Dayo Olopade

Dayo Olopade is a Bernard L. Schwartz Fellow at the New America Foundation.

Recent Articles

The Paper Chase

Dozens of progressive institutions are clamoring to put their agendas on Obama's desk. Will the incoming president actually read them?

The last time Democrats took the White House, they managed, in the immortal words of George W. Bush, a "heckuva job." During the Clinton administration's famously rocky transition, one White House alumna saw signs of trouble early. "The day after the election, we were getting calls from leaders all over the world," she says, but apparently Clinton's team hadn't realized the State Department now worked for them. Martha Kumar, founder of the bipartisan White House Transition Project, recalls the story of one Clinton flack who "walked into his office and saw there were six phone lines and all of the phones were ringing." Tellingly, only one question came to his mind: "If I answer them, what do I say?" Now that Barack Obama has won the White House, the rapture of those who put him there will be eclipsed only by the countrywide yawp for justice deferred. The stakes today are even higher than in 1992 -- Obama faces two wars, a financial meltdown, mounting inequality, restless enemies, and a...

Races to Watch: Minnesota 3

Ashwin Madia is not just mounting a strong challenge to the Republican incumbent -- he's tapping a new base of Indian American voters and heading up a next generation of Iraq vets seeking office.

Other Races to Watch : Alabama 3 Pennsylvania 11 Ohio 15 Senate and Gubernatorial Races Minnesotan viewers of the January candidates' forum with state Senator Terri Bonoff and two other Democratic challengers for the 3rd Congressional District seat could be forgiven for thinking they'd seen this movie before. Bonoff, a two-term state representative with strong institutional backing, found herself in a heated back-and-forth with two male opponents, each determined to take their insurgent candidacy all the way to Washington. The scene, of course, was an off-off-Broadway rendition of the widely watched debate between Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards, which had taken place in New Hampshire just two weeks prior. The down and dirtiest line the Illinois senator could muster against Clinton was "You're likeable enough, Hillary," but in Minnesota, the insurgent Ashwin Madia -- a 30-year-old Iraq War veteran running on a "change" platform -- proved more of a pit bull than an Iowa...

2008: Five Races to Watch

The Prospect rounds up five of the most interesting and unusual campaigns across the country -- from a blind rabbi in New Jersey to an incumbent governor described as "Dick Cheney's Dick Cheney."

SENATE: North Carolina Who: Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R) vs. State Sen. Kay Hagan (D) Why: Hagan, a state senator from Shelby, North Carolina, is the underdog for a seat that's gone Republican every year since 1972. While not the first choice of Washington Democrats, she kept pace with Dole in polls throughout the summer -- at one point holding a slim lead over the first-term incumbent. Dole certainly appears on the defensive -- lowering her profile as a Republican by joining around a dozen other incumbents in skipping the GOP convention in Minneapolis. Smelling blood, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee hopes to invest up to $7 million in Hagan's campaign. The race is also, notably, a rare Senate contest between two female major-party candidates. Hagan is known to be feisty, while Dole, a state celebrity in her own right, is more controlled and consistently conservative. The race should also be a referendum on the force of black-voter turnout in 2008. Obama's impressive victory...

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