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

Hurricane Mitt Flattens Newt

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney beams during his victory celebration after winning the Florida primary election Tuesday Jan. 31, 2012, in Tampa, Florida. M itt Romney and the Republican elite unleashed their full arsenal against Newt Gingrich in Florida—and it paid off big. In a near-total reversal of the results in South Carolina ten days earlier, the former Massachusetts governor won an emphatic, double-digit victory on Tuesday. With a five-to-one spending advantage, and a coordinated media assault on Gingrich, the Romney forces went all in for a devastating beat-down in Florida. With their candidate outperforming Gingrich in two debates last week, and with the Georgian muddling his anti-establishment message, they got it. Most GOP primary-goers said their most important consideration was which candidate could beat President Obama, and exit polls showed Romney winning that group by 25 percent. Republican women gave...

From Sea to Shining Sea?

If you’ve been listening to the pundits, you might think that the only open question in Florida tonight is whether Mitt Romney will croon America the Beautiful in his victory speech. After that, it’ll be a rose-pedal path to the nomination for the man who establishment-bombed and super PAC-ed Newt Gingrich to death in the Sunshine State. But if the topsy-turvy GOP nomination contest should teach us anything, it’s to say: Whoa there, hold your divinations! Gingrich may have proven as lousy a candidate in Florida as he was devilishly effective in South Carolina, but a couple of factors—aside from his sheer cussedness—could propel him forward at least until the Super Tuesday primaries in early March. If Romney’s margin of victory is less than 10 percent, he’ll fall short of the sky-high expectations generated by his rise in recent days—and show that, even while outspending his nearest competitor five-to-one, he can’t quite land a knockout blow. And if the combined vote for Gingrich and...

Newt’s Fatal Flaw

If Newt Gingrich ends up losing Florida tomorrow—as polls now agree he will—and ultimately loses the GOP nomination, you could hear the most important reason in just a few words he uttered in a Tampa suburb on Sunday. The former House speaker stepped out of a church service at the delightfully named Exciting Idlewild Baptist Church and opened fire on Mitt Romney as a “pro-abortion, pro gun-control, pro-tax increase moderate from Massachusetts” who had “carpet-bombed” his way to a lead in the Florida polls. That wasn’t the problematic part. It was this: "I have had a long record as a very hard-hitting Reagan conservative, and the idea that that record would be deliberately falsified by a Massachusetts moderate using money from Wall Street … is really about as big an outrage as I've had in my career.” Gingrich’s only chance to take the nomination is as the leader of a movement—loosely defined, the Tea Party movement—and he spoke to its anti-elitist streak powerfully in his dramatic...

Why Gingrich Lost His Groove

Has Newt Gingrich floundered in Florida because he doesn’t understand his own appeal to GOP voters? In South Carolina, the former house speaker hit upon an anti-elite message that goes straight to the heart of the Tea Party—and the political moment. It was nothing new: the kind of silent-majority red meat that white conservatives have eagerly consumed since the days of Wallace and Nixon (not to mention Bush and Palin). But it was a message tuned to a time when Americans are increasingly cognizant of wealth disparities, and aware that elites have cornered the market on economic opportunity. Tea Partiers might not like to hear about “punishing success,” or about share-the-wealth policies—for them, the oppressive class is viewed mostly in cultural terms. Gingrich found in South Carolina, perhaps by happy accident, a message (or an attitude) that spoke to them—one that no other GOP candidate was offering. But instead of continuing to hammer home that pitchfork populism and energize the...

The Winner Is...Romney's Debate Coach

AP Photo/Matt Rourke
We learned so many things during Thursday night’s GOP debate in Jacksonville. Callista Gingrich would be a swell first lady because she plays the French horn and loves the arts. If you’re a Palestinian-American, don’t bother asking a Republican candidate in Florida to acknowledge your humanity, or even your existence. Immigration policy is really all about undocumented grandmothers. Rick Santorum used to go to church with the governor of Puerto Rico. And Ron Paul is itching to take on the other candidates in a 25-mile bike ride in the heat of Texas. The last debate before the Florida primary was, even by the standards of the 18 debates that preceded it, a stunningly vapid event—thanks largely to the preponderance of The View -level questions that moderator Wolf Blitzer and Jacksonville audience members asked. (Let’s not bother with Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, poverty or income inequality; we must know why the candidates think their spouses would make the best first ladies!) But the...

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