Robert Kuttner

Robert Kuttner is co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect, and professor at Brandeis University's Heller School. His latest book is Debtors' Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility. He writes columns for The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe and the New York Times international edition. 

Recent Articles

Glass Ceiling and Class Ceiling: Can Hillary Smash Both?

To win in November, Clinton will need to put pocketbook issues front and center.

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File In this July 30, 2016 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks in Youngstown, Ohio. A version of this story appeared at The Huffington Post . B ernie Sanders might be the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton. I don’t just mean persuading most of his delegates not to walk out. Think about it. Without the Sanders campaign, Clinton would be running mainly on three things—her exceptional experience, her breakthrough status as the first woman president, and her embrace of the cultural left that so dominated the Democratic National Convention. All three elements have as many negatives as positives. Clinton may be the most qualified candidate ever to run for president, but her experience includes some awkward baggage. The first potential woman president runs into headwinds of misogyny, personified by Donald Trump. And the cultural left risks alienating as many voters as it mobilizes. What Sanders added was to push Clinton...

Democratic Unity: The Very Tricky Case of Trade

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images Delegates supporting Bernie Sanders wave TPP signs during opening proceedings at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Monday, July 25, 2016. T he unity on display at the Democratic National Convention both Monday and Tuesday nights was nothing short of remarkable. Bernie Sanders has been a radical insurgent all of his political life. He defined himself a democratic socialist and political independent because he could not stomach the corporatized Democratic Party epitomized by the Clintons. Yet Sanders, working the caucuses, spent his political capital quelling the same radical energy that he had inspired—in favor of unity behind Hillary Clinton. By Tuesday night, he could move the nomination of his rival by acclamation, and the handful of boos from his own hard-core were all but inaudible. Did Sanders sell out? I don’t think so. As a real world politician who knew that Hillary’s nomination was inevitable, Sanders did what he did...

Now Comes the Hard Part

AP Photo/John Locher
AP Photo/John Locher Former Democratic Presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders walks off the stage after speaking to delegates during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Monday, July 25, 2016. T o appreciate the surprising success of opening night at the Democratic National Convention, it helps to appreciate the multiple, overlapping pieces of theater being staged. On one level, party leaders were speaking to the country—to the national audience beyond the hall—drawing the contrast between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and not incidentally the contrast between the two parties. On that level, Monday night came off well. The Democrats showed that they can behave like grown-ups. They demonstrated how grown-ups deal with the difficult challenge of party unity when the candidate who won the hearts of the party base was a near miss. They demonstrated that they are serious about the multiple challenges afflicting the country in a way that Donald...

Hillary Clinton and the Obama Legacy

AP Photo/Susan Walsh
AP Photo/Susan Walsh President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wave following a campaign event at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, Tuesday, July 5, 2016. B arack Obama took office convinced that he could bridge differences. As he begins his final six months, we are a nation of groups more divided than ever by separate worlds of pain and grievance. How much of this is Obama’s fault? What might he have done differently? What sort of legacy will he pass along to Hillary Clinton, assuming that she can defeat Donald Trump? And can she defeat him? I’ve been watching what has to be the best documentary on the Obama years, Norma Percy’s four-part Inside Obama’s White House , which was produced for the BBC and ran on British TV in March and April. In a calamity of errors, the documentary ran on Al-Jazeera America four days before the channel closed down, got no publicity, and is almost unknown in the U.S. It may yet run elsewhere...

Donald Trump’s Star of David

(Photo: AP/John Minchillo)
(Photo: AP/John Minchillo) GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Cincinnati on July 6, where he criticized his campaign's decision to remove the Star of David from a tweet. T he most chilling words in the Hebrew Bible are the ones from Exodus, spoken every year as part of the Passover Seder: Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph. For nearly 6,000 years, Jews have survived as outsiders in strange lands (and often have not survived) because shrewd Jewish leaders made alliances with local potentates. From Biblical times to Bismarck, Jewish leaders protected their people by serving as intimate counselors and financial advisers to princes and emperors. They learned the language, the culture, and the commerce, better than the locals. They behaved well. When the story ended badly, as if often did, invariably a new king had arisen, who knew not Joseph. Is Donald Trump potentially such a king? As the world knows, Trump tweeted out an image of Hillary...