Dana Goldstein

Dana Goldstein, a former associate editor and writer at the Prospect and The Daily Beast, is a Spencer Fellow in education reporting at Columbia University. Her work on politics, women’s issues, and education has appeared in BusinessWeek, Slate, The New Republic, and The Nation.

Recent Articles

Second Tier Candidates, First Rate Ideas

Long-shot Democratic candidates are the ones taking a stance on many worthy, yet unsung, policy problems. Front-runners, pay attention.

Every presidential election is accompanied by hand-wringing over the lack of seriousness in our public discourse. The editors of The New Republic declared the June 3 Democratic debate in New Hampshire "gimmicky," "absurd," and more like Candyland than chess. Surely fearing another Swift Boat-ing, The New York Times ' Paul Krugman devoted one column to a demand for policy specifics from the candidates and used the next to flog media commentators who prize "authenticity" over political motives and goals. And everyone seemed to lament that Wolf Blitzer had more on-screen time at the debates than any candidate. But there's reason to be optimistic. From Iraq to global warming to health care to immigration, the 2008 Democratic primary is shaping up to be dominated by substantive policy debates on issues that matter. The New Hampshire debate featured discussion on whether individual mandates are necessary to achieve universal health coverage (John Edwards: yes; Barack Obama: no), how...


CUT OUT H.I.V.? From hippies reclaiming the body to immigrant groups who wouldn't even consider it, CNN reports that the circumcision rate in the United States has reached an all-time low of 57 percent. The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends forgoing circumcision, calling it an unnecessary and painful surgery. Even so, the United States remains the Western nation with by far the least foreskins. In the U.K, for example, fewer than 20 percent of men are circumcised; in Denmark, the number is less than 2 percent. But don't call off the bris just yet. As I reported for In These Times last month, the World Health Organization is now recommending the procedure, emboldened by studies that found adult circumcisions in Africa decreased men's likelihood of contracting HIV by as much as 60 percent. Following the WHO's lead, New York City is considering promoting adult circumcision as a preventative measure, which worries activists who've been struggling for decades to send the...


EXEMPLARY AMERICA? I too was at Take Back America yesterday, wowed and moved by both Obama and Edwards ' speeches. But I find it strange that Matt and Ezra found Edwards so "persuasive," "direct," and "plausible" on foreign policy. Edwards laid out a wildly optimistic vision in which: 1. American energy independence (hence, no more oil cash) forces Middle Eastern nations to invest in education, economic development, and good government. 2.The United States starts to rely on homegrown energy sources (ethanol). 3. Europe doesn't have enough empty space to compete, so it invests heavily in African agriculture and energy. 4. African poverty lifts. These would all be excellent accomplishments. But the causality here is far from assured. I agree with Brian Beutler that this seems "incredibly difficult to pull off." And more disturbingly, the notion that we can "remake the Middle East" politically just by decreasing our dependence on their oil -- as Edwards suggested today -- is, I fear, as...


"YOU CAN BA-ROCK ME TONIGHT". Hillary leads Obama by 6 points among young women voters. But can she compete against Obama's dreaminess? Check out the newest volley in the election 2008 Internet video wars, "I Got a Crush...On Obama." Opening lines: "You seemed to float onto the floor, Democratic convention 2004. I never wanted anybody more than I want you. So I put down my Kerry sign, knew I had to make you mine. Barack, you're so sexy, you're so fine." (Warning: certain frames of this video are barely safe for work.) --Dana Goldstein

Hillary and the Chick Factor

The Clinton campaign woos young women voters at an event in D.C. -- and illustrates the significance of the gender gap in the Democratic field.

Democratic Presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks on stage during a campaign rally in downtown Washington launching 'Club 44,' an effort to reach out to young women. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez)
The awkward moments just kept coming at a Hillary Clinton fundraiser in Washington Wednesday targeting young women voters. "Did you watch the debate?" Ellen Malcolm of EMILY's List asked the thousand-person crowd. "There is a stage full of all these white men in their power suits and ties, and standing in the middle is the power of Hillary Clinton!" White men? Oops! As much as the Clinton campaign would like to ignore the senator from Illinois and his own claim as a historical first, the competing demands of identity politics were very much on the minds of young voters who came out to see Clinton in downtown Washington, many of whom described themselves as torn between the gravitas of Clinton's health care and diplomatic experience and the excitement surrounding the Barack Obama campaign. The Washington Post 's Dana Milbank filed a snark-filled report on the event, but his takedown of the musical acts (yes, they were cheesy) and baby boomer politicos trying to party with 20-somethings...