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

Games People Play

Mitt Romney comes under withering fire for offshoring his millions to Bermuda and Switzerland—and for refusing to allow light to shine into what the Times calls his “ financial black hole ”—Senator Lindsey Graham came up with what is surely the year’s most novel line of defense today : “It’s really American to avoid paying taxes, legally.” No doubt, the Romney campaign apparatus was delighted to hear this: Thanks for being so helpful, Lindsey! At least he added that “legally” word. But there was more! "As long as it was legal, I'm OK with it," Graham said. "I don't blame anybody for using the tax code to their advantage.” And more still! "It's a game we play. Every American tries to find the way to get the most deductions they can. I see nothing wrong with playing the game because we set it up to be a game." To be scrupulously fair to the Man from South Carolina, he was trying to combine his defense of Romney with a call for a flat tax, which he and others claim would bring a welcome...

Mr. Middle Class

You’d think it would be downright ludicrous—late-night comedy material—for Barack Obama, the elegant and eloquent Man from Harvard Law, to pitch himself as any kind of regular Joe. But he managed it pretty well in 2008. And he was at it again last Friday, on a lawn in Maumee, Ohio, flanked by hay bales and an American flag, talking to a bunch of middle-American types in a loose-fitting, short-sleeved checked shirt he may have last worn while bowling in Pennsylvania—and sounding pretty darn regular , inspiring choruses of that’s right s and amen s. He talked about his single mom, who “raised me and my sister right,” about his grandparents’ service in World War II, about his HoJo’s vacations as a kid. The message: I’m middle class to my bones, y’all, believe it or not. Along the way, he previewed today’s call for extending the Bush tax cuts, which expire at the end of the year, for income under $250,000—another component of the campaign’s renewed emphasis on economic fairness and, you...

How Vague is Too Vague?

This was clearly the question in the Mitt Romney camp this morning, as the Supreme Court ruling on Arizona’s immigration law came down: How little can we get by with saying ? When it comes to practically any issue beyond the economy, the clear challenge for the Romney campaign has become how to say something that offends no one, while still giving all sides of the issue a fig leaf to latch onto. Also, of course, how to make everything a referendum on Obama, so that maybe it won’t matter that Romney says nada . Hence the intentionally forgettable but also very telling statement from the Republican candidate, in full: Today’s decision underscores the need for a President who will lead on this critical issue and work in a bipartisan fashion to pursue a national immigration strategy. President Obama has failed to provide any leadership on immigration. This represents yet another broken promise by this President. I believe that each state has the duty–and the right–to secure our borders...

Bye Bye Johnny Edwards

(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
(AP Photo/Chuck Burton) John Edwards returns to a federal courthouse during the ninth day of jury deliberations in his trial on charges of campaign corruption in Greensboro, N.C., Thursday, May 31, 2012. Edwards has pleaded not guilty to six counts related to campaign finance violations over nearly $1 million from two wealthy donors used to help hide the Democrat's pregnant mistress as he sought the White House in 2008. Confession: I used to root for John Edwards. He comes from my neck of the woods in North Carolina, economically and culturally speaking, and I know his type. He’s the charmed golden boy everybody knows is destined to make it big in a way that nobody out of Robbins, North Carolina, ever has. When he begins to fulfill that prophecy, becoming a filthy-rich trial attorney, everybody thinks he’s still just too special to stop there, and he tends to agree. So he decides to go for it, as Edwards did when he ran for U.S. Senate in 1998. It was his first campaign, period, and...

Republican Showdown in Texas

In a state as red as Texas, general elections are mostly formalities; GOP primaries are the main events. That’s one explanation for the national focus on Tuesday’s U.S. Senate primary, where Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst faces a field led by former Solicitor General Ted Cruz in a quest to replace retiring Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. As the name indicates, Cruz is far from a traditional Republican candidate—which is the main reason the right has been buzzing about this race for months. He’s not only the son of a Cuban-American father, he’s also a darling of the Tea Party, with Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum’s stamps of approval. Cruz has trailed consistently in the polls, but appears likely to keep Dewhurst—a more traditional conservative—under 50 percent, which would trigger a runoff. The lieutenant governor, who’s extravagantly rich and has out-raised Cruz considerably, will be the favorite head-to-head. But for at least a few more weeks, the overwhelmingly white Texas Republicans will...

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