Thomas Schaller

Thomas F. Schaller is an associate professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and author of Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South.

Recent Articles


The incomparable Marcy Wheeler makes a compelling point in a post today about yesterday's "miracle" rescue of the US Airways plane that had to make an emergency landing in the cold waters of the Hudson River: from the pilot to the flight attendants to the air traffic controllers to certain members of the rescue crews, union workers shined from start to finish.

Nicely-played, organized labor. And nicely-said, Marcy.

--Tom Schaller


Let me get this straight: Barack Obama hasn't taken office yet, but based merely on his appointments and statements Charles Krauthammer sees vindication of George Bush's policies?

The failure by Obama to order a 180 on every policy is not necessarily a vindication of any policy, and certainly not the Bush Administration as a whole. Indeed, the process of undoing a mess is almost always incremental by its nature. Nor does the keeping on of somebody like Defense Secretary Bill Gates, as Krauthammer would have us believe, necessarily validate Bush's Iraq policy.


Shepard Fairey, the artist responsible for both the iconic, Andre the Giant "Obey" campaign now enjoying its 20th anniversary, and the red-and-blue Obama "Hope" image that is now an officially sanctioned by the campaign and presidential inauguration committee, was on The Colbert Report last night. He seemed shy, almost uncomfortable during his interview. Extra points for wearing a T-shirt featuring "The Clash."


I have been ruminating the last couple of days on Barack Obama’s dinner party with conservative commentators, hosted by George Will earlier this week.

I don’t mind that Obama is trying to disarm his critics. If a dinner causes the conservative journalists in attendance to pull even a few punches, or even cheer the occasional Obama decision, great. I also understand the desire to be the president of “all the people.” That’s noble. And I respect the fact that, as EJ Dionne argued in yesterday's WaPo, Obama is confident enough to spar intellectually with smart people of differing philosophical views.


My political science colleague Phil Klinkner, of Hamilton College, and I recently co-wrote one of nine articles published by The Forum as part of a post-2008 election analysis colloquium. In our piece, entitled "LBJ's Revenge: The 2008 Election and the Rise of the Great Society Coalition," we argue that the policies LBJ supported in the mid-60s led, not initially but eventually, to Barack Obama's winning general election coalition in 2008.