Bob Moser

Bob Moser is senior editor at National Journal and author of Blue Dixie: Awakening the South's Democratic Majority (Times Books). He is the former editor of The Texas Observer, senior editor/writer at The Nation, and executive editor of The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Bidening

Time was when the political woods were full of Joe Bidens—super-gregarious retail politicians who could yell themselves hoarse at one campaign stop about how the rich and powerful are screwing everybody over, then in the next town go all quiet and sincere and wring tears from even the toughest characters in the crowd. Those old-style pols lived to campaign, and they campaigned for their lives—especially back in the way-old days when political speechifying was a major form of entertainment in many parts of the country. The best of them were shameless hams, willing to do just about anything to win a vote; Huey Long, the Louisiana populist who inspired fear in both corporatists and Roosevelt Democrats, was reported to have pulled off his shoes at rallies and wiggled his toes, demonstrating that just like the poor folks in the crowd, he had “relatable” holes in his socks. Biden hasn’t gone quite that far—yet—but who’d put it past him? Not since Bill Clinton (who was a slicked-up,...

Battle of the Choirs

No reasonable observer could question that the Democratic National Convention outclassed the Republicans’ out-of-tune, mishmashy effort in Tampa. (Christie and Clint, need we say more?) Leaving aside poor dear Martin O’Malley, the Maryland governor who fumbled a prime-time opportunity to elevate his 2016 prospects, the headliners were sharp, message-coordinated, and (we’re talking about you, Michelle and Bill) sometimes flat-out brilliant. Maybe the Dems will end up with a bit more of a bounce than the Republicans. But there’s little real chance—barring the intervention of outside events, or debate disasters of epic proportions—that anybody’s going to break the gridlock that’s existed between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama since late spring. Not, that is, until 60 days from now, November 6. With few persuadable voters, and with the economy likely to keep trudging along slowly and steadily and unsatisfactorily, 2012 is shaping up as perhaps the ultimate “turnout election.” The campaigns...

Paul Ryan: Behind Blue Eyes

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan touts his 2012 federal budget. Today, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney announced Ryan as his running mate. As the chairman of the House Budget Committee, Ryan gives Romney a link to Capitol Hill leadership and underscores Romney's effort to make the election a referendum on the nation's economic course. After a campaign spent pandering slavishly to the right, Mitt Romney has finally inspired a giddy burst of bipartisan consensus: On the right and left, everyone’s jumping for joy about his new running mate. For conservatives who’ve always regarded the former “Massachusetts moderate” with cold suspicion, it wasn’t enough for Romney to endorse and effusively praise Paul Ryan’s infamous budget—a plan that would give the richest Americans an average tax cut of at least $150,000 a year and cap Medicare benefits , meaning that seniors would fall further and further behind over time. They didn’t believe Romney...

Gun-Shy

Some of us were willing—unlike Michael Bloomberg —to give the presidential candidates a wide berth on Friday, when they eschewed politics to speak soothing words in the aftermath of Aurora. They also eschewed any reference to a root cause of the massacre: the ease with which deranged Americans can acquire a mass-murdering arsenal. Now it’s time. But the closest to a call for gun control we’ve heard from either Mitt Romney or Barack Obama—who have both supported at least some new regulations in the past—came in the mealymouthed form of Jay Carney , the president’s press secretary, who had this to say: "The president's view is that we can take steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them under existing law.” Gun politics, as we’re freshly reminded, is one of the greatest sicknesses of our system. Extremist gun groups, with an extremist idea endorsed by an extremist judiciary—that the Second Amendment protection for citizen militias means that semi-automatics...

Wag the Veep

Yesterday, as the Romney campaign was drowning in revelations and nagging questions about his time (and maybe-time) at Bain Capital, mysterious “sources” apparently decided it was an excellent time to call Matt Drudge and dangle a shiny pseudo-scoop in front of him. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, he breathlessly reported at 7:30 p.m., is “now near the top of the list” to be Mitt’s vice-presidential choice. Why? Well, apparently because she gave a real nice speech at the Romney retreat in Utah recently. (BuzzFeed has the audio .) And what do you know? The interwebs and cables were instantly ablaze with just-add-water analysis of Rice’s prospects, pros and cons. Bill Kristol hopped on the bandwagon. Sarah Palin declared it a “wonderful” idea and, in a related development, Juan Williams opined that it would be a “ game changer .” If the phrase “game changer” doesn’t send instant chills up the spines of Republicans, it’s hard to imagine what would. Rice, of course, is no...

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