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

And They're Off!

Elections are invariably more messy, more contingent, than they may seem in advance, and the coming year's Democratic presidential primaries are unlikely to prove an exception. Former Gov. Howard Dean (D-Vt.), who has fervor, volunteers and money to burn—and now, with former Vice President Al Gore's endorsement, has begun to pick up major establishment support—could effectively

Detroit Pistons

DETROIT -- If Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was hoping to focus attention on the problems of his city -- or those of urban America in general -- by hosting the latest Democratic presidential debate, he must have been sorely disappointed with the event itself. Moderator Gwen Ifill (of PBS) and panelists Carl Cameron (of FOX News) and Huel Perkins (of Detroit's local FOX affiliate) largely ignored urban issues, choosing instead to confront the candidates with what Ifill called the "conventional wisdom" about their weaknesses and yet another round of questions on Iraq. Detroit itself got little attention during the debate -- which was co-sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus Institute and FOX News -- except when Rep.

Shock of the Old

The smallest crowd of Howard Dean's Sleepless Summer Tour in late August consisted of about 450 people. They'd gathered at the airport outside Boise, Idaho, on a splash of tarmac surrounded by sparkling, cloudless sky. There, where the crumpled, arid desert gave way to the pine-covered Boise Foothills, amid the mingled scents of jet fuel and dust, they waited for former Gov. Howard Dean (D-Vt.) to arrive.

Fan Friction

For months they were in on the world's greatest secret. While other Democratic Party insiders and Internet aficionados toiled for Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and former Gov. Howard Dean (D-Vt.), they held out hope that retired Gen. Wesley Clark might enter the presidential race. No one paid them much mind. But they hung on Clark's every word, read his book, Waging Modern War, with reverent care, and extrapolated his policies and positions from casual phrases the general dropped while serving as a war analyst for CNN. When they heard rumors that Clark was concerned about his ability to build a campaign organization, they started recruiting national coordinators.

Virtual Politics

Retired four-star Gen. Wesley Clark seemed a very appealing fellow to retiree Eric Carbone. "I came out of retirement to work for this guy," he says, looking up from his computer in an office just around the corner from the White House. Carbone, a member of, spent the past two months encouraging Clark to enter the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. But Carbone's not a gray-haired, wizened old fellow deferring a move to Palm Beach because of his passion for the good general and worries about national-security issues.