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

He's One of Them

How did Mitt Romney scratch out a Super Tuesday win in Ohio, the state where Rick Santorum led by double digits just a few eye blinks ago and had the blue-collar evangelical message and cultural bona fides on his side? It was the usual formula: Mucho super PAC money , plus enthusiastic support from the only two sets of voters who’ve thus far shown a fondness for the former Massachusetts governor. These would be the elderly and the rich. Voters over 65 favored Romney by 15 points in Ohio, enough to provide his margin of victory. (Why? Chalk it up, perhaps, to “such a nice young man” syndrome—he does come across as squeaky-clean and polite and unthreatening. And so handsome!) But it’s well-off voters who are truly head-over-heels for the Republican frontrunner. While turnout is lagging overall in the GOP contests, Lexuses and Range Rovers are transporting goodly numbers of voters with incomes of more than $100,000 to the polls. On Tuesday, exit polls showed that 30 percent of Ohio...

Supermitt?

Nearly one-fifth of the Republican delegates are being chosen today—not a surprising figure, exactly, given that ten states are voting. It will be a surprise, though, if Mitt Romney doesn’t win most of them; Nate Silver predicts he’ll add 224 delegates, with Rick Santorum picking up 76 and Newt Gingrich—mainly because of his expected home-field win in Georgia, the largest state voting—87. But that’s only part of the story—and certainly not the part that will have political geeks glued to their TVs, hollering at the screen the way normal humans do on Super Bowl Sunday (which, according to Daily Intel , is actually way more super than Super Tuesday). The suspense lies with tomorrow’s uncertain headlines: Will it be “Romney’s Near-Sweep Clears Path to Nomination” or “Santorum Wins Ohio, Vows to Fight on to Tampa”? The former senator from Pennsylvania had what looked like insurmountable leads in the polls just a week ago in Ohio, Tennessee and Oklahoma. But then the Romney money gusher...

Coronation Tuesday

Super Tuesday once was super. Progressives of a certain age will never forget the fun of the first edition in 1988. Conservative Democrats had dreamt up a March day of nine Southern primaries that would guarantee no “unelectable” liberal could win the party’s nomination. The geniuses forgot, though, that most Southern Democrats were not actually white moderates or conservatives. The scheme backfired spectacularly, with the Reverend Jesse Jackson emerging as a viable contender and Michael Dukakis also faring well. Since then, the role of Super Tuesday has been considerably more banal: It almost always clinches the nomination for at least one party’s frontrunner. Bill Clinton, Bob Dole, George W. Bush, Al Gore, John Kerry, and John McCain all guaranteed their spots atop the party ticket with strong performances. Maybe this thing should be rechristened “Coronation Tuesday.” Leading up to tomorrow’s 10-state version, it seemed unlikely that Mitt Romney would follow that trend. But the air...

Mittgoguery

The longer he must battle Rick Santorum for the Republican nomination, the less time Mitt Romney will have to edge back toward the political mainstream for the general election. Romney continues to make that repositioning unnecessarily tricky by going farther—much farther—to the right than necessary, apparently in a desperate attempt to persuade the hardcore right that he really is “severely conservative.” That effort is now luring Romney into the land of straight-up demagoguery. For a month now, he’s been perpetuating the fallacy that the Obama birth-control mandate is an assault on “religious liberty” and First Amendment rights. Yesterday in Fargo, North Dakota, he laid a whole 'nother whopper on top of that: Asked how he would protect Second Amendment rights, Romney endorsed the conspiracy theory that Obama is itching to come after everybody’s guns in his second term. If the president will “violate the conscience of the church” on contraception, Romney said, his next move is sure...

Coulda Woulda Shoulda

Despite his phobia of higher education, Rick Santorum showed on Tuesday night that he is capable of learning. But the lightbulb in his head may have clicked on a little too late. Conceding his narrow defeat in Michigan, Santorum set aside the culture-war logorrhea that likely cost him a narrative-changing win over Mitt Romney, wore a beaming smile that proclaimed “Hey, I’m no angry prophet of doom!” and began the proceedings with a warm tribute to the “independent women” in his life—a far cry from Satanic warnings and dire concerns about women serving in combat and using birth control. “My 93-year-old mom,” Santorum said, was an “unusual person for her time.” She got a college education in the '30s, you see, and then a graduate degree. Heck, “She was a professional who actually made more money than her husband.” (Wait—he’s proud of this?) And there was more: He didn’t call Romney a “joke” or a “bully” as he had done in the frantic final days before the Michigan and Arizona primary...

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