44: The Obama Presidency

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Dan Balz's Take

Pawlenty moves raise questions

Pawlenty has said and done things that have other Republicans wondering about his instincts and his sure-footedness as a prospective 2012 presidential candidate.

Posted on November 11, 2009 at 10:08 AM ET | Comments (63)

Scozzafava contest a bellwether for GOP battle between ideology and electability

The contest in New York's 23rd District has become an early example of the fights likely to play out in the future as Republicans argue among themselves about how best to rebuild their party after two devastating defeats in 2006 and 2008.

Posted on October 28, 2009 at 11:22 AM ET | Comments (69)

How Passing Health-Care Reform Could Change the Political Landscape

Not surprisingly, Democrats and Republicans have sharply different expectations for what may happen.

Posted on October 14, 2009 at 04:44 PM ET | Comments (62)

A Weighty Prize

The Nobel Peace Prize committee validated President Obama's standing as an international superstar who has transformed America's image around the world. Obama may now spend the rest of his administration trying to turn the lofty ideals that brought him the prize into concrete results on the many intractable problems still before him.

Posted on October 9, 2009 at 02:53 PM ET | Comments (93)

As Obama Faces Afghanistan Decision, Old Debates - and Dangers - Reemerge

Obama faces a very clamorous -- and necessary -- public debate as he approaches a decision on whether to further escalate U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.

Posted on October 6, 2009 at 11:28 AM ET | Comments (116)

A Republican Comeback?

The question is prompted by the new release from the Gallup organization, which showed that the gap in party identification is now the smallest it has been since 2005. Democrats are still in the lead, but not by the double-digit margins they often enjoyed the past two years.

Posted on October 1, 2009 at 12:49 PM ET | Comments (177)

Senate Dems Look to Obama to Move Health-Care Votes

The time of hanging back is quickly coming to an end if Obama hopes to find the 60 votes needed to pass a bill in the Senate.

Posted on September 29, 2009 at 05:36 PM ET | Comments (60)

The Challenge of Moving Beyond America Alone

President Obama delivered a global call to action at the United Nations Wednesday morning, but it was an expression of apparent frustration that may have best captured the moment in which he finds himself.

Posted on September 23, 2009 at 01:23 PM ET | Comments (25)

In Colorado, a Sizable Schism on Health-Care Reform

A massive schism now exists over health-care reform, an issue that touches everyone personally.

Posted on September 3, 2009 at 01:36 PM ET | Comments (86)

Fishing for a Comeback

It's difficult for the White House team to argue that August was a successful month for the president.

Posted on September 1, 2009 at 01:19 PM ET | Comments (163)

A Legislator Like No Other

By Dan Balz For a generation or more, Edward M. Kennedy held two roles in...

Posted on August 26, 2009 at 09:46 AM ET | Comments (33)

Obama Finds Himself Between Bush and a Hard Place

No matter which way he turns, President Obama can't seem to shake the legacy of...

Posted on August 25, 2009 at 07:16 PM ET | Comments (23)

In the Absence of Specifics, 'Public Option' Looms Large

The longer the legislative environment remains fluid, the fewer specifics advocates have to point to in explaining how the new, post-reform world may operate.

Posted on August 19, 2009 at 12:13 PM ET | Comments (197)

What Do Poll Numbers Really Mean for Obama?

There are several new polls out over the last 24 hours that show more problems for President Obama. The trend lines are consistent: declining support for his health care plan, rising worries about the deficit and slippage in his approval ratings. But what if the polls are wrong?

Posted on July 30, 2009 at 12:17 PM ET | Comments (37)

Elections Have Consequences. So Do Confirmation Votes.

By Dan Balz President Obama's nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court accomplished...

Posted on July 28, 2009 at 03:29 PM ET | Comments (34)

The Hard Sell Begins

President Obama had two audiences in mind throughout his prime-time news conference Wednesday night: Americans who are increasingly skeptical about his effort to reform the health care system and members of Congress looking for guidance as they near politically difficult votes on such a package.

Posted on July 23, 2009 at 08:54 AM ET | Comments (92)

In California's Budget Crisis, Lessons for the Rest of Us?

Updated 6:56 p.m. By Dan Balz The decline in governance in the nation's biggest state...

Posted on July 21, 2009 at 05:00 PM ET | Comments (8)

Hearing Room Clashes Could Alter Political Environment

Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearings will play out against the backdrop of demographic changes that continue to alter the nation's politics. What drama exists this week is less the question of whether she will be confirmed than what the first Latina Supreme Court justice may contribute to those changing politics.

Posted on July 13, 2009 at 11:58 AM ET | Comments (69)

As Clouds Gather at Home, Obama Administration Buckles Down

With Republicans showing spark and president's poll numbers ticking down, White House prepares a new push for its policies.

Posted on July 9, 2009 at 01:30 PM ET | Comments (45)

Shaky Economy May Dislodge Obama's Footing

Nothing may be more important to public assessments of President Obama's leadership than the state of the economy and at this point there are political warning lights flashing.

Posted on July 7, 2009 at 01:09 PM ET | Comments (32)

Latest Palin Controvery Just a Subset of War Over Direction of GOP

The Palin wars have erupted again.

Posted on July 1, 2009 at 12:49 PM ET | Comments (228)

Muted Response to Iraq Troop Pullback from War-Weary Nation

The celebrations in Iraq marking the pullback of U.S. combat forces from Baghdad and other cities stand in stark contrast to the reaction in the United States. Here the transfer of power has been met almost with public indifference.

Posted on June 30, 2009 at 01:45 PM ET | Comments (22)

The Fallout from Sanford's South American Adventure

Sanford's summer adventure to Argentina -- no, he was not on the Appalachian Trail as his aides incorrectly told reporters -- is now a major personal embarrassment and draws more unwelcome publicity to the GOP.

Posted on June 24, 2009 at 12:59 PM ET | Comments (139)

On Iran and Health Care, Obama Careful to Keep His Options Open

President Obama used his press conference Tuesday to sharpen his rhetoric on Iran and vigorously defend the most controversial provision of his health care proposal. But in addressing two of the biggest challenges before his administration, he also carefully left himself room to maneuver as events unfold.

Posted on June 23, 2009 at 03:54 PM ET | Comments (12)

Obama Opponents Finding Their Voice

President Obama may still hold the high ground politically in Washington, but the outlines of an opposition message have suddenly begun to come together. On domestic and foreign policy, Obama's opponents have found cracks in his armor.

Posted on June 18, 2009 at 12:44 PM ET | Comments (180)

What Republicans Can Learn from the DLC

Al From reflects on a changed Democratic Party -- and what the GOP can learn from the DLC's efforts.

Posted on June 16, 2009 at 03:24 PM ET | Comments (10)

On Health Care, the Messenger Changes, But Questions Remain the Same

By Dan Balz The repeated applause President Obama received from members of the American Medical...

Posted on June 15, 2009 at 02:51 PM ET | Comments (6)

GOP Fundraiser Offered Dinner and a Circus

It's a measure of the Republican Party's problems that its members managed to turn their biggest fundraising event this year into a circus highlighting their own differences.

Posted on June 9, 2009 at 01:20 PM ET | Comments (303)

High Expectations for Obama's Cairo Speech

President Obama has set a high bar for his trip to the Middle East and Europe this week.

Posted on June 2, 2009 at 03:26 PM ET | Comments (43)

Pelosi Moves to the Fore

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's extraordinary accusation that the Bush administration lied to Congress about the use of harsh interrogation techniques dramatically raised the stakes on the growing debate over the Bush administration's anti-terror policies even as it brought troubling new questions about the speaker's credibility.

Posted on May 14, 2009 at 07:20 PM ET | Comments (68)

Health Care Reform Outlook Clear? Don't Count on It

By Dan Balz The gathering of industry leaders standing with President Obama in the White...

Posted on May 12, 2009 at 05:18 PM ET | Comments (40)

Small Cuts Will Do Little to Tame Deficit

Proposals are too small to impress critics but possibly too large for Congress to swallow.

Posted on May 7, 2009 at 01:08 PM ET | Comments (27)

Specter Isn't Sitting Too Pretty These Days

Having ducked a Republican primary, Specter may yet have to weather a Democratic primary challenge and then a tough general election.

Posted on May 6, 2009 at 01:04 PM ET | Comments (41)

The Promise and Peril of a Congressional Majority

As Obama seeks to work with Congressional majorities, he will need to avoid the twin risks of overreach and intraparty warfare.

Posted on May 5, 2009 at 01:48 PM ET | Comments (2)

Will Obama Seek to Defuse Conflicts Over Confirmation?

As Senator, Obama decried battles over judges, but record shows contradictions.

Posted on May 2, 2009 at 04:25 PM ET | Comments (18)

Changing Washington Proves Harder Than Expected

At his press conference Wednesday night marking his 100th day in office, Obama showed how Washington has begun to change him.

Posted on April 30, 2009 at 10:07 AM ET | Comments (24)

On Day 100, New Questions for Obama

At home and abroad, much remains to be determined about the course of Obama's presidency.

Posted on April 29, 2009 at 12:45 PM ET | Comments (19)

Specter's Departure a Wake Up Call for GOP

Specter's defection is a reminder that the Republican Party continues to contract, especially outside the South.

Posted on April 28, 2009 at 01:06 PM ET | Comments (405)

Confronting the Bush Legacy, Reluctantly

Try as he might, the president is finding it difficult to close the books on Bush's presidency.

Posted on April 22, 2009 at 01:02 PM ET | Comments (184)

Obama, Chávez and a New Approach to the World

The images of a smiling Obama's handshake with Chávez spoke vividly to the changes the president is bringing to U.S. relations abroad.

Posted on April 20, 2009 at 01:19 PM ET | Comments (105)

Obama Refocuses on the Economy

President Obama returned to job one this morning, adopting the tone of both professor and preacher to refocus on the economy. Claiming progress, he explained that there are still hard time ahead. That is the balancing act he must manage now and in the months ahead -- instilling confidence while lowering expectations.

Posted on April 14, 2009 at 01:10 PM ET | Comments (28)

Iraq and Obama's War

President Obama's unannounced visit to Iraq on Tuesday put a final exclamation point on a weeklong foreign trip designed to signal to the rest of the world a clean break from the presidency of George W. Bush. But it also underscored the ownership Obama has taken of a conflict in Afghanistan that, in foreign policy, could be as defining for his presidency as Iraq was for Bush's.

Posted on April 7, 2009 at 01:19 PM ET | Comments (75)

On Europe Trip, Obama Will Test Power of Popularity

By Dan Balz Can President Obama lead the world? That may overstate the ambitions Obama...

Posted on March 30, 2009 at 02:37 PM ET | Comments (36)

Will Slow and Steady Win the Race?

There is a distinct clash between the culture of cable, which demands instant action and renders instant judgments, and the style of the new president, which is to try mightily to resist succumbing to those pressures.

Posted on March 25, 2009 at 02:19 PM ET | Comments (62)

At the End of an Extraordinary Ride

Campaign 2008 has been the longest and costliest in American history, but it has been much more than just that. As it comes to an end, it's safe to say we might not see one like this again.

Posted on November 4, 2008 at 10:25 AM ET | Comments (50)

Obama and McCain Pursuing Different Paths on Changed Map

A confident Obama and dogged McCain criss-cross the country on the final full day of campaigning, targeting the battleground states of 2008's shifting political playing field.

Posted on November 3, 2008 at 12:43 PM ET | Comments (148)

Obama's Early Vote Push

Throughout the country, Americans appear to be casting early votes at a pace that far eclipses past performance.

Posted on October 30, 2008 at 12:46 PM ET | Comments (113)

The Volunteers Gear Up for One Last Push

In this final week of the presidential campaign, the lights burn late in small offices dotted across the country -- in Virginia and Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.

Posted on October 28, 2008 at 11:49 AM ET | Comments (106)

Pessimistic and Subdued, Ohio Independents Weigh Their Choices

A focus group with Ohio independent voters was a reality check for those who see the campaign only through the window of the candidates and their most committed supporters.

Posted on October 27, 2008 at 02:10 PM ET | Comments (54)

Polls Show McCain Leaning Into a Headwind

A big batch of battleground polls came out early Thursday and brought almost universally bad news for John McCain.

Posted on October 23, 2008 at 01:15 PM ET | Comments (380)

The Republican Party's Identity Crisis

The Republican Party is in the midst of an identity crisis, but it is nothing compared to what could happen if McCain loses and the party suffers a shellacking in House and Senate races.

Posted on October 21, 2008 at 12:36 PM ET | Comments (231)

Candidates Trade Jabs for Jokes at Al Smith Dinner

The dinner is a big-time fundraiser for Catholic Charities and, every four years, an opportunity for the major-party presidential nominees to take a few hours off from the combat and sniping of the campaign trail and poke fun at themselves and each other.

Posted on October 17, 2008 at 11:28 AM ET | Comments (43)

McCain's Conundrum: What More Can He Do?

After Wednesday's debate at Hofstra University, the question for McCain is what more -- or how much more -- he can do to affect the race.

Posted on October 16, 2008 at 01:36 PM ET | Comments (586)

McCain's Tough Task as 18 Months of Debates End Tonight

Stand-ins for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate John McCain rehearse during...

Posted on October 15, 2008 at 01:09 PM ET | Comments (124)

Questioning Obama

Sen. Barack Obama canvasses a neighborhood Oct. 12, 2008, in Holland, Ohio. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)...

Posted on October 13, 2008 at 12:53 PM ET | Comments (490)

McCain's Risky Turn

McCain's tactics are heading over the line, with no restraint in sight, and threaten to provoke reactions among partisans on both sides that will continue to escalate.

Posted on October 10, 2008 at 02:07 PM ET | Comments (611)

The Legacy of Character Attacks

At a time when the nation needs inspiration and confidence-building, the two candidates running for president are trying to ensure that whoever ends up winning next month will be seen as unfit by a sizable portion of the population.

Posted on October 9, 2008 at 01:56 PM ET | Comments (339)

Facing Stiff Odds, McCain Looks to Rise Again

By Dan Balz NASHVILLE -- It was a late night for John McCain's campaign --...

Posted on October 8, 2008 at 01:53 PM ET | Comments (253)

A Debate About McCain

McCain on the hot seat in tonight's debate.

Posted on October 7, 2008 at 12:42 PM ET | Comments (365)

Attention -- and Scrutiny -- Shifts Back to McCain

Thanks to Sarah Palin's performance, Thursday's vice presidential debate likely shifted the political focus back to John McCain and Barack Obama. That's good and bad news for McCain.

Posted on October 3, 2008 at 12:47 PM ET | Comments (225)

Palin's High Stakes Night

Palin's performance on the stage at Washington University in St. Louis tonight likely will determine the Alaska governor's future.

Posted on October 2, 2008 at 02:22 PM ET | Comments (297)

A Political Meltdown

The meltdown in Washington was no less dramatic than the meltdown on Wall Street -- and it spread across the political spectrum.

Posted on September 30, 2008 at 12:10 PM ET | Comments (109)

Questions Linger Over McCain's Role in Stalled Bailout Talks

The objective evidence is that things got worse, not better, in Washington after McCain arrived.

Posted on September 26, 2008 at 11:52 AM ET | Comments (282)

Financial Crisis Offers a Study in Leadership Styles

Over the course of the past week, it's become clear that there is a significant difference between McCain and Obama in their leadership styles.

Posted on September 25, 2008 at 11:19 AM ET | Comments (308)

Lessons From Indiana and Minnesota

In the past four presidential elections, Minnesota has been one of the top 20 Democratic-performing states in the country. During that same period, Indiana has been in the top 15 Republican states. So why are they in play today?

Posted on September 23, 2008 at 01:30 PM ET | Comments (138)

New Realities Will Scuttle Campaigns' Best-Laid Plans

The next president will take the oath of office Jan. 20 with hands tied.

Posted on September 22, 2008 at 01:08 PM ET | Comments (225)

McCain's Fundamentals Problem

The political and economic fundamentals of the nation at this time do not favor McCain's candidacy.

Posted on September 17, 2008 at 01:37 PM ET | Comments (655)

Obama Looks to Regain Momentum

Obama presses McCain on the economy and deregulation while painting him as out of touch.

Posted on September 16, 2008 at 02:30 PM ET | Comments (476)

Wall Street Shocks Return Focus to Economy

Financial health of the nation roars back to center stage.

Posted on September 15, 2008 at 01:47 PM ET | Comments (470)

Misunderestimating McCain

Has Barack Obama underestimated John McCain?

Posted on September 11, 2008 at 02:28 PM ET | Comments (500)

The Politics of Polarization

Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) listens as his running mate Alaska Gov. Sarah...

Posted on September 10, 2008 at 02:52 PM ET | Comments (544)

At Long Last, Thompson's Moment to Shine

Where was last night's Fred Thompson when he was running for president?

Posted on September 3, 2008 at 03:09 PM ET | Comments (31)

Sarah Palin: Shooting Star?

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin meets First Lady Laura Bush and Cindy McCain, wife of Sen....

Posted on September 2, 2008 at 04:40 PM ET | Comments (443)

Democrats Becoming Obama's Party

But what kind of party will it be?

Posted on August 28, 2008 at 05:09 PM ET | Comments (124)

Obama's Thursday Night Task

Obama needs, in the estimation of many Democrats at this convention, to say to the millions of voters still making up their minds that his presidential campaign "is not about me."

Posted on August 27, 2008 at 05:00 PM ET | Comments (70)

Kennedy Passes the Torch

Ted Kennedy speaking during day one of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Aug....

Posted on August 26, 2008 at 01:35 PM ET | Comments (138)

Obama and What it Takes

Will the Democratic convention in Denver be remembered as the moment Barack Obama became conventional?

Posted on August 25, 2008 at 10:54 AM ET | Comments (197)

In Biden, Obama Opts for Experience Over Change

Barack Obama smiles while listening to Joe Biden after announcing Biden as his vice presidential...

Posted on August 23, 2008 at 12:20 PM ET | Comments (201)

Waiting for Obama

Obama has orchestrated the vice presidential roll out deftly.

Posted on August 22, 2008 at 12:42 PM ET | Comments (317)

Convention Spotlights Battle for the Intermountain West

Rapid growth and demographic upheaval have put a region once considered reliably Republican in presidential races in play.

Posted on August 21, 2008 at 02:06 PM ET | Comments (16)

A Clash of Seismic Proportions

Obama and McCain clash over the war in Iraq at VFW forum highlights conflict to come.

Posted on August 19, 2008 at 01:57 PM ET | Comments (232)

Veep Week Speculation Hits Fever Pitch

All that anyone knows for certain is that sometime over the next seven days, Barack Obama will announce his choice of a running mate.

Posted on August 18, 2008 at 01:36 PM ET | Comments (209)

Candidates Face Three Critical Weeks

By Dan Balz Barack Obama returns to action Saturday after a week's vacation for a...

Posted on August 15, 2008 at 01:12 PM ET | Comments (86)

Mark Penn's Playbook for McCain

If John McCain's campaign were looking for strategic advice for the fall campaign against Barack Obama, they could click on the Atlantic Monthly's web site.

Posted on August 12, 2008 at 02:02 PM ET | Comments (151)

The Clinton Question

Former president and first lady remain the biggest question marks headed into Denver.

Posted on August 7, 2008 at 12:09 PM ET | Comments (286)

Obama and McCain Looking Out for No. 2

Reading the tea leaves a perilous exercise.

Posted on August 5, 2008 at 11:46 AM ET | Comments (0)

Race Card Charges and Campaign Discord Mark Dog Days of Summer

By Dan Balz Who let the dogs out? Was it Barack Obama, who not so...

Posted on August 1, 2008 at 01:23 PM ET | Comments (355)

Obama's Balancing Act

Berlin was a "yes we can" setting without a "yes we can" speech.

Posted on July 25, 2008 at 06:46 PM ET | Comments (0)

Obama's Unprecedented Trip

The journey Obama began when he left Washington last Thursday is one wholly unique in the annals of presidential politics.

Posted on July 21, 2008 at 01:10 PM ET | Comments (159)

Obama's Accidental Sister Souljah Moment

Obama finally had his Sister Souljah moment and didn't even have to show up. Jesse Jackson did it for him solo.

Posted on July 10, 2008 at 12:39 PM ET | Comments (387)

Obama Looks to Power of Latino Vote

Obama challenges the Latino community to fulfill its potential as a force in American politics.

Posted on July 9, 2008 at 03:43 PM ET | Comments (14)

McCain's Mixed Fiscal Policy

McCain today is an unconvincing tax cutter but he also an unpersuasive deficit hawk.

Posted on July 8, 2008 at 11:19 AM ET | Comments (0)

McCain Travels South, Searching for Message

The McCain campaign seems uncertain what sort of message it is trying to send with trips to Colombia and Mexico.

Posted on July 2, 2008 at 11:45 AM ET | Comments (101)

Obama Still Faces a Big Task in Telling Voters Who He Is

Having proved he could overcome the Clinton machine, Obama must now prove he can overcome questions about who he is and what he believes.

Posted on July 1, 2008 at 11:31 AM ET | Comments (273)

New Wine in Old Bottles

A campaign between Barack Obama and John McCain once offered enormous possibilities for something new. Instead, the two presumptive nominees have opened their campaigns for the White House with what looks and sounds like a repeat of the kind of politics both have promised to leave behind.

Posted on June 25, 2008 at 12:06 PM ET | Comments (0)

On Tim Russert

Dan Balz recalls the man he first met a quarter century ago.

Posted on June 13, 2008 at 06:45 PM ET | Comments (161)

Obama Defense of Johnson Raises Questions

The most important decision Barack Obama will make between now and the November election is the selection of a vice presidential running mate. That makes all the more remarkable his effort Tuesday to suggest that the people he has put in charge of helping make the decision are somehow not really part of his campaign. --Dan Balz

Posted on June 11, 2008 at 12:17 PM ET | Comments (268)

The Content of Their Characters

GOP presidential candidate John McCain, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. By Dan Balz Barack Obama...

Posted on June 9, 2008 at 11:27 AM ET | Comments (0)

1964 Race Illuminates Clinton-Obama One

For much of the campaign, Obama has played the role of Kennedy to Clinton's Johnson. --Dan Balz

Posted on June 4, 2008 at 10:54 AM ET | Comments (87)

Clinton's Endgame

How will Clinton exit the race? --Dan Balz

Posted on June 2, 2008 at 12:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

McClellan's Dish and Tell: Required Reading for Campaign Aides

Why should this book be required reading in the Chicago and Crystal City headquarters of the Obama and McCain campaigns? The simple reason is that many of the people now staffing the two candidates share the same qualities and traits of a younger McClellan, caught up in the excitement of a great cause (to elect their candidate president) and not fully knowing what will await them if they end up in the next White House as aides to the 44th president of the United States. --Dan Balz

Posted on May 29, 2008 at 01:28 PM ET | Comments (111)

Book Says GOP Widens Income Gap

A new book by Princeton professor Larry M. Bartels says income disparities between rich and poor Americans widen when Republicans hold the White House, and shrink slightly when there is a Democrat in the Oval Office.--Dan Balz

Posted on May 28, 2008 at 11:05 AM ET | Comments (52)

A Leadership Opportunity for Obama

The upcoming meeting of the Democratic National Committee's Rules and Bylaws Committee over what to do about Michigan and Florida offers Barack Obama a unique opportunity. The question is whether he will seize it.

Posted on May 23, 2008 at 02:34 PM ET | Comments (0)

All's Well That Ends Well, if the Truce Holds

If Tuesday's primary night speeches were any indication, it would take a monumental blunder on the part of Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton for the Democratic primary nominating contest now to end badly.

Posted on May 21, 2008 at 02:17 PM ET | Comments (235)

Obama, Clinton Treading Gently on the Stump

As the Democratic nominating contest winds down, Barack Obama plans to return to Iowa and Hillary Clinton seemingly declares a ceasefire so long as Obama doesn't move to push her out of the race. --Dan Balz

Posted on May 19, 2008 at 04:59 PM ET | Comments (275)

Sounding the General Election Bell

The general election begins.

Posted on May 16, 2008 at 01:04 PM ET | Comments (61)

McCain's Grand Ambitions

John McCain has laid out an ambitious agenda for America. But could he achieve it? --Dan Balz

Posted on May 15, 2008 at 06:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Real Race Begins

As the Democratic Primary contest winds down, Barack Obama would be well advised to focus on the difficult contest ahead. --Dan Balz

Posted on May 9, 2008 at 01:46 PM ET | Comments (514)

Clinton's End Game

Not with a bang, but with a whimper? --Dan Balz

Posted on May 8, 2008 at 06:58 PM ET | Comments (422)

Decision Time for Clinton

Former first lady's situation is much like it was just a day ago, but perceptions of her candidacy have taken a sharp turn for the worse. --Dan Balz

Posted on May 7, 2008 at 02:45 PM ET | Comments (727)

A Test for the Clinton Campaign

For Clinton, time to shine may be now or never. --Dan Balz

Posted on May 6, 2008 at 12:03 PM ET | Comments (381)

Clinton, in Her Element

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton waves to supporters as she takes the stage...

Posted on May 2, 2008 at 02:27 PM ET | Comments (604)

A Tipping Point for Obama -- or Just a Dip?

After Obama's rough patch, the Clinton campaign says the tide is turning her way. But is it? --Dan Balz

Posted on May 1, 2008 at 02:53 PM ET | Comments (595)

For Obama, Wright the Latest in a Long Line of Tests

The testing of Barack Obama continues. The Illinois senator has been on a month-long slide of bad news, poor performances and self-inflicted wounds. Still the favorite to win the Democratic nomination, Obama nonetheless needs a pair of victories next week in Indiana and North Carolina to kick-start his candidacy. --Dan Balz

Posted on April 28, 2008 at 12:23 PM ET | Comments (241)

Fiscal Discipline Not on Agenda for Democrats

The Post adds up the costs of the Democrats' programs and finds they'd blow a hole in the budget. --Dan Balz

Posted on April 25, 2008 at 12:06 PM ET | Comments (108)

Obama and the Critical Indiana Primary

Is Indiana a must-win state for Barack Obama? --Dan Balz

Posted on April 24, 2008 at 04:25 PM ET | Comments (352)

Pa. Results Renew Debate About Democrats & Red States

Barack Obama's campaign team moved quickly Wednesday to keep driving the narrative that their candidate remains the inevitable Democratic nominee, despite Hillary Clinton's victory in Pennsylvania, and the strongest candidate in November. What they are arguing is that Obama's unconventional appeal is actually the safest choice for the Democrats in 2008. --Dan Balz

Posted on April 23, 2008 at 04:03 PM ET | Comments (223)

Is McCain a Different Kind of Republican?

McCain is a different kind of Republican. But he will carry the burden of a damaged GOP brand all the way through to November. --Dan Balz

Posted on April 22, 2008 at 02:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

Beyond Pa., a Weakened Clinton

On the eve of the Pennsylvania primary, Hillary Clinton is a more weakened candidate than she was on the eve of the Ohio and Texas primaries. --Dan Balz

Posted on April 21, 2008 at 12:40 PM ET | Comments (670)

A Shakeup in the Electability Argument

These days, neither Clinton nor Obama can make the more compelling case as to who is more electable against John McCain.

Posted on April 18, 2008 at 12:35 PM ET | Comments (159)

A Debate About the Future

Between now and November, the most important question the Democratic front-runner will be forced to answer is: Who is Barack Obama? --Dan Balz

Posted on April 17, 2008 at 12:43 PM ET | Comments (370)

Three Turning Points on the Road to Denver

Democratic politicians should have three dates circled on their calendars: April 22, May 6 and July 1. Each represents a potential turning point in the nomination battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. --Dan Balz

Posted on March 31, 2008 at 03:02 PM ET | Comments (0)

Where No Other Democratic Leader Has Dared Go

Sen. Patrick Leahy has gone where no Democratic leader has dared go. It's time, the Vermont senator said, for Hillary Clinton to get out of the presidential race. "She ought to withdraw and she ought to be backing Senator Obama," he told Vermont Public Radio.--Dan Balz

Posted on March 28, 2008 at 11:38 AM ET | Comments (894)

A Survey That Raises Tough Questions

Democratic superdelegates watching the competition between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and wondering what to do ought to take a look at the latest NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll. The survey, out Thursday morning, doesn't provide all the answers they're looking for but does raise all the right questions. --Dan Balz

Posted on March 27, 2008 at 05:50 PM ET | Comments (44)

On War and the Economy, McCain Provides a Clear Contrast

For all the talk about McCain's maverick style and cross-party appeal, his views on two of the biggest issues of the campaign put him sharply at odds with the Democrats. --Dan Balz

Posted on March 26, 2008 at 12:27 PM ET | Comments (177)

The Democrats' Good News Primary

There is understandable concern among Democrats that the longer the battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton goes on, and the nastier it gets, the more split the party will be heading into the fall campaign. But news out of Pennsylvania overnight offers contrary evidence, suggesting this contest is good news for the Democrats. Figures from Pennsylvania's Department of State showed that Democrats have now topped 4 million registered voters, the first time either party has crossed that threshold. --Dan Balz

Posted on March 25, 2008 at 03:37 PM ET | Comments (74)

Who's the Stronger Democrat for the General Election?

Presidential hopefuls Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) shake hands after...

Posted on March 24, 2008 at 11:42 AM ET | Comments (302)

Five Ways the Richardson Endorsement Boosts Obama

Endorsements rarely determine the outcome of presidential races, but the decision by New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson to announce his support for Barack Obama today is nonetheless an important boost for Obama in his nomination battle with Hillary Clinton. --Dan Balz

Posted on March 21, 2008 at 02:23 PM ET | Comments (0)

A Do-Over Undone

How the Michigan primary deal fell apart.

Posted on March 20, 2008 at 12:09 PM ET | Comments (341)

A Lofty Speech of Uncertain Impact

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), right, shakes hands with Philadelphia police officers as...

Posted on March 19, 2008 at 02:22 PM ET | Comments (0)

For Obama, a Test of Leadership

PHILADELPHIA -- The damage to Barack Obama's presidential candidacy was already real when he stepped into the pulpit of the National Constitution Center here on Tuesday morning. Obama was a politician under fire, his campaign engulfed in controversy by the fiery, divisive and racially charged words of his Chicago pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Posted on March 18, 2008 at 02:32 PM ET | Comments (213)

McCain's Bush Burden

President Bush was in a jaunty mood when he welcomed John McCain to the White House on Wednesday. He waited with unusual patience for the late-arriving McCain, even doing a little soft-shoe routine for the press. He seemed liberated from the burdens of the presidency and raring to get back on the campaign trail.--Dan Balz

Posted on March 7, 2008 at 01:15 PM ET | Comments (0)

For Obama, an Uphill Battle in Pennsylvania

US Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) and his wife Michelle greet supporters at...

Posted on March 6, 2008 at 12:54 PM ET | Comments (384)

Beyond Math to a Tougher Message for Obama

Barack Obama awoke Wednesday to a new race for the Democratic nomination. To hear him explain Hillary Clinton's stunning victories in Ohio and Texas, Tuesday's results did little to change the basic trajectory of the race. --Dan Balz

Posted on March 5, 2008 at 01:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

A Campaign for the Ages

By Dan Balz An e-mail arrived Tuesday morning from Ohio. "Just amazin'," read the subject...

Posted on March 4, 2008 at 03:01 PM ET | Comments (10)

In Ohio, Clinton Full of Fight

CLEVELAND -- In these final hours of the primary campaigns in Ohio and Texas, Hillary Clinton's message has all the subtlety of a clanging bell. It's: "I'm a champ. He's a chump." --Dan Balz

Posted on March 3, 2008 at 12:25 PM ET | Comments (407)

Clinton's Daunting Road Ahead

Victories in both Ohio and Texas would be incentive enough for Hillary Clinton to continue her candidacy into Pennsylvania, but if Obama emerges with no significant damage to his delegate advantage, her prospects for ending the primaries with a lead in pledged delegates remain daunting. --Dan Balz

Posted on February 29, 2008 at 12:55 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Muddy Road Ahead, and What the Candidates Can Do About It

Many of today's political strategists enjoy a good wallow in the mud. By Dan...

Posted on February 28, 2008 at 02:24 PM ET | Comments (110)

Final Debate Changes Little, Though Earlier Ones Changed Obama

CLEVELAND -- Two things were clear from Tuesday's Democratic debate here in Cleveland: Barack Obama is a much improved debater from what he was when he began his presidential campaign, and Hillary Clinton did not do what she needed to do to change the shape of the Democratic race. --Dan Balz

Posted on February 27, 2008 at 02:08 PM ET | Comments (43)

With All Eyes on Clinton, Time to Question Obama, Too

CLEVELAND -- The focus will be on Hillary Clinton tonight when she and Barack Obama meet here for their last debate before next week's primaries in Ohio and Texas. But should it be Obama who comes under closer questioning?--Dan Balz

Posted on February 26, 2008 at 01:13 PM ET | Comments (0)

Clinton Camp Plans Continued Battle

Like a good lawyer and political street fighter, Harold Ickes came to breakfast with a case to make and argued it with gusto.--Dan Balz

Posted on February 25, 2008 at 02:15 PM ET | Comments (179)

No Valedictory from Clinton

AUSTIN -- When Hillary Clinton reached out to shake the hand of Barack Obama at last night's CNN-Univision debate and declared "I am absolutely honored" to be with him, there was a palpable pause in the press filing center to await the conclusion. Where was she heading? --Dan Balz

Posted on February 22, 2008 at 12:21 PM ET | Comments (113)

Johnson's Legacy, Today's Democratic Race

President Lyndon B. Johnson reaches to shake hands with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr....

Posted on February 21, 2008 at 03:01 PM ET | Comments (67)

Another Bleak Wednesday for Clinton

It is another bleak Wednesday for Hillary Clinton's campaign, the second in as many weeks in which she has awakened to the aftermath of what President Bush would call a thumpin'. Can a different strategy turn the tide?--Dan Balz

Posted on February 20, 2008 at 12:09 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Democratic Party's Nomination Mess

Workers try to set the stage for the Democratic National Convention in 2004. (Nate Parsons/The...

Posted on February 19, 2008 at 01:31 PM ET | Comments (121)

What's the Matter With Wisconsin

Motorists make their way through the snow along Highway 41 Feb. 17 near Fond du...

Posted on February 18, 2008 at 01:32 PM ET | Comments (348)

Obama's Texas Test

A volunteer prepares a poster in advance of the opening of Barack Obama's Austin,...

Posted on February 15, 2008 at 01:40 PM ET | Comments (255)

Clinton's Primary Gift

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton listens to a family tell their story during a campaign stop...

Posted on February 14, 2008 at 02:04 PM ET | Comments (101)

Extended Take: Clinton's Challenges Ahead

A supporter holds a pen and campaign flier, hopefully to be signed by Democratic presidential...

Posted on February 13, 2008 at 03:56 PM ET | Comments (0)

Why a Clinton Losing Streak Won't Mean it's Over

Unless she manages to win one of the Potomac primaries Tuesday, Hillary Clinton will wake up Wednesday having lost eight consecutive contests to Barack Obama in just five days.--Dan Balz

Posted on February 12, 2008 at 01:50 PM ET | Comments (0)

The John Edwards Primary

The John Edwards primary is now in full swing. Hillary Clinton made a clandestine visit to see her former rival last Thursday at his home in North Carolina to seek his support. Soon it will be Barack Obama's turn to make the pilgrimage to Tobacco Road. The Illinois senator ought to be ready for some serious conversation. --Dan Balz

Posted on February 11, 2008 at 12:43 PM ET | Comments (0)

Michigan's Missed Moment as Clinton-Obama Fight Continues

The clever people in Michigan who decided to get into a game of chicken with New Hampshire last fall over the timing of their Democratic primary should be having second thoughts this weekend.--Dan Balz

Posted on February 8, 2008 at 02:12 PM ET | Comments (248)

Evenly Matched Dems Portend a Long Race

The whole world was watching, but answers were no clearer on Wednesday morning. (Bloomberg News)....

Posted on February 6, 2008 at 02:06 PM ET | Comments (159)

Defining Success on Super Tuesday

In a pair or races characterized by twist and turns, Super Tuesday may well provide us a few more.

Posted on February 5, 2008 at 01:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Forget February. What About November?

On the eve of Super Tuesday, let's cast our eyes forward to November and the general election match-ups that are now most likely: John McCain against either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.--Dan Balz

Posted on February 4, 2008 at 01:15 PM ET | Comments (37)

Barrier-Breaking Race, Ready For Close-Up

LOS ANGELES - Sometimes the most important aspects of a presidential campaign are the least remarked upon. Thursday's Democratic debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama made the obvious inescapable.--Dan Balz

Posted on February 1, 2008 at 11:34 AM ET | Comments (58)

McCain's GOP: Big Tent or Badly Fractured?

Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Arnold Schwarzenegger: The new faces of the GOP? (Dan Balz). By...

Posted on January 31, 2008 at 03:05 PM ET | Comments (115)

Edwards's Next Act

Former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) speaks to the media after announcing that is he withdrawing...

Posted on January 30, 2008 at 02:06 PM ET | Comments (0)

As Florida Votes, No GOP Role Model Intact

President Bush's last State of the Union address and the final day of campaigning before Tuesday's Florida primary drew a disconsolate portrait of the political party that just three years ago this week believed its future was unlimited.--Dan Balz

Posted on January 29, 2008 at 01:47 PM ET | Comments (0)

Passing the Kennedy Torch

For political symbolism, there is little that can top Edward M. Kennedy's endorsement of Barack Obama. Before a jam-packed arena at American University, the lion of the Senate passed the Kennedy family torch to the young senator from Illinois in his bid to win the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.--Dan Balz

Posted on January 28, 2008 at 02:41 PM ET | Comments (0)

Former Front-runner Giuliani, Now Hoping to be Comeback Kid

"We have them lulled into a false sense of security," Rudy Giuliani joked about his rivals at Thursday's Republican debate here in south Florida. Was anyone really laughing?--Dan Balz

Posted on January 25, 2008 at 01:44 PM ET | Comments (70)

In Fla., GOP Worries About the Future

Rudy Giuliani, right, shakes hands with Florida Governor Charlie Crist during a campaign stop in...

Posted on January 24, 2008 at 03:22 PM ET | Comments (8)

For Edwards, a Looming Personal Decision

Edwards needs whatever help he can get at this stage in the Democratic presidential race. --Dan Balz

Posted on January 23, 2008 at 01:45 PM ET | Comments (44)

Bill Clinton's South Carolina Ties

Former president Clinton makes a sartorial misstep at a South Carolina campaign event.--Dan Balz

Posted on January 22, 2008 at 02:39 PM ET | Comments (0)

Campaigning for Wife, Bill Clinton Walks Fine Line

As the Democrats assembled here Monday morning to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. on the grounds of the state capitol, the show of harmony and unity around the King holiday could not disguise the simmering tensions between the Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama campaigns -- particularly the role that Bill Clinton has taken up in behalf of his wife. --Dan Balz

Posted on January 21, 2008 at 11:29 AM ET | Comments (0)

No Love Fest, But No Fistfight Either

The press may love negative campaigns, but with no clear targets this year, the campaigns are more love fest than fist fight.--Dan Balz

Posted on January 19, 2008 at 12:06 PM ET | Comments (0)

McCain and the Disaffected GOP Base

John McCain returns a salute to veterans at a campaign event in Florence, S.C....

Posted on January 18, 2008 at 01:39 PM ET | Comments (0)

Picking Citrus and Presidents in Florida

For years, the key contest in determining the Republican nomination battle has come here in South Carolina, not in snowy New Hampshire. But that may not be the case any longer this year. Florida, not South Carolina, may be the most important contest this year. --Dan Balz

Posted on January 17, 2008 at 02:45 PM ET | Comments (17)

A Clinton Playbook That Doesn't Fit Their Opponent

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama called for a cease-fire Monday in their acrimonious and racially tinged war of words, but there is little likelihood it will hold indefinitely.--Dan Balz

Posted on January 15, 2008 at 02:02 PM ET | Comments (46)

A Negative Turn in a Dangerous Game for Clinton, Obama

The stakes for both candidates are high as the Democratic presidential campaign took a sharply negative turn over the weekend.--Dan Balz

Posted on January 14, 2008 at 01:48 PM ET | Comments (0)

John Edwards: Spoiler, Surrogate or Surprise?

John Edwards is the forgotten man in the race for the Democratic nomination, but not an inconsequential candidate.--Dan Balz

Posted on January 11, 2008 at 01:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

Once Again, It's The Economy

If 2007 was the year of Iraq in the presidential campaign, 2008 is now shaping up as the year of the economy.--Dan Balz

Posted on January 10, 2008 at 02:12 PM ET | Comments (0)

Clinton Teaches Politics 101

Hillary Clinton's stunning victory here on Tuesday night was another powerful reminder of something that is taught in Politics 101: Campaigns matter.--Dan Balz

Posted on January 9, 2008 at 12:25 PM ET | Comments (124)

Obama's Tipping Point

Barack Obama closed out his New Hampshire campaign late Monday the way he began it early Friday, with a display of energy, jubilation and powerful rhetoric that captured what could be a profoundly important transitional moment in Democratic politics and perhaps the politics of the country.--Dan Balz

Posted on January 8, 2008 at 12:27 PM ET | Comments (131)

Clock Ticking as Clinton Struggles to Rewrite Script

If you wanted a measure of how discombobulated Hillary Clinton's campaign has been since Iowa, look no farther than to the memo sent out by chief strategist Mark Penn shortly before the Democratic debate on Saturday night.--Dan Balz

Posted on January 7, 2008 at 11:52 AM ET | Comments (140)

Romney Looking for an Obama Shield Against Rivals

Romney's high command may be right or wrong about Obama's prospects in N.H., but there is no question that they are all rooting for a big Obama victory over Hillary Clinton and John Edwards. The better Obama does, they believe, the more independents votes he will deny John McCain, the current GOP front-runner in New Hampshire. The fewer independents who vote in the Republican primary, the better Romney will do. --Dan Balz

Posted on January 6, 2008 at 01:59 PM ET | Comments (0)

Will N.H. Be Obama Territory, Too?

The reality is, N.H. is the state that always set up best for Obama, even when he was struggling here.

Posted on January 4, 2008 at 01:13 PM ET | Comments (0)

On All Sides, Stakes Couldn't Be Higher

The Clinton team will take any kind of win possible - clean or narrow - and scamper out of Iowa feeling lucky. But it is the prospect of a possible Clinton defeat - particularly to Barack Obama -- that would radically reshape the Democratic nomination. --Dan Balz

Posted on January 3, 2008 at 02:24 PM ET | Comments (0)

Huckabee's Big Test

Mike Huckabee and Chuck Norris rock out at the Val Air Ballroom in Des...

Posted on January 2, 2008 at 11:56 AM ET | Comments (79)

The Final Spectacle

By Dan Balz AMES, Iowa - The New Year began with a rush here in...

Posted on January 1, 2008 at 04:06 PM ET | Comments (27)

A Diligent Clinton Keeps Her Head Down

Clinton has avoided becoming the focus of attention. The national front-runner has become, if not invisible, virtually ignored -- and that seems just the way she wants it. --Dan Balz

Posted on December 31, 2007 at 02:01 PM ET | Comments (70)

Edwards Fights to the Finish

For the final days in Iowa, John Edwards has shed his blue jeans and open-collar shirt and put on a suit and tie -- and a pair of brass knuckles. --Dan Balz

Posted on December 30, 2007 at 01:15 PM ET | Comments (98)

Huckabee's Unusual Closing Speech

With six days remaining before the Iowa caucuses, conventional candidates are offering their closing arguments to the voters. Mike Huckabee delivers a sermon. --Dan Balz

Posted on December 28, 2007 at 01:46 PM ET | Comments (241)

With Early Caucuses, Questions Abound

There is one question every presidential candidate would love to know the answer to this week: Is anybody in Iowa listening? --Dan Balz

Posted on December 26, 2007 at 01:38 PM ET | Comments (76)

Fateful Minutes in Philadephia Dimmed Clinton's Prospects

Clinton's advisers will long wonder why a few minutes in Philadelphia caused so many problems for the once high-flying candidate. -- Dan Balz

Posted on December 14, 2007 at 11:35 AM ET | Comments (54)

Clinton and Obama Camps Both Cheered by Polls

Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama found good news overnight in newly-released polls.--Dan Balz

Posted on December 12, 2007 at 04:15 PM ET | Comments (0)

Reconsidering the Primary Calendar

Imagine if the primary calendar were organized around the weather. --Dan Balz

Posted on December 11, 2007 at 02:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Huckabee's Rise and Rise

The most surprising conversations running through Republican circles this week are all about Mike Huckabee. --Dan Balz

Posted on December 10, 2007 at 03:10 PM ET | Comments (0)

Perils of Immigration Issue May Cut Both Ways

Few issues hold more peril for the 2008 presidential nominees of both parties than immigration.--Dan Balz

Posted on December 7, 2007 at 01:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

With His Message Delivered, Romney Awaits Verdict

Mitt Romney walked a fine line in the most important speech of his political career.--Dan Balz

Posted on December 6, 2007 at 02:00 PM ET | Comments (31)

In Warp Speed Campaign, What Ground Are We Covering?

Tuesday's Democratic debate was a rare exercise in civility in an otherwise contentious presidential campaign.

Posted on December 5, 2007 at 02:54 PM ET | Comments (11)

Romney's Leap of Faith

Will Romney have a Kennedy moment?

Posted on December 4, 2007 at 01:35 PM ET | Comments (111)

'30 Days of Rough Sledding'

An eventful weekend on both the Democratic and Republican side.

Posted on December 3, 2007 at 02:17 PM ET | Comments (0)

Expecting Clarity, Republicans Get More of a Muddle

Huckabee shines again, while the rest of the field struggles and the GOP contest remains as much of a mystery as ever.

Posted on November 29, 2007 at 12:22 PM ET | Comments (0)

Oprah's a Winner. Can She Make Obama One Too?

Can Oprah move voters, particularly African American women, the way she moves television ratings and books?

Posted on November 28, 2007 at 12:35 PM ET | Comments (27)

Gearing Up for the Granite State

Events this week show Clinton's methodical effort to build a New Hampshire firewall in the event that things go badly for her in Iowa.

Posted on November 27, 2007 at 02:01 PM ET | Comments (34)

Giuliani on Clinton and the GOP's 'Very Strong Record of Success'

Rudy Giuliani has a fight on his hands to win the Republican presidential nomination, but he already has the general election well scoped out.

Posted on November 26, 2007 at 12:25 PM ET | Comments (24)

What Happened to Liking the Candidate You Support?

Republicans in the Hawkeye state don't think much of Rudy Giulian as an honest and trustworthy candidate.

Posted on November 21, 2007 at 01:35 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Iowa Three-Way Race

There is more than enough worrisome news for Hillary Clinton in the new Washington Post-ABC News poll of Iowa Democrats to keep her political team on edge for the next 44 days.

Posted on November 20, 2007 at 02:15 PM ET | Comments (0)

McCain Says He's the One to Lead--And Beat Clinton

Sunday night speeches rarely get much attention but the address John McCain delivered in New Hampshire on last night deserves a closer look.

Posted on November 19, 2007 at 02:20 PM ET | Comments (0)

Clinton's Debate Showing a Warning to Opponents

Clinton won the battle of Las Vegas by aggressively turning the tables on her rivals, challenging them where they are vulnerable and forcing them to answer questions they weren't ready to answer.

Posted on November 16, 2007 at 02:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Spoiling for a Fight

As Democrats prepare for Thursday night's debate in Las Vegas, the focus is still on Clinton. Can she recover and prove what happened in Philadelphia was an aberration -- or might there truly be a contest for the Democratic nomination once the curtain falls in Nevada?

Posted on November 15, 2007 at 02:20 PM ET | Comments (33)

Bill Clinton's Advice: Make Friends, Not Enemies

As the presidential campaign heats up, Bill Clinton has some governing advice for the eventual winner.

Posted on November 14, 2007 at 02:04 PM ET | Comments (34)

Giuliani Goes Big, Not Early

Nobody is playing the expectations game more aggressively these days that Rudy Giuliani. Usually it's the underdog who plays this game, not the big dog. In so many ways, the 2008 cycle is different.

Posted on November 13, 2007 at 01:46 PM ET | Comments (21)

The Iowa Rules

Iowa not only has the distinction of holding the earliest contest in the presidential nominating calendar. It also enjoys the dubious reputation for holding what may can seem the most arcane of contests.

Posted on November 12, 2007 at 11:52 AM ET | Comments (18)

Bill Clinton and Obama Agree: GOP Will Make Immigration an Issue

Barack Obama said publicly Thursday what many Democrats are fretting about privately these days, which is that the Republicans will be coming after them next year on the issue of immigration and they'd better get ready.

Posted on November 9, 2007 at 12:28 PM ET | Comments (0)

For GOP, Back-to-the-Future Week

The current crop of Republicans has reached back in time for validation from leaders who have neither the power nor the influence they once had.

Posted on November 8, 2007 at 02:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

Clinton's Answers on Immigration Grant License to Criticize

Immigration continues to roil the Democratic presidential race.

Posted on November 7, 2007 at 02:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

In GOP Race, Blurring the Lines in the Abortion Debate

On key social issue, Giuliani seeks to keep focus on his governing philosophy.

Posted on November 6, 2007 at 01:43 PM ET | Comments (22)

Clinton's Support Among Liberals is Rising

Despite criticisms aiming to discredit her positions among liberals, Clinton's support is growing.

Posted on November 5, 2007 at 03:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Victim or a Party Crasher in the 'All-Boys Club'?

Hillary Clinton returns to Wellesley, the all-women's college that she said prepared her for the "all-boys club" of presidential politics.

Posted on November 2, 2007 at 01:30 PM ET | Comments (57)

Union in Clinton's Corner--And Ready For a Fight

The AFSCME plans to spend $60 million in in the 2008 cycle, investing fully in electing its candidate.

Posted on November 1, 2007 at 12:55 PM ET | Comments (4)

Clinton Provides an Opening in Debate

Tuesday's debate in Philadelphia was the weakest performance Clinton has delivered in any debate this year.

Posted on October 31, 2007 at 02:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

What's On the Table For Obama and Social Security?

In a matter of months, Obama has moved from being open to a solution that might include raising the retirement age or indexing benefits to prices rather than wages, to making the protection of benefits one of his three core principles for dealing with Social Security.

Posted on October 30, 2007 at 01:05 PM ET | Comments (0)

Taking Aim at Clinton

Edwards and Obama sharpen their rhetoric ahead of Tuesday night's Democratic debate in Philadelphia.

Posted on October 29, 2007 at 01:41 PM ET | Comments (0)

A Campaign Afflicted With Debate Fatigue

Campaigns struggle with endless forums, fear the problem will only get worse.

Posted on October 26, 2007 at 01:00 PM ET | Comments (23)

An Anniversary to Remember for Both the Boomer and the POW

Hillary Clinton and John McCain campaign for the White House as respectful rivals but across a vast cultural chasm that still divides the country.

Posted on October 25, 2007 at 01:50 PM ET | Comments (21)

Clinton Slips Social Security Questions

Tracking Hillary Clinton's views on Social Security is becoming a full-time job.

Posted on October 24, 2007 at 12:45 PM ET | Comments (37)

Romney Must Prove He's the Genuine Article

One Republican observer's take on the current field: the more he sees of Mitt Romney, the less he like him.

Posted on October 23, 2007 at 02:00 PM ET | Comments (43)

A GOP Race That Refuses to Narrow

The Arizona Senator may still pose the biggest challenge to Hizzoner's candidacy.

Posted on October 22, 2007 at 01:35 PM ET | Comments (42)

Rudy and the Christian Right: A Critical Encounter Saturday

Giuliani will appear Saturday before the Family Research Council's Values Voters summit in Washington for what could be the most important speech of his presidential campaign to date.

Posted on October 19, 2007 at 01:39 PM ET | Comments (0)

"Taking Absolutely Nothing for Granted"

But strategist says her lead is built on a solid foundation.

Posted on October 18, 2007 at 01:20 PM ET | Comments (0)

Iowa's Regrettable Line in the Sand

Caucus voters in Dubuque, Iowa (Photo by: Stephanie Judge) Iowa Republicans have drawn a...

Posted on October 17, 2007 at 12:53 PM ET | Comments (0)

Sitting Atop an Unstable Race

Giuliani sits atop the Republican race, but little else is settled.

Posted on October 16, 2007 at 01:35 PM ET | Comments (0)

Who's the Real Republican?

Mitt Romney's attempt to draw differences with Rudy Giuliani raises questions about what defines...

Posted on October 15, 2007 at 01:10 PM ET | Comments (59)

Painting America Purple

Can Rudy Giuliani, seen here campaigning in South Carolina, really change the electoral map...

Posted on October 12, 2007 at 01:20 PM ET | Comments (26)

Can He Save the Planet and Win the Presidency?

The peace prize announcement is due on Friday, so he doesn't have long to wait to learn if he has pulled off a unique grand slam for 2007: an Oscar, an Emmy, a bestseller and a Nobel.

Posted on October 11, 2007 at 01:15 PM ET | Comments (125)

On the Race to the White House, Clinton Talks More 'When' Than 'If'

An interview with Hillary Clinton reveals how much she already has thought about being president.

Posted on October 10, 2007 at 11:42 AM ET | Comments (27)

Too Soon to Write Off Thompson

Tonight's GOP debate on economic issues probably won't decide the outcome of the Republican presidential race, despite what you may have heard.

Posted on October 9, 2007 at 01:15 PM ET | Comments (0)

Iowa Surprise In Store for Republican Field?

Clinton's leading the Democratic pack, but more interesting to note is what the latest Iowa poll says about the Republican field.

Posted on October 8, 2007 at 11:30 AM ET | Comments (0)

Clock Ticking on Primary Calendar Mess

When the long 2008 presidential campaign finally comes to a close, one of the most dismal episodes will have been the manipulation and game-playing over the nomination calendar.

Posted on October 5, 2007 at 11:50 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Health Care Divide

There are few divides larger this year between Republican and Democratic presidential candidates than on the issue of health care--and at this point, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, public opinion is on the side of the Democrats.

Posted on October 4, 2007 at 01:15 PM ET | Comments (31)

Romney's September Slide

Mitt Romney has experienced a September slide in the Granite State.

Posted on October 3, 2007 at 01:25 PM ET | Comments (32)

Clinton Blocks Obama at Nearly Every Turn

This was the day Barack Obama intended to seize the initiative in the Democratic presidential race with a speech in Chicago, but before he could take the stage Hillary Clinton sought to steal the spotlight by announcing her big third-quarter fundraising report.

Posted on October 2, 2007 at 01:00 PM ET | Comments (145)

As Giuliani Gains, Search For a Different Mr. Right

The strength of Giuliani's candidacy has brought rare agreement between former President Bill Clinton and Dr. James Dobson.

Posted on October 1, 2007 at 01:00 PM ET | Comments (4)

The New (Old) Rule Book

If anyone needed evidence that John Edwards doesn't intend to play by the rules in this campaign, his decision Thursday to play by the rules should settle the question.

Posted on September 28, 2007 at 12:34 PM ET | Comments (18)

John Edwards' Learning Curve

John Edwards is more confident on the presidential campaign trail a second time around.

Posted on September 27, 2007 at 12:36 PM ET | Comments (0)

Time For Obama to Step Up His Game

Obama is moving in the wrong direction--or at best not moving. Having entered the presidential campaign to great promise, he has yet to deliver fully on his potential.

Posted on September 26, 2007 at 10:26 AM ET | Comments (0)

Change as Romney's Tune

Romney's new message is one of change, saying on the stump "Republicans have to put our own house in order."

Posted on September 25, 2007 at 02:10 PM ET | Comments (0)

Can Clinton Be Stopped?

Hillary Clinton on Meet the Press. (NBC). The Hillary Clinton who appeared on five...

Posted on September 24, 2007 at 12:55 PM ET | Comments (175)

Clinton's Familiar Third Rail

Clinton and Chris Dodd at the AARP event yesterday. (AP). The Democratic presidential candidates...

Posted on September 21, 2007 at 01:04 PM ET | Comments (24)

Not Waiting For The Nomination, Giuliani Makes All The World His Stage

Rudy Giuliani is already acting like a president. That's how he hopes to turn himself into the presumptive Republican nominee.

Posted on September 20, 2007 at 12:50 PM ET | Comments (5)

Democrats Gearing Up For Delegate Fight

Obama appears to be preparing for a drawn out primary fight with a newly-announced New York fundraiser.

Posted on September 19, 2007 at 01:35 PM ET | Comments (22)

Romney's Rush to Critique Clinton Missing The Facts

In the debate on health care, Republican presidential candidates prefer partisan sloganeering to honest discussion, with Mitt Romney the most egregious example.

Posted on September 18, 2007 at 01:25 PM ET | Comments (0)

Biden Focuses on Iraq, Hoping For an Iowa Surprise

In Iowa this weekend, Joe Biden spoke about Iraq policy and the responsibility of the next president to end the war.

Posted on September 17, 2007 at 01:15 PM ET | Comments (0)

Gingrich Thinks No Candidate a Match For the Clinton Machine

Newt Gingrich has a dim view of his party's chances of winning the White House in 2008.

Posted on September 14, 2007 at 12:50 PM ET | Comments (0)

Clinton vs. Clinton

Will Hillary Clinton listen to her own advice about how difficult it is to...

Posted on September 13, 2007 at 12:35 PM ET | Comments (30)

Clinton and Obama, At War Over War's End

No issue better highlights the arc of the Democratic nomination contest than the competition over the war in Iraq.

Posted on September 12, 2007 at 01:05 PM ET | Comments (42)

Petraeus and the Next President's Burden

Obama at the morning hearing. (AP). This week's testimony by Gen. David Petraeus and...

Posted on September 11, 2007 at 01:05 PM ET | Comments (33)

The Petraeus Effect

How will Petraeus' much anticipated testimony shape the political debate?

Posted on September 10, 2007 at 11:55 AM ET | Comments (7)

Democrats Make New Friends, And Try to Keep The Old

A new book explores the way the Democratic Party is navigating between old and new forces.

Posted on September 7, 2007 at 11:40 AM ET | Comments (88)

Making Sept. The Month of McCain

John McCain hopes that, by the end September, this will be remembered not as Thompson's moment, but McCain's month.

Posted on September 6, 2007 at 01:10 PM ET | Comments (0)

You Didn't Just Imagine It: Politics Really Is More Polarized

The absence of ideology is one of the enduring myths of American politics. Americans have long seen themselves as non-ideological.

Posted on September 5, 2007 at 12:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Clinton vs. Obama, A Difference With a Distinction?

Clinton and Obama at a candidate forum last month. (Reuters). Hillary Clinton and Barack...

Posted on September 4, 2007 at 12:56 PM ET | Comments (0)

Bill and the Giant Pumpkin

Bill Clinton and an admirer at the Hopkinton State Fair. (Dan Balz) Only Bill...

Posted on September 3, 2007 at 11:51 AM ET | Comments (0)

A Front-Runner or The Wes Clark of 2008?

Fred Thompson, at the Iowa State Fair earlier this month, has given his candidacy...

Posted on August 31, 2007 at 01:14 PM ET | Comments (63)

When a Hillraiser Brings More Than Just Money

The Clintons, plus Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen, at a Martha's Vineyard fundraiser this...

Posted on August 30, 2007 at 02:03 PM ET | Comments (15)

These Days, a Not-So Grand Old Party

The Republican Party has a long way to go to regain the standing it...

Posted on August 29, 2007 at 12:46 PM ET | Comments (51)

Bush's Hurricane Damage

Bush surveying the damage outside Biloxi, Miss. in 2005. (Reuters) America marks a grim...

Posted on August 28, 2007 at 01:00 PM ET | Comments (27)

After Months of Conflict, Gonzales Steps Offstage

Gonzales's exit from the Justice Dept. stage today is long overdue, many Democrats say....

Posted on August 27, 2007 at 01:15 PM ET | Comments (59)

Who's Really Ready for Change?

The three Democratic front-runners at a debate in June. (Reuters) The Democratic nomination battle...

Posted on August 17, 2007 at 02:25 PM ET | Comments (53)

'Good People' Given Chance In Giuliani Immigration Plan

In 2004 at the Republican National Convention, Giuliani addressed the crowd with Lady Liberty...

Posted on August 16, 2007 at 01:32 PM ET | Comments (33)

A Conversation With Obama

Clinton and Obama at the NAACP convention in 2006. (AP) Part way through our...

Posted on August 15, 2007 at 12:45 PM ET | Comments (26)

The Divider Behind the Uniter

Karl Rove and George Bush in Austin in 1999, on the road to the...

Posted on August 14, 2007 at 10:23 AM ET | Comments (7)

Enough Already With the Straw Poll

The straw poll is an Iowan-only event that drew just 14,000 this year. Has...

Posted on August 13, 2007 at 11:20 AM ET | Comments (34)

After Tomorrow, One Less Thompson?

Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson speaks to supporters during a campaign stop last month...

Posted on August 10, 2007 at 01:41 PM ET | Comments (0)

At the Breaking Point?

New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner and South Carolina GOP Chairman Katon Dawson...

Posted on August 9, 2007 at 01:59 PM ET | Comments (0)

Seven Things We Learned From the Democratic Debate

The view from Chicago's Soldier Field, where Democratic candidates sparred in front of a...

Posted on August 8, 2007 at 12:08 PM ET | Comments (0)

Dean Endorsement Weighs on Labor's Thinking

As they prepare for tonight's forum with Democratic presidential candidates in Chicago, leaders of...

Posted on August 7, 2007 at 12:00 PM ET | Comments (11)

Giuliani Sitting Out Iowa? Don't Bet on It

Rudy Giuliani may be sitting out Saturday's Iowa straw poll, but he was still...

Posted on August 6, 2007 at 11:56 AM ET | Comments (20)

Nine Days That Will Shape the Race

The next nine days will feature four debates and a GOP straw poll that...

Posted on August 3, 2007 at 11:50 AM ET | Comments (7)

Obama's Warning to Pakistan Drives Democratic Debate

His Democratic rivals essentially agree with message to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf. (Reuters) It...

Posted on August 2, 2007 at 12:35 PM ET | Comments (69)

A Democrat in 2008?Not So Fast

Every general indicator of political attitudes this summer points to a Democratic victory in 2008....

Posted on August 1, 2007 at 04:15 PM ET | Comments (27)

Not Ready for Takeoff?

Can the wheels come off a wagon that hasn't left the assembly line? That is...

Posted on July 31, 2007 at 12:27 PM ET | Comments (0)

Snubbing the Centrists?

Bill Clinton was a stalwart of the Democratic Leadership Council during his presidency. He'll...

Posted on July 30, 2007 at 01:26 PM ET | Comments (71)

"I Don't Sit at Home and Worry About What's Going to Happen to Me"

Elizabeth Edwards told the Post's Dan Balz that campaigning has proven the best medicine...

Posted on July 30, 2007 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Pessimism Nation

In a week in which an argument between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama dominated...

Posted on July 27, 2007 at 11:53 AM ET | Comments (49)

The Anti-Establishment Edwards

John Edwards and Barack Obama are using different rhetoric to try and capture the...

Posted on July 26, 2007 at 12:23 PM ET | Comments (0)

No Turning Back?

Sen. Clinton makes a point Tuesday at a campaign stop in Portsmouth, N.H. (AP...

Posted on July 25, 2007 at 12:39 PM ET | Comments (48)

And This Round Goes To...

CHARLESTON, S.C.--Monday's CNN/YouTube debate in Charleston was the best of the campaign season, and...

Posted on July 24, 2007 at 12:20 PM ET | Comments (58)

 

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