Gabrielle Gurley

Gabrielle Gurley is The American Prospect’s deputy editor.

Recent Articles

Elaine Chao Keeps Mum

The Transportation Department nominee declines to lift the curtain on the president-elect’s infrastructure revitalization vision.

Patsy Lynch/MediaPunch/IPX
Patsy Lynch/MediaPunch/IPX Elaine Chao testifies on Capitol Hill at her confirmation hearing to become the secretary of transportation. M embers of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee asked some very good questions about the Donald Trump administration’s future transportation policy Wednesday. They wanted to know the administration’s positions on privatizing and modernizing the air traffic control system. They had questions about tunnel, highway, and commuter rail projects around the country. They asked about rural infrastructure, federal permitting, and transportation grants and loans. But mostly, the senators wanted to hear about the Trump administration’s highly anticipated national infrastructure investment plan, one of the president-elect’s most eagerly anticipated initiatives. But transportation secretary nominee Elaine Chao wasn’t giving up anything, maintaining instead the incoming administration’s disturbing penchant for keeping secrets about their...

The Art of the Infrastructure Deal

Donald Trump may want to see serious dollars invested in infrastructure, but can he wring trillions out of Mitch McConnell?

AP Photo/Seth Perlman File
AP Photo/Seth Perlman File A road construction project backs up traffic in Springfield, Illinois. F or policy wonks, the only bright spot of the dismal 2016 election campaign was the unprecedented attention given the pitiful state of American infrastructure. It was the only area of common ground that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were able to carve out, although quality of the discussion never rose beyond a grade-school tug-of-war over who would spend the most. In the waning days of the Trump transition, hopes are dwindling that the president-elect can deliver, even though he recognizes that the country’s transportation, water, and other infrastructure assets need an historic overhaul and that innovative, new projects could use some federal juice. There are indications that infrastructure policy expectations may have to be significantly dialed back, despite the fact that transportation is the one sector where Trump’s views align with reality. Trump’s infrastructure proposals rely...

The Romney Gambit

Mitt Romney’s willingness to consider serving in a Trump cabinet should come as no surprise.

John Angelillo/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
John Angelillo/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images President-elect Donald Trump sits at a table with former Governor Mitt Romney at Jean Georges Restaurant on November 29, 2016 in New York City. T here are denizens of Planet Media who have worked themselves into a state of high dudgeon over the prospect of Mitt Romney serving as secretary of state in the Trump administration. In these tellings, Romney is either a sellout , a hypocrite, or a suck-up. (Or a flip flopper or a shapeshifter, to use terms in vogue during his two failed presidential bids.) The underlying sentiment seems to be: Why would Romney want to work for a man he repeatedly denigrated during a toxic election, who was more than happy to match him insult for insult, and who may be setting him up for a major fall? But being shocked, shocked that Romney wants to set aside his reservations about Trump to serve in his administration ignores the arc of Romney’s career. There is nothing surprising about the former Massachusetts...

Q&A: Straight Talk From Maine on Why Trump Won

A veteran Democratic state lawmaker breaks down how a large swath of a rural blue state went red.

AP Photo/Michael C. York
AP Photo/Michael C. York State Senator-elect at the Maine Democratic Convention in Bangor, Maine. O n Election Day, Maine voters approved five ballot questions that legalized recreational marijuana, authorized a multimillion-dollar transportation bond bill, slapped a flat tax on earners making more than $200,000, changed election rules to allow voters to rank state and federal candidates, and raised the minimum wage. A gun background-check question failed—no surprise in a state with little gun violence and a strong hunting culture. For Maine Democrats, these five referendum victories were the only real bright spots in an election that left them stunned by defeat. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. In 2008 and 2012, Maine went solid blue for Barack Obama. This year, except for a few towns along the Canadian border, Donald Trump captured rural northern and inland Maine, while Hillary Clinton prevailed in the state’s urbanized southern, coastal regions. Under Maine’s apportionment rules...

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