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

THE PERKS OF OFFICE.

Health care coverage is a "perk." That's the word from Edwards senior adviser Joe Trippi on why John Edwards 's proposed bill to strip members of Congress and senior administration officials of health insurance is constitutional under the 27th Amendment, which bars changes to Congressional "compensation" between general elections. "It's not salary compensation," he said. "It’s a perk." While I agree with Ezra that the ultimately constitutionality of the Edwards proposal cannot be decided in the absence of a ruling on whatever litigation his as yet unwritten law ultimately faces, should he win the Democratic nomination and then the general election, the argument that health insurance coverage is not a form of compensation strikes me as an unsound basis on which to begin the health insurance reform conversation. (My understanding has always been that health insurance is a form of untaxed -- i.e. tax-subsidized -- compensation, as it is described as in this 1994 Congressional Budget...

EDWARDS OR BUST.

John Edwards , in a move that violates long-standing Democratic campaign protocol, won't say that he'll support the Democratic nominee for president if it is Hillary Clinton . This unusually sour and divisive move is clearly designed to undercut support for Clinton, whom Edwards is targeting in an increasingly bitter fashion in Iowa. As Chris Dodd said in a statement: This is not the same John Edwards I once knew. Of course, we should all come together to support the nominee. I wonder which of the Republicans John prefers to Hillary? Barack Obama 's response provides a perfect counter-example of how to answer , with charm and grace, the question of whether he'd support Clinton: "I am a Democrat, and I would support the Democratic nominee,” he said. With a smile, he added, “I intend it to be me.” UPDATE: Greg Sargent reports that Edwards clarified his position at a press availability, saying: "I fully expect to support the Democratic nominee, and I fully expect to be the Democratic...

WHO WON WHAT.

Over at The Stump, Noam Scheiber mentions something that's become part of the John Edwards Iowa lore but which, it was pointed out to me over the summer, is not actually correct: one reason people think Edwards is well-situated in Iowa (more so than the polls would suggest, in any case): He spent a lot of time organizing rural areas and small towns in 2004, which helped drive his second-place finish. I've looked at the maps myself -- both private and public -- and have to agree that the idea that Edwards was the standard-bearer for rural Iowans in the last cycle is something of an Edwards campaign-generated myth. John Kerry won the Eastern and Western Iowa counties in 2004, both rural and urban, while John Edwards 's second-place finish was driven by his success in those rural South-Central Iowa counties that are part of the Des Moines media market, as well as his strength in Des Moines. This map shows the counties won by Kerry, Edwards, and Howard Dean . This scaled map of the...

MAKING LICENSES A BIGGER DEAL IN IOWA.

This hasn't gotten much attention in the national press, but Iowa politics sites are starting to write about how Republican Iowa Rep. Tom Latham introduced a sense of the Congress resolution into the House a little over a week ago condemning state efforts to give licenses to illegal immigrants -- a policy for which all the Democratic candidates for president, with the exception of Sen. Chris Dodd , have expressed some support. His resolution: Whereas some states issue state drivers licenses to illegal aliens, Whereas by providing official government-issued identification to individuals who are in the United States illegally, states and other government entities reward those who show disrespect and disregard for our nation’s immigration laws, Whereas the very act of entering the United States illegally shows disrespect for the nations laws and should not be rewarded in any way, Whereas issuing drivers licenses to undocumented individuals presents a national security risk and enables...

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