Garance Franke-Ruta

Garance Franke-Ruta is a former senior editor at the Prospect. Her work has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Washington Monthly, The New Republic, and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications. She was a 2006 recipient of a fellowship at the Joan Shorenstein Center on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University.

Recent Articles

Safety Numbers

On March 18, President Bush declared that U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have made "America more secure." As the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Against the United States undertakes two days of public hearings before Congress, it's worth taking a look at that statement critically. In particular, an examination of terrorist incidents over the past few years reveals that there have been more al-Qaeda-linked attacks internationally since September 11 than in the eight years before it. While it is inarguably the case that the elimination of terrorist training camps in Afghanistan was a serious blow to al-Qaeda and that the absence of Saddam Hussein in Iraq will, if Iraq can be stabilized and turned into a democratic U.S. ally (a big, important "if" at the moment), be of benefit to U.S. interests in the long run, neither of these two changes tells us whether America is actually winning the war against terrorism, as Bush has claimed. A catalog of attacks linked to al-Qaeda...

Kerry's Women

When the old boy's club kicked into gear in east Los Angeles in 1998, Mary Beth Cahill, then executive director of Emily's List, took action. Nine-term Representative Esteban Edward Torres announced he was retiring from his seat in a safe Democratic district just two days before the filing deadline for candidates. The heir apparent to his spot was none other than his chief of staff, Jamie Casso, who also happened to be married to his daughter. By retiring so late, Torres was making it hard for any other challenger to jump into the fray. But where others saw a problem, Cahill saw an opportunity. Grace Napolitano, a state assembly member, former Norwalk mayor, and mother of five, was also interested in running. She was underfinanced, though, and had neither a campaign team nor a strategy on such short notice. So Emily's List, the political action committee for pro-choice women, swung into action. The group had already sent its fund-raising mailer, listing candidates it backed for that...

Exit Interview

Soon after coming to Burlington, Vt., from Moab, Utah, and depositing himself at former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean's headquarters, Mathew Gross was commissioned by Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi to set up a blog for the campaign. The rest is history. Today, every campaign for the presidency has a blog. There's an O-Blog (official) and several U-Blogs (unoffical) for President Bush. And the blogosphere routinely keeps stories alive until mainstream dailies choose to report on them. Gross has now left the Dean campaign. As befits the first blogger-in-chief in presidential campaign history, he agreed to answer some questions online before hopping in his car and heading to North Carolina. In the future, Gross will stay in touch with his former Dean campaign readers via his own blog, Deride and Conquer . Why are you going to North Carolina? To be with my wife, who has been down there since early January. Where will you live? Probably the Boston area. Are you considering or would you...

Win Some

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- At 5 p.m. on Tuesday, election day, a staffer from Sen. John Edwards' campaign rushed into the back office of their headquarters on Gervais Street. Exit polls were showing Wesley Clark, John Kerry, and Edwards running neck and neck in Oklahoma, each with 30 percent of the vote. Should they tell the people calling potential voters in South Carolina to start trying people in Oklahoma? The exit polls in South Carolina showed Edwards with a comfortable lead. But the phone bankers were on a roll. More volunteers than anyone expected had poured in over the weekend, and everything was humming at a perfect whirr. The team decided they should continue reaching out to people in South Carolina. The Oklahoma get-out-the-vote effort would continue to be the province of the phone bankers in that state. Edwards went on to win 30 percent of the votes in Oklahoma to Clark's 30 percent, a virtual delegate tie that gave first-place bragging rights to Clark. "Maybe we should have done...

Enemy Lines

President George W. Bush's decision to back a constitutional amendment banning gay marriages is one of those decisions that may soon be filed under "seemed like a good idea at the time." And, like his decision last May to land on an aircraft carrier in a flight suit and give a speech in front of a big banner reading "Mission Accomplished," his decision to launch a culture war against gays could easily turn into a millstone around his neck by the end of summer. There are many reasons for this, but the biggest one is that the Republican National Convention in going to be held in New York City. The events of September 11 unified the country across cultural fault lines as one America; the controversy over gay marriage will undo what little of that unity remains. New Yorkers will recall one thing, and recall it clearly: They are New Yorkers. And Bush and the national Republicans who will descend on their city are the ultimate in bridge-and-tunnel outsiders who fail to understand what the...

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