Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Obama is Now Tied with His GOP Opponents

As recently as last month, President Obama stood strong in polls against his potential Republican challengers: With the exception of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney – who lagged by several points – Obama was far ahead of each of his competitors. Now, according to the latest Gallup survey , 48 percent of registered voters say they would vote for Romney if the presidential election were held now, compared to 46 percent for Obama. Likewise, at 47 percent support, Obama is tied in a head-to-head matchup with Texas governor Rick Perry. Even Ron Paul fares well against Obama, earning 46 percent of the vote to Obama’s 48 percent. Among the Republican presidential candidates chosen by Gallup, Obama fares best against Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann, who trails the president by four points with 44 percent of the vote. This isn’t great news for the White House, but it’s not the end of the world either. At this time in 1982, for example, Ronald Reagan’s approval ratings...

Republicans Can't Seem to Go a Day Without Insulting Black People

Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn went on something of a speaking tour yesterday, warning of impending economic disaster and predicting the demise of Medicare. It has been an exercise in sensationalism – at one point, while voicing his frustrations with the Senate, Coburn said that “It’s just a good thing I can’t pack a gun on the Senate floor.” The thing that stands out, however, is his take on President Obama’s intentions: Responding to a man in Langley who asked if Obama “wants to destroy America,” Coburn said the president is “very bright” and loves his country but has a political philosophy that is “goofy and wrong.” Obama’s “intent is not to destroy, his intent is to create dependency because it worked so well for him,” he said. “As an African-American male,” Coburn said, Obama received “tremendous advantage from a lot of these programs.” There really isn’t any way to read this that doesn’t come down to “African Americans benefit most from government programs, and live in dependency...

Obama Takes to the Bully Pulpit to Push Job Creation

For the last several months, President Obama has used his considerable rhetoric talents to turn the public’s attention to deficits, arguing that the government needs to tighten its belt in response to mounting debt. This has driven liberals insane, especially since the president has yet to present any major ideas for job creation, despite 9.1 percent unemployment and a looming double-dip recession. However, if this report from the Associated Press is any indication, liberals won’t have to wait long for presidential rhetoric on jobs. According to the AP, a “senior administration official” says President Obama will use a major speech in early September to “lay out new ideas for speeding up job growth and helping the struggling poor and middle class.” If his recent statements on his bus tour are any indication, the president’s plan will contain new payroll tax cuts, renewed unemployment benefits, infrastructure spending, and – in a new twist – proposals to specifically help the long-term...

Wisconsin Recall Part Deux

Last week, Wisconsin Democrats were on offense, winning two races against Republican state senators in a historic slate of recall elections. Yesterday, however, the situation was reversed, with Democrats defending two of their lawmakers from GOP attempts at recall. The state senators in question – Robert Wirch and Jim Holperin – were among the 14 state senators who left Wisconsin in an attempt to stop passage of Governor Scott Walker’s anti-union measure earlier this year. Thanks to high turnout and mobilization by Democratic activists, both incumbents defeated their conservative opponents. This leaves the composition of the Wisconsin state senate at 17 Republicans to 16 Democrats – unchanged from where it was after last week’s recall elections, when Democrats captured two Republican state senate seats. It’s unclear whether this will have an effect on public policy in the state, but it does serve to boost Wisconsin progresives. According to USA Today, Wisconsin Democratic leaders are...

The Ron Paul-Era in American Politics

To Politico ’s Roger Simon, Rep. Ron Paul was “ shafted ” by the national press, despite his strong second place finish in the Ames Straw Poll. “Any fair assessment of Ames . . . would have said the winds of the Republican Party are blowing toward both Bachmann and Paul,” writes Simon. Ron Paul’s Iowa campaign was dismissed by the national press, but that wasn’t an unfair decision. Paul’s supporters are more motivated than most, but they form a small percentage of the Republican electorate. During the 2008 GOP primaries, Paul polled mostly below the double-digits, and in the latest Real Clear Politics average , Paul garners 9 percent support among Republicans, well behind Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann. If the political press is most interested in following the campaigns of plausible Republican candidates for the presidential nomination, then it makes total sense to ignore Paul. Where it makes less sense – and where the press has definitely dropped the ball – is in the...

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