Darrell West, a former Brown University political science professor now at the Brookings Institution in Washington, will deliver a talk on the post-election political landscape at the Newport Art Museum on January 5.
I did a Q&A with him in advance of his appearance. It'll run in this week's Phoenix. But I wanted to highlight one of his most interesting points here.
The election was, of course, sweet vindication for the New York Times blogger Nate Silver. He called all 50 states in the presidential race correctly, struck a blow for math, and made Joe Scarborough look more than a little silly.
But today, at a lunchtime talk at Brown University's Taubman Center for Public Policy & American Institutions, another numbers man - Michael Dimock, associate director of research for the Pew Research Center - laid out a compelling two-part critique of Silver and other poll aggregators like Simon Jackman of the Huffington Post.
Romney's 47 percent comment. President Obama's deadly performance in the first debate. Hundreds of millions spent on ads. And none of it mattered. That's the conclusion of University of Rhode Island political science professor Shanna Pearson-Merkowitz in a new piece in Pacific Standard magazine.
We all know that most voters decide who to vote for well before the campaigns begin.
Theda Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson, co-authors of the acclaimed The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism, made an appearance at Brown University this spring.
Skocpol argued, at the time, that the media - which considered the Tea Party so 2010 - was underestimating its continued influence. The Tea Party, she argued, had forced the Republican presidential primary - including ostensible moderate Mitt Romney - to the right.
If you ain't seen it.
I'm a little late with this - been a busy week - but I've got a beef with the conventional wisdom that formed around the third and final presidential debate, focused on foreign policy.
First, a point of agreement. The mainstream interpretation of Mitt Romney's staid performance goes like this: he was attempting to project moderation, appeal to suburban women with his calls for peace, and present as a reasonable commander-in-chief.
When I heard a couple of days ago that Cranston's Board of Canvassers was denying a ballot to a voter it deemed mentally ill, I had a bit of deja vu.
I was once a reporter for the Providence Journal, where I covered Cranston City Hall. And one of the most interesting stories I worked on involved the board, led by the blunt and bareknuckled chairman Joseph A.
Pretty funny, if you haven't seen it.
Former Rhode Island State Representative David Segal, now executive director of civil liberties and government reform group Demand Progress, is in the thick of a push to get the Republican and Democratic parties to make Internet freedom a plank in their official platforms.
Demand Progress was a key player in the Internet revolt that killed the SOPA and PIPA bills, which were designed to clamp down on Internet piracy of movies, music, and pharmaceuticals.
I've got a cover story in today's Phoenix on Republican Congressional candidate Brendan Doherty's little-noticed emulation of Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown, whose truck-driving, blue-collar authenticity and squishy ideology offers the most compelling model for a GOP resurgence in the northeast.
On the site now and on newsstands tomorrow, my colleague David Bernstein's piece on Mitt Romney's "shadow years" - the three years he ran the Olympics while remaining, at least on paper, the CEO of Bain Capital. That period, of course, has been the subject of intense media scrutiny in recent days, as journalists and the political class parse what Bain deals he can or can't be held accountable for in that time.
The Boston Globe has a front-page story today showing that Mitt Romney remained chief executive and chairman of Bain Capital after he says he effectively left the firm in February 1999 to run the Salt Lake City Olympics.
The piece, building on reporting at Mother Jones and Talking Points Memo, is significant because the Romney camp has sought to disavow post-February 1999 Bain investments in companies that went bankrupt or laid off workers.
A new report out of Mother Jones suggests Mitt Romney was still involved with his investment firm, Bain Capital, when it invested in a Woonsocket medical waste disposal firm that handled aborted fetuses.
The story has implications beyond the abortion angle, as the following excerpt makes clear:
Earlier this year, Mitt Romney nearly landed in a politically perilous controversy when the Huffington Post reported
that in 1999 the GOP presidential candidate had been part of an
investment group that invested $75 million in Stericycle, a
medical-waste disposal firm that has been attacked by anti-abortion
groups for disposing aborted fetuses collected from family planning
Ezra Klein of the Washington Post has an interesting post today voicing some surprise at all the hullabaloo, in the run-up to the Supreme Court's big decision on healthcare reform, about the politicized court.
As an institution, the court is insulated from party politics, but the
men and women who serve on it are increasingly selected through an
intensely political process meant to insure that they don’t disappoint
the party that promoted them.