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

Santa Comes Early

House Republicans finally waved a white flag over the payroll tax cut extension this afternoon—but not before they’d given President Obama what The New Yorker ’s John Cassidy aptly called an “early Christmas present.” And just the one he wanted and needed: a nice big boost to his re-election prospects. The White House’s crafty handling of the Tea Party’s latest hissy fit, along with Obama’s recent turn toward a more populist economic message, has boosted his approval ratings to 49 percent and given him a seven-point edge over his closest Republican rivals, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, in one recent national poll . That’s basically the same lead he held over John McCain in the late stages of the 2008 general election. The standoff was doing so much damage to Republicans that even McCain and Gingrich and The Wall Street Journal had begun calling for House Republicans to give in—and in Gingrich’s words, “to do it calmly and pleasantly and happily.” But for the president’s purposes, of...

Payroll Politics

Now that Ron Paul is leading some Iowa polls , the knives are out—as they have been for every non-Romney contender this year. Michele Bachmann is warning of the apocalyptic consequences of Paul’s isolationist tendencies, while Rick Perry wants everyone to know that his fellow Texan is a big ol’ earmarker . Iowans are fretting that a Paul victory will spell doom for the caucuses. Meanwhile, The Weekly Standard got James Kirchick to revive his 2008 New Republic report on the “hateful and conspiratorial nonsense” published in Paul’s newsletters in the 1980s and ‘90s—including the now-infamous line about the Martin Luther King holiday being “Hate Whitey Day.” As The New York Times notes, Paul has said he was too busy to read what went out under his name—even though the newsletters were a major source of the Paul family’s income. And National Review editor Rich Lowry archly notes the potential historical significance of a Paul victory in Iowa: “Can he become the first marginal, conspiracy-...

The Santorum Surge

Given the bubble-and-burst pattern of the GOP presidential race, it had to happen: Rick Santorum is poised for a surge. The only right-wing candidate who hasn’t vaulted up in the polls—only to come crashing back down—the former Pennsylvania senator recently crept into double digits in the Iowa polls, tying him with fellow evangelical favorites Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann. Today, he got a big leg up on both by winning Iowa’s God primary—i.e., the endorsement of the state’s most prominent evangelical leader, Bob Vander Plaats, who ran Mike Huckabee’s winning effort in 2008. “He’s one of us,” Vander Plaats told his loyal followers. Now that reporters are finally paying attention, Santorum let loose with a highly quotable comment today: “I'm for income inequality,” he told folks at a campaign stop in Pella. So They Say "What's up gangstas, it's the M-i-double tizzle." — Mitt Romney on Letterman Daily Meme: Republicans Can Dream, Can’t They? Jeb Bush’s WSJ op-ed fuels presidential...

Ringside Seat

“The Republican Party has gone insane,” influential conservative commentator Erick Erickson wrote this morning. He was referring to GOP’ers support for Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, despite those candidates’ one-time backing of individual mandates to buy health insurance—a cardinal sin for conservatives. But he might just as well have been talking about the Republican nomination race writ large, which has turned into a political version of Pick Six. Fifteen days before the Iowa caucuses, the Gingrich bubble has burst , his support dropping by half. Ron Paul is leading in Iowa now—unless, of course, he’s actually already lost. Romney is the inevitable nominee again —though a few days ago he was a dead man walking. Perry and Bachmann and Santorum are all sneaking up on the frontrunners in Iowa, while Jon Huntsman is climbing in New Hampshire. Everyone’s a winner! So They Say “We posed for a picture, just celebrating the fact that we had raised a lot of money and then we hoped to be...

Good Ol' Iowa

Ever since Jimmy Carter door-to-doored his way to an eye-opening Iowa victory in 1976—he actually finished second to “uncommitted,” but he beat the other candidates—the first-in-the-nation caucuses have played a supersized role in both parties’ nomination processes. In spite of quadrennial grumblings about Iowa becoming “less relevant,” it never happens. The charm of Iowa isn’t just that it’s usually won with old-fashioned, shoe-leather campaigning; it’s also that the state’s caucus-goers, in both parties, are so full of surprises (see: Pat Robertson, John Kerry, Mike Huckabee). And with the media’s collective binary brain desperate to boil down the GOP race to Gingrich versus Romney, Iowa just might be poised to uncork another shocker in 20 days. Ron Paul, anyone ? So They Say "I don’t want to be called a xenophobe. I want to be called intelligent.” —Rick Santorum, explaining his support for airport profiling at a campaign event in Des Moines Daily Meme: Ron Paul Revolution Could...

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