Harold Meyerson

Harold Meyerson is the executive editor of The American ProspectHis email is hmeyerson@prospect.org.

Recent Articles

Fifteen Dollars, Fathers and Sons

(Photo: AP/McLendon)
(Photo: AP/McLendon) California Governor Jerry Brown waves to supporters in Los Angeles after his 1978 re-election. Behind him is his father, former Governor Pat Brown. W hen Jerry Brown and Andrew Cuomo—the Democratic governors of America’s two biggest and most important blue states—signed bills hiking their respective states’ minimum wage to $15 on Monday, the press noted that there seemed to be a bit of a race between the two to see who could sign the landmark legislation first. (Thanks to the time difference between New York and California, Cuomo put pen to paper a couple of hours before Brown.) What the press didn’t note, then or ever, were the odd similarities, both political and biographical, between the nation’s two most consequential Democratic governors. So, let’s note them: Jerry Brown and Andrew Cuomo both govern states previously governed by their fathers. Both of their fathers were iconic liberals. The sons, by contrast, have made a point of distancing themselves from...

At the Court and in California, a Great Week for Labor

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin People participate in a rally at the Supreme Court, Monday, January 11, 2016, as the court heard arguments in the F riedrichs v. California Teachers Associatio n case. I t’s been a very good week for American labor, and such weeks don’t come along often. On Monday, the Supreme Court delivered a four-to-four split decision in the Friedrichs case, which would have decimated public-sector unions had the Court been able to produce a fifth vote for the plaintiffs. The saved-from-the-hangman’s-noose decision merely confirmed what everyone knew when Associate Justice Antonin Scalia died earlier this month: that the court no longer has a union-busting majority and isn’t likely to get one unless Barack Obama is succeeded by a Republican president. Also on Monday, California Governor Jerry Brown announced he had reached a deal with the leaders of the state Assembly and Senate, and with labor leaders, that would raise the state’s minimum wage, currently $10, to $15 by...

Sanders's Chances in November: A Bloomberg Addendum

An update to "Why Bernie May Have a Better Shot at Winning Than Hillary"

In the past, I’ve written that if Bernie Sanders were the Democratic nominee, Michael Bloomberg would enter the race and thereby win enough electoral votes to throw the election into the House, which, assuming it’s still under Republican control, would elevate the GOP nominee—that is, Donald Trump or Ted Cruz—to the presidency. So why didn’t I raise that possibility in assessing Bernie’s strengths and weaknesses should he become the Democrats’ nominee?

Chiefly because the one thing even Michael Bloomberg can’t buy is time.

When Bloomberg announced last week that he wasn’t going to run, one of the reasons behind his announcement—one he didn’t articulate—was time. If he were going to become a candidate, he’d have to start the process of collecting signatures to get on various state ballots right away. Perceiving that Hillary Clinton would almost surely be the Democrats’ choice, and not wishing to tilt a Clinton-Trump contest to Trump, he bowed out.

Clinton’s path to the nomination has become longer and more tortuous in the wake of Sanders’s Michigan victory, but she’s still the prohibitive favorite. Looking at the delegate numbers, even if Sanders were to somehow overtake her, it wouldn’t be until California votes in early June. By then, it would be too late for Bloomberg to change his mind. Indeed, even today, it may be too late for Bloomberg to change his mind.

The last gazillionaire to wage an independent campaign for the White House, Ross Perot, understood this perfectly. He declared his candidacy very early in the 1992 process and had time to collect the signatures to get his name on every state’s ballot. Then he dropped out in mid-summer, announcing, in effect, that he thought Bill Clinton would be a good enough president. He re-entered the race in the fall—but he already had his name on the ballots because he’d secured his ballot lines in the spring.

Even if Bloomberg believes he could theoretically prevail in a three-way race against Trump and Sanders, he couldn’t do it if his name wasn’t on a host of different states’ ballots. If a late Sanders surge causes him to rethink, it will be too late for him to run unless he’s resigned to winning an insufficient number of states to get to 270 electoral votes. In which case, the election would almost surely be thrown to the House, and thence to Trump or Cruz—the very scenario he’s stated he cannot in good conscience countenance.

Why Bernie May Have a Better Shot at Winning in November than Hillary

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee Democratic presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders shake hands before the start of the Univision, Washington Post Democratic presidential debate at Miami-Dade College, Wednesday, March 9, 2016, in Miami, Florida. M uch as I’ve liked Bernie Sanders, I never believed he’d be a stronger candidate than Hillary Clinton in the November run-off against the Republicans’ pick for president. I knew he polled better than her when pitted against the leading Republicans, but those polls didn’t factor in the red-baiting and hippie-baiting (Bernie being a child of both the ‘30s and ‘60s lefts) he’d be subjected to by a desperate GOP. After all, the only remotely analogous campaign to Sanders’s in modern American politics was that of Upton Sinclair for governor of California in 1934. A lifelong socialist, Sinclair switched his registration from the Socialist to the Democratic Party in late 1933, stunned everyone by winning the Democrats’ gubernatorial...

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