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

Obama and the Vision Thing

President Obama’s first challenge in tomorrow night’s town hall debate has been crystal clear ever since he allowed Mitt Romney to Etch A Sketch his way through their first encounter: Follow Joe Biden’s lead by calling out Romney on his inconsistencies and lies, while highlighting the radicalism of the Republicans’ real agenda. The Prospect ’s Paul Waldman offers some sage advice : “He needs a single phrase that he will repeat every time he's refuting a Romney falsehood. It could be something slogan-y, like ‘That's another Romney Reinvention,’ or could be something simple, like ‘Once again, Governor Romney thinks he can fool you and get away with it.’ It almost doesn't matter what it is, so long as he repeats it every time.” But there’s another, broader challenge for Obama—and it’s one that relates to the central flaw of the president’s entire campaign. While some voters understand what will be lost if Romney wins (Medicaid, Medicare, health-care reform, sane foreign policy, the list...

Laughing All the Way

The most pressing question that Joe Biden faced, heading into Thursday night’s debate, was a tricky one: How do you handle an opponent who’s going to be lying his well-defined buttocks off for 90 minutes? The lack of a strategy for dealing with serial dishonesty had left President Obama dumbfounded in his first debate with Mitt Romney. He shouldn't have been taken aback: The Republican ticket-mates know perfectly well that being honest about their policies and platform would make it impossible for them to win a general election. You can’t advocate deficit-reduction and a $5 billion tax cut and a few extra billion in defense spending and be up front about what all that would actually mean—or whether it’s even mathematically possible. You can’t say that you’ll do everything possible to see that Roe v. Wadeis overturned. You can’t say what replacing Medicare with “premium support” really means. Which means Romney and Ryan can’t not lie—unless they want to spend election night wondering...

In This Corner...

Vice-presidential debates often make for better TV than the more sober presidential face-offs. (If you’re not convinced, take a look at the Prospect’s video compilation of the best moments from the VP debates.) There’s been nothing in a presidential debate to match the delightful absurdity of a candidate—in this case, Ross Perot’s addled running mate, Admiral James Stockdale—introducing himself to millions of viewers by posing the existential puzzler, “Why am I here?” There’s never been a slapdown in the main events to equal the iconic moment when Lloyd Bentsen punished Dan Quayle like a naughty schoolboy for likening himself to JFK. And sadly, no presidential contender has yet found it a terrific idea, as Sarah Palin did in 2008, to wink at the camera. When Joe Biden and Paul Ryan take the stage tonight, the memorable moments are likely to be different—more about jobs and taxes and economic philosophies than “zingers." There’s every potential for a sizzling exchange, especially given...

Can Biden Stop The Bleeding?

Vice presidential debates are usually mere sideshows. But tomorrow’s face-off in Kentucky might be quite different. Barack Obama’s disastrous performance last week was the boost Mitt Romney needed to erase the president’s post-convention gains and turn the race into a genuine toss-up. The Republican has the momentum, and he’s shifted to more moderate rhetoric in an attempt to appeal to independent and undecided voters. Obama doesn’t get another crack at Romney until next week, so it’s up to Joe Biden to stanch the bleeding and resuscitate Democratic hopes. Biden has a reputation for blundering, but history suggests that he’ll be up to the task. This is the man, after all, who managed to destroy Rudy Giuliani’s presidential hopes with a single phrase—“a noun, a verb, and 9/11”—and was a more-than-capable debater in the Democratic primaries and against Sarah Palin. His populist style connects with a wide swath of voters; his Democratic National Convention speech was widely watched and...

Breathe In, Breathe Out

It’s time to declare a national moratorium on Obama supporters watching poll numbers. Seriously: Nothing would do more to improve the nation’s collective mental health, right about now, than a mass tune-out of Nate Silver, Real Clear Politics, and every other outlet that spews and compiles and analyzes the data Obamians have taken to following with a maniacal and hysteria-inducing obsessiveness since last Wednesday's Worst Debate in the History of Mankind. To lead the boycott, we’d like to nominate poor dear Andrew Sullivan, the president’s most devout conservative admirer. Nobody has a more desperate need to step away from the mounting evidence that Mitt Romney’s post-debate chances of winning are much improved. Yesterday, when the notably reliable pollsters at Pew released a post-debate survey showing Romney leading by four points among likely voters, Sullivan had a good old-fashioned conniption fit on his blog, The Dish , concluding that "Obama has instantly plummeted into near-...

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