapshott
December 23, 2013

“Are you kidding me!” The cry of anguished disbelief from House Speaker John Boehner has brought down the curtain on a five-year-long battle over public debt that will not be lifted until the presidential election of November 2016.

Enlightening the puzzled Republicans

By Nicholas Wapshott
October 31, 2013

Moderate Republicans cannot fathom what has happened to their party.

Once a happy band of no-nonsense, pro-business conservatives, cautious in everything from money to marriage — including their wary response to the onward march of 1960s liberal social values — they were prepared, within reason, to trim their policies to match the voters’ mood. After all, to achieve anything in government you first have to win elections.

Can Tea Party afford the shutdown cost?

By Nicholas Wapshott
October 23, 2013

Victories come in many sizes. The Battle of the Little Bighorn, for example, at first seemed an overwhelming win for the Sioux. But it soon became clear their success would not last. Who really won the Alamo? The Mexicans? Try telling that to a Texan. So, who won the Battle of the Shutdown 2013? The conventional view is that the Tea Party Republicans were seen off by the congressional leadership in both parties. Having made their protest, disrupted the nation and cost Americans a great deal in anxiety, time and treasure, they lost the battle — but promise to resume the war another day. Perhaps as early as January.

The GOP’s age of unreason

By Nicholas Wapshott
October 10, 2013

If the federal government fails to pay its bills and the interest on its borrowing by the middle of the month, it is the overwhelming verdict of the nation’s smartest economists that financial mayhem will ensue.

Government shutdown threat means it’s high noon for Obama

By Nicholas Wapshott
September 20, 2013

As the nation heads towards a government shutdown and defaulting on its debts, the two battling sides cannot even agree which election they are fighting. Republican presidential hopefuls are jostling for position ahead of the 2016 primaries while President Obama has his eyes on the midterms next year. Both sides insist they will not compromise; yet both sides cannot win.

On Syria, Obama shouldn’t text while he’s driving

By Nicholas Wapshott
September 17, 2013

The confusion surrounding the American response to the Syrian government gassing its own people has shocked foreign policy wonks. Here is Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, after the president threw the problem to Congress, then, facing defeat, handed negotiations with Bashar al-Assad to his nemesis Vladimir Putin: “The President has essentially allowed the red line in Syria to be somewhat ignored.” And here is Haass’s final verdict on the president’s dillydallying: “Words like ‘ad-hoc,’ ‘improvised,’ ‘unsteady’ come to mind. This is probably the most undisciplined stretch of foreign policy of his presidency.”

The isolationists’ dilemma

By Nicholas Wapshott
September 5, 2013

There has been a lot of loose talk about the return of isolationism since President Obama asked Congress for permission to degrade Bashar al-Assad’s ability to gas his people. Isolationism hasn’t been a respectable thread of political thinking in America since the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor made redundant the clamor to keep America out of World War Two.